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Bo's Story

Bo’s Birthday-5/25/11

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We got an appointment with a new vet for a second opinion. I had forgotten it was Bo’s birthday, until I started writing the dates on all of the paperwork. I had taken him in by myself…thinking that we would be leaving with him in a cast or some new medicine. Bo and I waited in a nice room and they brought a bed for him to get comfortable in. The vet finally came in and told me that she suspects Bo may have bone cancer. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I immediately called my husband and my parents and they were all there within 30 minutes.

Before going over all of the options, the vet wanted to take her own x-rays to confirm what she already knew. She also got pictures of his lungs. The good news…lungs were clear! The bad news…bone cancer. She went over the options that we had: do nothing, but medicate; amputate leg; chemo after amputation; etc. We were relieved to hear that the vet’s goals were in line with ours: to focus on quality of life and being pain free. We stayed in the exam room at the vet for about 3 hours. We were not rushed to leave and we got to ask tons of questions. As horrible as the news was, there is still peace in knowing. We had spend the past several weeks with our hands tied, knowing that something was wrong and not having the means to fix it.

We knew that the best route to 1)get the cancerous mass out of his body and 2)relieve pain was to amputate. Still, we needed to go home and process everything that we had learned that day. Of course, we did our own research online about canine cancer and could not believe how prevalent it is. We decided to schedule the amputation and called the vet back that very day. We scheduled the surgery for May 31st, and that gave us a 3 day weekend beforehand to mentally prepare ourselves.

Bo, who is rarely allowed on the couch, cuddled with me for hours that afternoon and evening. The vet had given us some medicine to immediately start some pain relief. He was taking Tramadol, Vetprofen, and Gabapentin. The meds did have a pain relieving effect and he finally got some much needed deep sleep.

Snuggle time!



With all that was looming over us, Memorial Day weekend was surprisingly wonderful! Bo got a new life jacket and we let him swim with it on to get used to it before surgery. He was so happy to be in the water. No whining this time, but he still took it easy. We even did some paw print art and have it hanging in the house!

Testing the life jacket pre-surgery

I wanted pink paw flowers, but Bo thought it would be too girly 😉

Also, during this time, I was mentally and emotionally trying to process everything that was happening. I still keep repeating to myself that it is the quality of life that is important, not the quantity. I am giving him hugs and kisses and cherishing them, when I may have taken them for granted before. We have a sign that hangs by our front door that says Make Every Day Count. I am reading that sign everyday and trying my best to live up to it. It is hard to stay positive sometimes, but I am getting my strength from the strength that I see in Bo…and of course my wonderful husband and supportive family.


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  1. CatiesMom Said,

    June 14, 2011@ 11:18 am      Reply

    Oof. I remember too well the day at the vet’s with Catie and getting the surgeon’s diagnosis of bone cancer. I was totally unprepared for the solid hit in the solar plexus that took my breath away.


    I love the Make Every Day Count sentiment. Hold onto that as best you can. It IS hard to stay positive all the time – and that’s okay.

    I agree – from the pics I’ve already seen of Bo, pink paw flowers would have definitely been too girly. 🙂

  2. chilidawg Said,

    June 14, 2011@ 4:06 pm      Reply

    I remember the day we got the cancer diagnosis. I literally threw up. Ugh. I have embraced the Make Every Day Count statement as well. I love, love, LOVE the paw flowers, and I may have to steal your idea (Chili Dawg probably won’t allow me to do pink or purple paw flowers either).

    Jenna- Chili Dawg’s Mom

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