Jan 28 2013

Mungo the Great


Mungo’s recovery proceeds in fits and starts.  Some days are great, others get me worrying, still others leave me super frustrated.

Mungo was full of energy and bounce right after his surgery.  He was eating great, hopped around like nothing ever happened and seemed genuinely happy.  Everyone that saw him told me that he looked happy.  About 4-5 days after surgery, he started to look less happy.  He was still on pain meds and antibiotics, so I did not think this was why he looked sad.  He was still wearing an elizabethan collar (those large cones dogs wear) and according to his surgeon, he was only allowed to go on 10-15 minute walks.  Because of his unhealed incision, I did not think he should be going to offleash parks, so we just walked in the neighborhood, on the sidewalks.  I think he thought this sucked.  About 10 days after his surgery, I removed the sutures from his incision.  He wore the cone less, which should have made him happy, but instead he started to eat less.  His incision looked ok, no infection present and I ran some bloodwork looking for infection or any other reason that might explain the lack of appetite.  I found nothing.  This weekend, we started going to offleash areas again.  Mungo is clearly happy to be able to run free again and actually does break out into a run at times.  Even though he seems happy to be outside, he still hesitates at the food bowl.  We can get him to eat, but only if we add canned food to his kibble.  For a few days, he didn’t even get off the couch when we started getting his food ready.  Now he happily jumps off the couch, but one look at the dry kibble in his bowl, and he turns his head.

I wonder sometimes if this dog is playing me.  We have always said that Mungo is a smart guy, but prefers to use his brain for bad.  I wonder if he has figured out that if he just waits long enough, he will get some of that tasty canned food added to his bowl.

I don’t know the answer.  For now, I will keep adding treats to the bowl to keep him eating.  I am worried that his lack of appetite could mean that the cancer is rearing it’s ugly head elsewhere in his body, but I guess I would rather not know that if it is true.  For now, I will give him yummy food and time.

Yesterday was a beautiful day so we hit the offleash park for a nice walk.  All was going well until we met a couple of black dogs..  One was carrying a toy of some sort and for some reason, he decided that Mungo needed a beat down.  He attacked Mungo quite nastily, and although there were no visible bite wounds, Mungo was knocked off his feet during the ruckus and was very freaked out.  The owner of the other dog, jumped into the fray quickly and stopped his dog.  He asked if Mungo was ok and since I found no wounds, I told him yes.  I asked him if his dog got into fights often and his reply was “not often”.  Wrong answer!  Apparently his dog is possessive of his toys and will sometimes get “upset” if he feels another dog is trying to take it.  Mungo has never tried to take a toy in his life.  I wish people would not bring nasty dogs to the offleash.  I can handle the dogs that don’t listen to their owners, but why bring a mean dog to the park?  In any case, this entry is not to discuss stupid pet owners, but needless to say our walk was a little less than pleasant.

Later that day, Mungo decided he was unhappy with his incision and while I was preoccupied with other things, decided to rip about an inch of it apart.  This is not an easy thing to do with a 13 day old incision, but in the spirit of using his brain for bad, he did it.  He then had to have his wound cleaned, stapled together and now he is going to be wearing his cone for at least another 10 days.

In contrast to yesterday’s horrors, today was a great day.  Instead of going to an official offleash park in town, I took the dogs to an area on the edge of town so that they could have a little run.  Both dogs had a wonderful time.  They did a  lot of sniffing.


They ran and posed on hills for me.


Mungo looked fabulous.


He tried to chase a rabbit and he tried to get Sargon to play with him as well.  All signs that he is feeling pretty good.  This is the view that I am most often graced with when I walk my dogs.


Impatient hounds, waiting for their owner to catch up.  the only difference is now I get to look at one and a half bums instead of two!

We will continue to be patient with Mungo’s recovery.  I will try to make sure that he gets the nutrition he needs to heal.  I will try to keep nasty dogs out of his life.  I will try to make sure his incision gets to “healed” and I will try to make sure there are plenty more glorious days like today.

Jan 15 2013



Just a short post tonight guys.  I just wanted to let you know that Mungo is home and is doing very well.  Really, dogs never cease to amaze me.  How long do you think you would be bed ridden after having a limb amputated?   How long would it take you to get up and get on with your life?  Twenty four hours?

Mungo is doing great.  He hopped out of the hospital, faster than his nurse could walk.  He hopped to the car and with very little assistance, got into the back, and settled down for the drive home.  When we got home, I helped him out of the car (barely) and while I was getting other things out of the car, he hopped to the house, went up the stairs and waited for me to open the back door…without assistance.

He ate his supper with gusto, and then tried to convince us that we should share our supper with him as well (But Mom, I’m disabled!).  He then hopped up on the couch, in his regular spot, and curled up for a nap.







Jan 14 2013

Goodbye Left Hind


Mungo’s  journey continues.  First of all, let me assure you that he feels great.  He is still doing all things Mungo, like playing, eating, trying to hump other dogs, but in the past few months, he has put less and less weight on his hind left leg and when I radiographed him last, it became apparent that he was not likely to use his leg again.  The new rads showed us that there had been a fracture at the tumor site and the joint was now too damaged to use.

With this new information, we had another decision to make.  We could leave his leg in place, as it was and just continue on as we were.  If we did this, it meant that the leg would always be there as a source of pain for him.  As well, the chances of him injuring it more was ever present.  We therefore made the tough decision to have his leg amputated.  Even though he would be more painful in the short term, he would not have to stay on pain meds for his remaining time with us, and we would not have to worry about him doing more damage to the leg.

I asked a surgeon friend of mine (actually she was my old surgery professor from vet school) to do the procedure and she graciously agreed.  So today, Mungo’s leg was amputated.  I went to see him tonight, and although I do not have any pictures to show you yet, I want you to know that he did very well during the surgery.  His pain is very well controlled and his was able to walk to the visiting room to sit with me.  With a little help, he curled up on the couch with me and went to sleep.

He will stay in the hospital tomorrow as well and then come home with us tomorrow night.  He already knows how to get around on three legs…very well, in fact, so we just have to help him recover from the surgery and then he will be back to his old self.

Goodnight Mungo, rest well, see you tomorrow.

(Sorry, having trouble with the blogger, this was written by Daniela, not Sean)



Oct 30 2012

C is for Crazy


Hello folks.  I thought I would update you all on Mungo.

It is now almost five months since we discovered Mungo had bone cancer, osteosarcoma, in his left tibia.  When he was first diagnosed with cancer, we decided to treat him with radiation and chemotherapy.  His radiation therapy took place first and he came through those treatments very well.  He began a series of chemo treatments as well.  He gets an intravenous chemo drug once every 4 weeks for a total of 6 treatments.  Today was treatment number 5.

So far, his chemo treatments have been a breeze.  He spends the day with the Annika and Victoria, hooked up to an IV.  He is always happy to go to the clinic, never cowers, always greets Annika with a big tail wag and a head rub.  That’s just the kind of hound he is!

I showed you a picture of his bone when all there was, was a big  *#$% hole, where the bone used to be.  Now I will show you his most recent radiograph.


You can now see (I hope), that new bone has mostly filled the void...mostly!  So yeah, new bone is growing back and as long as we can get him to put weight on this leg every now and then, the bone will eventually remodel to look like a normal tibia.  Amazing, huh?!


Now the challenge remains getting him to use the leg.  Mungo goes to physio every week, in an effort to get him to put more weight on that leg.  Some days, he does great and walks around on it most steps.  Other days, he hoists it up and puts very little weight on it. His physiotherapist is trying many different things to trick him into using it more.  Some days, we make him do “boot camp” where he has to do different drills on ramps, balance beams, weave poles, etc.  Other days, we throw him into the underwater treadmill and make him walk at various speeds.  The treadmill, by the way, is his worst nightmare.  Mungo HATES water.  He walks around puddles, and the look on his face as the water starts to rise in the treadmill is somewhere between heartbreaking and hilarious!

Okay, but how is he doing??  Is he happy?  Are we happy with him and his progress?  Yeah, yep, you bet!  He feels great, glorious, never better.  He is happy, he plays, he eats like a pig, and still likes to pick fights and start wrestling matches with Sargon.  Yep…according to Mungo, life is good!




Sep 3 2012

Patio Progress


For years and years, I have wanted to build a patio, flower beds and fountain in the back yard.    I sketched and re-sketched plans, changing what the patio was made of, what the the fountain looked like and the layout of the flower beds countless times.  Finally, I came up with a plan and this year, Kevin and I started construction.  We built the flower beds and the fountain earlier in the summer.  This weekend, we started with the patio. 

Even though it would have been fast and easy to get a large concrete patio poured by professionals, it was not exactly what I wanted.  I wanted it to look original, and I wanted to do it ourselves.  So I came up with the idea of making  a grid out of 4×4 pressure treated lumber.  Once we had the grid made, we used concrete and black flagstone to fill  in the squares. 


It takes a heck of a long time for this process, but it looks great and we can build it slowly, square by square.  This allows us to progress at our own speed.  Our own speed seems to be about 3-5 squares per day.  Here is what we managed to do in 2 days (although there were interruptions).P1040958

Eight down, 7 left to go before the snow flies.  The area we hope to finish before the end of the summer/fall is about 1/2 of the total patio space we will eventually have, but we didn’t think we had the time or the funds necessary to do the whole patio this year. 

Slowly, slowly, slowly.  One day, I will invite you all for coffee on the patio.  Just not yet.