All Our Children Meow and Woof: June 2006

All Our Children Meow and Woof

I created this blog to sort through my emotions as Finnegan, a great Irish Wolfhound, fought bone cancer for nearly 26 months. Fortunately, his battle subsided for many months and during the course of the 26 months, I shared stories about his feline siblings. On August 8, 2008, Finny passed on in my husband's and my arms. He fought the good fight and he will always have a special place in my heart. *If you have a question, please write me at finnegandog at gmail dot com.*

Friday, June 30, 2006

Beaucoup ENERGY!!!!!

Finally, it is cool out and that is my type of weather! When human mom brought me in for breakfast, I was leaping around like I was a bucking bronco or something. I guess I'm feeling pretty good although human mum was afraid I would knock her over in the wet grass.

I think I could put the whole small dog above in my mouth with no problem. Yummmm. Small yippy dogs....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Stinky Finny

This probably falls into the "too much information" category, but since I have been taking hydrocodone and etodolac, I (Finnegan the dog) have been having some stinky gas issues. You know, the silent but very very deadly kind. It even makes me surprised. When I get a whiff, my head goes up, even when I am napping. I think under different circumstances (i.e. not being recently diagnosed with cancer) the human parents might banish me to another room.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Well it's in, folks. The big dog has cancer. The good news is that it is a low grade osteosarcoma. I suppose that means less chemotherapy. Once they lop my leg off, the entire tumor will be sent to the pathologist to stage and grade the cancer. I will be going to Cleveland for my consultation with the surgeon on Monday and then I guess the surgery will be scheduled soon after. Think good thoughts for me!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Meds

Human mum left work for 15 minutes just to get my pain meds. Ahhhhh. I think she also bought a venti non-fat iced chai latte. That's a mouthfull. If she had not purchased my pain meds, I might have had to disguise myself (perhaps as a llama?) and snatched myself some pain meds at the local drug store! Luckily it didn't rise to that. $65.00 for two types of pain meds, an ear medicine, and an ear cleaning product. Don't ask about the bill from my biopsy and x-rays. YIKES!

Thanks Cousin Daisy and Auntie Lorraine!

I got my very first Fed Ex mailing yesterday from my Auntie and Cousin. Daisy is a big Great Dane who lives outside of Seattle. Because I am feeling yucky, they sent me a nice fuzzy toy. My favorite! Plus it has a nice squeaky in it for me to try to get! I LOVE IT! I played with it for quite a long time.

Overall, I am feeling better from my biopsy. I am limping less and want to run around. Human mum tried to get my meds yesterday but she left work too late. Bummer. I guess she will try again. Less than a week until I get my results! Eeekkkkk!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Good times had by Fin

Last night, human mum thought it would be a really good idea to get me accustomed to walking on three legs. You know, just in case they chop my leg off. So anyway, while I was out back, minding my own business, mum held up my "bad" leg and had me hop around. Now why on earth would I hop on three legs when I know perfectly well I still have a fourth leg that, while it is still sore, works for the most part. All the while she held on my leg, attempting to get me to walk, I kept pulling in the opposite direction trying to get my leg back. COME ON! Let me use that leg while I still have it. Geez. Finally, she realized this lesson was pointless and let me romp around on all four (hello mom, FOUR!) of my legs. She meant well but TOUGH!

Monday, June 19, 2006


Human mum and dad picked me up at 9:00 pm (that's right, pm) on Friday night after they ate dinner at some vineyard and drank wine. Real nice. Anyway, my biopsy went fine. I was a little dopey when I was picked up but I had enough energy to wag my tail when I heard human mum's voice. Because of the injectable pain reliever/anesthetic, I felt ok to walk on my leg. The next day, however, NO WAY! It was very uncomfortable and I decided lounging in my bed was a much better idea than running around outside. Mom gave me a hydrocodone and I napped for most of the day. Plus it was very hot and I HATE hot weather. I did have some runny poo (I know, a little too much info) but I had to eat another brand and type of hypoallergenic food while I stayed at the vet's office. If and when I get surgery (I'm still hoping on the 20% that it's something benign), mum will bring a bag of my own food for me so I do not have poopy problems. By the way, no definite news on the biopsy results until a week from today.

Friday, June 16, 2006


My fabulous doctor called human mom and I am recovering nicely from the biopsy. Because they are cutting some bone out (whimper), they gave me general anesthesia. By the way, my pre-anesthesia bloodwork was perfect (of course). Doc said he took a nice long sample and it's one of the best he's gotten in a long time. Yes, I am the ideal patient. The results should be in on June 26, Monday. If it returns as cancer (unfortunately, it's likely), I will be scheduled for surgery and in the hospital for three days. The very nice vet techs will help me learn to walk with three legs although I know mom would be good at it too!

Good news, I can receive chemotherapy at my local veterinarian's office! No long trips to Cleveland! Hurray!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Visit to the Doctor

Overall, my visit to the doctor went very well. Mom and I arrived early and we talked to a dog, Charcoal, and his mom for a little while. He has cancer AND diabetes. So far, I only have one of those problems! The veterinary oncologist was very nice and explained everything. I was brought back for an x-ray of my chest to determine if I had metastases to my lungs. No cancer there! 80% of bone lesions are cancer and 20% are fungal infections. 80% of the cancer are osteosarcomas. Based on my limited dog ability to compute, it looks like I have a pretty good shot at having an osteosarcoma. By the way, when I had my x-ray, the very nice veterinary technician said I was a perfect gentleman and stayed still. I even locked my front legs around her neck when I was on my back.

Unfortunately, I must stay overnight and have a bone biopsy tomorrow afternoon. It is much better to know for sure rather than lopping off my leg without determining its cancer. That brings me to my treatment options and prognosis. I can have palliative radiation which would give me 4 to 6 months (no thanks) or I could have an amputation and chemotherapy which could give on average 12 to 15 months and up to 3 years! I can take that!

Mom asked about how giant breed dogs do with amputations. He said large and giant breeds do very well. 95% have no problem. In fact, he told us about a great dane (yeah, like you Daisy) who was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico after the amputation and he was 180 pounds (fatty). We feel comfortable with our decision to treat me because human mom thinks I am pretty fabulous (duh) and I will do very well. The doctor said I will even be able to use the stairs. Hmmmmm.

Think good thoughts for me tomorrow as I will have anesthesia and have part of the lesion removed for the biopsy. Mom and dad will pick me up tomorrow evening. Hurray!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's me!

I figured out how to be the author so I will be posting my progress. I found out I cannot have food tomorrow before I go to my appointment but I can have my hydrocodone. Yesssss. I need to make sure mom brings treats for after the appointment to scarf down afterwards. So far, I feel pretty good with the pain meds. I still want to run around, use the stairs, and play with mom. Hopefully, they won't do anything to weird to me tomorrow. Eek! Think good thoughts.

I will be going here:

They sound fabulous!

Radiologist's Report.

Finnegan had his x-ray evaluated by a veterinary radiologist at Cornell University. The report states:

Radiographic Problems: "Monostatic aggressive bone lesion, left radius."

Radiographic Interpretation and Recommendations: "The clinical signs can be attributed to this lesion. The primary differential diagnosis is primary bone neoplasia, most commonly osteosarcoma, though bone biopsy is warranted for definitive diagnosis. Infections (bacterial and fungal) can mimic neoplasia but are rare unless there are wounds or other clinical signs. I would conclude a bone neoplasm and proceed accordingly."

We have an appointment in Cleveland at the Veterinary Referral Clinic. Again, think good thoughts for Finny.

(by the way, Mr. Stinny will be the author because dumb human lady can't figure out had to add Finny as an author). Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Unfortunately, I received (via my human) the diagnosis we were dreading: a monostatic aggressive bone lesion - an osteosarcoma. It appears small in size and the prospects are not as grim as I (we) originally thought. Mum will be making an appointment with the veterinary oncologist in Cleveland (road trip!) and I get to have fun things like body scans, surgery, and chemotherapy. My hope is a limb sparing procedure because it might be small enough where it has not spread and it cannot be removed. Over the course of my treatment, I will report my treatment, diagnosis, and how I feel for those who are experiencing the same ordeal as I or just want to know how I am doing.

I know the treatment sounds extreme but after extensive research and consultation, it is not as horrendous as it likely sounds. Dogs and cats do not have the same hang ups as humans. Mr. Stinny became blind due to a trauma but is very happy and gets along beautifully.

Now that I have provided the depressing recent news, here is more about me. My name is Finnegan (Mr. Stinny will be the "author") and I am a six year old, red, Irish Wolfhound from Colorado. Mum and Dad adopted me in 2000 while they were living in Salt Lake City, Utah. I now live in Northwestern Pennsylvania with human parents and four cats (Lilly, Donald, Shrimpycat, and Mr. Stinny). On top of my new diagnosis, I was born with an optic nerve defect so I do not see well but I get around without a problem. I love playing with other dogs and racing around like a crazy puppy. I am not a big fan of walks but I enjoy lounging for hours on end.

My mom is now an attorney (sorry) but she used to be a veterinary technician and knows a fair amount about veterinary medicine (although certainly NOT to make any type of diagnosis or provide medical advice). Dad is a chemistry professor.

As I get my news, I will continue to keep whoever wants to know updated.