All Our Children Meow and Woof: November 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.*

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm the Cool Dog Blog of the Day on December 13, 2006!

Mommy received this today:

Dear Finnegan:

Hello, I am Takashi Ito, a Webmaster of "Cool
DOG Site of the Day" introducing Cool Dog Site of the World

Congratulations! ""selected
your wonderful site ( Finnegan's Osteosarcoma Ordeal =
) for "Cool DOG Site of the Day" on 13th of
And the site will be introduced on that
What is " Cool Dog Site of the Day"?
" Cool Dog Site of the Day" started
in April 1996. We introduce Cool Dog Site everyday. Visitors are from more
than 68 countries around the world. The selected Cool Dog Sites are more
than 3500 which you can visit in our archives pages. " Cool Dog Site of the Day" received many awards and also introduced in several magazines like "FIDO" in Sweden, " DOG FANCY" in USA, and a book published in Taiwan introducing webpages of the world. We have two regular essays by women in NY, which are " A DOG'S LIFE IN NYC" by Ms. B.L. Ochman and " Homeopathy for Dogs"by Dr. Jill Eliott. There are more contents you can really enjoy in our site.
Thank you very much for your cool site information.

"dogmark" also selects monthly BEST DOG Site.
Your Site is surely the nominee for monthly BEST DOG
Site. Many thanks again for your Cool DOG Site.
I really enjoyed your DOG Site.

Best regards,
Takashi Ito "Cool DOG Site of the Day"

"Cool DOG Site of the Day JAPAN"

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Looking Handsome

Damn. Mom bought another brush for me. I hate to be brushed. Mom wanted a dog that not only was huge but also was not to fussy or fancy. She wanted a disheveled looking dog (somewhat like herself - HELLO MOM! TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT AT WORK! YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY!) and decided Irish Wolfhounds were disheveled enough for her. So I'm psyched! Mom will never ever get me wet for a bath or brush me. I can look like one of those Rastafarian dogs with dreadlocks. Sweet!

Oh no. I am not let of the hook so easily. She doesn't want me wearing Patchouli to cover my body odor and jamming out to Bob Marley. She actually thinks I should have a bath a few times a year AND be brushed. In the summer, she bathes me out back because I do not fit in the bath tub. That's a shocker. I try to get away but she hooks my leash to the fence and washes me like a mad woman. The only fun part is getting dried off with the towel and trying to knock her over as I try to dry myself off on her. Ahhh, sweet sweet revenge. She also brings me to a spa (okay groomer) where I get my private parts trimmed (Brazillian wax?), a bath (with fancy oatmeal shampoo), and they use a scary tool to grind down my nails. HOLY SH*T! I think my parents used the same tool to sand furniture and the floors!!!!! Step back from the Wolfhound and slowly put the tool down. Woof!

Mom tries to brush me every few days because I shed and for some dumb reason, she does not want my hair coating every surface of the house. Yum! Wolfhound hair soup! Tasty! I hate to be brushed. I am el sensitivo and do not like the feeling of being brushed. I like to look like a slob and smell like something funky I rolled around in the back yard. What's wrong with that? Now she bought this little brush for gently getting through mats. Gentle my ass. It is so sharp she cut her thumb on the brush. Whoohahahaha! Serves her right!

My point. Oh yes, the point is that since my chemotherapy, my skin is sooo itchy! I am hoping it will finally go away. It's not the food because it started after the chemotherapy. Or could it be the food? I hope not because it is the only food that does not give me dogbursts (explosive diarrhea). Mom tries to get as much loose hair out so it does not bother me. Also, she puts some spray stuff on to cool off my skin and I end up smelling sweet like hairspray or something. Gag.

Alright. I need to go back to listening to the Grateful Dead and spinning in circles. Right on.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

No Turkey for Me!

Oh well. I did get my dog treats for sensitive stomach. My Nana and Boppa came just to visit ME! Or maybe not, I suppose they wanted to see their daughter and son-in-law. And perhaps maybe they wanted to see the other four legged fuzzballs. But really, we all know that they want to see: moi - the fabulous Finnegan. In action. On all three legs. Now really, who needs four legs? Whoops, I just wrote kegs instead of legs. Hmmm, I do need four kegs of Guinness though.

Nana said she was worried to see me at first but I proved to her that I was fine. Mom let me run up and greet them. I was so excited to see my nana! She is the only person (besides my mommy and daddy - I kiss daddy when no one is looking) to whom I give kisses. We had a very nice time. Whenever I had the chance, I smooched my Nana and head butted her. Mommy doesn't like me to do that because Nana is petite BUT I JUST CAN'T CONTROL MYSELF!!!! She and Boppa left this morning. Boohoo. I guess I'm left to smooch Mommy and Daddy. How boring! Woof!

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Outing Myself

For a long time or at least since I had my front left leg amputated, I have not been out in "public". This was for obvious reasons: I was too tired and weak, my mom broke her wrist and did not have the energy to walk me (lame excuse), and mom wanted to get the approval of my veterinarians before she took me on walks. And one last reason: Mom and Dad were a bit nervous about bringing a 140 pound, three-legged, Irish Wolfhound out in public. It was bad enough when I could account for all of my limbs.

Do you put a saddle on him? (HAHAHAHA.Ha.Ha...Ha. Nope! Never heard that one before!)

Who's walking who? (I am walking behind my mom, genius, what do you think?)

How much does he eat? (I have a cow and a lamb slaughtered out back each day. It gets expensive and messy.)

I would hate to pick up his poo! (Seriously? You are inquiring about my sh*t?)

I can only imagine the comments I will get now. Obviously, humans saw me when I was at the veterinarians' offices but that's different. Most of the critters there also had cancer or a serious health problem so they understood my situation. Usually (and hopefully), the humans there are compassionate towards critters and make positive comments.

Now, I will be walking in public. On my street. In the park. At the beach. I know people will want to ask what happened. It's only human. Those crazy humans are curious. Here are some responses I could give them, please pick your favorite:

You should see the other dog!

I did not have enough challenges in life as a huge sight impaired Irish Wolfhound so I thought I would lose a leg for sh*ts and giggles.

I fought the law and the law won.

Three legs is soooooo in this fall.

I do not get enough obnoxious comments anymore so I had to do something drastic.

Damn Bush and Damn the Iraq War.

That's as creative as I get on a Sunday afternoon. Seriously, I think people will probably be afraid to make any comments. I just hope no one challenges my mom for "doing that to me" or that she did it "for selfish reasons". Umm, hello! I'm walking! I'm cancer free (so far, knock on wood, etc, etc)! I'm alive! The other option: death. Four months to live with no treatment versus 18 months or more with treatment. Geez, that's a tough one. Four months, 18 months, four months eighteen months. Hold on, it's hard to do the balancing thing with only one front leg. Uh, sorry. Not ready to go yet.

So if you see me, congratulate me for doing so well and for kicking cancer's ass. And no, don't ask me about my sh*ts.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cancer Ain't Like It Is on TV

...or something like that. As you are aware, my chest x-rays showed no nodules or metastases to my lungs. Hurray! Apparently, I have a "normal abnormality" on my ribs visible on the x-rays. When Mum heard that, her heart nearly dropped to the floor. Fortunately, it is nothing to worry about. Apparently, mammals' bones change as they age (osteoporosis for example) and that is basically what is evident on my most recent chest x-rays. Although I am six and half years old, I am oldish for my distinguished breed. Let's hope that is all that is abnormal about me.

My energy level seems to be back to normal levels. I cannot expect to run a marathon or race up the stairs (as if I ever did that before). The anabolic steroids (RAH) have certainly increased my energy and strength. On Sunday, I raced around the backyard like a crazed puppy. Mum was happy to see that. My back legs are getting stronger as I am exercising more. I am not too swift with the stairs (I never was, try imagining a large pony going up and down your stairs). For now, Mum is bringing me around the house to go up and downstairs. When it snows, she will probably not want to be doing that. After going down the stairs several times, I slid one of the times and tore my dew claw. Thanks to Mum's former veterinary experience, she bandaged it up and all I needed were some antibiotics. It feels fine.

It's not easy going through all of this. As a critter, you must tolerate the pain of the tumor as it weakens your bones. You must tolerate the complete and utter pain of a traumatic surgery. You must tolerate the constipation associated with narcotics. You must be willing to learn how to ambulate a completely new way. You must tolerate the diarrhea (ah, the dogbursts) and the sluggishness. You must tolerate the veterinary visits and the poking and prodding. You must tolerate the itchy skin and the slow growth of your hair. In some cases, fortunately not mine, you must tolerate the vomiting, nausea, anemia, and extreme weakness which can be associated with the chemotherapy treatments.

As a human companion, you must have patience. You must tolerate the monetary and emotional expenses. You must learn that feeling guilty and regretful for doing this to your critter companion is normal and well, human. You must realize that you will cry and be scared for your critter friend. As a human companion, your heart will break when you see your critter friend struggle after surgery. But then, your heart will soar when you see your critter companion take steps on his or her volition.

There are many times my human companion had regrets and doubts. In the end, she did the right thing and will forever be grateful to me for teaching her patience, and learning when life looks horrible at the moment, there can be a happy ending.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Big Bad Bodie

I am not the only huge one in the extended critter family. Exhibit A: Bodie the cat/Holstein cow hybrid sleeping on the couch. Note the big furry stomach and the enormous head. I think he takes up a whole seat cushion. Yikes. To see more happy critters, please go to and link to the Pets on Parade on the lower right of your screen.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why Mom Adopted Me

Here is the reason why Mom Decided to Adopt a


No, not the red head although she is part of the reason. Mom worked with her and introduced Mom to the fabulousness that is the Irish Wolfhound. Actually, it is due to the most well-mannered Irish Wolfhound one could ever meet: Tibet. She is quite a bit smaller than me but...

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I'm Walking, Yes Indeed, and I'm Talking Yessiree

Okay fine. Maybe I am not talking since I only bark on VERY rare occasions at tree trimmers who give my mom outrageous quotes to cut down a tree. HOWEVER, I do walk. Last night, Mom and I took a short walk. At first, I was eager to go, trying to charge away. When Mom asked if I wanted to go for a walk, I became so excited! A walk?

For the last 4 months, anytime a leash was attached to my collar, I would be riding in the car to the veterinarian for chemotherapy or an examination. This time, the leash meant freedom. Freedom to sniff the ground. Freedom to greet neighborhood dogs. Freedom to take a big poop for mom to pick up.

Once I knew we were going for a real legitimate walk, I charged away. Because this is my first real walk in a while (mom wanted to get the okay before she exercised me too much), I did become fatigued fairly quickly. We made it part way down the block and around the corner when mom decided that I had enough. I was panting, but not too hard. She thought I was panting hard enough to bring me back home. We headed back slowly. No need to rush! I need to take my time: Time to enjoy the great expanse of the night sky; Time to savor the smells; Time to hear the calls of the suburban wildlife.
Dad arrived home at about the time we finished our walk and greeted me. I returned his greeting with a big tail wag. After the walk, mom made sure I had a big bowl of water at my disposal. Before I could eat, she waited a good half hour to 45 minutes so that I would cool down and not become sick from eating. Finally, I ate my usual Iams Lamb and Rice (it's the only food that doesn't give me stinky farts) and spent the evening with mom and dad watching TV.

It was a good day in the Finnegan household.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

All About Chemotherapy

Now that I have finished my chemotherapy treatment, I thought I should explain what type of treatment I was given. As you are probably aware, I had my left front leg all the way up and including my scapula amputated. That.was.awesome. Yeah, right. The amputation is necessary to stop the cancer from spreading. Once I regained some strength from surgery, I began chemotherapy in July. The schedule was as follows:

Cycle 1, Week 1: Cisplatin intravenous (heretofore known referred to as IV) with 600,ooo gallons of fluid (ok, slight exaggeration but not much) infused over approximately six hours. Kidney values checked because Cisplatin can kick your kidneys' ass. Made me pee on the lobby carpet in the veterinary hospital. Hahahahahaha. Serves them right! (note: very expensive treatment)

Cycle 1, Week4: Adriamycin IV without 600,000 gallons of fluid infused in a half hour. A complete blood count (hereinafterandthensome CBC) was checked to make sure the chemotherapy is not kicking my ass too bad. This came back normal. Hell yeah! Made me sleepy, got some wicked bad diarrhea. Hahahaha. Serves you right, MOM!

Cycle 2, Week 7: Cisplatin IV with 600,000 gallons of fluid infused over six hours. Dropped off night before the treatment. Human parents go eat yummy yummy Indian food that they cannot get in the town in which they live. Stupid town in which they live. My kidney values are checked and return...tada! Normal. Get picked up in the evening and stop at friends' house near a nuclear power plant (no kidding) for dinner. Thanks guys! I pee non-stop for the next 48 hours.

Cycle 2, Week 10: Adriamycin IV without 600,000 gallons of fluid infused in a half hour. But wait! There's more! For only $100.00, you too can get your ejection fraction checked on your heart! But why, you ask. Because Adriamycin can affect the pumping ability (or some such nonsense) of your heart and you need to know that stuff. It returned, yet again, normal. This is good for two reasons, maybe more. First, because I am a GIANT BREED DOG, there is a tendency for such giant sized dogs to have heart problems. We need to know the facts ma'am. Second, as stated above, Adriamycin can affect your heart.

Because I was in the clear, they gave me my infusion. While I was getting tortured, Human Mom went to Borders to do work and drink Chai Lattes. Yuppy scum. Oh yeah, and they did a CBC that returned normal.

Cycle 3, Week 13: Cisplatin IV with 600,000 gallons of fluid infused over the course of 6 hours. Yet again, mum and dad brought me the night before. No Indian food for them. Suckers. I had my kidneys checked again and...Wait? What's that? Normal. Hellz Yeah! This is the last of the really really long and bladder expanding chemotherapy. Again, we visit the nuclear power plant town and hang out with our pals.

Cycle 3, Week 17: Adriamycin IV without 600,000 gallons of fluid over the course of 30 minutes. CBC checked. All good. Can I get WHOOP WHOOP!? Yeah whatevah. Hold on, no, it's never that simple. Veterinarian Man calls my mom into a room. OH MY GOD THEY ARE GOING TO TELL HER THEY NEED TO AMPUTATE ALL OF MY LEGS AND SHE WILL NEED A WAGON TO PULL ME AROUND!!!!! No. They just need to take a chest x-ray to make sure there are no nodules or metastases in my lungs where osteosarcomas love to metastasize.

Drum roll please...

The unofficial: negative, negativ, negativo, négatif, negativa, отрицательный, nic
The official news recently learned from the Veterinarian Man while typing up this thing: OFFICIALLY REALLY REALLY NEGATIVE!!
Let the diarrhea, wait no...LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN! I will accept gifts in the form of hundred dollar bills. WOOF!!

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