I so very much enjoy getting survivor stories, thank you Aly for sharing your beautiful girl Clementine, wishing you both many great years to come.
I adopted Clementine in August of 2005. She is my first dog and boy did I not know what I had gotten into. Terrified and shy of everything at first, she turned into a fiesty, smart and sassy girl who has been my faithful sidekick, best friend, and even service (hearing) dog! She has been a flyball dog since 2006 and also competes in agility, disc, nosework….you name it!
In October of 2015, right after we got back from CanAm (North American Flyball Association Nationals), she came up lame on her back left leg. We worked with our amazing rehab vet (Dr. Kerry Fisher), and at first the suspicion was a strain. Unfortunately after a weekend of rest with no improvement – Dr. Fisher began to suspect the worst due to her pain being isolated to just above her knee. I took her to the ER and the diagnosis was devastating – osteosarcoma. The cancer had actually eaten all the way through her bone. She quickly underwent amputation 2 days later and started chemotherapy 2-3 weeks after that. I was told when I picked her up from her surgery that she would be back in the flyball lanes with no issue – and I did not believe the vets.
The first two weeks were hard. My beautiful, tough girl was not happy being forced to rest. We started walking longer and longer day by day. We completed our rehab homework daily, graduating to more difficult exercises as her strength and balance improved.
Sure enough, just six weeks post-amputation (and with vet approval) – she made it back to her favorite game. She will never run full time again, but we are both thrilled she can still play – and only half a second slower than she was pre-amputation! She has been able to return to some classes in NADAC agility without jumps or contact obstacles (even taking a third place in tunnelers out of a big class)! She has finished her chemotherapy with no side affects and is currently in remission. I never know what tomorrow is going to bring and it is scary, but for now we are enjoying every moment we can together and I could not be more grateful.