Ham's World

6/28/99 - 11/14/08

I'm Ham, the adopted greyhound.

On Friday, November 14, 2008 at 7:00 a.m. I was so tired, I could not go on. I took my last breath with my mom in my own bed at home. I'm glad it wasn't in a strange place, but in the place where I was the happiest. My mom is devastated at my loss and misses me terribly. She always told me I was her "rock" and that we were probably separated at birth - we were so close. It was sudden, as I had some of my favorite snacks the previous day and a nice long walk, but the cancer had spread to my lungs and suddenly my breathing became very hard and I could no longer go on. My ashes are now up on the fireplace mantel with mom's 3 other beloved dogs and her dad, so I have lots of company and I'm still here at home in my favorite room!

I'm going on three months now since my cancer surgery and front leg amputation and today my master took me to the vet for some followup X-rays. I had a bad night last night and could not sleep or relax well and was in a bit of pain, so she figured she should find out what's going on with one of my rear legs now. It was hard for me to lie down for the past few days and I have not been putting much weight on one of my back legs.

Some good news and bad news. The pain in my rear legs turned out to be arthritus, not more cancer, so I will be taking pain pills daily now to feel more comfortable.

The bad news is that the cancer has spread to my lungs. I was spitting up a tiny bit of blood every 5 days or so if I got excited and that is why. So far I have no breathing problems, so we are going to just take it week by week and hope it moves slowly. My legs hurt worse than the lung thing. Well, it looks like I'm going to make it thru Thanksgiving, and my master is just taking it one holiday at a time. We will worry about Christmas after my turkey dinner!

It is now two months since my cancer surgery and leg amputation. I continue to do really well! I'm getting stronger and stronger and I am playing with my toys again and throwing my blanket around the living room and moving my bed around with one "one" good front leg! I'm eating well, but tend to leave my Omega 3 fish oil capsules in my dog dish (but some days I do eat them) I don't take any medication anymore and I'm really happy about that. I am taking longer walks with my master. We walked over a block this morning and I love sniffing new places. Just like the old days. I even hop/run up the ramp to get in the back door. Cool weather is coming and I really love that. I roll around on my back and my master rubs my tummy. My hair has all grown back and I sort of look like my old self, just missing a leg...we hardly notice it anymore.

It has been one month since my leg amputation surgery for bone cancer and I'm doing very well! My hair is growing back very quickly and my stitches have healed nicely with no complications. I'm am getting my energy back and I actually try to run sometimes, hopping quickly up the ramp to the back door. We still don't take very long walks as I have to do a lot of hopping on my good right leg and I get tired, but I love being outdoors in the yard, getting some sun and sniffing around. I eat a lot now too! My master puts freshly cooked lean ground beef in my food bowl at each meal, unless they are having something I can eat, like chicken or fish! I have a "senior" greenie every morning when I wake up just like I used to and I am starting to move my bed around with my right front leg, just like I did when I had two legs.

My master decided not to put me thru chemotherapy so I can just enjoy my life and feel good as long as possible. I don't like taking any medications and right now don't have to, so life is good. She gives me 2 Omega 3 fish oil capsules in my food bowl twice a day (I tend to toss them out though...ha ha) and 1 Desuquin bone pill every day (which I do manage to eat) We are hoping to keep my immune system strong.

I've been having a tough month. On June 28th, 2008, my 9th birthday, my leg hurt, so I started limping. After some X-rays and pain meds and more X-rays, I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my left front leg on August 5th, 2008. My master is determined to help me fight this as I love to eat, drink and want to walk, even though it hurts. I'm using 3 legs now and getting around. She built me a ramp from the back door so I don't have to use the steps, but unless I have some surgery, my prognosis is not good. On Wednesday, August 6th, I had surgery to have my leg removed. It went very well. I was up on 3 legs a few hours after surgery and they let me go home the next morning! I have lot's of nasty looking stitches on my left shoulder where my leg was and my mom keeps calling me Frankendoggie. I don't think that is funny...but my hair will grow back and soon I will be my good looking self again. I'm eating well and my walking/hopping on 3 legs is getting better and it has only been 3 days since my surgery! I'm a strong doggie, so I hope all goes well and I can continue to live in my home and have my Greenies and be spoiled by my master for a long time to come. Wish me well!

The first few days were not good. I was on pain medication that made me anxious and strange and whiney - a Fentinal pain patch. My master finally took it off a day early to get me back to normal. I was pacing and not sleeping and whining a lot. A day after the patch was removed, August 10th, I was back to normal. I licked my master's face the first time in about a month! I slept well and was learning to get comfortable laying down again. So far, I'm not licking my stitches (or I will have to wear a t-shirt or one of those awful plastic neck hood things. I did have fluid retention in my good front leg (it swelled up quite a bit from the paw to the shoulder and had my master all worried) She kept calling the pet hospital all hours to be sure it wasn't serious. But today, I absorbed the fluid as I should and the swelling is going down. I'm walking more, looking out the door, eating a lot and more comfortable getting up and laying down, all only 5 days after my surgery.

I was born in 1999 in Waco, TX and was adopted on March 1st, 2001 from the Lake Geneva dog track. I am a real wild and BIG (100 pounds)guy and really test my master's patience. I'm such a curious doggie, I get into all kinds of trouble and get yelled at all the time, but that is the only way I will know what NOT to do! On my first day home, I jumped into my master's redwood hot tub. It was 100 degrees, so that was a real thrill, but my master had to pull me out and it took two beach towels and a hair dryer to get me all dry again. In my first week, I ate two pairs of leather gloves, one slipper, a container of fish food, a small cactus, my master's reading glasses and nearly got the whole slab of corn beef they were going to have for dinner!!! Oh well, I tried. I follow my master everywhere, as she takes very good care of me. I get long walks 3 times in the morning and one at noon and 3 in the late afternoon! She also feeds me and plays with me, so I think I will like this place. There is a large fenced yard and I can run like crazy. I've worn a big oval "track" in the lawn from where I like to run.

I've been in my home a few years now (and I'm still a wild and crazy guy!) I have eaten 5 rugs, a $20 bill, the TV guide, 5 pairs of mom's shoes and 4 doggie beds! I am a big "brat" but my mom loves me anyway! She just comes and takes all the rugs back when I drag them into my bed. I'm a collector, just like her and collect the carpets from around the house and pile them up.

Here are some pictures of me in my new home.

Hiding in the Hostas!

Playing with my BIG ball!

Here is me with my master!

Clik here to visit Bob's World, in memory of Bob, my first greyhound

Clik here to read a really neat brochure from Greyhound Bus Corp. from 1960 about their greyhound mascot Lady Greyhound.

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