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Woof! Meet Skyla

Woof woof!

My name is Rae, and my best friend is Skyla. She is a 10 year old Rottweiler mix. We live in beautiful Bend, OR. We find ourselves here on the Tripawds website like many others: we recently got the terrible news that sweet Skye has bone cancer. Her front leg amputation is scheduled for June 19th (which happens to be my birthday, of all days). Before we get to that, I’d love to share a little about our friendship thus far.

When I was 16 years old, I was a volunteer at a local humane society. I was pretty excited about finding a new dog companion. While I was really looking for a puppy, I was pulled in by a litter of pups that had been born right at the shelter. I was even more weakened by the fact that they appeared to be Rottweiler mixes. Growing up, I became Rottweiler OBSESSED, thanks to a Rottie who lived across the alley from me. He wasn’t a very social one (outdoor dog who just stayed in his kennel 24/7), but he was so beautiful and strong. Many years later, I had a chance to raise one of my own. There were just two girls left by the time I applied, and the one we brought home had actually already been adopted and then returned when she was 10 weeks old. The reason? They said she wasn’t potty trained, and she growled at their kids while playing. My eyes rolled. This pup made so much eye contact, it was piercing. She was very focused from such a young age.

The rest is history. This dog is my LIFE.

My social media post on Skyla’s 10th birthday is a great summary of our time together:

“It’s hard to believe Skyla is turning 10 today. I’ve been dreading the days of the double digits, knowing full well she’s in her senior years. I brought her home from the shelter when she was 10 weeks old, and in the time this dog and I have been together, she has…
Traveled to 13 states, and lived in 3.
Lived in 11 different homes.
Hiked hundreds of miles of trails.
Seen the gulf coast and pacific coast.
Been “big sister” to 9 foster dogs and countless client pets.
Been my tear catcher through the loss of my mother, two grandparents, a friend, and two pets.
Never left my side through my pregnancy.
Transformed from a fearful young dog to a confident, friendly lady.
She has been the most loyal friend I could ever ask for, and I’m so grateful for all that she has done with and for me. I can only hope for many more years ahead. Happy GOLDEN Birthday, Skyla!”

Since that post, which was August 10th, 2016, we’ve hiked many more miles, climbed to the tops of mountains, and made many new friends along the way. Skyla then started slowing down a bit this past winter, but that’s to be expected at her age.

About a month ago, in early May 2017, Skye got to the point where we weren’t able to do what we could do the week before. She seemed tired. Her spirit wasn’t as bright. She seemed a bit grouchy. She looked stiff. And out of nowhere, a limp. Her front left leg. We hadn’t gone for any hikes or even walks, or anything I could think of that would cause it. I’ve worked in the pet industry for 13 years, veterinary for a number of those, and I couldn’t quite suffocate the thought of bone cancer when it came to mind. I gave her rest and waited. One day it would almost disappear, the next it was worse than ever. We made a vet appointment for radiographs. Unfortunately, our regular vet doesn’t have those capabilities so we had to go to one he recommended instead. On the drive there, I almost laughed out loud at myself for being such a hypochondriac. I thought the veterinary medicine industry had ruined me, making me think the worst. When the vet came back in with the image, I just knew. And he knew I knew. I could see the discomfort he had while confirming it out loud. We were sent home with pain meds and a grave prognosis about how little time we may have together.

It took me about a day to let the emotion pour out. After that, my protective instincts kicked in and I was on a mission. I would do ANYTHING for this dog. Working with our regular vet (an amazing integrative vet who favors the eastern medicine world), we have her on a plethora of supplements and diet changes. We discussed amputation, and he believes she is a good candidate. We also went back to the initial diagnosing vet for chest radiographs and a fungal titer test, just in case. Luckily, her lungs look great at this point, as well as her other leg. Although we are still waiting on her titer test results, we are pushing forward knowing it is most likely not fungal and indeed osteosarcoma. Her amputation is scheduled for about three weeks away.

I’ll post our current supplemen  plan soon! In the meantime, I’m spending lots of time reading about other Tripawds and trying to get as prepared as possible physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is a huge comfort to know this community is so supportive and knowledgeable. I’m forever grateful for all of these resources!

Thank you for taking the time to get to know us!

Much love,

Rae & Skyla



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