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Dental Cleaning

Murphy used to have beautiful white teeth.  But the past couple of years they’ve gotten more & more build-up on them and his breath has gotten horrid.  Last spring at his check-up our vet suggested a dental cleaning, but I declined.  At the time I told him that Murphy was 3 years post-op and way past what his prognosis had been, and I was afraid to have him go under general anesthesia because I was sure that he probably had some lung metastasis by now.  So, he prescribed some antibiotics for him – clindamycin twice a day for 10 days every month, it’s an old-school treatment to kill the bacteria in his mouth.  That, I was willing to do (well, until I had to pay for the antibiotics! lol $78 yikes!).

But with the clear x-rays last month I started thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to finally get this done for him.  He’s lost a couple of teeth in the front and his gums are red, so I worry that maybe his teeth are painful and it probably hurts to eat.   So last week he got his blood work done – and it came back perfect!  🙂  And on Monday he started on antibiotics.

Then came this morning.  Well.  He was fine when I went to bed last night.  And he was fine when my husband got up for work and let the dogs outside.  But 15 minutes later he let them in and Murphy just laid down inside the door whining.  He wouldn’t walk and he kept crying.  It seemed like it might be his front leg that hurt so I put some ice on it and gave him a Carprofen.  When I got back up a little while later, he still whined, but I still couldn’t pinpoint where he was hurt, until I tried to turn his head aside to get to his shoulder – then he yelped.  So I wondered if maybe it was his neck/shoulder area that was hurt?  I did some massage to the area and let him rest some more.  When we left for the vet’s he was able to walk out & get into the car pretty well.

I made sure to tell the techs exactly what happened, as far as I knew.  They offered to re-schedule, but I was pretty sure he probably just tweaked something while he was outside.  I left him there and left the decision up to the doctor when he got in.  Murphy ended up with 5 or 6 extractions and came home with some Tramadol & more antibiotics.  He’s mostly been resting today, but he did eat some canned food tonight.  And he does have some beautiful white teeth!








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Road Trip

So this was Murphy’s big weekend!  The weekend of the PuppyUp walk in Wheaton, Illinois.  We’ve never taken Murphy on a road trip before, but he’s good in the car so we were pretty sure that he’d be ok.  It’s about a 4 1/2-5 hour drive depending on construction & traffic.

First we had to stop at a local farm stand for a photo op.  I noticed that they had a field of sunflowers and I thought it would be a great place to get some beautiful pictures of Murphy.


Then we started driving across Michigan.  When we got to the other side of the state, we made a stop for lunch and met up with someone we “met” in the dogs with cancer page on Facebook.  Paula had reached out 3 years ago wanting stories & pictures for a Bark for Life.  Then the next year updates for another walk.  She lost her dog, and has been a big fan of Murphy’s.  So of course, since we were driving through her town, we had to stop and say hello.



Then on we went.  We did hit a little bit of traffic a couple of times, and Glenn opened the window so Murphy could check things out.


This is Murphy’s first time ever staying in a hotel, and first time going in an elevator!  I think he handled the new adventures pretty well.  He had lots of visitors – Paula, Linda, Michelle, Sherry, Lori, and Stephanie.  He wondered how everyone knew his name when they came in the door!  He only barked a couple of times and didn’t have any accidents in the hotel (whew!).


this bed is just for me, right?


The day of the walk was perfect.  We met even more Tripawd parents and a couple of their Tripawds – Heather & Joe with Cadence,  Christine, Sherry’s husband Greg with Cooper & Sadie (quadpawd), plus our friends from the night before.  It was amazing!  It was like we’ve known each other forever.  These are definitely people I would choose as friends.

There were several vendors there.  Murphy (and Cadence) even got a massage from a massage school!  There was a drawing for gift baskets.  Oh yeah, there was even a walk!

Christine & Angel Otis' banner

Christine & Angel Otis’ banner




Tribute Leash


Tribute Leash

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Nitro & Angel Sassy



Angel Max


Cooper & Sadie


Joe & Cadence


getting a massage from the student


auction item from Tripawds (Thanks Jim & Rene!)


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We had such a wonderful couple of days with the most amazing group of people!

A huge shout-out has to go to Christine for all of the hard work she put into getting this group together!  Team Tripawds raised over $5,565 of the over $11,890 raised for the PuppyUp Foundation.  She raised the majority for our team, as well as donations for baskets and gift baskets that were given to all of us!  All of this was done while the past few weeks she was dealing with her own heartbreak.  We love you Christine!  Thank you for all that you do!

The drive home was nice.  Murphy was worn out!  He slept pretty much the entire way home.  I’m so glad we were able to make this trip.  Hopefully it won’t be our last.


Donna, Glenn & Murphy




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Beyond Amazed!

Back in January my husband & I had decided to put off getting the next set of x-rays.  Because at this point, it doesn’t really change anything.  And driving out to MSU takes the whole day, not to mention the cost.  But of course, it’s always hard not knowing, too.  So when I recently took Murphy for his flu shots, I found out that this vet will do x-rays for about half of what MSU charges and she’s only 10 minutes down the road.  So curiosity got me and I had to have a look.  I’m so beyond amazed to be able to say that 3 years and 5 months after surgery for histiocytic sarcoma, Murphy is still cancer free!!!!!  His lungs, spine, hips, liver, everything look perfect (well, a little bit of arthritis, but he’s 10 years old).  He really just keeps amazing us!  So on the way home we shared a roast beef sandwich, and stopped at Pet Smart for some grain-free treats that we’ve found with glucosamine & chondroitin.

sill cancer free!

sill cancer free!

give me another bite!

give me another bite!





finger-licking good

finger-licking good

grain-free with glucosamine & chondroitin

grain-free with glucosamine & chondroitin

being goofy

being goofy

So, I guess we’ll just keep on doing what we’re doing!


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Getting ready for the PuppyUp! walk in September

We just can’t wait to be able to meet so many people that we’ve gotten to know on here!  When we first started our journey into cancer with Murphy, there was someone who reached out to me through Facebook on the Dogs With Cancer page.  She was making a board for a Bark For Life walk and wanted stories and pictures to share with other walkers, so of course I sent her Murphy’s story.  The next year she asked if I could send her and update to his story and more pictures.  She’s always been a huge fan of Murphy’s and loves to see his updates.  When I was looking at our route to Wheaton, I realized that we would be driving right through her town!  So of course I had to let her know and we’re going to be meeting up with her probably on our drive there.

We have our reservation at a pet-friendly hotel that’s just minutes from where the walk will be.  And plans are being made for a Friday evening get-together someplace.

We’ve received our t-shirts with Murphy’s pictures on them.  It took me forever to decide on just the right picture lol.

Canine flu is not an issue here in Michigan, but it is in Illinois, so I had decided that I would get Murphy a flu shot.  I didn’t know how hard that would be, though.  I started with our vet, but they didn’t carry it.  Then I called an office that they thought might have it, but no luck there either.  My third phone call was to Banfield, since they’re a chain vet hospital, I thought that maybe they would carry it, but no such luck.  I figured that I could spend all day calling vets offices, so instead I called Merck directly.  They said they could help my by zip code.  The first two offices they told me were my own and Banfield.  The third was nearby and as luck would have it, they carry the vaccine!  yeah!  So Murphy went today to get his first flu shot.  He will have to go back in 2 weeks for a booster.  Dr. Harris was super nice and went to school with Dr. Swanson, our oncologist!  She really was impressed with Murphy’s story



I know this is the way out!



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This past week has been sunny & hot here in Michigan.  Last week I saw a recipe for pupsicles on Facebook, so I thought I’d try them for our pack.  The first batch I made were a little small, so I tried again in some small plastic cups and it was the perfect size!  They lasted about 10 minutes or so with the dogs.  I put blueberries, chunks of banana, strawberry & leftover steak then poured chicken broth.  Then I added a dog treat as a “stick” and put them in the freezer.  I think you could probably put in just about anything that is safe for dogs to eat.  The blueberries turned the chicken broth purple, but they didn’t care!  It was a great treat on a hot day 🙂

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