Today marks one year since the amputation of Sasha’s right arm. Dr. Neuenschwander delivered the bad news of Sasha’s osteosarcoma diagnosis to Liliana and me on March 6, 2012, and eight days later, on March 14, Dr. Clary removed Sasha’s arm, up to and including her scapula. We brought her home on the 15th and spent the next few days by her side. I had read stories of other dogs that had limb amputations, and was hoping that, like many of those dogs, Sasha would not suffer terribly from the experience. Unfortunately for us, and much more so for Sasha, she did suffer quite badly during the first few days after returning home. I’ll never forget the confused eyes or the heartrending whimpering that was so uncharacteristic of my Sasha. I will also never forget that it was in my arms that Sasha seemed to find some assuagement from her suffering.
Happily, Sasha recovered quickly and was able to return to doing the things that she loved. I always like to tell the story of how Sasha was able to run and catch her Kong flying disk just three weeks after her surgery. She also enjoyed getting back into the water. She is the best swimmer in the house, even if with just three legs!
We do not celebrate the one year anniversary of Sasha’s amputation. It is, after all, not something that we ever imagined happening to our girl, and it is certainly not something that we wanted for her. Sasha’s one year ampuversary does, however, help us remember that she is beating the odds. Osteosarcoma is a terrible disease. Many dogs do not live more than two months after diagnosis, and the vast majority do not make it past the nine month mark. Sasha is still with us, and we are so grateful for the time that we have with her. Sasha, you go girl!!