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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Octavia is on the Move!

The Brown household is sad to say that Octavia has moved to a new (wonderful) foster. Things were getting a little too crazy for Octavia and her recovery. Living with a 60 pound puppy for the last six weeks has been fun but for the good of her recovery, she has moved to Virginia with Jennifer and Chance and their pups for a calmer recuperation.

Octavia had her stitches removed yesterday as well as a follow up radiograph. The radiograph showed that her right leg is doing well and her left leg has only shifted slightly. At this point there is no additional surgery planned and she will have radiographs again in a month to make sure she is healing as she should be. Right now a calm environment where she doesn't run, jump or wrestle is what the doctor ordered. Try telling that to a four month old puppy who is feeling no pain!

This puppy is going to make some family very happy. While she may not be able to go on long runs, she will have a normal doggy life but just be a little less active. For a lab that's a good thing! Admittedly she has been a little spoiled. She does spend time during the day in the crate but at night she sleeps in the bed. Last night foster mom woke up to two paws on either side of her face and a nose in her cheek. A few hours later Octavia was curled up with the resident pup. It they weren't two different colors you wouldn't have known where one ended and the other began. She is a very loving pup.

I think her transition to Jennifer and Chance's home will be uneventful as she was playing in the tall grass as if it were water and never looked back as her foster mom left. You gotta love those puppies!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Look At Me Now!!! Woof

So how good do I look? Seriously - surgery - check, pins out - check, bandages off - check, physical therapy - yep. Life is good. Since my legs, and especially my wrists, were immobile for awhile I have to limber up again but I am doing great. In fact, my fosters are having a hard time keeping me down! I want to play, run, jump, wrestle with the other dogs, etc. I am having a blast. I have to be careful though because my bones are still healing and I still have my stitches but they come out on Monday. This great weather isn't helping as what puppy doesn't want to run around in circles outside? But its okay. I have to be patient and heal for the next few weeks and then I will be back to all of my puppy ways. Now my legs don't necessarily look pretty (but beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? My fosters say I'm gorgeous) but at least things are growing as they should be now. I think my surgeon must also be a plastic surgeon because my incisions are barely even visible. While it looks like my elbows are swollen, that is actually just my own special style now. Believe me - I can work it.
Take a look at my videos and remember a week ago I was in surgery getting my pins out. Just a few days ago I got my bandages off. Not bad, huh? When you watch these videos, put on Beyonce's "I'm a Survivor." That's my theme song baby!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Cute Pictures of Me!!

My bandages came off last night and I'll tell you more about that later but I just thought I'd point out some of my most endearing attributes. As you'll see below, I happily share a good bone with a friend (we chewed on that bone together for about 20 minutes until I became interested in another bone) but also love to lay next to my friend, Belle and chew on a bone. I get along with ALL dogs. I also love surfing the Internet (I spend a lot of time on and share kisses with the resident teenager in the house. I'll put up some more pictures and info later in my "bandage free" state. FYI - my adoption fell through. They were a great family and I'm sure will get another very lucky dog. It just wasn't my turn. Oh well, on to physical therapy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Big Fat Canine Adoption Event

What a day! Twenty four (and counting) of my friends got adopted today. It was so much fun getting out and about a little. Soooo many nice people and everybody said "Hi" to me. I think I may have even gotten an application or two. I'm so glad because now that I am finished with my surgeries I can start looking for my forever home too. Although my legs may look a little funny, my future looks pretty good. While the vet says that I won't be doing "field trials," I will have a very full life and will be able to jump and run and play like any other dog. I really don't care if I don't win any blue ribbons in dog shows. I hear Westminster is way overrated anyway.

So to "toot my own horn" a bit - I am about 25 pounds now and like most labs, love to eat. But I have good manners. I sleep through the night and let people know when I have to go the bathroom. Although I am pretty mellow as far as labs go, the biggest challenge for me will be staying calm for the next few weeks while I recover and let the bones heel. I mean seriously - my first snow and I'm not allowed to run around? But I'm sure there will be another snowfall when I am allowed to run. I have a beautiful black coat that is shiny even though I could use a bath (got to wait for those stitches to come out). I love to cuddle and get really excited when I see my people. Well the truth is I get pretty excited when I see any people and dogs too.

I'm feeling pretty good. I have a little pain but not too bad. My bandages come off on Tuesday and the stitches will be out in about a week. I start physical therapy on Tuesday too. It doesn't sound too scary and I can do it right in my foster's home. She doesn't have any special training and just has to flex my arms and ankles a bit. It is basically just to loosen me up after having my two front legs held in the same position for the last two weeks. I hear there will be treats involved in the process so I am fully on board with that one!

Well I'm going to go back to relaxing by the fire. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hi. Maybe I'll see you again soon!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Today's Surgery

What a day! I had a hard time sleeping last night. I'm not sure why but then when I got in the car I realized I was going for my last surgery. And now it is 15 hours later and I am cozied up on the couch. Please ignore the bad hair cut but look - my legs now work independently. I am still having to adjust to not having to hop everywhere and I'm in some pain but that's it. My surgeries are done. The pins are out and my physical therapy starts in a few days. I'll still have to take it easy for the next four to six weeks so the bones heal right but I'm a puppy and I heal fast. I'm even planning on going to the adoption event on Sunday so come out and see me at the Kentlands. I'll be at the PetSmart in Gaithersburg from 12-2. I may not be looking my best yet but my legs are fixed and I'm good as new! So glad to put all of the surgeries behind me. Phew.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pins Out Tomorrow

So tomorrow's the big day. I find out if the pins have done what they are supposed to and have repositioned the bones in my legs. I hope to have the kind of legs that Mary Hart has and will be insured for a million dollars. Really I just hope that they will grow straight and I can walk and play like a normal pup. Here is a picture of me taking down my foster sister, Belle. She is so much bigger than me but I can totally take her. Although I think I might have taken it a little too far because she'll have the advantage tomorrow after I have my surgery. So keep your fingers crossed that all goes well tomorrow. I'm ready to get back to being a normal puppy! If I feel well enough I am going to come to the Adoption Event on Sunday at the Kentlands so I can thank everybody for their donations. I also hope to find my forever home soon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time for Play!

You know when you have been sick or have had surgery and your Mom won't let you run around yet because you might get hurt or sick again? Well that's where I am. I really feel pretty much fine (except for these annoying splints on my legs and across my back). So the splints slow me down a bit but I am back in the game. My foster sisters, Trixie and Belle, are great. Trixie pretty much ignores us but Belle is my partner in crime. I think she knows I have had surgery so she is pretty gentle with me but I am trying to get her to play more. I am kind of like that kid who sat next to you in third grade with their finger and inch from your face saying, "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you." I want to run around and play soooo badly. When I go outside everybody hovers over me while I do my business but today they actually let me stay outside for a little while - still hovering but at least I was outside.

I feel kind of like I am in a sack race because my front two legs have to move together so I am able to lift up the front part of my body and move right along. My fosters say I will have abs of steel.

Here are a few more videos. I love it when they take videos. It is the one time when they actually let me move around and play a little bit more. And just for the record, I'm sure the videos have been edited to look like I am stirring it up with the big yellow dog but believe me, she gives as good as she gets. When she sees the camera go on she acts like she was just laying there and it was all me. Just sayin...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Octavia - Star of Stage, Screen and Backyard

Thought I'd share a few videos with you. Hold your laughter. Remember, I am trying to learn to walk with these wacky splints on my legs. I asked for a special lens but all I got was the poor quality videos here. I also asked for teeth whitening as part of my makeover but foster momma said, "Don't push it." Oh well, I guess they are just my baby teeth anyway. Remember - don't try these tricks at home.

Before Surgery -

First Night Home -

Tonight -

Settling In

So my first night was a not a fun one. I was up all night trying to find a comfy position in which to sleep. Normally I can sleep in a puppy pile in the weirdest positions but these contraptions they have on my legs (and it goes across my back too) keep getting in the way. I finally found out that using my foster sister Belle (who, we found out, also came from Florence, SC) as a pillow is great. Sometimes I have to remind her not to lay ON me but for the most part it works out. I can be scrappy when I want to. My foster family was already familiar with my desire to sleep in bed with them so I am hopeful that they let me do that tonight. I sleep much better that way. They say they are breaking all of their rules for me, but honestly, I am pretty darn cute so who can blame them? I FINALLY figured out how to go to the bathroom. I know everybody thinks that puppies will go everywhere but I have better manners than most puppies and prefer to go outside. Now that I am able to stand (sort of), I can do a little bobbling and get my business done. TMI? Sorry. One thing I miss is sleeping on my back. The one time I tried my foster family said I looked like the dog from "Something About Mary." Well because of the hard metal thing across my back I couldn't lay on my back so that's out for now. I've gotten so much better in the last 24 hours. I know how to get up to a sitting/standing position and can even hobble a little bit. I've started to cut back on the pain meds (although I still ask for those yummy little beef pockets that they come in) and take my antibiotics like a good pup. Heck, who am I kidding, if they put nails in one of those beef pockets I'd eat it. That's it for now. More later. Woof.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Octavia Comes Home

What a day this has been. I can't bend my front legs at all and when I try to move I grunt. My foster family thinks it is because I am in pain but it is also because I am so frustrated. I can't even stand up to go to the bathroom. I also can't find a comfortable position to lay down. The only way I feel some relief is when somebody is holding me. But that only last for a few minutes. I hope this gets better soon. Sorry I am being so grumpy. I know it will be better but today has been ruff (get it ruff, ruff - I still have some of my sense of humor). I am a bit comical. When I try to sit up, the weight of my splints starts to tip me over to one side and I watch my foster family dive toward me to keep me from falling. I've got to admit that does make me laugh a little.

Thanks for sending all of your good wishes my way. It helps to know that you all are thinking about me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Surgery Day for Octavia

Well our sweet girl got through surgery okay and has already eaten a little bit. I'll bet the poor thing was starving. She does love mealtime! We'll know in the morning if she comes home on Thursday or Friday. For now both front legs are in splints/casts so that her legs do not bend while the healing takes place. If all goes well she will get the pins out next Friday. She is still looking for a loving home. Of course she may have to be ripped from our cold, lifeless hands because she is such a sweet and loving pup. As we sat in the vet's office this morning, three different people commented on how mellow she was (especially for a lab puppy). That is so true. She can play with the best of them but she is also very content just cuddling with you. Then Maria came out to get her to take her to pre-op and Octavia smothered her with kisses.

It is not too late to make a donation as this little girl's surgery is going to be quite expensive. But she is worth every dime. On a separate note, I am so grateful to be associated with a rescue such as Lucky Dog which has such generous support from its volunteers and friends. Not all rescues have the option to care for their special needs pups. Thank you all for your generous and ongoing support. Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference and helps a pooch.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Surgery tomorrow

Thanks to everyone who has donated for my surgery! According to my foster family I am growing like a weed. I think that may be the reason I am starting to limp. I guess this surgery is happening just in the nick of time. I am going to be in immobilizing casts on both legs for a couple of weeks until the pins come out. That doesn't sound too pleasant but I also can't have anything to eat after 10 pm tonight. Now that's just torture because I love to eat. My doc, Dr. Brehm at Southpaws in Falls Church, says that puppies heal quickly so I am hoping for a speedy recovery. I go in tomorrow morning and should be back on my foster's couch by Thursday or Friday. I'll keep you posted. Think good thoughts (like a big steak bone or a muddy area to dig a hole in). Thanks!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Octavia's BOW Night

I'll give you more party review tomorrow but I just wanted to thank Barrel Oak Winery for an incredible night. I am being treated like a queen. It is hard to believe that only six weeks ago I was dropped off at the shelter and was saved by Steph, Mirah and Lucky Dog. And look at me now - i'm on stage with the band! Although I am nervous about my surgery on Wednesday, I am so fortunate to have so many people who care about me. Woof

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thanks from Octavia

I've borrowed my foster family's computer so that I could thank everyone. If you were here I would cover you all in the kisses that we puppies are known for. After my visit to Southpaws yesterday (which is a great place by the way - the nicest people), I realized how lucky I really am. When I was originally rescued (paws up to Steph!) with my siblings, we were so happy - we had nothing to worry about. We were with our amazing foster family in South Carolina. Kristin and Brian took such good care of us and even took us to work with them. They say I am well socialized, whatever that means, but I know I love everyone I meet. Not to brag but I think that I was their favorite.

As I got bigger, I noticed my elbows starting to look kind of funny - different than my siblings who all got adopted. They don't hurt or slow me down but the doctor said I need surgery to fix the problem. He said I am going to be in casts on both of my front legs and will have to have a second surgery to take some pins out. From what I was able to hear from my new foster family (they were whispering), not all dogs are lucky enough to have the surgery. I'm not sure what happens to those dogs but from the look on my foster mom's face, it can't be good. Apparently the surgery is pretty expensive. I don't know why we can't just give the doc a bone or a tennis ball. Both make me so happy my whole body wags.

So it turns out I am a VERY lucky dog. With the help of people like you, Lucky Dog has committed to getting me the help I need so I can live a long, pain-free, life. Afterall, I am only 13 weeks old. I have many squirrels to chase, bones to bury and kisses to give. Oh - and as much as I love my foster family - I am looking for my forever home. So anyway, thanks again for helping me get my surgery! I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Love, Octavia

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Estimate for Octavia's Surgery

We just got the estimate for Octavia's first (of 2) surgeries..... it will range between $4,300 and $4,700!! Please spread the word about this great puppy and her needs!!!!


Two days ago, I got a call from our vet about one of our black lab puppies. The news was not great. Octavia has carpus valgus, a condition in which the bones in her feet do not grow properly.

The good news is the condition is treatable. The bad news is the treatment is surgery. The worse news is that both legs need to have surgery simultaneously.... and that there will be a second, follow up to remove the pins put in her legs in an effort to realign her bones.


See Octavia in her TV debut on Fox 5 news: