TwiggyReader Submission
by Gina Owen

Twiggy has been with me for thirteen years. He was a puppy left in the middle of the highway as a car drove away. Twiggy chose his own name. He brought a stick inside every time he went out. I said, “Hey Twiggy!” He popped his head up, wagged his tail and got excited, and we knew that was his name.

As Twiggy got older, he developed moles and growths, but his checkups were always good. Then he developed a four inch tumor on the outside of his back right knee. We had it removed and decided not to do a biopsy. Even though it could come back, we decided he was too old for treatments.

Four months later, he had another tumor on the back of the same leg. It was much bigger and mostly in his thigh. It was causing him discomfort and he started carrying his leg. When we took him to get it removed, the vet suggested amputation. I told her to remove what she could and we would discuss amputation. My husband didn’t want to amputate. I didn’t see another way. I called back and told them to tell the vet to amputate, if absolutely necessary.

She didn’t receive the message and called later to tell us it was too wide spread and there wouldn’t be any viable leg left. We had to schedule amputation for two weeks later. The vet didn’t want to put him back under
so soon.

We brought Twiggy home with a four inch cut and several staples. The incision was weepy and we had a hard time keeping it bandaged. We spent day and night rewrapping his leg. He went back to the vet so they could rewrap it. When the incisions wouldn’t stay completely closed, the vet put in more staples.Twiggy in Backpack

A week later, my husband noticed Twiggy’s bandage was soaked. The whole incision was wide open. He took Twiggy to the vet and they called me. I realized – and the vet confirmed – it wasn’t going to heal anytime soon. We decided to do the amputation. It took over two hours. Though I was at home by then, I talked to Twiggy, telling him he couldn’t die on me and that I still needed him. The vet called to let us know things went well and Twiggy was awake and moving around a little. The biopsy showed it was a cancer that doesn’t usually spread and probably won’t come back.

When we went to pick him up from the vet, one of the employees bragged she had given Twiggy antibiotics and took him to the bathroom. She had wanted to pick him up but he was wobbly and needed practice. We looked at each other, stunned. When they brought him out, he was walking. He walked all the way to the car. We did not expect that
at all.

After a few days, he was going up and down steps. Several days later, he was jumping onto the couch. He doesn’t think anything is wrong with him. He runs around like nothing happened. A month later, we went on vacation and he went hiking with us. I made a backpack sack for when he got tired. He loved it. We are so proud and excited
for him.

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