Sunday, September 25, 2011

Post #32: Buster Has News!

Buster's been busy

Buster Has News!
Buster’s been a busy boy since you last heard from him!  To begin with, he considered ALL the wonderful people who wanted to offer him a permanent home, and decided on the family that he wanted to “try out.”  That trial adoption unfortunately did not work as well as we all thought it would, so Buster is back with me now and open to considering other suitors. ;-)
It remains extremely fortuitous that he went on trial when he did, though, because his potential adopter took him to the vet for a get acquainted visit.  We encourage all adopters to do this during the trial period, to make sure they have an independent assessment of the dog’s health (i.e., have information from other than GSRA), and in this case we were both grateful the visit occurred and completely shocked by the outcome:  the vet detected a softball-sized mass in Buster’s abdomen!   This struck fear in everyone’s heart, of course, that we might lose this sweet boy to cancer so soon after offering him a life of ease.  Two days later, an ultrasound test showed the mass was associated with his spleen but did not appear to have spread beyond it.  Although not wonderful, this was actually the best news we could hope for at that point, because there was a chance that surgery could be curative.
Buster had a serious shave for his surgery
Buster underwent surgery the next day to remove his spleen and what indeed turned out to be a softball-sized mass.  He came through the surgery like the champ that he is, but then the waiting began for the pathology results to come back.  We would have to wait six long days, because of the Labor Day holiday….  Finally, the news we had all been hoping and praying for:  NOT MALIGNANT!   Woo-hoo!  Many “happy dances” occurred among the GSRA folks in the loop on this!  After a complete biopsy, it turns out that that big mass was nothing more than a big ol’ hematoma --- an overgrown blood clot.  It most likely resulted from some kind of injury (and we hate to think too much about this), but it’s gone now and will cause no further problems.  And an adult dog can get along very easily without a spleen.
Say "howdy" to this handsome boy
at the reunion!!
The cancer scare, surgery, and recovery interrupted the usual “settling in” things that occur during an adoption trial, so we extended the trial by a few weeks.  It eventually turned out to not be a good fit, for a number of reasons, and the potential adopters were heartbroken to conclude this.   Although disappointing, this is EXACTLY why we have a trial period in the first place; we don’t want either our dogs OR our adopters to be stuck in situations that aren’t ideal.  So Buster is back in his original foster home now, settling in easily.  We owe the lovely trial family a HUGE debt of thanks for seeing him through such a scary time. 
Buster lost some of the gains we had made in his physical condition during the time he had to minimize activity after surgery, but we’re working on that again.  You know, not seeing him every day during the time he was on trial allowed me to somehow lose sight of how INCREDIBLY handsome he is, not to mention sweet.  I hope you get a chance to see him in the flesh yourself.  He’ll be moseying around the GSRA reunion picnic on October 2nd and would be most happy to make your acquaintance.  ;-)