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A little snow

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

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The snow is finally here!  Not a lot… but enough to make the kids and the dogs very happy!  I tried to get some pics out in the yard today.  I couldn’t really get anyone to stand still, so these are mostly action shots. 🙂

Toto
Hugs for Toto

 

Stella
Stella

 

Toto
Toto in action

 

Elvis
Elvis hiding from the camera

 

Toto
Time to go inside!

“Unusual weather we’re having, ain’t it?”  (the Cowardly Lion upon noticing that snow had fallen on the poppy field)


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Three Legged Dogs

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

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I think many people look at the loss of a limb as a tragedy.  I know that when we found out Toto had to have his leg amputated, it sounded like a horrible idea.  When we tell people Toto had to have his leg amputated, they often cringe.  But, at this time, I can honestly say that hemagiosarcoma is horrible…  losing his leg was not a big deal. 

In fact, watching Toto, and all of your dogs on the Tripawd site, I have grown very fond of three legged dogs.  They are amazing… and special.  I am getting the itch to adopt another three legged dog.  I can’t (shouldn’t) rescue anymore animals at this time.  I kind of have my hands full (husband, two kids, three dogs, fat cat).  But still, I get the itch about once a week (or anytime I go by the adoption center at petsmart or see a post for a dog that needs a home).  So now I have a soft spot in my heart for another animal…  the three legged dog.  You gotta love them.

“Though my tail would lash, I would show compash
For every underling!
If I – If I – were King!”

The Reason

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I read this poem about rescue dogs today and it made me cry…   so I thought I would share.

 

The Reason

To you, from all your rescue dogs…

I would’ve died that day if not for you.
I would’ve given up on life if not for your kind eyes.
I would’ve used my teeth in fear if not for your gentle hands.
I would have left this life believing that all humans don’t care
Believing there is no such thing as fur that isn’t matted,
skin that isn’t flea bitten, good food and enough of it, beds to sleep on,
someone to love me, to show me I deserve love just because I exist.
Your kind eyes, your loving smile, your gentle hands
Your big heart saved me…
You saved me from the terror of the pound,
Soothing away the memories of my old life.
You have taught me what it means to be loved.
I have seen you do the same for other dogs like me.
I have heard you ask yourself in times of despair
Why you do it
When there is no more money, no more room, no more homes
You open your heart a little bigger, stretch the money a little tighter
Make just a little more room…to save one more like me.
I tell you with the gratitude and love that shines in my eyes
In the best way I know how
Reminding you why you go on trying.
I am the reason
The dogs before me are the reason
As are the ones who come after.
Our lives would’ve been wasted, our love never given
We would die if not for you.

Author Unknown

Weeks

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

There is so little research on hemangiosarcoma.  What there is, is usually on hemangiosarcoma found in the spleen or the skin.  When we found out the tumor in Toto’s leg was hemangiosarcoma I researched like crazy.  I talked to our vet.  I talked to an oncologist.   I learned that any treatment they could suggest would be based on their predictions, because there was no solid evidence of how to treat this specific disease.

I read and read and read trying to find an answer to the question I was too afraid to even ask…  how much time does Toto have left?  The only answer I could find was –  weeks.  A dog who is only 3 year olds.  A dog who I assumed would be with us for at least another 10 years.  I dog who I assumed would be with us when we moved to our next house.  A dog who I assumed would grow up with my sons.  In a flash those dreams vanished.  Weeks.  Forget about 10 years from now…  he wasn’t even going to be here for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s…

Well, the problem was that no one told Toto that he only had weeks to live.  It seems that he missed this memo.  Today is two months since Toto had his leg amputated.  He is doing great!  He plays hard.  He eats well.  He loves unconditionally.  Happy ampuversary Tooter!  We love you!!

meandtoots

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”

Then and Now

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

I was just looking through some pictures and I saw the pics of Toto right after his surgery.  It made me remember how scared and helpless I felt. 

To anyone who is contemplating amputation for their dog…  I know it is a very difficult decision.  I know it is scary to think of your dog in pain and without their leg.  But, I also know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

When I picked up Toto after his surgery he was crying.  When I brought him home, he didn’t move.  When I took him out in the yard and stood him up, he would just flop over on his back.  It was heartbreaking.  But, just weeks later, he was back to his oldself.  I seriously think that 4th leg was just slowing him down. 

It has been more than 8 weeks since Toto’s surgery and I have no regrets about the decisions that we have made.  None.

october 070
Then

and

Nowafter

 

“You’re out of the woods, You’re out of the dark, You’re out of the night.
Step into the sun, Step into the light.”

Bucket List

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Since I found out that Toto was sick, there were a couple of things that I wanted for him.  First, I wanted him out of the horrible pain he was in and we realized that the only way to do this was through amputation.  Check.  Next, I wanted him to be himself again.  I wanted him to be able to play and cuddle with us and our other dogs.  Check.  Then, I wanted to bring him up to my parent’s cottage and let him run.  This was a tricky one because of my husband’s work schedule.  Well, last weekend we finally got to go.  Toto ran and played and had a good time.  Check.  It meant a lot to me.  I realize Toto’s life may be short, but I want him to do everything he loves, have everything he loves, and be with the ones he loves.

This doesn’t mean we are done yet!  Next on the list…  playing in the snow this winter…

“No, No I won’t let you take him! You go away, you, or I’ll bite you myself!”

Jake’s Journey

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I have been MIA for a few weeks.  Then I checked in on the tripawds forums today and saw some bad news…  Jake passed away.  Jake’s Mom has been a wonderful support to me.  Jake had his surgery just before Toto so reading his stories helped me through the tough times (especially right after surgery).  It is so unfair that Jake had to deal with cancer and amputation but, he was also very blessed with a wonderful family and lots of love.  I know that Jake will be missed here on earth, but I truly believe that Jake is in a better place now… free of this horrible cancer.   We wish Jake a safe journey across the rainbow bridge. 

“Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”

Scared

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Friday night my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching Private Practice (on DVR) when Toto started breathing weird.  Immediately I think that the cancer has spread to his lungs, causing him to have a hard time breathing.  “Turn on the lights!” I say to my husband.  He turns the light on and I look at Toto, check his gums, etc.  Toto just looks up at me like I am crazy.  We continue watching Private Practice…

I am holding Toto, watching the show, and then Violet starts giving this emotional speech…  My husband says, “That is so sad…” and looks over at me.  I am bawling.  He is confused.  The show wasn’t that sad.  “What’s wrong?” he asks.  I wipe away my tears, “I don’t want him to die.”

Toto has been doing so great lately that it is getting easier to just enjoy our time together and even hope that he will be the miracle dog who beats this.  But Friday was a cruel reminder that anything can happen at anytime.  I don’t want him to die.

Dorothy: Don’t you know the Wizard’s going to give you some courage?
Cowardly Lion: I’d be too scared to ask him for it.

1 Month

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Happy 1 month ampuversary, Toto!  You did it!!

It has been one month since Toto’s amputation and he is doing great.  He is running, playing, jumping, cuddling, and eating like crazy.  He is a happy dog.  This is everything I wanted!

Below are some much better pictures that my sister-in-law took of Toto (thanks, Leah!). 

My wishes for Toto today…  that you always have someone to cuddle with, that you never lose the bounce in your step, that you always have friends to play with, that you never run out of bacon flavored cookies to eat, and that you know just how very much you are loved.

Toto
My Toto

 

Toto and Mom
Toto and Mama

 

LToto3
Takin’ Stella down

 

Toto

“Read what my medal says: “Courage”. Ain’t it the truth? Ain’t it the truth?”

Lost Dog

Monday, October 19th, 2009

So I just got out of the shower today and I happened to glance out the window and I see a dog walking down the sidewalk.  As far as I could tell she was alone, so I ran to get some clothes on and see what was going on.  When I got outside I saw that she was indeed alone.  I swear I never see any stray dogs in our neighborhood except when they show up on my front lawn or run in front of my car on my way to work.  I am a magnet for strays!  Seriously.

“Come here, puppy…”  I say sweetly.  No way.  The dog takes off down the street.  To make matters worse, it is a pretty busy street – especially at this time of day.  By this time my husband has joined me outside.  He tells me to run inside and watch the boys and he will try to get the dog.  I run inside and check on the boys.  Then I open the gate to see how my husband is doing.  There are a ton of cars stopped and honking their horns as my husband weaves through traffic trying to grab this dog.  Finally he grabbed her, thank God, and neither my husband or the dog were run over!

Luckily the dog had a collar and tags and we were able to return her to her owners.  People often tell me that I am lucky to have a husband who loves animals like I do and who supports all of my rescue efforts.  I am lucky.  Very lucky.  But, I couldn’t have married someone who wasn’t willing to chase a dog down the street to save him.  It never would have worked out.

“Back where I come from, there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called phil… er… phil… er… yes… er… good-deed-doers.”