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Our Hike Shall Go On . . .

Jerry's Spirit Shall Live OnMy pawrents went for a hike today, and I do believe I have convinced them that my spirit will always be close by. As they climbed the trail, I ran on up ahead of them, tongue wildly flapping and my paws blazing a muddy path, just like the old days.

When they got up to the snow line, my Mom looked around, and in her heart, she finally understood that I truly am “everywhere.” With just one look at the sunlight hitting the big cedar trees, and hearing the sound of water trickling in a stream, she was certain she felt my presence.

These signs I gave her provided all the comfort she needed to get through today, exactly one week after I earned my wings.

These photos were taken on the day we parted ways here on earth. It was hard for my pawrents to look at them today, and share them with you now. But, in the spirit of learning and coping wth cancer, we have always promised to be upfront and tell the whole story about how the three of us coped with my diagnosis, and, just like my surgery photos, these pictures of me in my final hours are another way that they wanted to share our story with you. Please don’t be sad for me when you look at them, for I am running free now.

As Mom and Dad descended the mountain, they both heard a dog bark in the distance, even though they were miles from civilization. They looked at each other, and smiled. Without saying a word, they both understood that I will always be at their side. We hiked down the mountain together, a family forever together, in eternity.

What Now?

Thank you to everyone for helping my pawrents get through this past week, with your beautiful words of comfort and sympathy. My pawrents are awestruck by all of you kind-hearted souls who have said such nice things, and helped them to see the light at the end of their grief.

Jerry Says Many of you have wondered if Tripawds will continue, and we just want to reassure you that yes, it will. Knowing how much of a help it has been to so many people all over the world, gives my pawrents so much joy, they couldn’t imagine their lives without it.

Others have asked if there is anything they can do to help Tripawds live on. First of all, please know that it’s because of your stories, your participation, and your generous giving of time and energy that makes Tripawds the resource that it is. Now that I’m no longer physically around to make movies and demo products, there are definitely some specific things that you can do to help continue our mission, such as:

  • Send us your movies and photos that show the world how awesome life on three legs can be
  • If you hear of any new products, foods, etc., that have helped you, let us know
  • Write a brief blog post, about your life on three legs, ampuversaries, etc., and we’ll publish it
  • Keep on participating in the discussion forums
  • Suggest articles, resource tips, and other ideas about how we can make Tripawds even better
  • Distribute information about tripawds.com
  • Spread the word about our Tripawds Store and three legged dog merchandise

Thank you!

Thank you everyone, for the love and sympathy. We are honored to be in your life, and promise you that we aren’t going anywhere.

Meanwhile, my pawrents would like to share a sampling of the many beautiful sentiments that have been emailed directly to them this week, not posted on Tripawds.

Jerry Loves Barney and Loves You TooIn their time of grief, these emails, and your participation in the forums, has been a tremendous source of strength for Mom and Dad. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

“A magnificent warrior is running free again, facing the wind with a smile on his face.”

“Godspeed dear Jerry. Fly free on your well deserved golden wings.”

“Jerry will forever thank you for knowing that he had had enough. He’ll be waiting at the Bridge for you and you will finally be together forever after.”

“That Jerry was able to inspire your whole adventure which has in turn inspired all the rest of us for so long is such a remarkable and enduring tribute to a life well lived, and a legacy that will carry on long after he’s gone.”

“In the end, you helped him to start a new journey, one filled with renewed health and back to his glory days. I know your heart aches right now, but in time your thoughts will be filled with smiles and giggles as you remember all the momentous times you had with Jerry. May your heart be filled with the lessons Jerry taught you in his short life on earth.”

“He was the epitome of living with cancer and living it to the fullest.”

“Be strong. Be well. Jerry would want that for you.”

“Go Jerry, run with the wind at your back.”

“I think crying is important, and very healing. Those tears honor the relationship.”

“Without him, you would not be where you are today, physically or spiritually.”

“I will always remember him as the perfect picture of a life well lived.”

“I imagine Jerry, Finny and all the others who have gone before them having one hell of a playdate.”

“I hear alot about this rainbow bridge, but I’m much happier with the image of rainbow fields full of running dogs.”

“Your heart is shattered but the wonderful thing is that it mends because you have the capacity to love, which is something not everyone has.”

“He is more inspiring than all the great religious leaders.”

“My vet friend once told me “You will never love another the same, but you will love another just as much.””

“Bless your little angel for taking care of so many of us. His wings are full and large to wrap around so many.”

“There is no greater love than that of a loyal dog.”

“One of the things I believe in is that our animal friends are with us for a reason. They are with us either to teach us, guide us or protect us. It sounds like Jerry was that way for you. I also believe that Jerry is there with you in spirit. I know you feel him. I believe that he is with you now, in your surroundings. Keep your senses open and you may feel his presence.”

“With their incredible view on life, they never could understand why we were hurting. Their angelic faces saying, “There’s no need to cry. It’s just life. I’ll see you on the other side. I promise.””

“I believe that these animals “hang around” for a while too sometimes, you can feel their presence. Like the spirit dog, they are around and they still love you. This is how I see Jerry at this point, still concerned about his beloved “pawrents” but also so happy that he can now breathe freely and run like the wind.”

“I salute a special dog who contributed so greatly to changing the way humans think and interact with animals. Jerry had a life well lived.”

“Jerry was an amazing life force, I truly believe he made contributions that many people never will.”

“His spirit is in all who shared in his life.”

“It’s the ones left behind that have the hardest time. Jerry is running around up there with all the other wonderful doggies that have crossed the bridge, and I have so much peace knowing that he will be there to welcome my baby when the time comes.”

“Do you think Jerry will organize a Tripawd Alumni group up there? That would be fun.”

13 Responses to “Our Hike Shall Go On . . .”

  1. i can said nothing i still in pain, i really want to understand we did good to make Diamond to live 1 more year after the amputation… i want believe was the best desition 🙁

  2. thanks for sharing…..a favorite poem of mine…sorry if you’ve all read it before….

    Loved you Best

    So this is where we part my Friend, and you’ll run on, around the bend.
    Gone from sight, but not from mind, new pleasures there you’ll surely find.
    I will go on, I’ll find the strength, life measures quality, not it’s length.
    One long embrace before you leave, share one last look, before I grieve.
    There are others, that much is true, but they be they and they aren’t you.
    And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought, Will remember well all you’ve taught.
    Your place I’ll hold, you will be missed, the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
    And as you journey to your final rest, take this with you… I loved you best.

  3. lost my shepard charlie after 13 years,cancer.i just wanted to tell you i respect all that you did for jerry.i refused dinner dates and vacations (happily) to spend all my free time with my buddy. when the time came i bribed a vet to come to my house to put him at final ease. his last meal was an entire fudge cake and a budweiser. i asked the vet to leave so that i could prepare him in his own blankets and later that night, i buried him on the sculpture lawn of a very prestigious museum. after all he did for me, i found comfort in showing him as much respect as possible
    good for you and feel lucky and proud— brian p.

  4. scout the wonderdog October 17, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Jim and Rene,

    Today I was writing a piece to give to our local vet on the experience of deciding to become a tripawd. And first on my list of supportive things was getting our website and talking to “Jerry”. i logged on and saw the news and I am so sorry. Jerry was the luckiest dog to be so loved and have such adventure. What you all have given to others continues like tree roots to grow out and out to all kinds of people.

    I am catholic and my confirmation patron st. is francis of assisi. I know that Jerry is with him. And too, my mom, the ultimate animal lover is up there too. I will say a prayer tonight to her that she looks over him and gives him many treats and love utnil you all are together again.

    Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury,pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    and where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

    Lauren and Scout the wonderdog

  5. Heather Kourcklas October 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I never get tired of telling you, Jim and Rene, how amazing and wonderful we think you are for all that you have shared and given all of us. My decision to walk this journey with Zeus was made largely because of this website. I am forever indebted to you both and Jerry for each additional day I get to share with my baby.

    Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts, feelings, grief and love with all of us. Though we miss Jerry terribly and my heart breaks and the tears flow so easily when I think of the loss, we all know he’s happy, pain free and anxiously waiting until you all meet again. But in the meantime, his spirit will walk by your sides…his bark on that mountain proved it and I believe in my heart that was him letting you know that he is always with you as we all are.

    We love you tremendously,
    Heather and Zeus

  6. Dear Jerry,

    We are so glad that your pawrents are going to carry on the work that you began while here with tripawds.com I know that there has been a collective sigh of relief from everyone here to know that your legacy will live on through these forums and blogs, and through the lives of other tripawds who have a story to tell as well. Words, photos, feelings, these will all help others who come to your website in the future. Your web site will live on to help and inspire others. Your story will be told for many years to come. You and your pawrents started something really big, really important, and really vital that can help so many people and their dogs in the future. You should be very proud.

    Tears rolled down my face as I read that your “hike shall go on”…the photos were beautiful, and you could see the spiritual beauty in your eyes, almost as if you had one paw in heaven and one paw still here when the photos were taken. Everyone connected with your spirit and that is why you are so loved by so many. The many great emails you received are proof of that.

    By the way, I love your much earned “halo”….it says it all….

    Love,

    Sandra Thomas, David Snyder, and Eik, Kora, and their pups: Katrina, Natasha, Xena, Eika, Sasha, Heidi, Bodo, Otto, Eik, Jr., and “Angel Luna”

  7. Jerry ,

    You have left your tripawd prints in our heart…
    Rene & Jim sending much love your way.

    Kim&Buster

  8. I am so happy to know you guys will carry on; thank you sooo much from the bottom of my heart… What an incredible thing to hear a dog bark as you descended the mountain. I totally believe it could have been Jerry. Blessed to be a small part of this journey with you. Diane Riley

  9. lalla, moderator October 11, 2008 at 7:07 am

    How beautiful you are Jerry, always

  10. This is the most touching post I have ever read. Sometimes I feel like I’m not very good with words, but I do try to get my point across. Jim & Rene, thank you so much for being who you are and having the strength and love to carry on this site that so many people rely on for advice, resources, words of hope and prayers. I know I speak for many that we want to help as much as we can while you ponder your new life without Jerry (in the physical sense). I do believe that his spirit will always be with you and he will always look over you until you meet again.

    All our love, Blazer, Kitty Kimber & Vicki T

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