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Tripawds Three Legged Dog Heroes

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Tribute to a Three Legged Beach Boy

We said goodnight to a hero yesterday, strong magnificent Max who lived for nearly fourteen months past his bone cancer diagnosis. His stunning blue eyes, his enthusiasm and his stoic pawsonality put smiles on the faces of everyone he met. Max will never, ever be forgotten.

In the spirit of our courageous hero, we want to share these fun clips of him with you.

This movie was taken at our Tripawds get together in Santa Barbara last December. You can see here that not even lung mets could stop this boy from having a good time with the other pups.

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Here’s a flashback video starring Max, taken when we met him in February 2008, not long after his amputation and diagnosis.

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And here’s a few photos of Max will always put smiles on our faces.

Run free Max, go get ‘em!

Loving Life with Tripawd Hero Caira Sue

Three legged cancer dog Caira Sue leaps for ball When a Tripawd dog gets diagnosed with bone cancer, pawrents immediately think the worst once they learn what to expect. That’s human nature for you.

We dogs, on the other hand, don’t care what bone cancer is, or what it may do to our health eventually. All we care about is having fun with our pack while we still feel good. Yes, there may be a time when the cancer is too much and we must part ways for a while. But right now, in this very moment, we are going to have fun, and you are going to have fun with us, darnit!

Nobody demonstrates that better than our pal, Caira Sue. One look at this girl, and you’d never know that her health is being compromised by lung mets.

Take a look at this interview with her pawrents. Caira Sue’s amazing attitude will help you remember that the time to live, is now.

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Four Paws Forever: Long Live Heidi

Meeting new online friends in pawson has been one of the joys of our lives since we started Tripawds.

But not all of the pups we meet because of Tripawds are three-legged; some actually have four! Hedi, a quadruped who became my YouTube friend in early 2007, was one of them.

When we met up with her in August of that year, we went on a play date. Romping through the pretty green fields where she explored behind her house was one of the highlights of our journey.

Our hearts were broken when we learned that Heidi passed away recently. She was one of the most gentle, sweet souls we have ever known. Her Shepherd spirit will always live on in our hearts.

And now, we’d like to pay tribute to Heidi, by sharing these fun YouTube videos we made together.

Here’s Heidi playing it cool the day we met:

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And here’s a  video mashup that Heidi’s brother, Creekracer, and mine put together:

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Run free Heidi, we love you.

Six Legged Dog Date with Paris

Wyatt meets Paris aka Tripawds member GineejThat Wyatt dawg had the pleasure of meeting another inspawrational canine cancer suvivor when Paris visited Colorado with her pack. Better known as gineej in the discussion forums, her people met up with Jim and René a few weeks back. Of course, everyone had there cameras. Gineej posted her movies from the fun visit in the forums, and my pack has finally gotten around to posting this video.

Better late than never, eh? :-)

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Even though her cancer has returned to her Lungs, Paris shows no sign of slowing down at the high altitude dog park in Fort Collins, CO.  This video interview  shares the story of her osteosarcoma diagnosis, amputation surgery, treatment. It also shows her amazing spirit and that hoppy Tripawd smile we love to see so much.

Three Paws, Two Years, No Problem!

Making the decision to amputate a senior dog’s leg is difficult. Most people doubt that old dogs can get along on three legs.

But Calpurnia, a three legged sled dog in Colorado, is proof that even older working dogs can lead great lives as Tripawds.

Calpurnia just celebrated her two year ampuversary. She and her Mom TC wrote this guest post to celebreate this milestone, and hopefully assist others who are faced with the decision to amputate on their own senior dog.

“It hardly seems like it has been 2 years since my humans made the decision to amputate my right front leg following a diagnosis of a grade 2 soft tissue sarcoma growing in my elbow joint. That was back when I was 12 years old, and still running as the main lead dog on my sled dog team.

My people were very worried about my future at the time, but figured we should at least try amputation to see how I would do. Boy did I surprise them! Mom thought it might be a good idea to update everyone on what I have been up to now that I am 2 years post-op.

I am now 14 years old (although I tell everyone I am still 13). I sometimes have some sore places on cold days, and mom thinks my hearing isn’t what it used to be. But my mind is still sharp, and I keep myself busy. I have had a fantastic few years running with my team, visiting school kids and teaching them that I can still do all the things I did before, training puppies, and enjoying my status as senior girl in the house. I have a soft bed near the wood stove where I keep my aging joints toasty and dream of my great racing days.

Like many athletes, my role with the team has sort of shifted from “star lead dog” to “coach” over the past few years. My humans joke that Dog really is their Co-Pilot now when we go on training runs. I still go, but I have a soft dog bed on the back of the ATV (or in the sled when the snow gets deep enough) where I ride. I can watch my team from my perch, and I give them pointers and howl encouragement at them the whole run. On the steeper or bumpy sections, I lean on my person so that I don’t bounce off the back.

Sometimes, if I am feeling frisky, mom hooks me in the line so I can show the new puppies a thing or two. I am a good coach, and after a run I make sure to sniff each team member to tell them how well they did.

I have had my share of medical issues, but they are mostly related to my getting older. One of the hardest things was a year ago when my humans learned that I could not breathe right due to something called laryngeal paralysis – or paralyzed vocal chords. I couldn’t move my vocal chords out of the way when I was breathing hard, and it made it very hard for me to breathe when running. I had throat surgery to fix that, and now I have to be very careful that I don’t choke on food or water, since I can no longer protect my airway the way I am supposed to.

I also have had some pain related to pinched nerves, so mom has to make sure I stay active and keeps my weight down to a trim 33 lbs. She tried doing massage and chiropractic work on me, but I really prefer not to be handled like that and will stretch myself when I want to.

I hope that those of you senior dogs out there keep me in mind when considering amputation. I was a healthy older girl going into this, and am doing really well still. None of us will live forever, but these last few years have been good for me, and I hope to continue living life to the fullest and not let my people worry about the “what ifs” that may be down the road.

Right now, life is good. My team had a good run today, I even ran a little bit with them, our water buckets are clean and full, we will get meat tonight for dinner, and the sun is shining making nice sunny places on the snowy ground for me to lie in.

My heart is filled with love, and my mind is content. I really could not ask for more.

Lots of love,

Calpurnia

Here’s a favorite movie of ours, when Calpurnia and Jerry met back in May, 2008:

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Meeting Tripawds at the K9K Walk

What a coincidence that new member peytonpawd just started Peyton’s Path, one of our latest Tripawds Blogs!

My pack met Peyton and his people at the Morris Animal Foundation’s K9K walk they attended in Estes Park, CO a few weeks back. He was just a couple weeks out from his amputation and looking great! Just see for yourself …

Stay tuned to Wyatt’s blog and maybe he’ll get around to posting the video of all the fun he had at the dog park after the walk!

Thee Legged Dane Dog Gets the Royal Reiki Treatment

Three Legged Great Dane Cancer Dog AthenaEvery day new Tripawd pawrents join us to gather information and consolation from other three legged dog families.

Earlier this year, one new member, Athena, came to us to share her story. Coincidentally, she also happened to live in the same area that we do, Fort Collins Colorado.

Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University’s Animal Cancer Center, one of the best canine cancer care clinics and research facilities in the world.

Earlier this year, Athena was given the devastating diagnosis of osteosarcoma. Luckily though, she lives just a few blocks from the Animal Cancer Center.

We recently caught up with Athena and her Mom, Esther, and learned about the allopathic and holistic treatments she is receiving, including Reiki therapy.

Athena’s primary care vet is one of the leading animal pain management specialists, Dr. Robin Downing, in Windsor, Colorado. This lucky Dane is also fortunate enough to participate in CSU’s Gene Therapy Clinical Trial (gene therapy uses specific genes that are carried into cells to fight cancer).

As you will see in the video, neither amputation nor cancer will stop this giant breed three legged girldog from enjoying life. Athena is larger than life, and absolute proof that even big dogs can make great Tripawds!

Tripawd Agility Champion Serena Brings Inspawration to All

Three Legged Agility Dog Serena

The following Guest Blog Post was generously written by Amy Breton, a Tripawd pawrent from Massachusetts. To submit your own guest post to Tripawds, contact us today.

Serena is a three legged agility and therapy dog. She is one of the very few three legged dogs in the country that competes in agility against four legged dogs. Serena likes to prove that three legged dogs can have fun too…just as much fun as a four legged dog!

I first met Serena when she was brought into my veterinary clinic as a hit-by-car stray dog 10 years ago. No one ever came to claim her, so I adopted her. She needed 8 surgeries to fix her (broken pelvis, torn cruciates, broken femur, hip luxation). That’s not how she lost her leg. At that point she was about 1 year old. No one thought she’d walk let alone do agility. She proved them all wrong.

At age 4 she was diagnosed with myxosarcoma, a rare cancerous tumor which required radiation therapy. We did radiation therapy and she got back to competing. Unfortunately one of the side effects of radiation therapy is that it weakens the bone and at the age of 7 she broke her front leg when she slipped on some ice chasing a squirrel. We tried for 5 months to save the leg, but the bone was too weak so at the age of 7 she received a leg amputation.

Every dog owner questions whether amputation is the right thing to do. In Serena’s case I knew she would be okay afterwards, but I worried I had lost my agility partner. Two months after her amputation she was back competiting, and winning. To date Serena has one championship title and is currently working towards her second. She is, as far as anyone can tell me, the only three legged agility dog in the country.

Serena is also a registered therapy dog and when she’s not doing agility she’s making the elderly and kids smile. There are many adults and kids she meets with limb amputations that can relate to her.

Serena brings inspiration to everyone she meets. She has never let anything get her down. I once had a father and son ask me about Serena right before an agility competition. While waiting near the start line I gave them the abbreviated story. As I stepped out into the ring for Serena’s run I heard the father turn to his son and say “You see that dog out there? Whenever you say you can’t do something you think about that dog.” He’s right.

She is also my inspiration as well as my furry-kid, my friend, my laughter, my sanity at times of insanity and my partner out on the agility course.

To see videos and more pics of Serena, visit her MySpace Page.

Help Find Furever Homes for Two Colorado Tripawds

We can’t stop thinking about our Colorado Tripawds Pawty back in August. We made this movie not just to show you how much fun we had, but to spread the word that two very adoptable, handsome three legged dogs showed up, looking for their furever homes.

In this video you’ll meet Ford, an available Tripawd from EveryCreatureCounts.org, and also Obie, a very sweet, mellow tripod Shepherd mix dog who lives in Denver and is available from Good Samaritan Pet Center.

If you or anyone you know is looking to bring a special Tripawd into their life, please show them this video, we guarantee they’ll fall in love with Ford and Obie.

Team Tripawds, Thank You!

Morris Animal Foundation K9K Walk Estes Park, COLast Saturday, September 19, the pawesome members of Team Tripawds gathered in Estes Park, Colorado, and also in Mill Valley, CA for the Morris Animal Foundation K9K Walk to Cure Canine Cancer.

With perfect sunny weather and hundreds of three and four legged dogs and their humans, we walked, we talked, we played, we had a blast. There were interesting guest speakers, prize drawings and we met some really cool pawrents, including the President and CEO of Morris, Dr. Patricia Olson! Here is Wyatt Ray, giving her a big SMOOCH.Morris Animal Foundation CEO Dr. Patricia Olson with Wyatt

Team Swissies at K9K Walk Estes Park, COIt felt so great to know that collectively the walk raised over $12,000 for Morris’ Canine Cancer Campaign! Wooo hoo!!!

Back in California on the very same day, our dear Team Tripawds members, Shelby, Caira Sue, Codie Rae, Cemil, and Montana met up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Here’s some pics that Caira Sue, and Shelby’s pawrents took. Thanks guys, we couldn’t have had such a successful walk without you!

Many thanks to the generous pawrents who helped make Team Tripawds a reality once again:

Renee Agredano; Cindi Crowder’ Jack Crowder; Barbara Friedman; Diane Hollenbeck; Mary James; Ralph Kanz; Seanne Moulton; Jim Nelson; Martha Rowe; Jane WinstonNorthern California Team Tripawds

See you all at the next K9K Walk!

Northern California Team Tripawds(Our apologies if you signed up later and your name isn’t listed, this is the most current Team Tripawds list we have. Let us know if you did, we’d like to thank you!)

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Best Gear for Tripawds

Find the most helpful items for three-legged dogs by checking out Tripawds Gear product reviews and demonstration videos. Here you will find the popular Ruff Wear harness, and Bark'n Boots, or FitPAWS training equipment and much more!

Tripawds Nutrition Blog

Learn about the best dog supplements and healthy pet diets for all Tripawds, with or without cancer. Save on dog medications, healthy food, and learn about K9 Immunty, Power Mushrooms, Dasuquin, and other recommended canine supplements.

Gifts for Tripawd Lovers

Show your Tripawd Pride with three legged dog t-shirts, cards, caps, mugs, memorial gifts, and more! Follow the Gifts Blog for new item announcements, or browse the Tripawds Gift Shop directly. Get your Tripawds bandanna here. You name your price!

Get all the info you need with Dr. Dressler's Dog Cancer Kit!

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