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Last year we lost our lovely Sid and I was asked to share his story here. Well, it's taken me a while to get around to it because losing Sid was a very tough thing, but I think I'm kind of ready, so here goes.
At the end of 2008, beginning of 2009 we had lost two beautiful greyhounds within 5 weeks of each other leaving us dog-less. One to cancer at ten years old and the other to a series of embolisms at thirteen and a half. It was a bad time for me, a time when I couldn't bear to be in the empty house and would just go our for the day, anywhere, as long as it wasn't home. And of course it wasn't long before I rang the owner of the Retired Greyhound Trust adoption kennel to as if I could just go and see the dogs - just to be with them and get a 'dog fix'. I had no intention of adopting again so soon.
I walked in the gate and knocked on the door and it opened to let a sea of dogs out, who ran to me and swirled around me legs as they usually did. After a moment, I became aware of a big, beautiful, golden boy with the most beautiful eyes, who was gazing happily at me having placed himself foursquare across my legs as if to claim me for himself. Well, I fell for it. He was a house dog (pet), but only because the RGT branch owner didn't want to put him down into the kennels because he was a tripod. He wasn't really up for adoption, but I asked anyway and she said 'if you want him, you can take him - he'll do better with fewer dogs at home'. So I introduced him to my husband and the short story is that yes, we adopted him.
Sid was an Irish-bred greyhound, and he'd lost his right hind leg following a horrendous crash at the racetrack which completely shattered his hock - the vet said at the time that it looked as if it had exploded. He was remarkably good on three legs for such a large, tall dog. He bounced along like Zebedee, and people often didn't even notice that he was missing a leg. Usually it was a child who said, surprised, 'Your dog only has one leg!' which always made us smile. He was also very fast off-lead, which made me very nervous with the number of rabbit holes around locally, and the fact that some walks were on dyke tops with a long drop into the water, so Sid didn't get to run off-lead quite so often as perhaps he might have liked - only when there was a suitable place with nothing to chase and on suitable terrain. He once took off in the snow and ending up losing his footing and slid, screaming the Greyhound Scream of Death for about ten metres! He wasn't seriously injured, but I knew it was up to me to be sensible for him quite a lot of the time. He was quite happy to trot along on leash though, and we went out twice a day - often in the car - to interesting places, and I took him to fenced fields and safe open spaces as often as I could.
When he was around nine and a half years old, he began to put on weight. He wasn't eating any more than usual, but I took him to the vet who checked him over, and told me he seemed OK but he was looking a bit porky and to cut his food down a bit. Well, this I did, and poor Sid looked very sad about it, but he did lose weight, very slowly. One day I was sitting on the floor with him rubbing his belly when I noticed a lump in his abdomen. Got him in to the vet the next morning to be checked over and they couldn't find anything with him standing, but I asked them to pop him on the table, and there it was, a grossly enlarged ... something. One ultrasound later and yes, he had a mass. Emergency surgery followed to remove a huge spleen tumour which weighed 5.5lb. He recovered really very well from that. He had also undergone surgical corn removal following a terrible time for him trying to limp on his single hind leg. That too was very successful and he recovered remarkably quickly.
However, as Sid aged, and passed into his thirteenth year, it became more and more difficult to control the pain which seemed to come mostly from muscle spasms in his spine. He was given painkillers, and then more painkillers, until he was on the maximum dose allowed. We took him to a specialist centre to see if we could find any more serious cause, or find a better way to deal with the pain, but to no avail. There were no more options. Sid had daily massage, both by hand and with an electric hand-held massager, which he loved, and - until our local pool closed - hydrotherapy, in addition to his medication. But the time came when he was no longer able to get himself out into the garden without crabbing sideways due to the pain in his back and so, with extreme reluctance, we had to make the decision to let him go. It was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make because in his heart and mind he was fine. He had no heart problems, no kidney or liver problems, no cancer, just pain. But when we cannot control the pain, what quality of life is there? Even so, when the vet came to the house that morning, he greeted her with bright eyes, and as a friend. It broke my heart and I've agonised over whether there was something - anything - I could, or should, have done, but I've come to realise that there really was no other choice.
Sid was a happy, sweet, gentle soul and a great companion who slept by my side each night and loved me with all his big heart. I still miss him.
25 April 2007
Oh my gosh thank you so so much for returning to share your journey with Sid. It's been a long time and we so appreciate your remembering to return. You both have such a special meaning in the Tripawds Nation, for without your technical talents we would not have the software that makes these discussion forums run every single day. We owe so much to you and it is an honor to be the place where Sid's story is shared forever.
Every animal comes to us with a purpose and a lesson to imprint on us. Sid clearly came into your life when you needed it most and the courage, joy and and wisdom he brought into your world is something that will live with you forever. You did everything right for him and gave him the loving life that every animal deserves. As hard as it was to make that call to set him free, you did right by your boy and provided the compassionate, loving transition that he deserved at the end of his earthly time. Through good and bad, you were there for him. And now in spirit, he will be there for you, always.
Please know we are always a place where you can return. Sid is very special to us. We will forever be indebted to the role you have played in developing the backbone of the Tripawds Nation, our discussion forums.
Oh and if you would like to share any photos, please do, we would absolutely love to see them.
31 August 2013
What a lovely story, thank you for sharing a glimpse into Sid's life with you, and all that you shared and endured together.... He had the best life possible with you and he left his imprint on your heart forever, and your imprint on his heart as well 💜❤️🐾
May all his joyful memories heal your heart in time,
Bonnie, Angel Polly, Pearl, and Zuzu 🐾
Jerry - Thank you for such kind words, both about our lovely Sid, and about the forum software. I know A will be very pleased to hear that his hard work and commitment is appreciated. 🙂
Sid certainly did bring some life lessons for us. In fact, I fell and dislocated my shoulder a few days ago, and one of the first things that came to mind as I lay on the ground knowing that I'd done something major and in tremendous pain, was the thought of the pain Sid had endured when he shattered his leg, and how bravely he adapted to life as a tripod. Dogs are so good at just getting on with what life hands out, aren't they? Sid was a shining example of that attitude. Such a happy boy, so bright-eyed always.
A few pictures from a month or so before we lost him. Walking over the fields, one of his favourite places.
13 August 2015
What a beautiful love story! Sid obviously knew what he was doing when he chose you! When we had to let our tripawd Max go it was black and white he was paralyzed with probably spine mets but with my Ollie (almost 17 years) it was much like your Sid due to pain. Loving them enough to let them go breaks our hearts but is our last gift to them. Sid remains with you in spirit and lives in your heart forever. You gave Sid the most wonderful life full of love and he thanks you.
Linda & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie
18 October 2009
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and touching story.
It's so cool how Sid picked you all those years ago, he knew you needed him then. And now he is really still with you, he lives on in your heart and so is always by your side.
I hope your shoulder heals up!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
16 October 2016
25 April 2007
We are so sorry to hear this, but thank you for letting us know and for sharing the beautiful photos of Sid.
Please accept our most sincere condolences, and send our best to Andy. We will be forever grateful for the hard work he puts into SimplePress—most Tripawds members do not know these forums may not exist without his efforts and support.
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