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Being More Dog on Spirit Jerry Day

A tribute to our beloved Jerry on the 5 year anniversary of the day we set his spirit free

Happy Jerry at Gros Ventre Grand Tetons National Park Wyoming

“Every natural thing, every flower or tree, and every animal have important lessons to teach us…”
— Eckhart Tolle


Jerry was always up for a road trip. He loved hopping into our truck because he understood that even a ride to the hardware store could lead to great adventures — more people to meet, different places to see, and plenty of new stuff to pee on. No matter where we were headed, we would never get to finish asking him “You wanna go for a ride?” because as soon as we grabbed the car keys, he would be scratching at the door.

Ready to go in Punxsatawny, PA

But on June 1st, 2007, the three of us were headed out for a different kind of trip. Way different. We had just spent the night inside our new RV, which was parked outside the home and business we had just sold. Six months earlier, Jerry had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive terminal bone cancer, and the clock was ticking. That day we pulled away from everything that was familiar, the three of us began an adventure that would change our lives forever.

How were we to know that our amazing journey would last almost two years? Who could have predicted all we would learn from our three-legged Zen master along the way?

From June 2007 to October 2008, we put over 30,000 miles on our truck as we hit oddball roadside attractions and tourist traps. From the Pacific to the Atlantic and back, from Death Valley to the Rockies, with each mile we traveled our “handicapped” dog showed us how to live life to the fullest.

Good dog in the Badlands of South Dakota

During that amazing time, Jerry continued to enjoy life as he always did, taking every opportunity to show us that living in fear of the unknowns is no way to live. He never quit trying to take our minds off his disease and with each enthusiastic hop across America, Jerry would demonstrate to us and everyone he encountered that he was living with cancer, not dying from it. Despite the cancer metastasizing inside his body, he taught us that every day is a great day, no matter what adversity life throws your way.

Five Years Ago Today . . .

It’s still hard to believe that on this day in 2008, we released Jerry from his broken body under those big Montana skies. We thought our hearts would never heal from the tremendous grief that consumed us afterward. But the more time we had to reflect on our journey, the more we realized that the cancer had actually given us an amazing gift. A monumental shift had occurred in our lives, and there was no going back to the way things were.

Jerry poses at Gros Ventre Campground

Jerry’s brave fight gave us the rare opportunity to redefine our life and our values. Because of him we decided that there is so much more to life than running the rat race and working nonstop toward an elusive “some day” that may never come. We had finally learned the lessons he was trying to teach us all along! While some people experience similar life-altering changes through mentors or children or God, our own path to enlightenment came in the form of a happy-go-lucky three-legged dog. And this beautiful Mutts comic strip . . .

MUTTS Now Comic Strip

Today we are honored beyond measure that his legacy lives on in the Tripawds Nation as he and all of the three-legged heroes of past and present gather here to teach us silly humans how to Be. More. Dog. Thank you for being a part of it.

 – Jerry, we will love you for all time. –

Jerry Makes it to Capitol Reef National Park

18 thoughts on “Being More Dog on Spirit Jerry Day”

  1. I’ve read this several times and each time I discover a new lesson learned, not only for the two of you, but for all of us also. or maybe just a reminder to revisit a lesson I need to re-learn.

    I continue to shake my head as I think about the difference this one dog and his two human partners have made in so many lives. If this isn’t a higher vibration at work I don’t know what is.

    As everyone here already knows, this is about so much more than disease and so much more than a surgery. It’s about a soul connection that bonds us so deeply in the purest, most selfless form of love! It truly is a “Universe of Love”!

    Our dogs and cats bringus here. Some people stay briefly, just to have some questions answered or to get through the surgery. Atheir mission has been accomplised.

    Some dogs and cats who bring js here, know that they have a ore expansive mission. They have us stay attached to this site so we may learn more lessons about the evolution of love and it’s power. They are our teachers and they bring us here to discover a truth that would not be achieved otherwise.

    Because of you, Jerry, and Jm and Rene, we are able to give to each other beyond reason, to care beyond hope, to love without limits,
    Jerry, a more perfect child of the Universe has never existed until you. You’ve taught us to reach and dream in spite of fear. You’ve led us all to a level of enlightenment that could never have happened without this site! Our animal companions are our Zen Masters and show us “the way” to live in a state of limitless and abundant love.

    On this day we celebrate who you are.

    And on this day I have spent an inordinate amount of time typing this as error free as possible to make thiese ramblings as easy to read as possible for your mom and dad!

    Jerry, you are astounding!!

    Love and light!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

    • Sally you have such a talent for finding the right words to say to every single person and Tripawd here, the love that pours from your heart is so bright, thank you so much for bringing such beauty into our universe.

  2. Jerry-
    Thank you and your pawrents so much for sharing your journey and giving us all a place to lay our heads and take a breath from the battle being fought. A place where some one else helps carry the burden for just a little while, but long enough for peace of mind.

    We all strive to BE MORE DOG and I think I occasionally get there, but have a ways to go so keep reminding us.

    Hugs to all of you!

    Luanne and Spirit Shooter

  3. A heartfelt thank you Jerry for the journey you began and we all follow. Thank you for showing us how to be more dog. Thank you for showing us how to hold our heads high. And last thank you for having such wonderful pawrents who have made your life a legacy and inspiration to help others and to never be forgotten.

    Esther and her Snoop

    • Jenna it is so pawesome to see you here, thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do to help others and bring them comfort with your journey with Chili (and Finchy & Buster too!)

  4. What a beautiful tribute. Thank you Angel Jerry for continuing to inspire us each and every day. Thank you to Jim and Rene for starting such a wonderful community to serve as a support system to all of us. Thank you to Wyatt for continuiing Jerry’s legacy. I will make sure to remind Jill tonight of Jerry’s story as reading it was her favorite part of having Barney visit our home.

    Erica & Jill

    • Paw shucks Erica, thank you very much. By the way do you know how many people YOU and Jilly have helped here? It’s amazing to think about how you’ve made Tripawds such a welcoming place for felines since you joined. You and Jill have a great story and are doing so much for this community, thank you with all our heart.

  5. What a wonderful tribute to our fearless leader! We loved seeing all those new pictures!
    Rock on Spirit Jerry–you are forever in our hearts…..

    Codie Rae and the OP

  6. Thank you Jerry for all you have given us. We honor you today and everyday through this wonderful community that we have because of you. Thank you to your mom & dad for being here for all of us. Like Tracy said Be More Dog. hard to do but I attempt it 🙂

    Happy Angelversary.

    Rene you did an awesome job on the tribute to Jerry.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    • Thank you so much Michelle. I know that you are coping with so much heartache right now, and each day that you’re here helping others despite your own situation, well that just says so much about the generous, kind and loving human being that you are. You are truly More Dog.


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