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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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22 years old but newly tripod: 7 days out
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Member Since:
15 June 2021
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26 August 2021 - 3:25 pm
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Thank you to everyone for your very kind comments.  About 24 hours from now, the home hospice vet will come to escort sweet Harriet to the Rainbow Bridge . My hope is that she’ll somehow be reunited with her black kitty sister, Claire, who we lost to heart disease several year ago at 18, and her Yorkie brother, Auggie, who had defeated cancer twice but who we lost to heart failure three years ago yesterday at 16.  We are trying to hang on to the joy that has been our extremely long-lived furry family members, but however long they stay it is never long enough. Here is Harriet licking her catnip fishy, outside in her carriage, just a few minutes ago. sp_hearticon2

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On The Road


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26 August 2021 - 6:06 pm
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Awwww sweet Harriet, I'm so sorry you are getting your wings. But you will be in great company with Claire and Auggie, they are waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge . And some day, you and your humans will be reunited. Until then, know that you are forever an inspawration, forever loved, and never, ever forgotten.

I'm so sorry. Nope, we never seem to have enough time with them. They truly leave pawprints on our hearts. I'm very sorry you are at this point with Harriet. It's not easy, but you are doing right by her and allowing her to leave this world with the dignity and grace she embodies. What a beautiful life she has had. We are honored to have been a small part of it.

Lots of love headed your way from all of us.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet



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26 August 2021 - 7:43 pm
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I can't match Jerry's words.  I won't even try.  One thing I know without a doubt is that our community understands this more than most.  Our hearts bond as your sweet girl crosses over.  It's a feeling you never forget.  You have celebrated Harriet's life with happiness,  sadness,  worry,  love,  and honor.  When we say our hearts are with you it truly is on all levels.  Harriet is so lucky to have such a loving family as yours. ❤ 

I'll be at work tomorrow but your family will be in my thoughts and in my heart.  

She's going to meet some really cool Angels up there,  and she will be pain free and whole again. 

She'll be waiting for you over the bridge. And until then she will frolic over the clouds with her family that has crossed and all of our Angels. 

Sending love and hugs.  Please give her some extra ear scratches from her Tripawd family ❤🐾🌹🌈

Jackie and Huck❤❤❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Virginia




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26 August 2021 - 8:44 pm
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Through some tears I had to smile at Harriet  licking her catnip.  Every single need of Harriet has been met, especially now as she  continues the  journey where she will reunite with Claire and Augie.

As you can see from Jerry and Jackie's heartfelt posts, we understand  every aspect of this journey.   A journey of joy and hope and chock full of life lesson.   Your precious  Harriet  has taught  us  all so much on this journey.  She TRULY is a legend here and proves ocer and over, age is just a number!!  Without  a doubt though, the loving care you surrounded  Harriet with every second of every day for 22 years, and especially  now, is what has gotten her this far💖

The fact that Augie and Claire lived well into "old age" is a test to the care and love you surround  all your animal companions .

And yes, we can take "some" comfort knowing  our animals were able to love out their "natural" life span in their earth clothes,  but it just makes the void hurt more.  Sooooo many daily routines all stopped.

What doesn't  stop though is the eternal unbreakable bond you have.  Yes, she is returning home to her energy form, but she will still be "with" you.  I know you know that.  

She is with you now and that is all that matters.  She is ready to be released.  She has let you know that.  She's  at complete and total peace.  That sweet picture shows that.

Give her some ear scratches  for us, and some extra catnip too.

Surrounding you with our love and a knowing  all is well with Harriet

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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28 August 2021 - 10:06 pm
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We let her go.

The hospice vet came yesterday afternoon.  We spent the morning with Harriet on our laps. We fed her tuna, and held her catnip fishy while she licked it. We sat with both of her terrier mix dog sisters laying close to her and staring at us - I think they both knew. Harriet’s belly was slightly more swollen, and although she seemed a little uncomfortable, she was not in distress.  She took one breath mid-morning that sounded raggedy, and scared us. Then she was fine when she shifted position. I think the abdominal fluid was pressing on her diaphragm in a certain position.  It made me think, “we don’t want THAT for her…and so maybe this really is the right time.” 

We set up outside midday, when the morning chill finally burned off. We had a little over an hour with her with sun barely peeking through the clouds.  We took turns holding her.  My wife, E, walked Harriet around showing her the trees and flowers and birds for the last time.  I held Harriet up to my face and breathed in her smell so I could try to remember it later - we always joked that Harriet was the best-smelling of our furry children.

When the vet arrived, Harriet was sleeping on my lap. We talked with the doctor a little bit about Harriet’s last couple of months, sharing stories and concerns and her journey in retrospect.  The doctor was assuring, calm, and explained everything we could expect during the process. We had set it up so my wife and I could sit close together, with Harriet on my lap and my wife just to the side in front of her. Right as the vet started the process, a hummingbird flew up behind her very close to us, then drank from the flower basket hanging from the tree above us. After initial sedation, the doctor stepped away to give us a little time with Harriet alone. 

When the doctor came back, she gently moved Harriet’s head into my hand, put a blanket over her body, and gave the other injection while E and I held our sweet kitty. It only took a few minutes, then she was gone.

We’d arranged in advance to bring each of our dogs outside to see Harriet before her body was taken away. Our chihuahua terrier mix, V, sniffed Harriet from head to tail and back again, after E brought her up to her.  Abbie, our terrier mix who was most strongly bonded with Harriet, ran to me immediately and jumped her front paws up to my lap and sniffed and licked at Harriet for a moment, then she jumped away. E took the dogs back in the house - and when E came back out, both dogs immediately started a chorus of howling (something they rarely ever do). The vet gave us this time alone, and several minutes after, until we said we were ready. Then she gently wrapped Harriet’s body up like a baby in a blanket, and took her away. 

We were glad we were able to have a vet come to our home. The process was much more peaceful and tremendously less chaotic-seeming than when our 18 year old dog and 16 year old cat were escorted to the rainbow bridge at a vet’s office. 

We know we made the best decisions we could for her, ever since we noticed a little growth on her paw back in February. Our decision to have that leg amputated was palliative, and gave her the summer. My wife especially devoted herself to taking care of Harriet’s every need. We both really appreciate all of the support, and the many kind comments, from folks on this site. You all have helped us enormously and we are so appreciative.

We are grateful Harriet entrusted her life into our hands for over two decades.

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Virginia




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22 February 2013
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28 August 2021 - 10:49 pm
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You have described the most beautiful  send off any of s could ever hope for. I know you were writing this thru yur tears, just as we are readng this thru our tears.  She deserved  to exit with the grace and dignity and love you gave her.  Ass you celebrated Harriet's  life here on earth, she was still teaching us all how to gracefully  accept the natural ebb and flow of our energy as it  changes form.  You were soo tuned into every aspect of Harriet's  soul and did everything  flawlessly as you prepared  her trip to the Bridge.....and as she prepared you for her trip to the Bridge.

It was quite lovely the way you and E were laser focused on her, her surroundings, the "Nature trip" you took her onw, the Hummingbird  that came to help guide her home.....lovely.

I've actually had my dogs "howl" when their animal companions  cross over.  It's quite eerie  and it's quite touching and it's quite sad and yet it confirms our animals understand  and I feel like that are singing a song to celebrate  their life.

Twenty two years ahe graced you with her presence.  The memories  made during that time are eternal and they will sustain you as your heart heals.  We are all sooooo privileged  to get to know thos amazing litty and her devoted hoomans. 

Surrounding you with our love

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

 

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!



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29 August 2021 - 9:30 am
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Thank you for sharing the rest of Harriet's journey with us. Yes, I am sobbing over here but I also know that if there was ever a way to walk down this path the "right" way, it is how you and your family have done it. 

You read every sign so well, that's just so hard to do when your heart is in the middle of it. A lot of people can't see the signs for their pain and you stayed in the present with your girl. That is truly a blessing. We have been lacking in hummingbirds this year. I usually see them in the Spring, and then again in the late part of June, early July. That is when we see the most of them. One scout will find the feeders and by September they are coming in numbers to the feeders. This year we did not see them until about a week and a half ago. I was starting to think we wouldn't see them at all. When you wrote about the one you saw, it made my heart smile because that is just another sign to let you know you were where you needed to be. 

Harriet will always be a comfort to the new people that come in here with old souls in trouble. Her circumstances were different, her health issues different, but she showed all of us that age truly is a number. You gave her the best summer, and your whole family had a chance to love her so immensely before it was time for her to cross. 

Call me crazy but I think H is one of the souls that will reach out to you and let you know she is watching over you now. It does happen, I have heard about it here and I have also experienced it personally with just a few very special souls that touched my life. 

Sending you all extra hugs and love. You are right, the pups know that their sis is over the bridge watching over all of you. My heart is with you in this time of sadness. No matter the reason, it is hard to lose somebody that you spent such a long and loving life with. 

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

On The Road


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29 August 2021 - 12:38 pm
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I'm completely bawling, a total mushball right now. You have my deepest condolences. Two decades is a long, long time. What a gift that will last your entire lives and beyond. She was a very special girl.

Thank you for sharing these last beautiful moments with Harriet, and everything that was going through your mind. I agree with Jackie, your strength of presence during her transition was incredible, so powerful! To notice things like the hummingbird, to me it means that Harriet taught you exactly how to see the world through her eyes, soaking in the beauty and appreciating every moment of being together. Your sweet kitty was quite a teacher, and you were A++ students.

We will always remember her. Thank you for sharing this small slice of her legendary life with us.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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