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Facing the Loss - Years Later
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My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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15 December 2014 - 3:15 pm
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Many of you, most of you, do not know me.  My tripawd hero, Trouble, was diagnosed Thanksgiving week 2008.  She and I lived here for the next 27 1/2 months.  I built friendships here, I know will last a lifetime.  After she was gone I tried to stay and contribute but each new tripawd angel exposed my pain and for my own health, I chose to leave this chapter behind. My presence is gone from the group, but my heart will always be with those who fight cancer with a tripawd. Those humans and their tripawd heros are the best of the best.

Today, Shari was reflecting on Dakota being gone two years and how she felt.  I wrote the following and another tripawd ambassador who saw it asked that I share it here, as she felt there were some here who could benefit from my perspective. I am sharing the following per that request. Moderators, please move this to a different topic if you feel it is better somewhere else. ;)

"Shari's post about Dakota prompted me to put this out there. March will be 4 years Trouble has been gone. I miss her tremendously. Duke & Emmi fill a void, but just are not close to being the same. I love them, and they make me smile, but still it isn't the same. Time has helped me embrace the emptiness she left, but I knew by the two year mark, she will be the one I will never get over. She will be the one I always miss, the one a tear will always fall for.

She brought some awesome people into my life and I am forever grateful for that. People, some of whom I've met, others still cyber friends, but people who understand that very difficult time in my life as they too have lived it.

For those who continue to struggle with the emotion of losing that special tripawd, consider giving yourself permission to never get over losing them. It lessened the pain I carried with me once I realized there was nothing wrong with me, that I may grieve that loss forever. It doesn't mean you focus on it, or let it keep you from functioning. It means it's ok to have those sad moments. Just keep the beautiful memories close as well. The ones that bring a smile, that lift your heart and your spirit just to remember those years you were blessed to spend with that lovely pet."

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Los Angeles, CA
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15 December 2014 - 4:08 pm
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hugapitbull said

For those who continue to struggle with the emotion of losing that special tripawd, consider giving yourself permission to never get over losing them. It lessened the pain I carried with me once I realized there was nothing wrong with me, that I may grieve that loss forever. It doesn't mean you focus on it, or let it keep you from functioning. It means it's ok to have those sad moments. Just keep the beautiful memories close as well. The ones that bring a smile, that lift your heart and your spirit just to remember those years you were blessed to spend with that lovely pet."

Hello ... thank you for sharing your story with us "newbies" and re-connecting. It is hard for sure. I am only 8 months into my painful journey w/out Shelby (my heart dog) and your message resonates with me. I have been wondering lately if I will ever fully heal... when I will feel some sense of normal and full again. I have a new little dog who I do love and adore and who brings joy into my life. But I still miss my angel every single day - some days harder than others. I may cry less but my heart literally still aches. 

Thank you for putting it out there that it is normal and OK to grieve that loss forever and while it doesn't prevent us from living... it's worthy of acknowledgement. 

I have said it here before - I am forever changed. You can'y go through what we go through and not be changed. 

Thank you for posting this today. I really needed to hear it and it helps.

Alison with the Spirit of Shelby fur-ever in her heart (and little Jasper too)

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife



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15 December 2014 - 5:53 pm
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Shanna, Thank you for re-posting this.  I know there were some that needed to hear what you said.  I know it hit me.  I know I love Snickers and she is my baby too but just not my Sassy. 

You & Shari always know what to say.  Thank you again for coming back to post this for us

 

Hugs

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Orrtanna Pa.
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15 December 2014 - 6:36 pm
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I agree, thank you! Tomorrow will be 8 months since I lost my TY Guy. I will forever mis his looking back at me for permission before he would go with the vet , the groomer or even outside. Daryl is so much my hubby's that he looks to him. Still get those kicked in the gut feelings. Not constant now, but there all the same . I think there is just something about this journey that opens up a whole new area of your heart". I did have a smile moment today though, was baking cookies and remembered my big ole counter surfer scarfing down a batch of blueberry muffins cooling on the counter. He was one of a kind for sure. Miss him tremendously! Lori, Ty, C, L and D man.

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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15 December 2014 - 6:42 pm
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Michelle, happy to share anything that may help someone else along the recovery road. We all know it is a long, tough, lonely place to be.  Thanks for asking.

Alison, hang in there.  It does get better with time.  I never expected it would be so much time, but once I accepted it for what it was, it was much more bearable. You will get to that place where you are at peace even though the sense of loss never leaves completely. The cancer/treatment/care/amputation road is life changing.  You have experience not everyone has and along with it comes emotions others never experience. Sending you tons of good thoughts as you continue your healing journey.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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15 December 2014 - 6:46 pm
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Lori, those smile moments are the ones to look for.  Trouble always sat in front of the oven the ENTIRE time the turkey was baking.  In 2008 when she came home from the hospital the day after Thanksgiving, I cooked our turkey a day late just so she could enjoy being there while it cooked.  Cooking a turkey has never been the same since she's been gone, but that smile thinking about her sitting there warms my heart.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

In your heart, where I belong.
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15 December 2014 - 9:37 pm
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I have lost 4 dogs in my independent, adult years, but only two have managed to make it so hard to say goodbye. Belle was first. Dakota was not going to be that dog, because you can only have one of those that worm themselves into your heart, right? Ha! He showed me! I know that Evelyn will also be one, following immediately behind Dakota. Sometimes I find myself already dreading the loss of her, and that is so unfair to her and to me. I've had to try to take my cues from my past companions and just try to live without regret, fear of loss or dread. 

Easier said than done.

One thing that makes it easier to love Evelyn that way--at least for me--is that she is so very different from DD. There is just no comparison. She couldn't be more opposite if she tried, and I think it helps. I simply cannot even try to compare. When my husband and I do sometimes compare, it's safe because we try to decide which one had more faults. Belle ate the $500 tent, yes, but Dakota ended up being a compulsive thief and Evelyn ate our walls. So we do compare, but I think these kinds of comparisons are ok. We aren't trying to figure out which we loved most. That would be impossible and heartbreaking.

I always thought that you could only have just one heart dog, that the concept meant only one per customer. The older I get, the more I realize that it's a gift to say you've had more than one. And to be honest, I feel guilty for those who were not those dogs (my version of a Duke or an Emmi). I feel guilty that I didn't love Sadie or Zoot enough, or appreciate them enough, or whatever enough. And that is the stupidest thing I could ever feel, because I treated them all the same.

I have no idea how it all works out, but if you have a dog that sneaks into your heart and just won't leave, then it beats the alternative of not having that kind of relationship. Hurts an awful lot when they're gone, but we always say that's the price you pay for what you get. 

Thank you for sharing, Shanna. I miss Trouble, too. She was gorgeous and sweet and perfect.

Shari

From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at http://shari.tr.....pawds.com/

On The Road


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15 December 2014 - 10:15 pm
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Wow. We've missed you! Thank you Shanna and Shari for posting such eloquent, perfect words about such amazing animals. We miss Trouble and Dakota as well, and share many of the same feelings about our Jerry.

Oh how I wish that every knew member could know the history of every single Tripawd who has ever taken the time to be here to give hope, to show people that yes a great life IS possible on three legs, that cancer doesn't win if we keep the "Be More Dog " perspective. Even though you're not here to post, in spirit you are; because of your involvement when you were on the Tripawd journey, it will always be possible for us to share your stories, so thank you again.

Everyone I encourage you to check out Dakota's blog, and for Trouble, here is a great interview with her humans, "Happy Triday from Spirit Trouble"

Sending lots of love and hugs to you both from across the miles. You, Trouble and Dakota are always in our hearts.

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

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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16 December 2014 - 4:21 am
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Shari, as we age (yes, you and I) we build a wealth of knowledge about things past and present.  How we choose to balance it dictates the path our lives continue on.

We have both learned so much about the animal/human relationship.  I am convinced the animal personality has a lot to do with whether or not it truly becomes a heart dog, then you wrap in all the experiences and you arrive at yes it is or no it is a fine relationship, just not a 'heart' relationship. My past dogs all had great lives, great care, and great love.  I have no regrets. Duke and Emmi have the same - no regrets. Trouble was my heart dog.

As with you and Evelyn, I see Duke beginning to move up that ladder, and I know exactly why.  He has been a HUGE challenge for me.  He came into our home at age 4, well trained and adjusted nicely - except for when you pushed HIS boundaries.  We couldn't touch his feet, lean over him, wake him when he slept, or try to examine him in any way.  He would be in our face growling and snarling. Scared the pejabers out of us more than once.  Thank Dog he wasn't a biter. We have now had him 5 years, and slowly over time we have been able to gain his trust. He still will let out a low growl when I put his flea & tick meds on, but overall the scarey part is over. I have learned so much about when to give and when to stand dealing with this dog. I can now saw I love him, something it has taken a very long time for me to do. He turned 9 this month, and I am already dreading the day we say goodbye, for I know it is slowly approaching.

Jerry, thanks for the warm welcome.  I always feel at home here, regardless of how long I may be away.  One day I plan to adopt a new tripawd, and will be back for the long haul. Bob asked me just a couple of days ago if I ever visited, and suggested I contribute more. I may give it a shot and see how my emotions hold up.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.



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16 December 2014 - 6:54 am
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I know all my dogs have felt love each one of them hold a special place in my heart.  Sassy just holds the biggest part of it.  She has always been my little girl.  Snickers even as ornery as she is hold a place there too.  I don't try to compare them as that because each one is very special.  Just some losses we grieve a little more & a little harder.  I think of each one of them every day.  I just know that this journey made it even harder to say goodbye.  It just wasn't time not that any time is ever right.

 

Hugs

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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16 December 2014 - 5:55 pm
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Michelle said   It just wasn't time not that any time is ever right.

 

Hugs

Michelle & Angel Sassy

This is it in a nutshell.  We feel we've been robbed of time.  There is a certain amount of anger about what we didn't have time to do.  Even though Trouble lived a long 12 1/2 years, I still felt like I was missing out on time. And in the end all I really have is what if's. Would bypassing the cancer journey prolonged the effects of arthritis?  No one knows.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Westminster, MD
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16 December 2014 - 6:20 pm
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Hi Shanna,
Thank you for coming back to the forums and visiting us again, especially all us newer members.....And a huge thank you for helping to be a valuable piece to what has become the best pet cancer support group in the world. Without Jerry, and all who came shortly after, we would not have this amazing group of very supportive, loving friends for the best of times, and the absolute worst going through this unwanted journey together.

Since Alison already quoted a part of your beautiful post that hit home with most of us, I won't re-post it, but it feels great to me to know I don't ever have to feel guilty, or crazy, for knowing with every fiber of my heart and soul, that it is completely ok to grieve my Polly forever. I know the vast majority of us, absolutely feel this way, but you start to question yourself and whether or not you may be losing your mind......I am now comfortable with knowing the exact opposite, that it IS ok to have lost a part of yourself with that very special pup that is now gone. And like Alison, I am forever changed.....

Today is exactly 10 months since losing my Polly.....at times it feels like forever ago with the heartbreak never-ending, and other times feels like yesterday with the pain still fresh.....I guess we all figure out a way to move forward, just in very slow motion.

Thank you for sharing this with us today, and sharing your reflection on your precious Trouble.
Love,
Bonnie & Angel Polly

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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16 December 2014 - 6:29 pm
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Bonnie, I am so happy my words helped some folks feel 'normal' in their grief journey.  Mine was a huge struggle until that life changing day when I knew if was ok to never get over losing Trouble.

May you find peace, and my Angel Polly forever be your guardian angel. Those anniversaries of the loss are painful, and sooner than you think you will be counting years instead of months.  And the greatest consolation of all is the friendships that you develop here will always be with you.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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16 December 2014 - 6:45 pm
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Make no mistake aout it...you, Trouble, Shari and Dakota, are all cornerstones for this "home" called Tripawds.

I've gone back and read all your posts yoj started.....all your ups and downs, joys and sadness, laughter tears, anquish, grace...and Ive come to "know" you even more...and my respect grows with every lost. You and Trouble made a difference then...you and Trouble are still making a difference now!

That Trouble sure does continue to touch lives through you! He is soooooo proud of how you and Bob have carried on in his honor.

And you do NOT have to adopt a Tripawd ro be here!!! There would be severalmofnus who could not be posting if that was true!!! Dear sweet Bonnie and Polly created Tripawds Alumni to, not only make sure those of us on the "other side" of this journey jad a place to "congregte"...as well has javing this thread be used as a resource for newbies....just a real good "catch all thread!

When my Happy Hannah transitioned, I not only felt..and continue to feel...her loss, but felt like I woukd be losing my Tripawd friends too. I VOWED from Day One though that I would "give back" to all the wonderful souls who lifted and supported me during every aspect of this journey...and I knew I "belonged" for that very reason.

YOU AND TROUBLE NEVER LEFT US....and never will! Strong forces like you two...even when taking time "off"...are still very present with us on a consistent basis!!

ILOVE hearing about your pack now! Duke sounds like quite a character who probably wouldn't have a chance without having youas his Guardians!!!

Okay....I may have missed it....how exactly did Trouble get his name? I can onnnllllyyyyy imagine!!! His avatar shows a whole lot of mischief in that tiny avatar picture!!!

And thanks for the wisdom you shared...especially about the fact that lhe loss never really leave and being able to accept that.

Thank you so much for being here and paying tribute to the delightful Trpuble! No.....he will never be forgotten here!!!

With love and appreciation,

Sally and My Eternal Light Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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17 December 2014 - 3:56 am
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Oh Wow! Sally, thank you!  What an awesome welcome.  And thank you for going back and reading about Trouble's journey.  She was inspiring.  A rock, and a light for those fighting with her and those to come afterward. She was one of the few at the time to surpass that dreaded 12 month mark and to never have cancer recur.

How did she get her name - not as you would expect.  Bob and I had been without a dog for a long time.  He was building computers at the time and sold one to a friend's sister.  We went to install and instruct and low and behold she had these precious puppies about 10 weeks old. Bob worked, and I played. When we were ready to leave, she asked for the 25th time - don't you want a puppy?  And for some reason the words out of my mouth were "let me think about it". Followed closely by "We're in trouble now".  It was only logical when I called to tell her we would take the pup that I had already chosen 'Trouble' as it's name.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of her.

New Orleans Bound

And she and Duke not long after he came to live with us.

Trouble & Duke

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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