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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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Member Since:
27 September 2018
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14 October 2018 - 10:24 am
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Its almost been 2 weeks that our Hiroaki crossed the rainbow bridge . Actually 2 weeks ago tomorrow morning is when we got the call that some time through the night he passed. 

It still feels so wrong to be at home and be awake. I am trying so hard to stay strong for our living fur babies but I am finding it so hard. 

I know 2 weeks is not long at all but the pain is eating me alive. All I can seem to do is think about the things I could have done differently and all the aspects of my life I will never experience again. 

Is there any advice anyone can offer to ease the pain? I know everyone heals differently but no one I know personally seems to get it and all act like I am being over dramatic about "just a cat" :'( 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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14 October 2018 - 3:38 pm
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Samantha, my heart goes out to you, I wish I could help you feel more comforted. But honestly I can't blame you for feeling as you do. His passing came as such a shock, and it will take a generous amount of time to process what happened. Two weeks isn't long enough, and only your heart knows how much time you need to heal. And that is perfectly OK. You are on nobody's timeline but your own. 

For now, it's probably best to ignore the people who don't get it. They never will, and it's not helpful to your healing. If you must deal with them, then just ask them to not say anything at all if they can't be supportive. I know that's hard.

Meanwhile what I can offer you is this:

Help your heart heal, by doing something that helps you honor his life. Whether it's to plant a tree, start an indoor garden, volunteer at a shelter, start a Tripawds blog or put together a memory book, using your hands and heart can help your brain process things and focus on the happy times you had together. Hiroaki was soooo much more than his last days on earth. It takes practice, but the more you can honor all the good things that he did for you, the lesser the pain over time.

Also, have you considered joining a pet loss support group? If you would like help locating one let me know. Many people here have joined a grief support group and found it helped. Here's a link from our Tripawds Resources page that may point you to one near you:


I hope this helps even just a little. You can always come here to talk, and we'll do our best to help.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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14 October 2018 - 6:56 pm
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Your sweet Hiroaki and the bond you two share is not something  everyone can understand❤.  We do. 

 And as hard as it is when our furbabies head to the Bridge, we are soooo lucky to have  experienced the beautiful  unconditional love our  cats and dogs share with us.  We are all better human beings because of  that connection. Quite frankly, I feel  sorry for those who don't  understand how they can even be more fulfilled and more enlightened of they would only open up their hearts to the love and life lessons of our animal feinds.

Jerry has given you some , lovely suggestions to help you celebrate  Hiroaki.  As she noted,  your heart will heal in its own way and on it's own timeframe.  Eventually , all the "what ifs" will fade and you will come to understand that Hiroaki knows you did everything possible for him.  You shared thousands  of joyful memories  with Hiroaki and we would be honored  to hear about some of those

Sending  you extra hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too 

PS....Take a quick glance up to the stars one night .  The first  one you see twinkling  the brightest. ...that's Hiroaki healthy and whole giving you a wink and a thanks for giving  him such a great time here on earth. 😚

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!


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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16 October 2018 - 7:09 am
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I'm sorry I missed this post!

Jerry/Rene did a beautiful post about Hiroaki.

I wanted to make sure you saw this see Hiroaki is always going to be a light in your life!
Tripawd Tuesday: Hiroaki, the Light of My Life

I agree two weeks is such a short time span and the shock of how this all happened it is completely NORMAL to be feeling this way. Ditto Jerry ignore those people and feel sorry for them for never feeling the love of a "cat" or dog their loss! Only surround yourself with people who understand that you have lost a family member tragically! We all would be feeling the same way!

We all here understand the loss of a family member, and it takes time, and as there is no timeframe allow yourself to grieve Hiroaki. I love all of Jerry's ideas and what about the wooly idea you had? I know it is likely too soon cost wise. Jerry(Rene) has an Etsy store https://www.ets.....p/Tripawds she makes jewelry and special tags maybe take a look there for a tag for Hiroaki's box or even a charm to wear close to your heart.

We all know the voids in a day are the worst our routines that once were are no longer you will have to plunder thru each day for your family for YOU for your job and in time things will become easier but that loss yes that stays with us for life. It does become bearable and not immobilizing in time. We love dearly we grieve dearly! Please try to look at all the good times you and Hiroki had not on the last days. That was not Hiroaki. We can't change what happened and holding on to that last day is not going to help you. Hold on to all the love and good times you had with Hiroaki. Remember you were helping Hiroaki by taking that leg what happened was a tragedy and unforeseen. You had the tests beforehand he was a candidate for amputation.

Hiroaki will light your path, and this tragedy has changed your life. You are going to be a better vet tech because of Hiroaki when you are finished with school work at 24/7 hospital in Hiroaki's name.
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Holly & Purrkins❤️

Member Since:
27 September 2018
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16 October 2018 - 12:26 pm
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts and ideas. I think I am going to look into a counciling group to join. I also wanted to make a "friendship" bracelet, like back in grade school,  in his colors and maybe someday add a charm from the etsy shop. Who would have thought I'd become more of a crazy cat lady, by appearance, after having less. (Trying poorly at making humor out of anything I can these days)

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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16 October 2018 - 7:27 pm
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You are so welcome. Don't be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone and do something out of the ordinary and creative that you feel expresses your love for him. We would love to see what you come up with!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
8 November 2017
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17 October 2018 - 9:17 am
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Lots of good advice in this thread. 

Honoring them with DIY projects is a great piece of advice. I compiled several memorial videos from pictures and videos that I had collected over his life. Ironically, the vast majority were when he had his amputation and his life as a tri-pawd, even though that period only lasted 6 months.

Putting together those projects initially led to a continuous stream of tears of sadness... but now when I look at them, while there are still tears, they are of happiness in that I was lucky enough to have been part of his journey and knowing that he's running around pain-free. Every time Chewy and I see a rainbow, we know Sebastian is nearby and smile. 

That takes time to get from one end to the other... and everyone has a different timeline. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 October 2018 - 9:44 am
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤We love our adorable  Sebastian❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Very kind of you to share your support.

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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