TRIPAWDS: Home to 15020 Members and 1669 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
How to Cope with guilt and loss of decision to say good bye.
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
30 August 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
6 February 2020 - 8:32 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Said goodbye to our beloved Bella on Monday and overwhelmed with sorrow and so much guilt for making that decision – thinking too soon. She had her surgery 2.5 years ago and was doing amazing – until late October – started difficultly walking and shoulder injury. Physical therapy and acupuncture seemed to help shoulder – but then neurological signs.   In January – not able to stand up on her own, walk but a few steps without assistance, difficultly with balance,  stopped barking, difficulty chewing,  and difficulty using tongue to get water and seemed disoriented at times. Last week hand feed soft food. She was seeing vet twice a week for acupuncture since November. Vet indicated last week that it was time. Told myself Bella would let us know by not wanting food or attention and that it would be time. That never happened. She literally was eating baby food and wagging her tail as we said goodbye.  Guilt that maybe she was not ready to say good bye.  Miss her so much and wish did not make decision yet.  

Oakland, CA
Forum Posts: 687
Member Since:
20 December 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
6 February 2020 - 9:31 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Oh I am so sorry you had to send Bella on. Having made that decision twice in less than a year I know how hard it is–the guilt, the regrets, the pain. Please try and hold in your heart the thought that this was the final gift you could give to Bella, a peaceful and dignified death. She trusted you to have her back all through your life together and you did not fail her in the end.

It is easy to draw that decision making line in the sand when a dog has stopped eating, is withdrawing, is in obvious pain. We want nice obvious clues. But lots of other things can also diminish a dog’s quality of life, including loss of mobility and other neurological deficits, changes in mental ability/mood, etc. We have to consider all of these things as we struggle with finding the “right” time, compare the quality of life for the dog we see in front of us with that of a few months or years ago. Truth is there is no right time for us, we want them to stay with us forever.

There is something to be said for letting a dog go a day too early rather than a day too late. I just lost Codie Rae in January. She still loved to eat, she still loved to go for a ride or stroll but you could see it was stressful for her now, her mind was still sharp and alert. But her remaining rear leg had quit working. Instead of being what we always called “high strung” she became anxious instead and fixated on her Paw. She barked alot. But worst of all she had a cancerous tumor blowing up in her mouth–it was growing bigger every day and was a recurrence. It was obvious that her quality of life was becoming significantly diminished. We took her in to the vet a week before we let her go and the vet didn’t say outright it was time but immediately started throwing out hospice options rather than expensive diagnostics and surgery options. We already knew we did not want to put her through another big surgery. So we took her home and watched the tumor continue to grow until we knew it could not go on longer without a potential emergency situation developing. At that point we made the call.

Like your situation with Bella it was SO hard to make the call to the vet but I know it was the right thing to do. In your heart I think you do too. Do you trust your vet? My vet tells me it is always her number one priority to prevent a dog from suffering. So if your vet thought it was time then try and trust that they were right.

Of course you are overwhelmed with sorrow, you have lost a life partner. It will hurt. And it will hurt for a long time. But as for the guilt, please try and let it go. Trust that you did the right thing. Focus on the wonderful life you gave Bella and all your precious memories. Bella will be in your heart forever. Her love for you and yours for her will never end. 

Sending you peace and love,

Martha and the OP minus 2

Woohoo! Tripawds Rule!

Regulator of the Oaktown Pack, Sheriff of the Oaktown Pawsse, Founding member and President of the Tripawd Girldogs With 2 Names ROCK Club, and ... Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire!

Visit Codie Rae's Blog!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18361
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
6 February 2020 - 9:47 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ohhhh, so very, very sorry to be reading  this.   So sorry.  Our hearts break with you.  And we unders uour emotiona, the gutwrenching  grief, the guilt, the second guessing, reliving  all those last days….we understood.  You don’t need to hear it’s “normal’, but I can tell you all those feelings  are pretty much experience by most of us. 

I want to come back, but I want to address a few things, because I can relate on a personal level.  I know “eating” and “tail wags” are often seen as “signs” of whether to release a dog from their earth clothes.  In my opinion, while that can be a sign,    more often it’s not.

To me, it’s about when a dog can no longer be who they are AND when the scales will con yo til oit pf their favor.   To me, and to your Vet, it’s very clear that Bella could not be Bella anymore.  Anyone reading this can see it.  It is clear that, regrettably,  Bella was only going to get worse, quickly and in a way that would not be what Bella would want to endure.

Bella was showing you signs.jer signs in her own way..

I actually hope, in the future, you can take comfort in  that memory of tail wags and happily eating.  It’s a much better memory than seeing her struggle, becoming more and more disoriented,  probably starting to have seizures  with whatever was going on neurological.  It could get so much worse so quickly.

You gave Bella the selfless gift of release that she needed.  She knew you .lpved jer thst Mich.  I can only  imagine  how good sshe felt as she ran free to the Rainbow  Bridge!  Her mind was clear, her gait was strong and all her challenges were gone!

We are here for you.  We are surrounding  you with our love💖

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18361
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
6 February 2020 - 9:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

As I was typing Martha posted her lovely heartfelt words, so articulate, so eloquent.  Hold onto those words.  They are true.

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!

Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
30 August 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
6 February 2020 - 2:31 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you for heartfelt support that I made the right decision.  I am so sorry that all of you endured the loss of your beloved pets in order to provide insight and support. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26347
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
6 February 2020 - 8:05 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Patti I’m so sorry to hear about Bella. She did so well for so long but it’s never, ever long enough to have our fur kids in our lives. My heart goes out to you.

The guilt you feel is to be expected. In the early days of not having our beloved animal in our earth-bound world, we wonder if they might have been able to have more time. We wonder if we did it too soon. And we wonder if we are bad people for making the decision to help them transition over. Soooo many things go through our heads and hearts, along with the trauma of not having them in our lives. It’s a hard situation. 

We have an incredible responsibility at the end of our pet’s lives, and with it comes heavy emotions that we are never prepared to deal with. It just takes time to wrap our heads around the situation, and know that ultimately we did the right thing even when it doesn’t feel like we did. I wish there was a shortcut to feeling less pain, but I can’t tell you that there is. Time is what heals. 

I did find that writing and sharing more about Jerry’s life helped my head and heart to stop fighting each other. Do you have some kind of creative outlet you enjoy? If so, find a way to incorporate Bella’s life into that activity. A photo collage, a song, planting a tree. Doing something to spread the joy and the positivity she shared with the world will help you feel like you are honoring her legacy, keeping it alive and passing it on for others to enjoy. I think it helps.

Can you share some photos of her? We would love to celebrate your girl’s amazing life on three legs. It wasn’t long enough of course, but just over two years is pretty amazing and worth sharing with the world.

((((hugs)))

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 449
Member Since:
26 January 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
7 February 2020 - 11:49 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m so sorry you lost Bella. But you clearly did an amazing job loving her and taking care of her.

It’s normal to feel guilt and second guess, especially in the early days of grief. I think you’ll eventually find, as most people do, that you made the best decision for her.

I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but wagging her tail and eating baby food is a beautiful final memory. And it’s proof Bella transitioned on her terms.  In time, I think you’ll cherish that moment.

I’ve lost three dogs. The first two were basically comatose at the end. Rocky was his usual self. I’m more appreciative now that Rocky’s suffering was limited and he crossed the bridge on his terms.

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

Forum Posts: 553
Member Since:
4 April 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
7 February 2020 - 5:20 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I am so sorry for your loss.  I have had to make the same decision in my life several times.  You don’t want them to go to soon, but you don’t want them to go too late.  I think Bella waging her tail was a way of her thanking you for everything.  I found this poem that has found me comfort, and I hope it will find you comfort as well.

May I Go Now

May I go now?
Do you think the time is right?
May I say goodbye to pain filled days
and endless lonely nights?
I’ve lived my life and done my best,
an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond
and set my spirit free?

I didn’t want to go at first,
I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now
to a warm and loving light.
I want to go
I really do.
It’s difficult to stay.

But I will try as best I can
to live just one more day.
To give you time to care for me
and share your love and fears.
I know you’re sad and afraid,
because I see your tears.

I’ll not be far,
I promise that, and hope you’ll always know
that my spirit will be close to you
wherever you may go.
Thank you so for loving me.
You know I love you too,
that’s why it’s hard to say goodbye
and end this life with you.

So hold me now just one more time
and let me hear you say,
because you care so much for me,
you’ll let me go today.

Written for a beloved pet & friend

Susan A. Jackson

********************************

Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
30 August 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
12 February 2020 - 11:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you all so much.  I have re-read your comments countless times as it helps with the guilt, grief & anxiety. I can not express the level of appreciation that you all took the time to respond and support.  Truly sorry that all of you have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Jerry suggested that I share pictures of Bella. Thought it would be too hard but seeing pictures of  her from just a few months ago has showed how much she declined from last October.  Jerry was right and seeing pictures of a happy, healthy, strong Bella and writing her story has helped.  I started a blog of Bella’s story and attached pictures.  Bella was truly an amazing dog and should celebrate the 2.5 years after surgery.

I continue to carry the guilt that ended her precious life too soon. So very many regrets of not going to another specialist, why schedule appointment a day earlier, why not  give it more time,  why not call her recently retired Vet for recommendations,  was my judgement being clouded from lack of sleep and worrying about her safety, why did I not reach out for help, and the list goes on. 

Well meaning friends encourage getting a puppy ASAP.  While a puppy would bring  joy & love & purpose  it feels disloyal to Bella. In time hope guilt is gone and replaced  with acceptance that  did the best I could at the time.  Hope someday to be ready welcome a dog with an open heart  and love them for who they are and not to fill the void of missing Bella. 

Forum Posts: 449
Member Since:
26 January 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
12 February 2020 - 1:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I looked at the photos you posted in your blog. Wow! Bella is one beautiful girl.

It’s really easy to second guess in hindsight. But in the moment, every decision you made was made out of love for Bella. That’s the most Bella could ask for, and the best you – or anyone else – could do for her.

When the time is right, Bella will make sure you find a new puppy. And she’ll find just the right one for you. But take your time to grieve for her. Don’t rush it. A lot of well-meaning people will say “it’s been two weeks, you should move on” or something similar. But it doesn’t work that way. Be patient – with yourself. Give yourself time and space to heal.

With time, it does get better. I promise.

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18361
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
12 February 2020 - 1:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

So glad you posted, and especially  glad you did a blog to celebrate  besutiful  Bella and her extraordinary  life.  I hopped over their quickly and want to go back shortly so I can focus on every word.

Now, this guilt thing.  Unfortunately  we humans do it way too well.  In the first raw part of grief we search, literally search for something  to feel guilty abput.  Although it doesn’t  help, all of your “guilt questions” will eventually  subside.  There will come a point when you simply just cannot ask the same questions over and over anymore.  The same questions  result in the same answers you’be veen stuck in for weeks.  They do not serve you.  They do not change the result.  They are like a wall of barbed wire keeping you separate from the memories  Bella wants you to celebrate!!!   Bella needs you to celebrate  al, the Joy’s she had in life.  Ahe neede yo kmow uou eill ve okay.

Reading your blog, I know Bella is happy to see you changing your focus to all the great things in her life.  Based on your blog, you are now starting to bravely change your focus and that is the antidote to guilt….replace those endless loop questions by changing  your focus to the wonderful vibrant adventure filled life your counter surfing boy lived!!!

Without doubt, Bella WILL send you a dog who needs to feel love snd joy, just as she did.  It will be HER choice and on her schedule!  And be prepared, often ot’s not who you might think you would “pick” and at a time when you least expect it.  😉

Okay, gon a hop over to Bella’s blog so I can get to know her even better

Hugs

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18361
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
12 February 2020 - 5:50 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Just wamt to add the way you chronicled a  journal of what the extrao is time met yo Bella and to you.  It was sich a beautiful  way to put the focus on what really mattered to Bella from oneblissful moment to rhe next.  I wrote it better on your blog, so I’ll just copy it here:

“And btw, it was so heartwarming to read all the ways Bella spent that extra bonus time. It was a very effective way to remind us all it’s not not about the numver of days in a life, but it’s about the way life is lived in those days.” ❤

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!

Aaron
13
12 February 2020 - 7:43 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

  I’m holding back tears typing this. We lost 2 pups last year. Gertrude was the matriarch of our clan and Buddy was the sweet rescue who stole our hearts.

When I met my better half, she had a beautiful lab named Gertrude, who never seemed to approve of her suitors, but for some reason, immediately took to me. She was 4 when we met. After a few years of dating we were asked to watch a little pit named Buddy. The stay was supposed to be a few days but eventually turned into months, we asked if he could just stay with us for good, they obliged.

At first Gertrude was taken back by this intruder in our home, but it did not take long before they were inseparable. For background, Gertrude was the most intelligent dog I’ve ever met and Buddy was nothing but loyal & loving. Buddy couldn’t catch treats, so he would let them hit his forehead before eating them, Gertrude never tried to take them from him, even though it would have been a breeze. They even hatched a plan to get an extra bowl of food by splitting one and waiting for both to be filled up before eating. It took a month to realize the scheme.

Gertrude was much older. She began going deaf & eventually began suffering from LARPAR. Buddy became her ears and muscle. He never let her venture into danger and warned any threat to leave  Gertrude alone. He would often guard her neck area when other dogs & animals were in shouting diatance. This is where it gets tough.

When he was 7 & she was 13 we took them to the vet. He was prescribed apoquel for his skin issues and she was given a cocktail of meds. A few months later, seemingly out of nowhere, I noticed him eating less and eventually not at all. I took them back to the vet, where she suprisingly got a clean bill of health, but they asked to keep Buddy over night. I did not think much of it, maybe he had eaten something weird. On our way home, the vet called to say I could come pick Buddy up. I was thrilled, rushed back to greet my little man. When I got there I was taken to a room, where I sat for what felt like an hour. I wondered where’s my little man? Instead of the slobbery greeting I was expecting, I was met by a vet who told me he was “really sick.”

I didn’t understand what she was conveying to me at that moment, I thought, we get him some meds and he’ll be good to go. That was not the case. She said they did xray and found spots on his pancrease. She told me to spend a night with him and bring him back in the morning. I still couldn’t grasp why he was too sick to be fixed, but my partner spoke with the Vet, and understood that it was too advanced for treatment to be a fair option. I think I was in denia. I spent that night with him in my arms, tried to get him to eat his fav foods, but nothing got a response. Taking him back in the morning was so hard, I pulled over three times to see if he would eat, telling myself, if he eats, we turn around. Even harder, was driving back with him in my trunk so I could give him the special burial he deserved.

I think Gertrude took it the hardest. We made sure to spoil her, we even took a lake vacation so she could see the water. That trip sparked something in her. When we got back home she had a new confidence. She was old & her hips were not what they once were, but she ate dasoquin which I swear by. During our stay, I worked with her, and by the end, she was able to climb the big set of stairs leading up to the house. She wouldn’t even attempt them on day 1 by day five she looked like Rocky Balboa.

She was obviously trying to be strong for us, looking back, I see it clearly. She had prepared to pass the torch to Buddy, but When he passed, she felt like she needed to step up. Gertrude passed 4 months after Buddy, she told us in her way, it was time. We cried just as much as we had months prior, but we were more prepared.

I still think of them daily. After a few months, the house was just too quiet. So we went to the humane society & fostered a 7 y/o hw positive Great Pyr named Ruby. She is the most amazing girl, a blend of all our fav traits of Buddy & Gert with her own twist. Currently she is sleeping in my lap, it was her first day of treatment. She is going to be out Furever friend.

If we’re lucky many dogs will come into our lives. The thing I learned from making the tough decision, is that the time you get with each dog may be short, but dang, it is a really good time. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26347
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
12 February 2020 - 10:24 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

bres5 said
Thank you all so much.  I have re-read your comments countless times as it helps with the guilt, grief & anxiety. I can not express the level of appreciation that you all took the time to respond and support.  Truly sorry that all of you have experienced the loss of a loved one.

  

You are so welcome. I am so proud of you for digging deep and finding the courage to take out the photos and relive so many good times with her. No doubt that was not easy but you did it, and I’m betting that Bella is so, so proud of her mama. You truly embodied the spirit of living in the now, by putting your grief aside for a minute and basking in all of the love and happiness that she brought into your life. It’s like that old saying, don’t mourn what you lost but just be happy that it happened (or something of the sort!). You did that. You made a beauuuuuutiful tribute to her in the blog post and we learned so much about the awesome life you shared. What a ride! Thank you for allowing us to be part of it.

When the time is right for a new dog, you will know it. Bella will send you a sign, and it will be so cool. 

I’m just so happy that we got to know Bella in that blog post. Please do not blame yourself for anything that you feel you did wrong. You didn’t. There’s no way you could have. Bella’s situation was hard, but it was made more compassionate and loving because of the care you showed her. She knew that she was loved. That’s what mattered.

So please consider sharing more in the blog. Her life mattered, and the story you started will be there to inspire others who are lost in that amputation decision and unsure what to do. Bella showed that there can be many, many good times after becoming a Tripawd. She was the perfect role model, and always will be.

We celebrate her life with you. What a girl.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26347
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
12 February 2020 - 10:27 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Aaron said
If we’re lucky many dogs will come into our lives. The thing I learned from making the tough decision, is that the time you get with each dog may be short, but dang, it is a really good time.

Aaron, those are some wise words. Thank you for taking time to share Gertrude and Buddy’s story with us. The thought of losing two dogs in one year just breaks my heart, I am so sorry for your loss. It was mighty generous of you to take time to tell us about them, and give the support that Bella’s mom needs right now. You are a rock star.

If you have photos of Gert & Buddy that you’d like to share, and of your new pup, we’re ready to see ’em! Here’s a post about adding images to the forums, let me know if you’d like some help.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: footheldup
83
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1072
Members: 10396
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16024
Posts: 224187
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG