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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?

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I kissed Comet for the last time tonight.
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Northeastern PA
Member Since:
19 September 2010
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25 January 2011 - 5:03 pm
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OMG - I am so sorry to hear about what happened. Comet was blessed to have you rescue her, but you were even more blessed to have found her.

I know it is not much solace right now, but the love you shared was evident in your pictures and posts, and she had the best life with you. And, she knew it.

You and your family will be in our thoughts.

Zack, King of Dogs, 1996 to 2010

Zack lived a full 14 years, even to the end.

The joy and memories he provided us will last a lifetime.

Surviving him is his sister, Izzy, a 12-year-old boxer mix quadpawd.
And the latest addition, Zula, an 11-month-old pit bull mix tripawd.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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25 January 2011 - 5:59 pm
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I am overwhelmed from all of the responses.  My heart is so empty and yet so deeply filled with love from all of you.  I couldn't have gotten through yesterday without your notes, emails, PM's and phone calls.  I mean that sincerely.

My wondeful world of Comet is gone.  I can no longer say to strangers, I have this adorable 3-legged dog that we built our world around.  Will they understand that a three-dog has special meaning?  No. But all of you will.

My journey with my precious Comet of 12 years was emotionally difficult for me.  She had my heart.  Right or wrong, I still think of her as my child.  I loved her almost too much, if that is possible.  Finding tripawds and people that loved as much as I did helped me more than I've ever helped anyone.

Forgive me for not wanting to finish this post right now.  I started it with so much I wanted to say but I need just a little more time.

For now, thank  you all.


Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Opie's Mom
25 January 2011 - 7:00 pm
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I responded to your message on Facebook and then came over here to tripawds.  I am so sorry.  We will all miss spunky, smarty-pants Comet.  You and Comet were two of the most important beings that helped me day-to-day when Opie was a tripawd.  You and Comet were two of the most important beings that brought me back to tripawds after Opie left. 

I can understand,,,, we all can understand, that you loved Comet like your own child, because she was (still is) your kid.  You are the best mom.  Comet had a very good life.  We will all see her again.  Can you imagine how happy Opie and Fortis and all her other loves were to see her? They are all running around in the sun, playing like they have never played before.

TLDs are very, very special and Comet was incredibly special by virtue of all of the tripawds she helped through the good and bad times.  Comet was comforting when someone needed it, she was there all tough and spunky when someone needed to be reminded to live in the now.  Most importantly, she made us laugh, and when do we ever not need to laugh?  Comet's pictorial tributes to our fallen tripawds made us cry and laugh and remember that we were all granted something special; being deemed worthy to have in our lives, for however short or long a period of time, a Three-Legged-Dog... A Tripawd.

Run fast in the sun, Comet!  Give Opie a big kiss for me.

Orange County, CA
Member Since:
2 January 2010
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25 January 2011 - 8:16 pm
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cometdog said:

Right or wrong, I still think of her as my child.      

It was RIGHT.  Period.  No further discussion required. 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 January 2011 - 10:57 pm
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Take all the time you need G, we'll be here.

Much love coming your way.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
19 July 2010
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25 January 2011 - 11:16 pm
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I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy, especially when it's the canine love of your life.

Taos, NM
Member Since:
12 June 2010
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26 January 2011 - 10:53 am
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As you know I don't stop by often so I just read this tragic news. I'm so terribly sorry. I know you are devastated and your world has turned upside down and inside out. that nothing makes sense. A terrible time, to somehow be endured.

You and Comet were a blessing to us during Tshuvah's brief stay at tripawds. Comet's wings must be especially magnificent for all the great good she did in this life. We are holding you in our hearts.


Beth with my beloved Tshuvah, 10 year old "TaosDog". Provisional diagnosis osteosarcoma on 6/10/10, amputation of left foreleg same day, firm diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma 6/24/10. Set free on 9/9/10.  Treasured forever.

Member Since:
30 March 2010
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26 January 2011 - 12:26 pm
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I wasnt on here for a few days and now am in complete shock when saw our lovely Comet is gone....didnt even know something was wrong with her. I have no words...just feel so empty and were maybe first person who responded to my first post here,and Comet found a special place in my heart.

Can only say I am so sorry for such sudden loss of your beloved friend. It is hard to find comoft in anything at the moment I know. I'll pray that God gives you strenght to get through this difficult time,and that in time you find happiness again. Am sure Comet would want you to.

RIP sweet Comet


      Daniela,Angel Dons Mum

Calgary, AB
Member Since:
30 January 2010
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27 January 2011 - 8:34 pm
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I couldn't believe what I read!!! I AM SO SO SO SORRY  cry

I didn't know that Comet was having any difficulties and this just comes as a horrible shock. I am at a loss for words. Please know that I am thinking of you and wishing there was something I could say or do to take away your pain. You have always been there for everyone else, through our good and bad times, comforted us with kind words and eased our pain when we lost our best friends. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we are all walking with you down this sad road, we have our collective "virtual" arms around you and we are all heartbroken with you. May the love of all of our tripawd angels comfort you and welcome Comet to the land of perpetual sunshine and unbroken bodies. 

Many hugs,

Laura and Angel Tai

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

Member Since:
23 July 2010
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27 January 2011 - 10:06 pm
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We have been in shock over the loss of Comet.  We have been at a loss for words..

Your precious Comet has been the 'mascot' of tripawds to us.  You both have been there for everyone, through everything.  And we have grown to count on that.  We have always loved seeing Comet's avatar and hearing about her adventures. 

As you know, this entire community is just broken by the loss...we are broken with you.  We are so, so sorry.  We loved your Comet girl.  What a sweetie she was.

Thank you for sharing her with us.  She was extraordinary as was your commitment to her.  You both have been a beacon of devotion.

We pray that in time your precious memories of her will comfort you.

Sending lots of golden hugs,

Angel Honeygurl's pack

Dx Osteosarcoma  3/31/10.  Amputation 7/21/10. Honey put up a valiant fight and lost her battle 9/22/10. Missing her and treasuring 9 years with our Honeygurl.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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29 January 2011 - 11:10 pm
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All of the words from each and every post made it possible to get through each day this week.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and dear friendships. 


If you'll please indulge me as I feel a need to explain my depth of love for Comet and why I needed all of you more than you ever knew. 


I never had a blog because I didn't have a cancer dog and I know how much time it takes in reading and responding them, I couldn't take away from those of you that needed support as you faced a terminal illness.  I wasn't facing a terminal illness.  Not that that makes me any better of a person but that's not why I was here.  I didn't want to really tell my story because I didn't want anyone to ever feel sorry for me. I chose my path, most of you did not.  So, I felt more of need to make each of you smile and laugh even if it was just for a moment.  I knew the feelings you felt because of all the heartache I've had in my life.  I wanted you to just for a moment forget your worries.  I know I may turned off some for seeming carefree.  But I was never free of worry.  Worry for Comet consumed me because I loved her so much.  I escaped from it when I was here. 

As you know, she wasn't a normal dog.  She really was a special needs dog.  It wasn't her disability so much, it was the fact that she'd get scared.  No one could touch her except those that she loved (only a handful) She never bit anyone ever but she'd growl and rush them.  Maybe it stemmed from her beginnings or maybe her inability to fight or flight. And then sometimes it may have been because I was so protective and she didn't need to be brave.  Whatever it was, she looked to me to keep her from harm.  

However at home with George, Rugby and I, she was a normal dog.  She was the most fun with so many rituals!  What a creature of habit she was! She really was that adorable, fun, sassy, demanding, bossy, get off the phone mommy and darnit get me another cookie dog that I gave a voice to here. 

I wonder if I needed her more than she needed me because I put her emotions above all else. We needed each other but in hindsight, maybe it was me needing her.  She adored her daddy and he adored her, but her and I had something I can’t explain.  I read her mind, she read mine.  I knew all of her animated looks and knew what they meant. I interpreted them in her words to everyone.  We fed off of each others emotions. When I was scared, she was terrified and vice-versa.  I could give her a big fat smile and she would smile back at me.  And I didn’t care that she wouldn’t let anyone touch her. She knew that no one was going to hurt her but she just didn’t need anymore love.  She’d let the vets and vet techs touch her when they needed to. 

I was never not with her.  I was only away from her a few weeks out of the 12 years. Otherwise, I was with her 24/7. She was never not more than 3 feet from me most of them time.  I’d make up reasonable excuses why I couldn’t go places to people but it was really because of her.  It wasn’t healthy but I never wanted her upset.  If she was happy, I was happy.

And I would make myself physically ill over her because I held in all that stress.  Her knee surgeries and the 24 weeks of recovery (12 for each one) almost put over the edge. (try telling that to doctors!)  I was a kook.  Our lives revolved around her needs.  And we didn’t care what people thought.   She brought us so much joy.  

And then when Rugby (shep mix) died in 2009 (which is when I found tripawds), her precious safe world was gone.  My world was shattered. I couldn’t save him for her.  My job was to make her happy and I couldn't save him.  Comet and I were everything to him. He adored Comet so he was happy to let me devote so much more to her.  He loved her so much.  She had just gotten diskospondylitis (infection of neck disc) right before Rugby died which takes a lot of time to heal and it is hard to diagnose.  Between her depression and the infection, she wasn't her old self.  It was eating me alive.  My depression, her sickness and depression was almost unbearable.  I escaped here.  

Because she needed another dog for security, I had to get a dog but for her protection and my peace of mind, it had to be a smaller dog.  But then I felt like I did an injustice to her by getting her Rocket because he didn’t dote on her, he playfully picked on her!  Rugby was security.  Rocket, was well…a monkeybutt!  Making him the nemesis of tripawds helped me emotionally cope. 

But then when I started opening my heart to Rocket, so did she!  She genuinely cared about him and started playing with him.   I have Rocket to thank partially for helping me let go of my obession with her.  He wouldn’t let me live in my “it’s all about Comet” world anymore.  He was in my face saying, “Look at me, too!”.

My fears of how she would die never escaped me.  I worried it was be tragic and I would have failed her.  I would live with guilt for the rest of my life.  And in the end, it was perfect.  She wasn't afraid of anything;  not the emergency clinic, not the vet, nothing. She was so beautiful  and calm as I looked at her in the oxygen tank while she was still alive.  

She let me have peace.  She didn't need me anymore and told me.  She told me in that language that she and I only knew.


All dogs are special.  And I had some great ones and I've seen so many here.  But there just won't be another one like Comet.


Thank you for letting me finally tell my story in full.  And I thank you for letting me find my escape here.  But more anything I thank you for letting Comet and I into your hearts.  I found people who loved their dogs as much as I did and because of that I felt loved too. 

 So, thank you.



And if I didn't make this long enough already, here's what I put up with every single night wanting a cookie.


Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Member Since:
14 April 2010
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29 January 2011 - 11:49 pm
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And that my friends is the definition of unconditional love. I think we all have shared those same feelings and sacrifices in one way or another. Most of us here found this site because of cancer, and for the most part up until that time we didn't have any worries about our buddies health, gut wrenching decisions of what do we do. I have said because of what we go through with our buddies  makes losing them harder, but our " journeys" might be anywhere from 2 months to a couple years, Comets has been 12 years, and just because it wasn't cancer doesn't mean it was any easier, probably harder, at least we knew what we were dealing with, it sounds like you never knew what was around the corner.You made sacrifices for Comet the average person wouldn't have, and that is what makes you two so special, you both lived the true meaning of love, and if anybody ever wanted to know what that meaning is, you just explained it..All Paws up for Ge'Lena and Comet, Spirit Gus and Dan   

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

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22 September 2010
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30 January 2011 - 12:25 am
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Comet was, still is, very very special.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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30 January 2011 - 5:04 am
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You truly did find people here who shared your feelings, who knew how you felt and wouldn't judge what others may consider 'disturbed' behavior. You deserve a medal for doing your job for 12 years.

I know after Trouble's illness, I've become exactly what you described. She is my heart and soul.  It is my duty to be with her and guide her through the rest of her journey.  I, too, have stopped doing some of the things that were normal before.  We would take long trips and leave her at the kennel - no more.  I rarely even take a 2-3 day trip, I think there have been 2 in the past 26 months. We once would have left her at home for hours alone, no more.  We rarely leave her at all, and never for more than a few hours.  Do I make excuses for not doing things or going places - no.  I tell folks exactly why I can't go and just let them think I am the crazy dog lady.

Thank you Ge'Lena and Comet for not being afraid to tell it like it is.  You are truly not alone, there are other twisted, crazy, dog people right along beside you, and what a wonderful crew of folks they are - I might add.

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.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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30 January 2011 - 9:02 am
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Beautifully said, G.

All dogs meet up with their humans at a time in their lives when they need to learn certain lessons the most. And silly humans, they need to learn so much don't they? That's why you all live so long, so that different dogs can come int your life and teach you all of those things that will help you be the most loving, beautiful pawson you can be. Comet had a role in your life (and always will), and even Rocket showed up to teach you about the greater world.

Everpawdy is welcome here, it doesn't matter if your dog has a deformed leg, missing leg, cancer or no cancer, whatever. Having unconditional love for our pack members is the only requirement, which everypawdy who stops by here seems to fulfill.

As for crazy, devoted love beyond measure....well, let's just say that my folks sold everything they owned and hit the road to be with me 24/7... talk about nuts!  Tripawds was founded by, and for, all of the dog crazy humans out there... like them, you, and all of our Tripawds family!

And we're so glad your're a part of it. Thank you for sharing so much of your journey, your time and your humor with us. You always have a place here.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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