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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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I lost my beautiful Lily yesterday :(
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New Jersey
Forum Posts: 501
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27 December 2011
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2 April 2016 - 4:40 pm
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Hello Everyone,

I used to be on this wonderful site everyday, a few times a day for at least 3 years. Unfortunately I got side tracked with a brain aneurysm and brain surgery during this last year. My beautiful greyhound, Lily, had bone cancer in her front leg. She had it amputated on December 16, 2011. We were very fortunate to discover it on a Monday and have her amputation on Thursday. She had 5 rounds of Carbo. Lily is my warrior princess-she lived a good life. She has been having back problems for 5 weeks, and we've tried everything. I had to make the decision to let her go yesterday-she hadn't been able to get up for 17 hours. I still am torturing myself with this decision. I was bringing everything to her bed during the last 3 out of 5 weeks. Using a harness to help her outside-her back legs were crisscrossing and she couldn't steer herself. Her back was so sore. I didn't want to take her to the hospital for MRI and surgery because she so shy, frightened, and she's 13. I just couldn't put her through that. We have had a vet coming to the house for 5 weeks-steroids, cold laser, acupuncture, etc. I am questioning myself about putting her to sleep yesterday; I could have had her longer and I just know that she wanted to be with us-but that's selfish I guess. I tried to get her up 3 or 4 times yesterday to see if she could walk, but when I tried she gave me the"don't do that or I may have to snap at you" look. I have loved all my dogs dearly-Lily though was my special baby. I think it was because of fighting bone cancer with her. My heart is broken, and I feel so guilty for making the decision. I am heartbroken as many of you have been. I've been so fortunate to have her for so long-I would have kept her in her bed-bringing food to her, bringing water to her, and loving her. But she couldn't get up to go to the bathroom-I could have handled that for awhile-or maybe she would have eventually been able to get up again. I'm a mess-thanks so much for listening, and thanks so much for being there throughout the years. Please say a prayer for my beautiful warrior princess, Lily.



Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.

Columbia, MO
Forum Posts: 483
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10 December 2011
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2 April 2016 - 5:55 pm
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I'm so sorry you lost your beautiful Lily. My heart is just breaking for you. Lily had her amputation just a few days after my Daisy. I too had to make that decision for Daisy last summer as she was losing her mobility to advanced arthritis. Her spirit was still so strong but her body was just too broken so I know that was not an easy decision for you.

The days ahead will be hard but know we are thinking of you.


Marla and Biscuit (and Spirit Daisy, too)

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

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2 April 2016 - 6:47 pm
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I am so so sorry to hear about Lily. She was a true Warrior Princess.  It was the most selfless gift that you gave her.  I know how hard it is to make that decision.  Know your girl was met by many and she is healthy & happy and waiting for you on that Bridge.  It is going to take awhile for the grief.  No one knows how long or when it doesn't hurt so much. 

You didn't want her to suffer and when she gave you that look she was telling you even though her spirit and heart was there her body was tired.  You made her whole again and pain free.  I know we would do anything to help our babies.  Watch for Lily's signs that she is ok.  There will be some.  And sometimes it takes us awhile to see them.  Sometimes they have to send a slap upside the head for us to see it.

I hope you are feeling ok yourself.  I knew we hadn't heard from you in awhile.  Please take care of yourself as well.  Lean on us in this sad time. 


Michelle & Angel Sassy


Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
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."

Forum Posts: 111
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7 November 2015
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2 April 2016 - 7:16 pm
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Im so sorry Joan for your loss of sweet Lily. 


Deb, Belle and Angel Zeus

Schofield, WI
Forum Posts: 1457
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13 August 2015
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2 April 2016 - 8:04 pm
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I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful Warrior Lily.  You gave her the last and greatest gift of love we can give them the gift of release from her broken body and a journey to the bridge where she can once again run happy and whole to await you. You gave her the gift of no more poking and prodding that she feared.  You gave her a lifetime of love.  You will grieve fully because you loved fully.  Please know this entire Tripawd nation grieves with you in this hardest of times.  We know how this hurts your soul.  You and Lily have a bond that can never be broken.  She was a special girl and will be with you always.  Sending you much Love and Hugs!

Linda & Spirit Mighty Max

Westminster, MD
Forum Posts: 1399
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31 August 2013
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2 April 2016 - 8:25 pm
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Oh Joan, 

I couldn't believe I was reading this tonight, I am so very sorry for your loss of sweet, Lily...... She was one of my heroes here within this wonderful community, and I know she was a hero for many others fighting this awful disease. And you know what? She DID beat this crappy disease.

Please do not feel guilty, you gave her the best life possible, and did everything you could as well...... You knew in your heart that she had enough, and her quality of life was gone. And I agree, our Tripawds are the most special dogs we go through life with, because of the journey we share and fight together with them, but it is more than that too. 

All our hearts are broken tonight, but I do hope in time, all the happy memories you shared with her with fill your heart with joy and ease the terrible heartache.

Keeping you in my thoughts, and sending healing hugs...... And a purple heart for Lily 💜🐾


Bonnie, Angel Polly, Pearl, and Zuzu

Livermore, CA

Forum Posts: 4042
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18 October 2009
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2 April 2016 - 8:28 pm
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Oh Joan, I couldn't believe it when I saw the topic title. I'm so sorry that Lily had to leave you and go on ahead.

I think your guilt is part of your grief.  Reading your post it is clear you did everything for your girl.  There comes a time when the body just can't take anymore.  You did an unselfish thing yesterday because of the love you have for Lily. 

It is really, really hard to decide to stop treatment.  It seems pretty clear that after 5 weeks of treatment without any improvement that Lily's body was just done.

Lily will live forever in your heart and so will always be by your side.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 501
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27 December 2011
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2 April 2016 - 10:26 pm
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This is why I love Tripawds so much! Your words and wisdom are such a huge help. Lily is my hero, as are all your furbabies. Marla, I'm so sorry about your sweet Daisy. It's such a hard decision, and they are so precious to us. Michelle, it's so good to hear from you. I've been asking Lily all day to send me a sign that she's all right. Did Sassy send you signs? I'm doing so much better, but it's been a tricky recovery.Thanks soooo much! Thank you Deb and Linda for your kind words. Thank you, Bonnie, she was my hero too. I kept telling her that this week. I so admired her spirit and strength. Our tripawds are so special-I've loved all my dogs dearly-she has touched me like no other. Just don't know what I'll do without her. Karen, it's so good to hear from you!! Thank you for your kind words-especially about guilt-I think it may be part of my grief; I guess I didn't realize that. I know Lily will always live in my heart, but I so miss her velvety fur and giving her kisses. 

Thank you all again for being there for me.

Sending love and hugs to you, 

Joan and Angel Lily

Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.


Forum Posts: 21441
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2 April 2016 - 11:17 pm
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Joan, our beloved Joan and Lily,
When we lose a family member it breaks our hearts. We know the agonizing grief that engulfs you. Our grief is compunded when we've had the privilege...the true privilege...of meeting a true inspirational hero...a true beacon of hope.

Although you and Lily have been here for over four years, I didn't have the privilege of getting to know you until Happy Hannah and I joined in. February 2013. And Lily kept "beating the odds". Liky kept blowing statistics out of the water! Lily gave us all hope! Maybe we coukd be the next Lily!

And here we are, over FOUR YEARS after that nasty piece of crap disease caused that amputation...OVER FOUR YEARS LATER...AND.....AT THIRTEEN YEARS OLD on top of that, giving her a magnificent send off fit for the hero she is!!

No dear Joan, you have NOTHING to feel guilty about and EVERYTHING to be proud of for having the COURAGE, the SELFLESS COURAGE and SOUL DEEP LOVE to release her from an earthly body that no longer served her. At this loint Joan, there was no getting better for Lily. She was letting you know that. It was only goi g to get worse. Sure, yiu would jave cared for her every need until you collapsed! But it wasn't about your ability to do that, it was about her ability to no longer be able to have a quality life. With a broken heart, you were able to make that distinction. With a lovi g heart you were able to help her transition to the other side of this life...whole and healthy, rinning like the wind on all fours!! I'm sure all the Greys are up at the Bridge javing races everyday. I know Ingrid's Nixon loves javing another athlete to compete against!

Lily had more love and joy and happiness during her time with you than anyone could ever imagine possible. She didn't need to hang around in discomfort just to get more had plenty of that!

Lily took yiur love with her. She left her love here with you. And she left us ALL an incredible legacy of HOPE!!! OMD!! So much hope!!

And the whole time you were on this journey with Lily and facing challenges of your own, yiu were still here cheering us all on, sharing all your little "smiley" icon things! I always looked for to Happy Hannah getting ine of your "applauses" ...your smileys! 🙂

Lily may be a little busy at the Bridge to connect with yiu right away. Or, and this happens sometimes too, your grief is so great right now, she can't get through. But she will! PROMISE!!!
My tavlet is starting to freeze up so I'm going to jave to co e back.

For now though, I'm sending you love and I'm wrapping you up safely in the hugs of your entire Tripawd Family. Surrounding you with a KNOWING, a Soul deep KNOWING that Lily jas her quality back and is soooooo grateful to you for every si gle second she was loved by you

These are for you Liky! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂laughingclapclapclapclap

Sally and My Eternal Light 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!

The Rainbow Bridge

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3 April 2016 - 8:01 am
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Ohhhhhh Joan, I'm truly sorry, I was shocked to read this. You and Lily have been a part of our community for what seems like forever, it's hard to believe she is an angel now. A beautiful, sweet, shy angel who will never, ever leave your side. I'm so sorry.

The decision to release our beloved dogs from their broken bodies is the hardest one we make in our lives. In time your head and your heart will connect and you'll know for certain you made the best call for her. Right now, give yourself time to grieve, to cry, to remember how much she touched you-- and became part of the beautiful fabric of this community that gives hope to newcomers as they travel the same scary path. Lily's legacy will never, ever be forgotten.

Please share her life and photos with us, we want to celebrate heaven's newest angel and honor her amazing, remarkable life before and after she joined the Tripawds Nation. 

With much love,

Rene, Jim, Wyatt Ray , Spirit Jerry & the entire Tripawds Nation

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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Forum Posts: 3624
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3 April 2016 - 8:38 am
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To answer your question about did Sassy send a sign.  I think she did the first few months of my grief I was so heart broken & cried so much and missed her terribly I know I probably missed them.  After awhile I started to find pennies, nickels & dimes from her.   My mom had a dream about her.  I think that is how she finally let me know she was ok because I was so grief stricken.  Like I said sometimes it takes a slap up side the head. 

It took Hannah to put a rainbow directly over her ramp for Sally to know she was ok.  We all miss those signs at first.   I know it is hard.  I so wish my friends didn't have to go through all of this.  This is the one part of the journey that sucks the most and is the hardest.  Because even though we are here for you it feels like you are so alone.  Because it is you that has to heal and that is the most personal part of the journey.

Thinking of you


Michelle & Angel Sassy


Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
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."

Forum Posts: 1601
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12 March 2013
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3 April 2016 - 9:16 am
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Oh, Joan! I am so very sorry to hear about Lily. As you said, she was a true Tripawd Hero...not just to you, but to all of the members of this family who knew her. It will take time, and probably lots of it, to get a perspective on Lily's life and the void her passing is leaving for you. You can comfort yourself in knowing that you did absolutely everything you could for your girl, and she knew that.

When you mentioned the "I may have to snap at you" look, it brought back memories of Murphy. He would never, ever have thought about snapping at anyone, but his last day the pain was such that he was doing the same thing. Just like Murphy did, Lily was telling you that it was time.

As far as signs go, we do find the occasional penny from him, but the most important one was the day we handed off his yellow Speedo to another Tripawd (Jasper) who lives near us. Just as we were giving Jasper the Floatcoat, I looked down and there was a grungy penny right at my foot...a sure sign that Murphy was telling us that it was OK for Jasper to have it because he wasn't going to need it any more. He.was already swimming without it!

Kathi and the Turbotail April Angel...and the Labradork

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 501
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27 December 2011
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3 April 2016 - 3:41 pm
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I can't thank you all enough. I just can't write right now because I can't stop crying. I will be in touch soon-my heart is broken, and I know that you are all right-I just can't stop crying...

Love you all,

Joan and my Angel Lily

Rene, could you send me the info about how to post pics again. I always had trouble with that.

Our beautiful Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg on 12/14/11 at age 8 and had amp on 12/16/11. She completed 5 rounds of carbo. She was so brave and kicked cancer's butt daily! She lived life fully for 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days after her amp. My angel is a warrior princess. I miss her so much.

Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3554
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13 June 2013
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3 April 2016 - 7:23 pm
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I am a little late to offer my condolences but I am so sorry for your loss. Lily was a true warrior and we are SO proud of her (and all that you went through) .  I remember when you posted about your own health issues. I am so sad for you.... Lily will live on forever here and in your heart. 

Sending you so much love .... 

alison with spirit shelby 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

Forum Posts: 1456
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2 April 2013
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3 April 2016 - 8:23 pm
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Oh, Joan, I'm so, so sorry about your sweet Lily!  I remember your posts when I started here with Murphy.  What a true Warrior for such a long time!  She truly beat this horrible disease!  And you did so much to help her all the way through the end...please know that you gave her the greatest gift ever - the gift of your love and peace and she's whole and pain-free again!


Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs


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