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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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let me tell you about my best friend Gertie
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Member Since:
1 May 2022
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1
5 July 2022 - 4:39 pm
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Sorry this is a little long. i tried to do justice for my girl.

Gertie grew up on a llama farm in Ohio. I don’t know a lot about this time in her life, but she was loved and very well cared for. I think she was primarily outside and especially so once another dog had puppies. My aunt has llamas and was buying several from the farm. She let me know about Gertie and shortly thereafter we went back to the farm to meet Gertie and the rest is history. Gertie was 3 when I adopted her and brought her back to Indiana. She is the first dog i have owned. 

Initially it was a big change and a little frustrating for both of us. Gertie was now more of an inside dog although we definitely spent a lot of time outside. I built a fence so she could be outside more. It was not long before we had met almost the entire neighborhood and I don’t think anyone met Gertie and didn’t fall in love with her. 

At some point i realized how perfect of a match Gertie was for me. It's hard to explain but we connected on a really deep level where just being together made everything else melt away. 

It wasn’t that long after I got her that the pandemic hit. And honestly I think this was almost all positive for Gertie. I was around so much, and even though i was working, she could spend so much time outside or come lay by me whenever she wanted. The only downside to the pandemic was that we didn’t get to do much traveling and sadly this is something we never really got to do.

Gertie had always had a limp and she never really just walked, it was something of a joke in the neighborhood that when we went on walks she would do a lot of lying down. One of the first things she would do when meeting people - and this was true for the first time I met her as well - is she would lay on her back and request a bellyrub. And once you started she would gently put her paw on your arm to keep you there. 

I had the limp looked at previously and they had suggested surgery might be an option. In February 2021 she started limping worse and after another doctor visit, we got an appointment for a surgery consult but they couldn’t get us in for many months. In September we got a call that there was an opening if we could come in the next few days. We did, and discovered that Gertie had torn CCL in both of her back legs. We had a TPLO done on the left leg that September.And decided to do the right leg the next spring.

On March 1st, I took Gertie in to have TPLO done on her right leg.After about a week, she had stopped getting better. We did a series of antibiotics but that did not help. In mid April, she had a joint lavage to try to get to the bottom of the infection. On April 28th I received the devastating news that she had an aggressive form of cancer called histiocytic sarcoma in that same right leg but it had also spread to her lymph nodes, liver, and lungs. We had her leg removed about a week later, and around 2 weeks after that we did our first round of chemo.

At the followup appointment on June 3rd where we had planned to do another round of chemo, we were informed that her bloodwork had came back pretty negatively and they would not do chemo. I should convert her treatment to more of a hospice approach.Obviously this is not what I wanted to hear. I sought out some alternative treatments and took extra time off work to spend with Gertie. I was determined to do everything i could for as long as I could. But on June 21st, Gertie passed away.

i don't know if this is common but i still can almost feel her presence and it is comforting. i have gotten a lot of support from family and friends but i don't know if I'll ever get over this.

if you would like to see a lot of pictures of Gertie here's my Instagram.... i hope that's ok to post. https://www.ins.....m/aeakers/

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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5 July 2022 - 4:54 pm
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, Tears are flowing and I want to come back when I can get my thoughts  together a little better. And also I want to go look at her pictures  so I can absorb the essence of sweet Gertie even bette

You've honored  her so beautifully  here.  This stood out thpugh and really does encompass who you two were as o e heart.....

  we connected on a really deep level where just being together made everything else melt away

With love..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!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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5 July 2022 - 10:17 pm
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Woah I was not expecting to see this tonight but I'm so glad you decided to share your and Gertie's story with us. Thank you for this glimpse into your once in a lifetime dog.

I don't believe we ever get over losing anyone we love, it just gets easier not to cry when you think about them. In time we find it easier to remember the happy times. Give yourself that space to allow those feelings of sadness, it's understandable, she was so special to you.

Gertie found you for a reason. She got you out into the world, introduced you to new friends, showed you that it's ok to stop everything for a belly rub and a spiritual connection that goes deeper than words. She was your wise teacher then and now those lessons will carry on into your life for all time. In that sense she is still with you, and always will be.

Our hearts are with you, we are so sorry for your loss. And yes it's perfectly fine to share her photos, I'm so glad you did. Thank you and remember that once you're part of this community you always are so don't be a stranger. Stop by and let us know how you're doing.

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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6 July 2022 - 10:27 am
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Thank you for sharing the story of you and Gertie.

I know it must have been shocking and devastating to find your girl had passed, but she passed at home and on her own terms.

i don't know if this is common but i still can almost feel her presence and it is comforting

My Tri-Pug heart dog Maggie passed 12 years ago June 2nd.  Mag is always with me and now is a source of peace and strength in my life.

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

Member Since:
1 May 2022
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6 July 2022 - 1:28 pm
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thanks! that's really how i feel about Gertie. i just read Maggie's Story, she sounds like such an incredible dog and an amazing fighter and the way you wrote about her painted a really vivid picture

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6 July 2022 - 1:30 pm
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just in general I'm so glad i was able to be apart of this community even though Gertie was a tripawd for a pretty short amount of time. this is an incredible place. 

Member Since:
18 June 2022
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6 July 2022 - 2:37 pm
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aeakers said
Sorry this is a little long. i tried to do justice for my girl.

Gertie grew up on a llama farm in Ohio. I don’t know a lot about this time in her life, but she was loved and very well cared for. I think she was primarily outside and especially so once another dog had puppies. My aunt has llamas and was buying several from the farm. She let me know about Gertie and shortly thereafter we went back to the farm to meet Gertie and the rest is history. Gertie was 3 when I adopted her and brought her back to Indiana. She is the first dog i have owned. 

Initially it was a big change and a little frustrating for both of us. Gertie was now more of an inside dog although we definitely spent a lot of time outside. I built a fence so she could be outside more. It was not long before we had met almost the entire neighborhood and I don’t think anyone met Gertie and didn’t fall in love with her. 

At some point i realized how perfect of a match Gertie was for me. It's hard to explain but we connected on a really deep level where just being together made everything else melt away. 

It wasn’t that long after I got her that the pandemic hit. And honestly I think this was almost all positive for Gertie. I was around so much, and even though i was working, she could spend so much time outside or come lay by me whenever she wanted. The only downside to the pandemic was that we didn’t get to do much traveling and sadly this is something we never really got to do.

Gertie had always had a limp and she never really just walked, it was something of a joke in the neighborhood that when we went on walks she would do a lot of lying down. One of the first things she would do when meeting people - and this was true for the first time I met her as well - is she would lay on her back and request a bellyrub. And once you started she would gently put her paw on your arm to keep you there. 

I had the limp looked at previously and they had suggested surgery might be an option. In February 2021 she started limping worse and after another doctor visit, we got an appointment for a surgery consult but they couldn’t get us in for many months. In September we got a call that there was an opening if we could come in the next few days. We did, and discovered that Gertie had torn CCL in both of her back legs. We had a TPLO done on the left leg that September.And decided to do the right leg the next spring.

On March 1st, I took Gertie in to have TPLO done on her right leg.After about a week, she had stopped getting better. We did a series of antibiotics but that did not help. In mid April, she had a joint lavage to try to get to the bottom of the infection. On April 28th I received the devastating news that she had an aggressive form of cancer called histiocytic sarcoma in that same right leg but it had also spread to her lymph nodes, liver, and lungs. We had her leg removed about a week later, and around 2 weeks after that we did our first round of chemo.

At the followup appointment on June 3rd where we had planned to do another round of chemo, we were informed that her bloodwork had came back pretty negatively and they would not do chemo. I should convert her treatment to more of a hospice approach.Obviously this is not what I wanted to hear. I sought out some alternative treatments and took extra time off work to spend with Gertie. I was determined to do everything i could for as long as I could. But on June 21st, Gertie passed away.

i don't know if this is common but i still can almost feel her presence and it is comforting. i have gotten a lot of support from family and friends but i don't know if I'll ever get over this.

if you would like to see a lot of pictures of Gertie here's my Instagram.... i hope that's ok to post. https://www.ins.....m/aeakers/

  

She had a wonderful family life with you, what a gift for her.

I too have had many 'presence' experiences with my dogs that had passed or were very ill while I was travelling. I believe we are connected because the Rainbow Bridge is life and spirit through God.

Many years ago, I was travelling while my parents cared for my puppy girl Gemma, and one night I felt her walking on my bed. I turned on the light and saw paw prints in the pattern she always made when snuggling in. icon_question It turned out she was critically ill with a pancreatic attack and a paralysis tick at that point in time. My parents did not want to tell me in case I got too upset and came home unnecessarily. Apparently my little Gemma decided to tell me in her own way. I did "talk" to her that night. She got to live a long life! sp_hearticon2

It takes time for us to heal. When my dog Bernie reached the end of relief from pain meds and had enough, I held him as my vet put him to sleep. He visited me for a long, long time. I think he was caring for me from over the rainbow bridge because in reality he was finally pain free but loved his mama and had to keep comforting her. sp_hearticon2 Man's best friend is for always.sp_hearticon2

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8
6 July 2022 - 4:31 pm
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Thank you for posting the lovely way Gemma and Ber ie have made sure you felt their presence.  The power of the eternal energy  and light once earth clothes are shed ......truly of a divine nature.

"Stubborn" Pug Maggie ALWAYS has a very big presence around here!

Looking at Gertie's pictures just warms my heart.  I could "feel" her gentleness, as well as see the wisdom in her eyes.  You were the hooman she was born to be with and she got to kmow the joy of being loved AND happy.

To be able to write this post and share everything with us, could not have been easy.  Yet I know there were smiles through the tears as you recalled  the sacred time you two had together.   As hard as it was to accept everything leading up to her transition,  Gertie knew you would do every poss for her (and you sure did), and when she knew her Soul had accomplished  her earth's purpose she flew free on her terms.

It will take time at your own pace, but the happy memories  you shared with sweet Gertie will eventually  help push the sadness further and further away.  That is what she wants.  She wants you to relish in all the treas times ypu had together.

And she absolutely  will connect with you in her own Gertie specific way.  It may be dreams, it may be "hearing" her or getting a quick "glimpse" of her out of the corner of your eye.  Some find pennies  that were not there moments before.  Some find a white feather.  Some glance up at the midnight  sky to see a brilliant sparkling  star that catches your eye.  That would be Gertie letting you know she's watching  over you.

And yes, Gertie is absolutely a beautiful  Tripawd RockStar who will always be in our hearts and a furever beloved  family member here!

Surrounding you with Gertie's eternal light and love

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  Screenshot_20220706-180711_Chrome.jpgImage Enlarger

  

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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