Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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2 May 2015
Teri, my heart goes out to you! I know exactly what you're going through. It's a leap of faith, getting that next dog and starting all over again.
It's been a year since I started this post and brought baby Leo home. He's now 14 months old. Such a character--and the EXACT opposite of Max in so many ways. He's truly his own guy, which has helped me get over the whole silly "replacement" idea.
We honestly had a sort of rocky start. Leo is quite independent. As the most adorable, fluffy, irresistible puppy ever, it was hard that he wasn't cuddly. In fact, he was more piranha than puppy! Max bonded with me instantly and sat on my lap and rested in his chin on my shoulder and lay on my feet. Leo wouldn't sleep on my bed, wouldn't hide behind me in iffy situations, would flee from me and run eagerly to total strangers. The play biting was bad, he jumped up on everyone, he pulled on the leash so hard that I'd wipe out on the ice, he was impossible to wear out and would whine after a 10-mile hike, like it just wasn't enough. He started mornings just whining for his walk. He was so demanding! I almost thought about taking him back to the breeder, thinking we were mismatched or something. Here I was, putting in hours and hours and miles and miles (we hike at least 8 miles every SINGLE day off leash, even through the most frigid, snowy winter I can ever remember)--giving my life over to this little fella--and no seeming reward for it. I finally called the breeder one day in tears, and she came and got him and took him for two days. When she brought him back, she said, "He's fine. He's a great dog. He wants to fit into your life. YOU NEED TO LET HIM. You need to be a leader."
That was just a little before his first birthday, and that was our turning point. He unequivocally became MY dog--just with my changed mindset. Now he's always at my feet. He snuggles up to me. He jumps on the bed in the morning and wakes me up with kisses. He gives me ecstatic greetings when I'm away for the interminable period of time it takes to run the garbage out and come back inside. When I work on the floor with my laptop, he rests his head on my knee. On hikes when he takes off after a deer scent (used to cause me no end of anguish), he comes running back joyously. We have each other's hearts now. He's my 24/7 partner, my bestie, my fella. He's licking my hand at this very moment.
Leo may have been a little bit of a project for someone like me, who is quiet and mild mannered, but there was still some resistance in my heart, I think. Don't get me wrong, I loved him from the start and wanted another strong bond, but when it didn't come as easy as it did with Max, I got tripped up. Looking back, five months after Max's death may have been a little early, but from today's perspective, it's just perfect. I love my Leo to pieces and am glad I took the plunge. Couldn't be without him now.
I think it all just works out. "Have faith. Do the right thing. Have more faith."
I wish you the best! Can't wait to hear what transpires...
22 February 2013
Oh Susanna, you have done an exquisite job of chronicling your relationship with Leo. I laughed as I learned about his delightful personality and I had a few tears of joy as I read about your "epiphany"!
WOW! What an epiphany it was too!!!
If this doesn't cement that Leo is tuned into your energy on a Soul to Soul level, I don't know what is!! Max sent him to you to FIT INTO YOUR LIFE...TO BE YOUR DOG!!! That's why puppy Leo (who has the wisdom of an old Soul) wasn't avle ro connect! He KNEW his purpose and just wasn't able to show it to you until you were open to it in that Soul energy level!
This is absolutely beautiful to read!!!! This is a "go to" post for anyone who second guesses when their Angels send them their "selection".
Alison's relationship with Jasper Lily is another one that blossomed into an unbreakable bond.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share this journey of enlightenment Leo (and Max) have taken you on!! We NEED pictures!!!!
Lots of 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!
13 June 2013
Yes ... I have been re-reading this post and while I can also say, it wasn't "love at first site" with me and Jasper Lily... I think it also has to do with the fact that I was older and wiser and more jaded. I had just lost my heart dog. A dog I rescued and never once thought that she would ever leave me.
So when I met little Jasper Lily with her massive baggage and my massive broken heart ... we took a good time to come together. I still compare her to Shelby ... like why can't you be more like Shelby (and not bark at everything). But also, she's not like Shelby in that I never worry she will eat out of the trash. She doesn't destroy stuff for the most part. Shelby did that well into her senior years. Even on three, she managed to pull the trash apart and get coffee grounds everywhere!!!
The love I had with Shelby will never be replaced. It is a bond that will never be broken. But once I opened my heart and mind to allowing love in again... Jasper wormed her way in. When you see us together, you would think we were the best of friends from day one. Our love story grows stronger each day. I now tell her I love you in English (Jasper is from Mexico so I would only tell her in Spanish).
Allowing the vulnerability to let love in again is the greatest gift we can offer ourselves.
I also spent hours on Petfinder ... all the dogs looked like Shelby. So I found a different search for a black and tan so I knew I wouldn't compare. I had gone to meet a blond dog and tried to make her into Shelby ... hold her like a baby and it felt wrong.
When I met Jasper ... it didn't feel 100% right but it didn't feel wrong. It felt new. And I didn't love her at first. And I wanted to send her back (not proud). But I stuck with it for a month and then I think it was Sally who suggested to me that perhaps I stop trying w/Jasper if I can't give my all to her and I immediately had an emotional reaction and was like - nope, my dog now! And that was it. And the rest is history!
I love my black and tan girl... I know that when we have to say goodbye, it will be horribly painful but I will know, as I did w/Shelby, that she had the best life. Hugs!!!!
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
19 July 2016
awwww, thank you everyone. I loved reading all your stories. It appears that all our dogs at the Bridge have a well-developed sense of humor about what is needed in our lives, particularly in the line of new furbabies. The lessons always appear at the perfect right time, whether we think so or not. From what I've read around here, they're all laughing their individual and collective wiggly butts off at us.
And of course, Be More Dog comes in here somewhere too. When I got Otis and then Tess, I never ever, not even once, sat there analyzing my bond with them. I probably would have thought myself silly if I did.
I really should have seen the "Be More Dog " coming. It is exactly that. You're right I would have thought is silly to analyze my bond with Isa. That said, our bond was not instantaneous. She was my first dog (as an adult) and it took some time for us to figure the other out. Even more time (and obedience lessons, ostensibly for her but I was the one that got the education) for me to figure out what the hell I was doing.
and "Be More Dog " is not just being in the moment but trusting the moment is exactly right exactly as it is. I think it's a big club of humans that have trouble with that one.
Susanna, I love your and Leo's story. Thank you so much for all the wonderful detail. Your epiphany sounds remarkably similar to Alison's. Stop trying to force it and let them be them and you be you and that's what makes it work. (PICTURES! and now you have to post both puppy and grown Leo pictures!)
I think it also has to do with the fact that I was older and wiser and more jaded. I had just lost my heart dog. A dog I rescued and never once thought that she would ever leave me.
Alison, are you sure we are not the same person? I have some doubts about the wiser but I have to fully claim the other two. I never thought Isa would leave me. I think on some level I managed to maintain that even after the piece-of-crap-disease diagnosis. My rationale is I'm a cancer survivor, my dad survived cancer. I can't say my mom survived cancer but that was not what directly killed her. So of course Isa would survive too. And in some ways she hasn't and won't but in others ... we all know the story.
Last summer, I'm certain it was after Isa's diagnosis, I was at an outdoor art fair here. One booth had a big ol' dog at it, don't remember what kind now, and of course I stopped to say hello. One must never pass a furball without greeting him/her. I said something or other, no idea what, and the pupster's dad said "you only get one love." I told him I didn't believe that, we get lots of loves in our life. I do believe that (I do, I do, I do). But it is a huge leap to open our hearts up again, once they've been ripped from our chests. And trust is not exactly my strong suit, never has been.
I've rambled on for possibly too long now. But I so appreciate everyone's input. It has helped. I knew long before this that a new someone that looked like Isa would be a Very Bad Idea. And I will confess to having had my eye on a particular "someone" for a while now, seems to have stood out from the crowd. Once I am convinced the bathroom will get done, I plan on meeting him. From there, we'll see what we shall see. Or, alternatively, we'll see what Isa has in mind. One day at a time, right?
Thanks again all. I love this place!
Right rear leg amp 7/12/16 due to OSA. Metastatic lesion on her right front leg, January 2017. Joined the Winter Warriors January 19, 2017. Run free my sweet girl.