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:
What does it mean to Be More Dog?
Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
I had to let Zoe go yesterday, after a long hard battle. I apologize in advance for rambling, I don't think I'm of sound mind right now.
I wanted this to be a tribute and celebration of her life because I think that's how she would have wanted it.
Our story began when I came home to visit my family on Memorial Day weekend in 2001. My sister had found Zoe earlier that week, walking down the middle of a busy road. The car ahead of her almost hit Zoe, my sister opened the door to check to see if she was okay and Zoe jumped in her car. My sister took Zoe to my parents house (a.k.a the animal sanctuary) so she could find Zoe's owner. I loved Zoe from the moment I first saw her and as soon as I got back home I started asking my ex-husband "can we keep her? can we keep her?" No one claimed her, so I got my Zoebear.
Zoe was a handful, she was a mischievous, free spirit. She was an escape artist, climbing barbed wire fences, getting out of her crate, opening doors in the house setting off the security system , breaking through the invisible fence etc etc. My Dad nicknamed her "The Hunter" because she was always trying to drag something in, squirrels, birds, rabbits, opossum. She was a force to be reckoned with. She was definitely an alpha dog and even hiked her leg sometimes to pee. Really her only fault was she didn't get along well with other animals, I'm not sure if it was because she was so strong willed or if she didn't realize she was a dog. Luckily for the most part she mellowed with age but she still had her moments.
People on the other hand were a different story, she never met a stranger and she truly believed that when people came over they were there to see her and when we went on walks everyone in the world was suppose to acknowledge her and she demanded it. She was great with kids, She was like the petting zoo animal in the neighborhood and at the park. She tolerated every Halloween costume and outfit my nieces and I put her in(although she drew the line with hats and shoes). She loved all people but I was fortunate to be one she chose to be her main person. She loved my ex-husband and my parents but at the end of the day I was the one that she clung too, for that I was truly blessed.
I'm sure I am a little biased but she was one of the smartest dogs I have every known. My Mom swears she understood every word you said and sometimes I kind of thought it was true. She could communicate and tell you exactly what she wanted as well. She never really misbehaved but she knew when she had gone too far just by getting "the look". She always understood when you didn't have time or were too tired to do what she wanted. She was always up for walks but would settle for just snuggling on the couch. She never chewed up anything other than her toys or had accidents in the house. Even her last few days when she was so weak she could barely stand she made it to the door, I would help her outside and she would do her business hop a few steps and lay down and I would carry her back inside.
Some of my happiest memories are when just the two of us would hike thru the woods. We spent endless hours checking out the park system when we lived in Ohio. She loved going to the lake, Grandma's house and going to pick my nieces up from school. It always amazed me how when she was in the car she would start to get excited when she was getting close by these places. She loved to be outdoors as long as someone was with her, otherwise she was just a big lap dog, couch potato.
I can't explain to most people the bond that we shared, although I think people on here get it. She was with me the better part of my adult life, she was my constant through good and bad times. She was always there for me. She was my rock and my soft place to land at the end of a bad day. She brought me comfort and peace of mind when she was near me. It probably isn't healthy or normal but there were many times when I would be out with friends or on a date and I would think I would much rather be home with Zoe. I would go on awesome tropical vacations and I couldn't wait to get home to see her. I'm not sure whose separation anxiety was worse, mine or hers.
I knew the day would come. I have spent the past month or so coming to terms with it. The chemo wasn't working, new tumors had popped up. She began to slow down and for the past couple weeks she got finicky with her food, that is when I knew. Zoe is mostly lab so food was her true love in life. We spent the last couple of weeks at my parents house because that was one her happy places. That is where we got our start so I felt like we had gone full circle. She fought hard, she made it to her 6 month ampuversary +9 days. I was so proud of her but I knew she was getting tired of fighting. It was hard but I knew I was doing the right thing by letting her go. She could barely move when I took her to the vet, but when it came time to say goodbye she lifted her head up and nuzzled me like she was trying to comfort me and let me know it was okay.
I am just devastated right now, my heart is broken but if I had to do it all again I would. I thank God for every day she was in my life.
I love you my sweet girl.
25 April 2007
Rambling is what we're all about here. We are so sorry to hear the news of your losing Zoe. Please try to dfind some peace knowing that by sharing her story here you are bound to help others facing the same difficult situations with their own dogs.
Zoe was a true hero, who now runs free of pain. Bless you for all you did to give her the best life you could.
1 January 2010
What a beautiful tribute to Zoe. She was blessed to have such an awesome mom - your love shines through in your words about life with her. And you were blessed to have her. I'm so sorry to hear this news. And we're sending lots of hugs your way.
Holly and Holly's mom
Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!
2 June 2009
15 January 2009
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and memories of Zoe. She fought the good fight with you at her side, loving her through it all. That is what it is all about and that love will always be there.
Take good care as you grieve and one day you will smile more than cry. She is in your heart always.
Ginny & Angel Paris
Grateful for every moment we had with Paris…..no regrets!
Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!
28 November 2008
11 November 2008
So sorry to hear about Zoe. Take comfort in the fact that she is now free of pain. We are thinking of you during this difficult time.
Licks and Leans,
Nova and Mom Sue
Dane Mom Sue at nova.tripawds.com and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!
30 January 2010
I am writing with tears in my eyes but with a true appreciation for the love you shared with such a great friend. She will always walk by your side in spirit. I can only hope to have half of the courage and strength that you have shown when it comes time for me to make the same decision on behalf of my best girl. Take care of yourself and take comfort in knowing you were there for her when she needed you. I'm sending you a big hug.
Laura and 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.
13 July 2009
7 August 2009
Oh Karin. I'm crying as I write this----sweet Zoe our ampuversary mate. You were one of our first friends here in Tripawds world, and each ampuversary we felt you two were there with us. I was worrying about Zoe---I hadn't seen you post in awhile. We missed posting Romeo's six month ampuversary. We were all in VT to celebrate. Now I'm kicking myself for not posting on the 17th and then sending the usual shout out to Zoe on the 18th!
Your tribute is lovely. We loved learning more about her. Oh I'm just so sorry. But yes, every day you two shared together is a gift. And it sounds like you were Zoe's hero as much as she was yours. You've done the brave and loving thing to set her free. Brave and loving, but so hard I know. I know Zoe really enjoyed her life these past few months. I'm so sorry if it was difficult at the end.
We'll be saying a prayer for you and Zoe. She's your guardian angel now. Run free sweet Zoe! We'll still celebrate the 18th of each month in honor of you both. Please take care Karin. Love, Eve, Sylvia, Romeo, and Greta
2 November 2009
We are so saddened to hear about your sweet Zoe. Your tribute to her is so beautiful - your love for her and her love for you so complete. She's still with you even though she may be not be with you physically. I'm sure she's looking out for you every step of the way. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Kami (Mackenzie's Mom)
My sweet golden Mackenzie. She became my angel on Dec 29, 2010 at the age of 8 1/2 although she was always my angel from the time we brought her home. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Sept 2009 and officially became a tripawd (front leg) on Nov 5, 2009. She will be forever in my heart and now she's running free with all of our other tripawd heroes. I love you Mackenzie!
25 April 2007
Oh Zoe, we know you will be missed by your Mom so much. We are so sorry. You fought bravely and with all of the spunk you showed in life. Thank you for being here and showing the world that even with cancer, life is meant to be lived to the fullest (like being your Mom's neurotic hoarder!).
What a moving, beautiful tribute for a girl with a lotta moxie. We love you lots and send many, many hugs to your Mom during this sad time.
22 December 2009
17 February 2010
I'm so sorry about your loss. No matter how much you prepare (I started preparing the day I found out Sadie has cancer), it doesn't lessen the pain. Zoe sounds like an awesome girl, and you are an awesome mom. We are all better people because of our relationships with our "kids". Thank you for sharing a wonderful tribute, and I pray that your memories of Zoe will comfort you like my memories of my Kelly, Maggie, and Sandy (not tripawds, but beautiful spirits also) comfort me.
Sadie is my 9yr old Rott/Shepherd mix. Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right scapula 1/28/10. Our brave girl had her amputation 2/13/10 and her last chemotherapy on 6/6/10. Unfortunately, a tumor appeared in her back right leg and on 10/7/2010 Sadie's earthly journey came to an end. On 10/24/2010 we adopted Ranger, a handsome Rott/Lab mix tripawd (got hit by a car) I think Sadie sent him to us.
28 November 2008
I am so very sorry for your loss. As much as we try to prepare, it's never enough. Your tribute to Zoe's life is beautiful, I am sure she approved as her spirit watched over your shoulder. She will forever know your love.
RIP sweet Zoe. Run free at Rainbow Bridge .
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.