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Tripawd Tuesday Reflections on Love, Loss and Acceptance
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On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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3 September 2013 - 3:00 am
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The following Tripawd Tuesday post about "Awful August" was generously submitted by Spirit Dakota's Mom, Shari. We know you'll find her suggestions about coping with grief to be extremely helpful when trying to ease the pain of a broken heart.

August was a hard month for Tripawds members. We've lost family, a lot of family.

DakotaImage Enlarger

Brendol and Sassy on the same day, Maggie Moo 4 days later, and Shooter 4 days after that. Those are just the ones we know of; there may be others who've not had the strength to let us know.

When Dakota died 8 months ago, I wrote this when I posted in the Coping with Loss forum:

The goal is to take off the leg that's causing problems and allow the dog to die of old age. I guess we sort of attained that goal, but I'm not satisfied.

And that statement there is largely what makes us human. Our dogs and cats are satisfied with however the day turns out. We are not. A hungry dog will go take a nap if there is no food. A homeless dog will make a nest somewhere out of the rain. An abandoned cat under a car will clean her face and paws the same as if she lived in a palace. In the face of disaster, their faces show little more than gracious endurance.

We humans obsess over that which we cannot control. If the fridge is empty, we open it anyway to see if magic has filled it. We bounce a check and then yell at the bank for our poor planning. If something horrible happens that we cannot change, we still waste hours trying to change it.

DakotaImage Enlarger

We are difficult to satisfy in general and we are never satisfied with how long we have with our animal friends. We are never ready for them to go. It's not bad, but it is human.

If we really want to honor the lives of our companions who have gone on before us, perhaps a good way is to truly try to Be More Dog (or cat!) and to decide to be satisfied. Make the conscious choice to be content with what we have. Accept that we are not in control.

We will never be ready, but there is no shame there. That part of our humanity brings us closer to the divine that is elemental in our dogs and cats, the spark that is never extinguished. The part that makes the pain of the broken heart worth it. After they are gone, we have proof of how much they mattered in just how badly we hurt.

Dakota and EvelynImage Enlarger

It's OK not to be ready. It's OK to want much more. It's OK to have a broken heart. But if we can take a small step towards the same graceful acceptance of what we have that our animal friends demonstrate, I think we may end up happier. Or at least satisfied.


Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
16 October 2012
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3 September 2013 - 6:35 am
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Very true.  Some days are better than others. 



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."


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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3 September 2013 - 9:21 am
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It's hard to believe Dakota Dawg left his "earth clothes" just eight months ago

Your post was the first one that popped up almost seven months ago when I first started posting......scared out of my mind my Happy Hannah wasn't going to recover from surgery. Scared out of my mind that "my" decision to amputate was the worse thing ever and I was off the deep in with those thoughts.
I remeber the calm it brought to me...rhe wisdom you imparted I had been "lurking" on the site prior to this and had seen so many of your posts, but not reallyknowing anything about your jjourney. At the time, I only k ew whatever the "banner" at the bottom of each person's post was. I remeber thinking how very nice it was for someone "famous" on the site o and so many others on my first post threw my that lifeline. As you know, I'm attached to it now and never letting fo.

For me, I wasn't fully ware at the time, tht everyone responding was already in te midst of their own challenges, or had already lost their loved one. When_lurking", I guess I subconsciously" gravitated to just the "victories"...certainly never going to the "coping with loss" thread. And I think I've told you this before, your posts, along with some others, always add that dose of balance, that cautio ary note, that some dogs don't make it very long...and so e do. I always try to pass on that vit of wisdom because when you're first joining, you just aren't aware of the other half of this site...the Awful August half. And then you start navigating the site, seeing how things can change so quickly. The gift in that is you better learn to focus on living ing in the moment real quick!

This tribute to Dakota Dawg is so lovely Shari. It's a gift to all of us. YOU are a gift to all of us. The soul of Dakota Dawg came here to make a difference. The divinity in him will shine on us forever. Your words came from a very fuided, heartfelt place......aplace of co fort.....a knowing.

I could never say thank you enough to you..... to everyone on this site.....but ESPECIALLY those of you who stay with us after your beloved crosses over to the other side of life. That takes a courage, a compassion for thr well being of others...a selflessness...a grace that all comes from a higher state of being. It comes from a place where love is pure.

Keep hanging out withnus through your mom Dakota Dawg! You continuine to make quite an impact here sweet voy!
Now, if you could just teach me to typeclap

From my heart,

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

In your heart, where I belong.
Member Since:
9 February 2011
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3 September 2013 - 1:08 pm
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Thanks, Sally, for your kindness.

I think everyone whose dog has gone on has very different experiences on being here afterward. For me personally, I would be lost without the friendships and connections I've made. It would be a further punishment to not be able to be on the site. Granted, there are times I lay low, don't post, or take some time away. If I see particularly bad news in a short period of time, I may put my hands over my eyes and ears and be gone for a week. But I come back. It's necessary for me. Everyone here is necessary for me.

Dakota is a perfect example of how you just never know that you are learning a lesson while it's being taught. I thought I was here for him. Turns out he was here just as much for me. He taught me so much about acceptance and patience, but the thing he taught me about that's been most valuable is how I am not in charge and I need to be good with that. I have never been good with that. I am getting better. I don't think that "control freak" is my middle name any longer. 


From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at

Member Since:
13 June 2011
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3 September 2013 - 3:55 pm
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Shari, this is just what I needed to read today. It has been 2 years today since our wild child, Bo went to the Bridge. Time continues to play tricks on me. It feels like it was only moments ago that I picked out the puppy with "personality", but it feels like a lifetime since I've seen him. I don't regret any part of Bo's journey. He made me a stronger person and made me realize that I need to live each moment to the fullest. Make every day count.

Even though we miss our boy, we are loving life. MC Belle keeps us all in line...makes sure that we wait on her paw and tail. Brady has become one of the family. He started out so shy, but is now silly, quirky and very loving. Our fur babies make us so happy!!

We love our tripawds family and appreciate the continued friendships and support!

Meghan & Angel Bo

Member Since:
1 February 2013
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3 September 2013 - 8:23 pm
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Thanks for a great post. We get so wrapped up in the day to day battle we forget we did this whole thing for them and have to accept the time line they are given. It was a perfect reminder.

Take care.

Luanne and Spirit Shooter

Spirit Shooter was a Miniature Australian Shepherd who was diagnosed with a MCT and had a LF amp 1/28/13 at 13-1/2 years old. 

Shooter crossed the Bridge on 8/28/13, his 7 month ampuversary and two weeks from his 14th birthday.

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