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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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two weeks now since Lucy left us
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Member Since:
31 January 2017
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6 January 2018 - 11:56 am
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December 23 was a beautiful day here; snow in the morning, but relatively warm, and clearing in the afternoon.  Since December 1 Lucy had been showing more signs of the metastases to her lungs, but overall was happy and still energetic.  December 17th she celebrated her "daddy's" 70th birthday and the next day began a more noticeable decline, especially of her energy.  On December 18 we took her to the oncology vet, and she drained a liter of fluid from Lucy's lungs. We had no idea! The X-ray of late November hadn't shown anything of that nature.  The vet said she should bounce back after the draining, but she didn't. On the 19th we had a bit more drained from her lungs.  And then we sat down to talk.  On the 24th we had to leave town for four days to see my 92 year old father for Christmas. Lucy was in no condition to go to her regular kennel; the oncology vet could board her for that time. But we knew she would be miserable there. And what if she went downhill even more rapidly then--worst of all, what if she died while we were away?  We made the hard decision to have her euthanized at home on the 23rd, while she could still have a last few good days with us. 

And they were good days.  She napped a lot and when we took her outside, she no longer ran around as she normally would, but still enjoyed sniffing everything and barking at squirrels.  On the 23rd, that last afternoon, we took her for a final walk over to the school yard she loved with woods at its edge, and we walked around one last time. On the way home, we stopped to see two of the only dogs she had ever made friends with (she was high strung with other dogs and barked too much), Max and Tucker, beautiful older yellow labs. Their humans loved Lucy too and said goodby as well.  So then several more hours till the euthanasia vet came. Lucy was spoiled with favorite human treats--walleye, chicken breast, and some delicious vanilla ice cream with whipped cream for a last meal.  She lay quietly till the vet came.  The vet was wonderful--compassionate, warm, and not rushed. The whole process was done calmly, and Lucy slipped away from us on her bed in the living room where she and I spent so much time together this fall.  We petted her till the end and past that, telling her how much we loved her.  She knew that, and we know she loved us.

The house is so quiet now without her tail thumping first thing in the morning, and her constant barking at outside threats, birds, etc.  She had learned to fly up and down the stairs of our house, though the last couple of weeks she had gotten scared of going down again (a sign we noticed but just didn't want to believe earlier in December).  We made it 11 months after diagnosis, and 10.5 months after the amputation on February 1.  So close to a year!  But that would not have been enough either, and we were so much luckier than many of you here with your Tripawds.  The early months after diagnosis were tough, and chemo was sometimes rocky but we did have good months too and many nice short walks, car rides, and playing tug of war and fetch in the house.  What a beautiful, smart, loving, sweet dog Lucy was.  Never, every enough time.  Thanks to all who helped her and us on her Tripawd journey. Bless you for your kindness, compassion, and advice.  And please--someone take her two unused Web Master harnesses!

Minneapolis, MN
Member Since:
23 April 2016
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6 January 2018 - 4:16 pm
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So very sorry that Lucy could stay with you no longer, but glad you were blessed with some quality time in those final days.  I have thought about time we get post amp or post diagnosis quite a lot. As you say, it is never really enough, but the spectrum is so broad. Our experience is going to fall somewhere on that line - we all have more time than some and less than others. No rhyme, no reason. And that is why people around here encourage us to "Be More Dog ."

Wishing you comfort in wonderful memories of your loving girl.  And wishing pretty, pretty Lucy the sweetest dreams.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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6 January 2018 - 9:46 pm
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And  the tears fall again....bittersweet tears....full of sandess and yet full of peace and a bit of a smile on my heart.      You have paid tribute to your beloved Lucy perfectly.  All of us should have a celebration send off day(s) like you gave sweet Lucy!!   Such a beautiful heartfelt  way to focus on everything she loved while, underneath your smies, your hearts were breaking.   Yet another selfless act r of love that you shared with Lucy every single moment of every single day.

Yes, Lucy DEFINITELY knew how much you loved her, and she KNEW you felt her love for you too!   Yiu surrounded her with your  love from the day she picked you.  And you were able to surround her with your love while she welcomed release from her earth clothes running happily with tail wagging and thumping  as she headed towards the BrIdge!

Lucy IS  a story of hope and inspiration!!   You gave Lucy the gift of glorious extended time for more loving and spoiling and barking and visiting her dog pals.She effortlessly and joyously flowed from one blissful moment to the next.

And WE HEREBY DECLARE LUCY A ONE YEAR SUPER HERO CHAMPION!!!   Ya' see, in human years, Lucy DEFINITELY was victorious for almost SEVEN YEARS!! 🙂 🙂 🙂  So yeah, she DEFINITELY is a ONE YEAR HERO!! 🙂 🙂

And I did see where you offered her harnesses.  That was soooo kind of you.  So thoughtful and caring. I know Lucy will make sure they are put to good use soon.  It's another life affirming way that reminds us LUCY'S LIFE MATTERED!!!  She touched us all, and wull continue to touch anyone startw this journey looking for hope for extenw quality time.   LUCY WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED HEREheart   The unbreakable bond yiu shared will continue on.  Let us know what kinds of signs Lucy sends you to let you know she is present with you, just in energy form.  

Surrounding you with Lucy's happily thumping tail and sweet kisses

Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being 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!

Member Since:
31 January 2017
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7 January 2018 - 9:01 am
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Sally and Lisa, thank you for your wonderful support and perspectives. I so appreciate it. One reason we felt a bit "cheated" is that we only had Lucy for about 4.5 of her 8+ years, since she was rescue dog.  And of course, naively, going into it, we thought--sure--she's over 4--but we will get 7 or 8 good years with her.  But I wouldn't trade a single day of our too short time with her for anything.  Lucy was our beautiful whipador (whippet lab mix), who spent the first two weeks with us escaping the house and running wildly, freely, joyously, around our busy neighborhood. She had been raised in the country and wasn't savvy about cars, trucks, etc.  But we soon found places for her to run and put in an invisible fence in our good-sized yard so she could run at will.  She lived for running, walks, running, human food, running, and above all, her beloved "daddy." So many pictures of the two of them together.  She and I became even closer after her amputation, when I slept on the floor with her for a month.  And my job allowed me to spend most of her last months at home with her, going for short walks in the neighborhood 2-3 times a day-she got so bored with the same routes with the nearby blocks, so I would drive other places for new smells and sights for her. So, I do realize the many ways in which we were very lucky. 

Her ashes came back yesterday; how could they fit all that energy into one little box! But I know her soul is running free with many new companions from the Tripawds community.  With gratitude to her, and to you all,  Catherine

Westminster, MD
Member Since:
31 August 2013
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8 January 2018 - 9:39 am
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Awww, I am so sorry for your loss of your sweet Lucy, the depth of your love for her so evident.

You are so right, there never seems to be enough time with our beloved Tripawd pups.... My precious late Polly only lived for a little over 4 months from her amputation due to hemangiosarcoma, but overall, from the start of our journey till she left me, she actually beat this awful cancer for 13+ months and to me that is a huge victory, as was sweet Lucy’s a huge victory. Every second they are with us after the “ugly c” diagnosis is a victory. You gave her the best life, love, and joyful moments she could ever ask for, and you gave her the final gift of release from her earthly pain, THAT takes so much courage. 

I am hoping the happy times spent with her over the years you had her will somehow ease the pain in your heart. Speaking from experience, time does help greatly, but is different for everyone. But you will get to a point that the black cloud will finally lift. I never thought I would survive my Polly’s death, but here I am with a new set of pups that I adore and have brought so much new joy to my life. I will be coming up on 4 years already next month that my Polly will be gone, and I still think about her most everyday, but with a calm sense of acceptance, and so much joy in my heart that I had 9 blessed years with her. 💞🐾

Thinking of you, and keeping you in my heart for healing, 

Bonnie, Angel Polly, Pearl, and Zuzu ❤️🐾


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 January 2018 - 10:28 am
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Beautifully said Bonnie.heart

While having Lucy's zshes returned is bitterweet, I know she is now back home where she belongsheart  I think we aL find comfort in that.

Thanks for sharing more of the memories that made Lucy so very special.  I could visualize how happy she was as she gleefully romped through the neighborhood on her freedom runs!  What a vundle of joy! 🙂

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!

Member Since:
16 October 2012
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8 January 2018 - 1:16 pm
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I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Lucy.  I know I found comfort in knowing that when Sassy went to the Bridge that she was met by other Warriors & Princess Warriors.  Everyone has given great advice.  My advice is to allow yourself to grieve.  Don't beat yourself up saying oh its been x amount of time I shouldn't be crying anymore.  This part of the journey is so so personal.   No one can say when it won't hurt as bad.    Grief will come and go.  Yes there will be days you laugh and smile and have a good time and the next day could be crying all day long.  It is totally normal.

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."

Member Since:
1 October 2017
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8 January 2018 - 6:00 pm
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Hi Catherine,

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Everybody else here has said it so well. Omg, my phone just typoed Rose, and 🌹 just popped up. She was my girl. 6 years later and I still have my Rosie moments. I guess I always will.

You gave your girl the bestest life, and you spent so much wonderful quality time with her before she crossed. She went peacefully, knowing she was loved. You can't ask for anything more than that!

Give yourself the grace to mourne Lucy at your own pace. There's no time stamp on that either. It was sad to get Rosie's ashes back, but like others have said, she's home now. Her spirit is floating on the clouds playing with her new friends, but having her ashes back is part of your closure. 

Sending many hugs and much love,

Jackie 💖💕💗


Jackie, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Member Since:
31 January 2017
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11 January 2018 - 7:35 am
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Bonnie, Sally, Michelle, and Jackie, Your notes really buoyed my spirits--I've been off Tripawds with the flu for several days now, but I want to acknowledge how much your words of support have meant. Love to you all, to your current animal friends and angel tripawds, Catherine

Member Since:
22 November 2015
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11 January 2018 - 3:55 pm
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So very sorry to read about your Lucy's passing. I've recently lost both a dog and my tripawd cat within a few months of each other. I enjoyed reading your post and wonderful account of her last days with you. How lucky you all were to have one another.

My thoughts are with your family!



Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

Member Since:
31 January 2017
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12 January 2018 - 9:08 am
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Hattie, I am so sorry to hear of your double loss so recently.  I hope life is gentle with you going forward. Catherine

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