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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.
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Update on Bailey
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Member Since:
14 May 2022
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26 October 2022 - 6:18 am
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Hello Tripawds family,

It is with a broken heart that I am writing to say we will be letting Bailey take her journey over the Rainbow bridge in the next day or so.

5 months after diagnosis of osteosarcoma and leg amputation 

11 weeks after her 4th round of Carboplatin 

1 day after finding out her lungs are full of metastatic tumor and an ER visit.

Bailey had been living life, happy, active and pain free. Last Thursday, she started stumbling a bit on her hind legs. She started waking me up every night around 2:00 am, restless and off balance. Every day brought increasing uncoordination and weakness in her back end, and every day she stopped doing some of her normal behaviors such as sniffing around the yard, laying on her back and squirming happily while she got belly ribs, laying on the couch, crazily rubbing her face on the furniture after eating. Monday night was the worst, she stopped being able to stand or walk, due to extreme weakness in her back end and would just fall over once we got her standing. Took her to the ER at 2:00 am. After an Oncology and Neurology consult, xrays, blood work and UA, we determined her cancer had aggressively spread throughout her lungs, and possibly into the nerves/spinal cord. They did not see any obvious issue with her spine, but her back end has no reflexes, and very little pain response. So, we came home yesterday afternoon on prednisone, hoping to ease whatever is going on. I’m thankful that at no point has she seemed in any pain and the vets agreed. We upped her gabapentin and stopped the Carprofen so we could start prednisone. 

Bailey had cheeseburgers along with her dog food for dinner last night.she spent a fairly quiet night sleeping with me in the living room.

I can tell she is ready. We will do the right thing and let her go to rest.

We have also made the excruciating decision to send Bailey over the bridge with her sister Brownie. Brownie is my elderly 15 year old lab who has severe dementia and incontinence along with mobility issues. We almost let Brownie go a few weeks ago because she wasn’t doing well. But she suddenly had a rally and started eating again and doing some of her normal behaviors. I now believe she knew Bailey would need to leave us soon, and she wanted them to travel together.

To say I’m shattered is an understatement. I so wanted the 10 months with Bailey that was the median survival rate. But I’m so grateful she had a good 5 months being happy and loved. 

So that is where we are, the place no one ever wants to be. Saying goodbye to two of the very bestest girls. My heart is shattered.

Here’s Bailey on Sunday, enjoying a beautiful fall day in the leaves.

View post on imgur.com

And my old Brown girl

View post on imgur.com

And Bailey and her sister Bela, who will be the only dog left in the house, but will continue to be loved beyond words

View post on imgur.com

Shannon

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 October 2022 - 10:09 am
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Oh my dear, dear Shannon and family♥️   Vrushed to hear the news.  Crying to hard to even begin to formulate  thoughts.  Not that there are any words anyway.

I do hope the Pred can help.  It can be quite the miracle drug in the short time sometimes when it comes to mets and spinr issues.  

For now, I’ll just send love and peace and a clarity in k owing you will always  make the right decision  for Bailey (and Brownie  too) out of your soul deep love.♥️

I’m comi g back.  

With love and light 

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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26 October 2022 - 11:26 am
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Shannon, I wish I had the right words, or could give you a hug. My eyes are watery and my gut feels like it’s been punched knowing what you are dealing with right now. I am so very, very sorry the cancer was so mean to your beautiful, happy Bailey. Hopefully the Pred will give you more quality time and beautiful days outside over the coming days. 

It is never easy here when one of our furmily members gets a raw deal, we all feel it deeply. And to cope with that, while helping Brownie along in her own journey, it’s just unimaginable. You are such a strong, amazing dog mom.

As an oncology nurse I know you understand exactly what she is dealing with in her body, and why it’s so important to allow her to transition peacefully and pain-free. Same for Brownie too. Your girls will go off to the Rainbow Bridge together, as you set aside your own grief and heartache to make sure they do not suffer in their last days. What a gift you are giving them.

It won’t be easy for you and Bela to cope with such a drastic change in the pack, that’s for sure. For now, spoil Bailey and Brownie rotten, give them lots of doggie kisses, and tell them that all our Tripawd heroes will be waiting to greet them.

Lean on us, we are here for you now and always.

Much love & many hugs coming your way from all of us.

Member Since:
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27 October 2022 - 1:47 pm
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So very sorry. I have no words.

Member Since:
14 May 2022
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27 October 2022 - 7:08 pm
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We let them travel together tonight, peacefully at home, holding paws and surrounded by all of us.

I’m gutted and shattered, but comforted too, because Bailey was declining quickly and Brownie was ready too. They left their bodies quickly and now they are healthy and happy, running free.

Love to all of you for your kind words and support.

Shannon

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
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28 October 2022 - 11:17 am
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Ohhhhhh Shannon. It takes my breath away knowing that your pack has suffered such a great loss. My heart goes out to you. I’m keeping you in my heart and sending love. Please drop by at some point if you are able, so we can honor Bailey and Brownie’s life. They were so lucky to have you for their mom.

((((hugs))))

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 October 2022 - 10:17 pm
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The only thing you can hold onto right now is they did travel to their next adventure  together….and they were both free to run together like young puppies..  You freed them when their earth life was no longer what they wanted.   They knew you would.

This is so gutwrenching  beyond belief.  À void from caregiving your sweet Bailey all these months (not nearly enough months),  and the void from having Brownie  with you for 15 years….all this seems so unbearable.

Spine mets are supposedly  fairly rare, yet Bailey is the third recently who  most probably  had spine  nets.  We go into this journry because, like you, we all want to give our dogs a “chance”.  A chance for a pain free quaility  life which almost all achieve….but for how long is always the unknown. 

I know in Bailey’s  case as far as he was concerned,  he was hapoy to have extended  quality  time with you for more spoiling and loving….and he received  that and he wouldn’t  have traded that for the world.  He wouldn’t  have traded a y of the time he had with you all these years, even if it was too short as far as hoomans are concerned.   Of course, in hooman/dog  years, Bailey got almost a half year which translates to over three years..

P,ease no you did everything  possible for Bailey and he you left no stone unturned  in giving him as good a life as possible……a life all dogs would want, but many never have.  

Hold onto those happy .memories  and let them help heal your heart.  I found co fort in looking at pictures,  even if sometimes  it eas through tears, they always reminded me of the Happy tines….the times that really mattered. 

We let them travel together tonight, peacefully at home, holding paws and surrounded by all of us.

 The depth of love it took to orchestrate  this transition where they could be free together…holding paws….huge lump in my throat.  i am in awe at how you were were able to put   lovely words to describe their next journey   through your tears. They brought us comfort  and I hope, in time, they will bring you comfort.

 We do hope you will share more photos  when you are ready.  

Surrounding  you with love and light and memories  of happy times and wagging tails..both  of heir wagging tails.

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

I

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:
14 May 2022
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4 November 2022 - 1:35 pm
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It’s been a week since my babies left me. Once in awhile I’m somewhat ok, most of the time I’m not. This loss has left an immense hole in my heart and has shattered my soul. The house is so empty without them, yet everywhere I turn, there are reminders they were here.

Through my grief, I’ve been trying to help Bela overcome the loss of her sisters. I can tell she’s confused, worried, anxious and lonely. I make sure I cry and grieve out of her sight, and project happiness and positivity when she is with me. We’ve taken up daily walks again, something we had to give up when Bailey had her amputation. Being out in the fresh air, doing all the sniffs, brings Bela such joy.

I’ve not yet been able to pick up all the extra dog beds or put away Bailey and Brownie’s food dishes. It hurts to see them and it hurts to think about putting them away. I feel so empty and without purpose. No more pills to prepare each day, no more loads of dirty diapers from Brownie’s incontinence, no more straightening all the throw rugs in the house that kept my tripawd safe.

Bela has never been one for hugs, loving on or kisses. She likes to lay by me and she is bright and humorous, but everything is on her terms. Bailey, on the other hand was so, so affectionate. Always giving kisses, wanting snuggles and loving. I miss those acts of affection so much, oh how my heart aches for one more sloppy face kiss.

I can’t sleep much these days. I find myself in the dark, stepping carefully around the spots in the hallway where Brownie used to always lay. My own body/reflexes refuse to remember she’s no longer there to step around. Every time I return home from somewhere, and only hear one bark of greeting behind the door instead of three, my heart shatters all over again.

I know grief takes time and I have to let it run it’s course, but this has been one of the hardest, most devastating times in my life. I brought my babies ashes home yesterday, and they are now on the mantle with their brother Bruno, who passed away in January. 

Thanks for letting me put my thoughts here, in this safe place where everyone understands my deep hurt. Here are a few last pictures…..

Holding paws as they traveled over the rainbow bridge  

View post on imgur.com

Bailey, Brownie and Bruno together on the mantle…my sweet babies.

View post on imgur.com

Shannon

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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4 November 2022 - 10:47 pm
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We’re so glad uou found the courage  to ppst these heartfelt thoughts   chronicling.  We k ow it was hard, yet hopefully  it brought you a bit of comfort  knowing  we get it.  We know what Bailey and Brownie  meant to you.

Yes, I’m crying again,  Bailey and Brownie  holding paws together as they ran free to The Bridge…..gutwrenching and so beautiful at the same time.  I k ow it’s somewhat comforting  to jave these two and Bruno’s ashes together back home where they belong♥️ 

And yes, it is a safe place ro express your feelings.  What you jave done is also helpful tomothers.  Although  this part pf the journey is soooo lonely,  everyone  here knows they are not along in their grief.  Everyone here understands  every word you wrote.  Everyone  here will not feel so alone when grief hits them  because  you articulated  so well what you are going through.

I remember  not wanting to go to sleep bec of that horrible knot inmy stomach.  I remember  not wanting to get up the next day because  of that horrible  knot in my stomach.  I would drive to the end of the driveway bec I felt like I jist jad to leave the sad house.  I would turn back around because  I didn’t  want to leave the sad house where my dog”s sport still loves.

Many of us dont  toich a things.  The bowls stay in the same place, as do the gods, etc.  And you know what, it’s okay.  Everything  you are feelin g is ‘okay”.  Whatever  it takes to put one foot in front of the other is “okay”.  You grieve in your own way and it’s okay. 

Shannon, ait still on the sofa with Bella by uour side.  Close your eyes.  Let Bailey know you want to feel his presence and visualize that big sloppy kiss.  You’ll feel it.  Be sure and wipe the slobber away 

I’m posting a poem by Catherine Young.  You  will be avle to relate it’s as though you wrote some of these words yourself.

With love and light, 

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

Things to do after your dog has died

Sweep the floor

Look out the window

Pant

Make a cup of tea and some toast

But then not eat them

Change the sheets on the bed

Try to sing

Start to cry

Forget what day it is

Stumble into a corner of the floor and hold your knees tightly

Keen

Pull yourself together

Make another cup of tea and this time drink it

Look out a different window

Stare at that spot on the floor where your dog used to stretch out, languid and happy, his paws twitching as he raced across sleep meadows and into dream ravines filled with moss and ferns and the scent of foxes

Look for the Kleenex

Use toilet paper instead

Wander around the house,  your heart like a damned anvil in your chest

Heat up leftovers

Push them around the plate before leaving the entire thing in the sink

Look for what is not there

Hear things

Feel the forgotten fur beneath your fingertips

Feel the forgetting begin

Hold a memory, any memory, bright and shining, soft and sad, smelling of wet fur and leaves, with a whisker there and muddy paw prints left on the stairs, of a walk of a hike of a trip to the park with a treat and a bone and a belly rub snacks stolen off the counter and tug of war and the squeaky toy a glance of complicity in play with your hand on head with tail wagging and breath misting in the morning light or the moon over the trees while an owl croons ears are pricked and nose to the ground sniffing, sniffing, sniffing following the invisible trail to its joyful finding

Put on your pajamas

Turn around three times before you curl up by the rope toy and find yourself chasing the echo of a bark into a night that will never end

Grow a tail

 

  

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


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25 April 2007
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5 November 2022 - 1:02 pm
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Shannon, we all surround you with love at this awful time. You courageously shared such raw emotion, that couldn’t have been easy.

And Sally, well your wise words are such comfort, thank you.

I wish I could make this easier, to help you get through the grief faster. My heart hurts for you and your family, the very idea of saying goodbye to two beloved fur kids at once just makes my head spin. All I can say is every bit of grief you are feeling right now is so normal, the feelings of being lost and without purpose, of losing so much of your identity and routines. Multiply that by two, and it’s a more difficult journey than most of us here could imagine. Lean on us though, because we all understand what it’s like to lose a big part of your life, and your heart.

Bringing ashes home is part of the closure and healing process, but that doesn’t make the day any easier. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, to write it down, to express your heart in writing, art, creativity, cooking, whatever it is that makes you feel closer to your girls. They are still in your heart and soul, and always will be. The more you can do things that remind you of them, the closer you and Bela will be to them for all time.

If it helps, consider talking to a grief counselor or even joining a support group. What you have been through is so incredibly difficult, if you are open to the idea of a support network like that, it could help you get your bearings in a way that honors your girls but also allows you to adapt to life without them.

And of course keep sharing their lives, and those beautiful photos. We are here and ready to celebrate all that you shared with them.

Many hugs and much love are coming at you from all of us. I hope you can feel it across the miles.

xoxo sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

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