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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

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"Poor doggie" comments - how do you react?
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Member Since:
12 June 2012
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14 June 2012 - 9:41 pm
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Good ones! clap

Member Since:
12 June 2012
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14 June 2012 - 9:50 pm
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Maybe I'll try something like, "Poor dog? What happened to him? Whatcha mean? He looks perfect to me." I mean, you know, only if someone is asking in a mean way. But I LOVE the one about "He chewed off his own leg. Imagine what he could do to yours!"  That's hilarious!

Member Since:
26 June 2012
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26 June 2012 - 6:44 am
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At first people don't usually realize anythings even different about shaggy, but when they do they're automatically amazed! Ive gotten "poor doggie" a few times, I just shrugged it off. Hes happy, healthy, and a overall great dog nothing about him is "poor doggie" worthy 😀  

Member Since:
16 May 2009
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11 July 2012 - 4:50 pm
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We've had 'poor dog' a lot. It doesn't offend me, because people are just humanising Sid and putting themselves in his place and imagining how they'd feel.  Kids are just curious and want to know what happened, how it happened, etc, and often want to touch his stump, which Sid doesn't mind in the least.  I have to remind myself to be careful though, because I suddenly realised that it could give a small child nightmares if they think that if they break their leg the doctor might have to amputate it!  I emphasise that it was a really, really bad break, and that the vets can usually fix breaks but this time it happned that they couldn't, and that's unusual.

The only time it's upset me was when I was visiting an old folk's home with him in his role as Pets as Therapy dog, and there was one client there who had Alzheimer's and would get very, very upset if she saw him. She would get agitated and start shouting about how it was cruel and 'he should have been put down', and 'he shouldn't be here' etc.  But I was upset more for her sake than for mine or Sid's.

El Dorado Hills, CA
Member Since:
13 April 2012
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11 July 2012 - 7:45 pm
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Rizzo has had the "poor dog" line many times which we ignore.  We ignore all except the truly concerned or amazed person who asks what happened.  But I do address all questions from children as my Rizzo loves kids and approaches  them to play and get petted.  They are so honest and I love their questions.  My favorite one from this one cute little girl at the park  who always makes an effort to come and love on Rizzo is "she will grow another one, right?"  


I have actually heard adults say "I would never do that to MY dog".  That's's not YOUR dog and you have no clue what you would do if it was your dog unless you had all the facts and were actually faced with the situation. People are so quick and easy to judge others when they don't have all the facts or information. If I've learned anything from this Tripawd experience it is definitely not to be so quick to judge others. 


All our Best


Suzie and Rizzo

Jack Russell born in 2001. Mast cell cancer found Dec 2009 and right rear amputation. Five rounds of chemo done before all treatment stopped. Living life to the fullest!! Read my story at

Member Since:
16 June 2012
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11 July 2012 - 8:07 pm
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I agree - I have had people just ask me "where did her leg go", I was going to tell them " I knew I forgot something:) I have also had statements made about the money spent to not even get  a cure, just "for comfort", we have jobs and she is our girl and we do what we see fit.

Member Since:
22 August 2011
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12 July 2012 - 7:58 am
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Suzie, that is funny you say that because I was one of those people who was judgmental of those who got chemo for their dog. I would always say, "well I love Cadence a whole bunch, but if she gets cancer, we are going to just make her comfortable and not spend the thousands on chemo/treatments." Well it happened to her and I changed my tune really quick. In fact, i would move mountains to save her life. Luckily, we do have jobs and we were able to financially pay for her treatments although it was hard, and it doesn't end with the treatments. She gets supplements as well as a high quality raw diet, which is not cheap. Soooooo I learned, that unless you are faced with something, don't judge how you will react because you don't know! 

Cadence's Mom

Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

11 October 2012 - 8:20 pm
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Bertram gets the "poor puppy" comment almost every time he meets someone new.

BTW, he has been through a lot since our last post! We will be doing an update very soon!

Anyhow, I think it really comes from people not understanding that losing a leg is gaining a life for so many Tripawds. It is not really a choice when the options are live or die. But how many people you meet have been put in that situation with their dog? Not very many of them. 

There are always people who will be ignorant when addressing your dog, my worst experience thus far was when a woman yelled to her dog "Oh Scruffy, stop picking on the cripple!!" all the way across the dog park while he was playing with Bertram.

I feel that for every ignorant person there are 10 people who are genuinely interested in your story. I have been getting more and more people who start out with "Look at that little guy, he gets around great!" I think that most of the people who say "Poor Puppy" or "Aww, what happened to the poor guy?" are just really interested and just can't think of a better way to start a conversation.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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12 October 2012 - 10:26 am
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hhackett said
There are always people who will be ignorant when addressing your dog, my worst experience thus far was when a woman yelled to her dog "Oh Scruffy, stop picking on the cripple!!" all the way across the dog park while he was playing with Bertram.

Holy cow that's really rude! Wow! 

Your advice is spot on; I use these opportunities as a way to enlighten people about all the things Tripawds are capable of. Because like you said, unless you've been through deciding on amputation, you have no idea what it's like to be in that situation. I know my people didn't until they were forced into it because of cancer.

All people need is a little enlightenment and then it really opens their eyse up to how pawesome we are!

We can't wait to hear what Bertram has been up to!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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