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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Huckleberry the Great Dane
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Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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3 March 2016 - 10:10 pm
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Take yiur time coming back. It will feel weird. You will stare at the screen and log off without typing a word. Yiu will cry. Yiu will cry so much for a very long time. Nothing will feel normal. Yiur void, yiur break in routine, all will seem unbearable. Nights will be awful, mornings will be awful, life will just be awful for awhile.

Soooo many of us understand all to well the gut wrenching grief you are experiencing. We also understand, as hard as it is right now to believe, the thoisands and thousands of happy memories will slowly but surely push the sadness further away. It will never go away, but it will be pushed further and further away. Jerry always reminds us the time leading up to the transition is just a blink of any eye compared ro the joyous years and yearsnyou and Emma spent with Huckleberry.

From a "the Universe knows what it's doing" sort of way, the way all this unfolded is really quite profound. Right now, I'm sure it's impossible to see through the curtain of grief, that Huckleberry, from a Soul's perspective, was in charge of how and when he would transition. He made it plain he was done with this phase of his earthly journey. Huckleberry needed to know YOU woukd be okay. You told him, as hard as it would be, you woukd be okay if he needed to leave.

Huckl also knew he needed ro "show" you he was done by presenting a "symptom" that would make it really clear! Jist as you know Huckleberry sooo well, he also knows you sooo well. Even after that first seizure, he sensed you were starting to doubt, so he made sure you heard his wishes loud and clear! What a team! What a deep understanding you both have of each other...Soul deep level. That's a bond than can never be broken.

STAY CONNECTED! You have some really rough times ahead. ALWAYS remember though, Huckleberry is watching! He knows you will be sad, but he needs to know you will be okay. And one of the best ways to know that is to force yourself to think of a happy time, a happy time where Huckleberry did something that made you laugh...and then think of another one. I can see Huckleberry's tail wagging!

Love to you and Emma

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!

Norene, TN
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21 October 2014
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4 March 2016 - 7:42 am
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I can reiterate what Sally says here, it will take time. My Harmony has been gone nearly 1 1/2 years and yet there are days (weeks) I have to take a break from the site because with every heart break here, my own grief reminds me to spend more time taking pictures, play ball longer and more often, love on my girls. It's Harmony's way of living through me.

I'll always come back because this community makes me a better person. And, believe it or not, is helping me close the wound and it will help you too. I promise.

xoxo

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Member Since:
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5 March 2016 - 8:04 pm
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(((((Tony & Emma)))))  I'm so very sorry for your loss!

My Anatolian Shepherd, Koda got on this crappy roller coaster just as your beautiful Huck moved on to better rides.  

Two nights ago -- the night before Koda's LF amp -- I started at the beginning of Huck's journey, fell in love with his big, squishy face, and laughed and cried with you all the way.  

Thank you for documenting so well.  You and Huck helped me endure this awful diagnosis and decision.  I want you to know that the difficult, loving thing you did for your boy has positive side effects that will live on and on.

With much love,

Julie

Mom of Koda, 150 lb male Anatolian Shepherd age 6 1/2 (DOB 10/4/09).

TPLO both knees - one 11/2012 and the other 2/2013;
Underpants-ectomy (a/k/a blockage removal) 8/2013;
Osteosarcoma in front left leg diagnosed 3/1/16;
Joined Tripawd Nation 3/4/16

Forever missing Koda's big brother, Sully (a/k/a James P. Sullivan), our first Anatolian and the Original Big Man (tm), who passed at age 10 1/2 from degenerative myelopathy on 6/27/13.

Melbourne, Australia.
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11 May 2015
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6 March 2016 - 3:00 am
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Thanks everyone.

Julie, I am so sorry you are just starting out on this journey too. I will come back and read your posts, I promise, and I will let you know of our experiences where they relate as we go and lend any support I can. This forum is a wonderful community and just the thought that there are people out there that have gone through the same and can empathise with you and understand, even if you never meet them or speak to them, is fantastic. It has helped me so much and I am sure it will hep you to. That's not to say it will be easy, but having somewhere to come and unload whatever you need to, even by way of a keyboard on the internet, helps so much.

At the moment though, please forgive me for not being able to look up you posts just yet. I have spent the last half hour sat on his outside bed sobbing like a child.

I know we did what we could for him and I know it was his time to go, I am at peace with all the decisions we made together but the sense of absolute loss is like nothing I have ever felt before.

It's the third night without him now and today has felt like some sort of weird dream all day, like none of it is real and any second I'll wake up and he'll be there at the end of the bed.

I have been sleeping on and off and must have been sound this morning when my alarm woke me, I was still half asleep when the alarm went off and woke with this awful feeling of dread but couldn't put my finger on it. It was a few seconds before I woke properly and remembered he'd gone, it was like someone kicking me in the stomach.

I have been reading up on grief for a pet, it seems what we are going through is "normal", and as I say, I knew it would be hard when he went, but it is excruciatingly so.

I also know we'll get through it, and who knows, maybe even one day love another. For the moment I know the healthy thing to do is continue to let the grieving process unfold however it needs to and to take each day at a time.

Just sitting here typing this helps immeasurably and I fully intend to return and lend an ear to anyone that needs it in the months and years to come.

Thank you all again.

Tony.

Virginia







Member Since:
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23 March 2016 - 10:26 pm
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Check in when you can. We care deeply, so very deeply.

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!

Melbourne, Australia.
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26 March 2016 - 11:56 pm
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Hi, thanks for thinking of us. We're slowly getting there, it has been an awful few weeks to be honest but we are gradually coming to terms with him not being here. I will come back and do a proper post soon. Thanks x

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 March 2016 - 7:09 pm
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Do whatever feels right when,a d if, it ever feels right! Take your time

I remember someone rold me they cried everyday for two months. I remember really hoping hard that my tears would be drying up a little bit before that. I actually remember the day when I realized I had not cried that day. Yeah, it was right arou d the two month mark. I started being able to skip through somedays without crying. Of course, there were still the days I cried...and still do.

Glad you checked in today. AND, it gives us another excuse to see that handsome mug of Huckleberry's.

Love and peace

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!

Norene, TN
Member Since:
21 October 2014
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28 March 2016 - 8:01 am
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I don't know how you do it Sally. You're such an inspiration to us all.

My Harmony has been gone for nearly a year and a half. There for a while I was doing good. The tears I had were for relief that she wasn't suffering any more. Then they changed to grief as I began to remember the Harmony that wasn't sick. Now my tears, for the most part, only come when I visit the Tripawd community and start to relive the memories through the suffering, joys and grief of these wonderful selfless people.

My point, there will always be tears. I saw this quote on the web this morning, "It's hard to forget someone; Who gave you so much to remember."

xoxo

pam

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 March 2016 - 9:45 am
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Oh Pam., thanks for sharing that lovely sentiment. It is soooo true! People like you sharing things like that helps us all so much. That Harmony girl is still having such a positive effect through you. Thank you my friend.

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!

Melbourne, Australia.
Member Since:
11 May 2015
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11 April 2016 - 3:17 pm
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Hi guys, just checking in.

Still taking it day by day. Not as many tears now, and usually happy ones when remembering his quirks and talking to friends that he grew up with about him.

The first 3 weeks was tears all day, every day pretty much and such a sense of hopeless sadness.

The, I started to feel a little more normal, even dare I say happy at times? Weirdly though, my sub-conscious would kick in almost as if to say how dare you feel normal and I'd come crashing back down again.

Seems I turned a corner just over a week ago and went a few days with no tears, he is still on my mind 24/7 though.

This week has gone back the other way to a degree, more tears and choking up when I talk about him but they feel different, sure, the sense of loss is still just terrible but the tears seem to be more about thoughts of happy days and the relief (for him) that he is no longer battling.

Jeez, I'm welling up again now!

To top it off, my good friend whom I have not seen since I emigrated from the UK to Australia 10 years ago, lost his beloved Pointer yesterday. Odin was the reason we got a dog, he was the only dog that I was never allergic to and once we settled in Australia we began researching Pointer breeders, quickly realizing that we would not be able to meet the exercise needs of a Pointer. That led to searching for dogs with similar coats, which led us to trials with Great Dane breeders and eventually to Huck. So, for that I thank you Odin and may you rest in peace and find your big Australian brother on the other side somewhere.

So, onward and upward. Can you believe we were actually looking through the local shelters dog list the last couple of days? I swore I could not go through this again and had decided that I would never be able to have another dog. Somehow though, it just doesn't seem right not to share your life with these wonderful animals. The shelter list searching has lead us to the local Great Dane rescue society, which in turn has thrown up an interesting dilemma. I had been watching the Great Dane register for some time, none of the dogs on there spoke to me (as much as they can from a few photo's), but one guy turned up yesterday that I can't stop thinking about. Emma and I spoke last night, she is not sure she is ready, which I completely stand behind - I'm not sure I am either to be honest, it is difficult to objectively analyze whether I am ready, lonely, sad, desperate or a mixture of all so a decision to take on another dog so soon, especially another Dane (which I never thought I could do after Huck), is one that cannot be taken lightly.

Anyway, I may make "official" contact with the society later today and see where we go from there. Who knows.

What we did discuss in depth last night was what would we do differently this time? (Should there be a "this time" that is). A few things, no more puppies. As much as we loved Huck as a puppy, it was tough. We thought about a re-home back then too but the selfish side of me wanted a puppy as I'd never had a dog before. Knowing now how many badly treated animals there are out that end up in shelters (or worse) then it would be remiss of me to actively encourage the birth of another when there are so many beautiful dogs in need of loving homes.

Secondly, should we have another dog that has the same/similar issues and prognosis we would not amputate and IV chemo. Now, that's not to say we regret or would have changed anything we did for Huck. Quite the contrary, there is no way we could have not done anything but everything we could for him, but watching him those ten month battle for what, in the grand scheme of things, was not an awful lot more quality time when you subtract the chemo, the operations, the pneumonia etc and seeing how dogs live for the day, I don't think I would do that again to another dog. As hard as it would be for us, I do feel that in someways Hick would have been better to be let go when he was diagnosed. As I say, in no way to we regret any of the decisions we made for him but they aren't necessarily ones we'd make again given the same prognosis.

Added to that, and this is easier to say than perhaps it would actually be to implement, but should we take on a re-homed dog that's had a tough life prior then in some ways the decision not to prolong life when faced with terminal prognoses may be somewhat easier knowing that the second chance at having a great home you already gave them mitigates it?

Anyway, perhaps I am over thinking things now and getting too deep, who knows what decisions we'd make if, and when, the time ever comes again.

Right, better get on and get some work done I suppose, although I can't very well sign off without a photo now can I? How about something different this time? Here is the beautiful Huckleberry at about 2 or 3 weeks old, snuggling into his mum's chops (Diddy was a beautiful girl and is where Huck got his good looks and amazing personality from).

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/597/21743984414_5ce4ac6a8d_c.jpgImage Enlarger

Huck at about 4 weeks old, December 2008 sat on his mums face...awww by Anthony Besterfield, on Flickr

Thanks for listening.

Tony.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 April 2016 - 3:34 pm
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OOOOOOOMMMMMMDDDDDD!!! That puppy pocture of Huck and his beautiful Mom....can't stand it !!!! Smooching the screen...Smooching it!!! Absolutely ADORABLE!!!!

I clicked on here for just a few minutes before javing to head out. Want to come back when I can respond more in depth to your heartfelt and well thought out lost.

But for now....CALL THE SOCIETY RODAY....RIGHT NOW...DO IT!!! IF IT'S MEANT TO BE THINGS WILL FALL I TO PLACE....if not, it won't happen! Trust Huckleberry, trust the Universe, make the call!!

And ine more quick thing......google a "Dog's Last Will and Testament"...geez....I may not have the right title....I'll fin it for you later.

For now...lots of love to you and Emma!

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!

Norene, TN
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21 October 2014
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11 April 2016 - 3:39 pm
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ADORABLE!!!!!!

Bless your heart. We all totally understand what you're going through and yes, it is waaaayyy too easy to over-think EVERYTHING.

The hub-a-dub didn't want to get another dog so soon after our Harmony passed, but then something kicked in when we started seeing all the fur-babies that needed homes. We realized we weren't replacing Harmony. Every minute we pet our new rescue, Meesha, we remember her. It's as if getting another fur-baby was in memorandum of Harmony.

That's how we live our lives now. I wish I could afford  more, but helping others (fur or furless) helps heal a broken heart. For where ever happiness is, sadness can't live.

xoxoxo

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Los Angeles, CA
Member Since:
13 June 2013
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11 April 2016 - 4:02 pm
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rescue-pledge-poem-unknown-2-1.pngImage Enlarger

Here's the post Sally was talking about ...

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Los Angeles, CA
Member Since:
13 June 2013
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11 April 2016 - 4:05 pm
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And now to address your questions/concerns ... I get it. I really do. I swore that I could never go through that pain again. But two months later .. the sidekick came into my life. I didn't love her much at first. She didn't love me either. But together, we put away our baggage and have healed our hearts. Some days I think I love her more than she loves me though. She's a tough nut to crack! 

But Shelby will always be my heart dog .. my soulmate .. that ONE dog that changed my life forever. But we grew up together .. .from my 20s, through broken hearts (countless) to moves (many) to changes ... she was the constant. But over time, I have realized life is BETTER with a dog. And Jasper needed a home. It was hard and while a part of me thought I was replacing Shelby too soon, that does pass.

I also worry - a lot - about her getting sick or heaven forbid needing an amputation. But I try and remain the moment and live like dogs do ... each second of the time.

Whatever decision you make, I know will be one made with love and affection!!! Hugs to you! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Melbourne, Australia.
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11 May 2015
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11 April 2016 - 4:15 pm
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...man, I had to walk away from my desk after reading the Will & Testament. What a beautiful sentiment, so moving, and so true. Thank you for posting.

I'm going to talk to my boss today. Huck came to work with me every day, I "got away with it" initially because he was so sick recovering from the amputation, then the on-going chemo etc. Eventually he became the office dog, my boss secretly loved him very much, I'd occasionally catch him sat beside Huck, stroking at talking to him from time to time.

A big part of the decision on re-homing a Great Dane would be if I can bring him/her along to work too. I can't bear the thought of leaving a dog home alone all day now after doing with that with Huck for so many years, (although he was perfectly fine with it and simply slept all day), after having him at work with me all day and knowing how happy he was to be sat along side me, then I'm not sure I could go back to leaving a dog at home whilst I head out every morning.

I'll have a chat with him today and get his thoughts. If it's a no go, then we may consider 2 smaller re-homed dogs instead and wait for a pair to come along that would be looking to be homes together. That way, they'd have a bit of company through the day.

Emma works from home 2 days per week too, so it's not like they'd be super neglected & lonely.....

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