Loving Life with Tripawd Hero Caira Sue

Three legged cancer dog Caira Sue leaps for ball When a Tripawd dog gets diagnosed with bone cancer, pawrents immediately think the worst once they learn what to expect. That’s human nature for you.

We dogs, on the other hand, don’t care what bone cancer is, or what it may do to our health eventually. All we care about is having fun with our pack while we still feel good. Yes, there may be a time when the cancer is too much and we must part ways for a while. But right now, in this very moment, we are going to have fun, and you are going to have fun with us, darnit!

Nobody demonstrates that better than our pal, Caira Sue. One look at this girl, and you’d never know that her health is being compromised by lung mets.

Take a look at this interview with her pawrents. Caira Sue’s amazing attitude will help you remember that the time to live, is now.

Paws to Remember and Rejoice in 2010

Tripawds is a close knit family, sharing our stories of victory and sadness, triumph and grief, from all corners of the world. Throughout the year, we become close with our amputee dog heroes and their pawrents. The more we grow to know about their daily lives while they recuperate from amputation and battle cancer, the harder it is when we lose them.

When a Tripawd warrior leaves this earthly life, we are griefstricken. We all know that this is the price we must pay for loving another being, but it doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier. Our community has suffered heavy losses this year, and our deepest condolences go out to pawrents who are hurting.

Many pawrents say they have avoided coming to the Forums lately, because they are afraid of finding out if any more dogs have passed on. But in the spirit of all of the Tripawds who have bravely lived life to the fullest, let’s not forget that the Tripawds we grieve for, are also the dogs who amazed us as they took on the world with fearlessness and courage. And every day, new Tripawds members are bringing hoppiness into our community!

On this New Year’s Eve, let’s all keep the good times of our Spirit Tripawds in our hearts, by remembering some of the highlights from the year gone by:

Our apologies for not including all of our Spirit Tripawds in the links above, but that’s where you come in! Please feel free to post links to more happy memories of our Spirit Tripawd Warriors, in the Comments field below, or in this Discussion Forum topic.

Thank you for being a part of our family. We send you all many, many warm wishes for a joyous, peaceful and hoppy 2010!

Embedding Flash Videos

just testing the embedding of raw Flash videos from sites like PhotoBucket here …

Notes to self … stay tuned for detailed instructions coming soon in the Tripawds Tech Support forum!

HTML Code from PhotoBucket Video:

<embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=
http://vid97.photobucket.com/albums/l220/puggirls/PugGirlsChristmas2009.flv">

For Tripawds Supporters:

  1. Activate Viper’s Video Quicktags Plugin
  2. Enable Flash Video (FLV) Button on VVQ Settings page.
  3. Copy Flash file URL for video from within embed code (shown in red above)
  4. Insert cursor in new post editor where you want video to appear
  5. Click Flash Video button
  6. Paste file URL for Flash video
  7. Click Okay

The best gift of all

2009 Christmas Tripawd DogMy people want to wish three legged dogs everywhere – and their people – a very Merry Christmas!

They especially want to thank all Tripawds members for the best gift of all – the ongoing gift of compassion and community they give every day here in their Tripawds Blogs and the Tripawd Discussion Forums.

Tripawds Team ejoys first Christmas with Wyatt

They have their hands full this year, enjoying Wyatt’s first Christmas. But they look forward to hearing about all your three legged adventures. We feel for all of those who have lost their cancer heroes this year and offer everyone best wishes for great health and prosperity in 2010! Dog bless us, everyone.

Help Rescued Colorado Musher Dogs

Once again, our friend Calpurnia has her paw on the pulse of canine news. . .

These pretty pups aren’t Tripawds, but we wanted to help spread the word about them. Last week they were saved from a terrible dog hoarding situation in rural Park County, Colorado.

Calpurnia and her Mom are working hard to help find donations and homes for these dogs. Here’s what they had to say:

“We are dealing with a horrific case of a musher ‘hoarding’ dogs, resulting in 100 dogs (6 mos to 14 yrs) that are now in desperate need of homes. Here is a local news story about the discovery.

Luckily, another musher who lives in the area discovered the situation before it got any worse and contacted the authorities. Amazingly, the dogs seem friendly and well socialized.

All the dogs are “somewhere” safe for now.

I asked what the critical need is right now, and it is money.

Park County is not a big county, and very low on funds. It is costing them to bond these dogs, plus medical care for the critical ones, plus checkups, shots, spay/neuters for the rest.

If people want to donate, they can send it to the Park County Animal Control, flagged for the Sled Dog Rescue efforts.

They can also donate to one of the shelters (listed below in order of need):

If someone wants to adopt a dog (someone with an active lifestyle, with a 6′ or greater fence and lots of patience and time to help these dogs adjust to being pets), they can contact the shelters directly.

The more doggy people I can get brainstorming on this, the better we can get these dogs homed and the love and care they each deserve.”

Please contact:

Canine Chiropractic Options for Newbies

The following Guest Blog Post was generously written by Calpurnia’s Mom, TC Wait. To submit your own guest post to Tripawds, contact us today.

Odaroloc Sled Dog PikaI have always been somewhat uneasy with the thought of chiropractic practice. Somehow the thought of someone manipulating my spine just gives me the willies. I am the first to admit, however, that I don’t know much about it, so when my Aunt told me she was using a canine chiropractor for her rescued greyhounds, I decided to educate myself about it. The world of veterinary medicine is continually evolving and with that evolution, holistic practices are also becoming more frequently found. Maybe my dogs, including my tripawd Calpurnia, would get some benefit to adding chiropractic work into their health care.

I did some online research and found Dr. Debbie O’Reilly, who has been adjusting animals since 1996 and is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Dr. O’Reilly is also a practicing human chiropractor and runs the Vibrant Energy Healing Center in Littleton, CO. She was happy to answer my questions, and even came to our house to evaluate a dog that was having some issues.

Pika is a new dog to our pack. She has been showing some weakness and poor gait on the right side (both front and rear legs) that my vet and I have thought may be related to an old neck injury (possibly from a rough birth or something). Poor Pika was coping as best as she could, but when it came to pulling in harness (something she LOVES to do), her gait definitely showed signs that she became painful from it.

In addition to Pika, I had targeted our front leg amputee, Calpurnia, as a potential for chiropractic work, since she is getting older (she is going on 14 now) and front leg amputees are sort of forced to rotate the good shoulder down to walk. That has to have some sort of spinal implication. I decided to have work done on Pika first, since some dogs are sore for about 24 hours after an adjustment. I figured being sore when you are 2 years old on 4 legs would be easier than being sore when you are 14 and on 3 legs.Tripod Sled Dog Calpurnia

Dr. O’Reilly arrived at our house and patiently answered more of my questions. She then introduced herself to Pika, who is pretty shy. I was surprised at how Pika seemed to understand that Dr. O’Reilly was there to help, and since I think that you can tell a lot about a person from how animals react to them, this was a good thing. After watching her gait and stance, Dr. O’Reilly was able to determine a couple of areas that she thought were not aligned correctly and went about doing an adjustment.

The adjustment itself was pretty quick. Dr. O’Reilly started at Pika’s pelvis and used her hands to move up the spine, vertebrae by vertebrae, testing the alignment and flexibility of each joint. In places that were out of alignment, she used a firm pressure to bring them back to alignment. She did this all the way up to the back of Pika’s neck. It was hard to really see what she was doing because it was so fast!

After the treatment, Pika needed to remain quiet for about 24 hours. No running, playing, or jumping. This is to help keep the corrected alignment in the spine, and also because she might have some muscle soreness following the treatment, sort of like after a deep-tissue massage. Some dogs will need a pain reliever or arnica post-treatment to help with the soreness (the chiropractor will tell you what to do). Pika would need to have a follow-up treatment, possibly including some acupuncture work, in 2 weeks, then probably monthly after that.

I asked Dr. O’Reilly about adjusting Calpurnia, who is a natural busy-body and felt she needed to be involved “assisting” with Pika’s treatment. Dr. O’Reilly felt Cali’s spine for a bit, then laughed and said “Calpurnia is FINE. There is nothing wrong with her spine.” Apparently, whatever spinal twisting is going on with Cali’s missing leg is not causing any incorrect vertebrae alignments. Dr. O’Reilly was impressed at how well Cali was doing and attributed her good health and agility to her overall physical condition and light body weight. All those years of running on a sled have had a good long-term effect on the old girl.

So, here are some tips and thoughts for other “Chiro-Newbies” that may be considering a canine chiropractor that I learned through this experience.

  • A canine chiropractor can be considered anytime a dog is not performing at 100% (seems out of sorts or just not “their normal self”, reacts to petting, starts holding up a paw, standing not quite right or holding their head off to one side, or anytime the dog has been involved in a accident either due to play or work). Typical issues that Dr. O’Reilly is asked to help with include “everything under the sun” ranging from injuries, post surgical care, and limping/lameness, to lick granulomas, sloppy sitting, and internal medicine disorders. Canine chiropractic works hand-in-hand with veterinary medicine. Sometimes Xrays or drugs are necessary as well as physical therapy.
  • When looking for a canine chiropractor, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. An animal chiropractor can only be a chiropractor or veterinarian certified in animal chiropractic. The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association certifies all veterinary chiropractors. The website lists their certified doctors by state. There are many people out there calling themselves animal chiropractors, but they are not vets or chiropractors and have not gone through the AVCA approved programs. I have heard some horror stories about crippling injuries stemming from chiropractic treatments gone wrong, so I would recommend doing your research before letting a doctor adjust your dog (or yourself). In Colorado, canine chiropractors also need to be licensed by the state.
  • Some animal chiropractors offer other holistic treatments that you can ask about. Dr. O’Reilly also has a Diplomate in acupuncture, does massage and swim therapy, and can use “muscle testing” to check for allergies and recommend supplements.

At Pika’s follow-up exam, Dr. O’Reilly was happy that progress had been made in her spine. I had been noticing that Pika was using her back leg more effectively around the yard. Dr. O’Reilly did some acupuncture in Pika’s lower back, followed by another chiropractic adjustment. We will do follow-up treatments monthly through the start of our fall training to see how she is progressing.

Doggon Wheelchairs for Tripawds

Can anyone guess what the most common fear among Tripawd pawrents is?

Most pawrents fear that their Tripawd will lose the use of another limb.

What if a rear-leg amputee grows old, and hip displaysia takes it’s toll? Or a front-leg Tripawd takes a bad fall and severely injures the remaining leg?

What would you do if your Tripawd lost the use of another leg?

As much as it hurts to think about it, it never hurts to be prepared, just in case.

That’s why we talked to the good people at Doggon Wheels in Bozeman, Montana.

Since 1994, Doggon Wheels has been one of the world’s top creators of mobility aids like wheelchairs, for physically challenged animals.

We asked Doggon co-founder Lori, a few questions about how Tripawds can benefit from wheelchairs, and here’s what she had to say:

Can wheelchairs work with Tripawd dogs?

“Yes- we do make wheelchairs for amputees. They are most commonly used by older amputee’s who are starting to have difficulties compensating for the missing limb (front or rear), or for pets with birth defects. We also make wheelchairs for pets with double amputations.

Generally they do really well with using wheels and appreciate being able to go for longer walks or on more varied/difficult terrain.”

The biggest fear some Tripawd pawrents have is for their dog to lose function of their remaining rear or front leg. We know of one Tripawd who needs a hip replacement, yet he is also a rear-leg amputee. Would a wheelchair help?

“This is legitimate concern and why we recommend that you take into consideration putting the remaining rear leg up in the stirrup during periods of intense exercise. Generally the dogs using amputee wheelchairs are doing so because the other limb is overly stressed or arthritic. Putting the remaining limb into a suspended position allows it to rest during the most stressful periods of exercise.

Owners who do this find that their dogs are able to get around easier on their own the rest of the time, when not in wheels. A wheelchair for the pet above would be useful for both long term use to avoid stressing the remaining limb post surgery, or if the humans opt not have his hip replaced.”

How do you measure a Tripawd for a wheelchair?

The measurements are the same for all of our chairs, except for a Tripawd we need to know:

  • Is s/he a left or right amputee?
  • Does the dog have any part of her leg remaining? Is the amputation site partial or flush? Most amputations are flush, however if there is enough leg remaining that you can measure the circumference around it, a different support might be needed, other than our amputee support.

To see how mobile a dog really is when using a wheelchair, check out this beautiful movie of Popeye, a dog currently available for adoption through Walkin’ the Bark Rescue in Northern California:

Learn more about wheelchairs for your three legged Tripawd dog at the Doggon Wheels website.

If only we had Wikipawdia.

I’m wondering if anyone out there finds the term “Tripawd” notable. And if so, would they mind letting Wikipedia know?

no⋅ta⋅ble [noh-tuh-buhl] -adjective
1. worthy of note or notice; noteworthy: a notable success; a notable theory.

Nearly two years ago now, my people attempted to submit an entry for “Tripawd” to the popular online encyclopedia. They were abruptly denied, so they are not about to try that again.

Deleted Wikipedia Tripawds Article

According to this archived discussion about deletion of the proposed article, the entry was apparently considered no more than a self-serving definition that had no place being included on Wikipedia.

Here is what the editors had to say:

  • “The article seems to be mainly promoting the linked website…I don’t think notability is really demonstrated.”
  • “Evidence points toward the deliberate promotion of a non-notable neologism”
  • “Doesn’t look notable to me and even if the term /did/ exist notably, there seems to be undue weight given to the website”

Yet, aren’t these Wikipedia articles “mainly promoting the linked website”?

And if you don’t mind … if Wikipedia editors allow the slang term “camel toe” as a notable entry, certainly they should accept Tripawd as noteworthy. I wonder if those at Wikipedia believe an adolescent and grotesque slang word is really more significant that what many animal lovers call their three legged companions. Besides, is that article not a definition itself?

But I digress, suffice it to say that no Tripawd article exists on Wikipedia. And with rules against starting articles about yourself, we do not intend to try again. But we’re not about to stop anyone else out there who may be familiar with submitting articles for Wikipedia from giving it a try. Just keep in mind, the entry must be notable, and include adequate references.

ne⋅ol⋅o⋅gism [nee-ol-uh-jiz-uhm] -noun
1. a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase.

Since the original Tripawds article we submitted to Wikipedia has been deleted, we can’t share what it said exactly. But, at least part of the content seems to have found it’s way to this entry in the recycle bin of Wikipedia.  Edited for current relevance …

The word Tripawd is a colloquialism that is rapidly becoming widely used to refer to animal amputees. Tripawd is defined as: “(Noun) an animal who has had one leg removed”.

The term may have been first coined by Jim Nelson of Eureka, CA in November 2006, when he registered the domain for a website dedicated to his dog Jerry, who underwent amputation surgery of the front leg after being diagnosed with canine osteosarcoma. Since then, the Tripawds website has grown to become the leading social networking community for caretakers of three-legged dogs. And Jerry’s Tripawd adventures have been featured on the popular PBS show Nature, as well as in various other radio and print media outlets.

After searching for online resources about caring for a three-legged dog, Nelson discovered common reference to canine amputees as “tripod” dogs. The distinct spelling of Tripawd is meant to be less derogatory and simply refers to the fact that a dog or cat with only three legs (or paws) is literally tri-pawed, or a Tripawd.

If the slang term Tripawd is still considered a “non-notable neologism” – even though Camel Toe is acceptable – perhaps the more appropriate entry might be one for Tripod Dogs that mentions the colloquial term “Tripawd”, with appropriate edits to the the disambiguation page for Tripod of course. Or perhaps, an article is warranted for Jerry the Three Legged Dog. After all, PBS considered his story notable enough to feature in the award-winning series, Nature.

Since almost two years have passed, maybe the Wikipedia editors will now realize the significance of Tripawds. There are certainly a lot more notable references now …

Tripawd:

Tripod dogs:

If not, at least we have the Tripawd Dictionary!

The B Brothers Help You, Help Tripawds

Beezer and BoomerMy pawrents were devastated when the vet said I had lung mets. It was like reliving my cancer diagnosis all over again.

That’s when our friends Joel and Ross, Moose’s Dads, pointed us to “Overcoming Fear and Guilt When Canine Kids Get Sick.”

This powerful essay, written by Denver lawyer Doug Koktavy, helped Mom and Dad by finally convincing them that blame, fear, anger and guilt are a waste of precious time when living with cancer.

An Excerpt from “On Fear

© Doug Koktavy

“. . . I realized my fear of the disease was the fuel that was being used against me. Devilishly clever, my biggest enemy was not the disease, but me. I was the power source being used to generate the very negative energy destroying my own being and wasting a special day with my beloved dog.

This paradoxical contradiction was glaring. I had thought the growing presence of disease was causing my mounting fear. In fact, just the opposite was occurring. My daily increasing fear was causing the disease to grow and become more powerful. I decided it was high time to start working for me and the Beez, not against us.”

Doug’s story brought tears to my pawrents eyes, and his straightforward coping pointers gave them the motivation they needed to get on with life.

His essay is one of the most powerful tools around for coping with serious illness in our animal friends.

Now, Doug has turned his essay into a full-length book called “The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers.” The book details how his two special boys helped him make the most of their time together.

The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer” includes lessons about:

  • Listening to our pets
  • Gaining a new perspective on our pets’ end of life care
  • Dealing with anticipatory grief
  • Conquering guilt and fear: living in the present
  • Developing a Presence Plan
  • Finding humor in the worst situations
  • Understanding our place in the circle of life

help grieving support for loss of loved pet

We love this book. Our favorite holistic vet, Dr. Marty, agrees:

“Not only is it so well written that you become a bystander observing the story from within, but the compassion for the vital connection we share with this wonderful kingdom oozes out of and between the lines.”

–Martin Goldstein, DVM, author, The Nature of Animal Healing, and host, Ask Martha’s Vet, Martha Stewart Living Radio

Author Doug Koktavy

Proceeds Benefit the Tripawds Community

With this book, big-hearted Doug has set out to accomplish two impawtant things:

  1. Help you cope with your best friend’s terminal illness, and
  2. Help companion animal groups by donating forty percent of the proceeds for each book sold.

For every copy of “The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer,”  purchased here, Doug will donate $10 to Tripawds! We are so excited about his generous offer to help us maintain this community.

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Doug about his book and this is what he had to say about The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer. Check out our video interview above, then be sure to head on over to BeezerAndBoomer.com, and get your copy today!