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:

Three Paws, Two Years, No Problem!

Making the decision to amputate a senior dog’s leg is difficult. Most people doubt that old dogs can get along on three legs.

But Calpurnia, a three legged sled dog in Colorado, is proof that even older working dogs can lead great lives as Tripawds.

Calpurnia just celebrated her two year ampuversary. She and her Mom TC wrote this guest post to celebreate this milestone, and hopefully assist others who are faced with the decision to amputate on their own senior dog.

“It hardly seems like it has been 2 years since my humans made the decision to amputate my right front leg following a diagnosis of a grade 2 soft tissue sarcoma growing in my elbow joint. That was back when I was 12 years old, and still running as the main lead dog on my sled dog team.

My people were very worried about my future at the time, but figured we should at least try amputation to see how I would do. Boy did I surprise them! Mom thought it might be a good idea to update everyone on what I have been up to now that I am 2 years post-op.

I am now 14 years old (although I tell everyone I am still 13). I sometimes have some sore places on cold days, and mom thinks my hearing isn’t what it used to be. But my mind is still sharp, and I keep myself busy. I have had a fantastic few years running with my team, visiting school kids and teaching them that I can still do all the things I did before, training puppies, and enjoying my status as senior girl in the house. I have a soft bed near the wood stove where I keep my aging joints toasty and dream of my great racing days.

Like many athletes, my role with the team has sort of shifted from “star lead dog” to “coach” over the past few years. My humans joke that Dog really is their Co-Pilot now when we go on training runs. I still go, but I have a soft dog bed on the back of the ATV (or in the sled when the snow gets deep enough) where I ride. I can watch my team from my perch, and I give them pointers and howl encouragement at them the whole run. On the steeper or bumpy sections, I lean on my person so that I don’t bounce off the back.

Sometimes, if I am feeling frisky, mom hooks me in the line so I can show the new puppies a thing or two. I am a good coach, and after a run I make sure to sniff each team member to tell them how well they did.

I have had my share of medical issues, but they are mostly related to my getting older. One of the hardest things was a year ago when my humans learned that I could not breathe right due to something called laryngeal paralysis – or paralyzed vocal chords. I couldn’t move my vocal chords out of the way when I was breathing hard, and it made it very hard for me to breathe when running. I had throat surgery to fix that, and now I have to be very careful that I don’t choke on food or water, since I can no longer protect my airway the way I am supposed to.

I also have had some pain related to pinched nerves, so mom has to make sure I stay active and keeps my weight down to a trim 33 lbs. She tried doing massage and chiropractic work on me, but I really prefer not to be handled like that and will stretch myself when I want to.

I hope that those of you senior dogs out there keep me in mind when considering amputation. I was a healthy older girl going into this, and am doing really well still. None of us will live forever, but these last few years have been good for me, and I hope to continue living life to the fullest and not let my people worry about the “what ifs” that may be down the road.

Right now, life is good. My team had a good run today, I even ran a little bit with them, our water buckets are clean and full, we will get meat tonight for dinner, and the sun is shining making nice sunny places on the snowy ground for me to lie in.

My heart is filled with love, and my mind is content. I really could not ask for more.

Lots of love,

Calpurnia

Here’s a favorite movie of ours, when Calpurnia and Jerry met back in May, 2008:

Meeting Tripawds at the K9K Walk

What a coincidence that new member peytonpawd just started Peyton’s Path, one of our latest Tripawds Blogs!

My pack met Peyton and his people at the Morris Animal Foundation’s K9K walk they attended in Estes Park, CO a few weeks back. He was just a couple weeks out from his amputation and looking great! Just see for yourself …

Stay tuned to Wyatt’s blog and maybe he’ll get around to posting the video of all the fun he had at the dog park after the walk!

Help Find Furever Homes for Two Colorado Tripawds

We can’t stop thinking about our Colorado Tripawds Pawty back in August. We made this movie not just to show you how much fun we had, but to spread the word that two very adoptable, handsome three legged dogs showed up, looking for their furever homes.

In this video you’ll meet Ford, an available Tripawd from EveryCreatureCounts.org, and also Obie, a very sweet, mellow tripod Shepherd mix dog who lives in Denver and is available from Good Samaritan Pet Center.

If you or anyone you know is looking to bring a special Tripawd into their life, please show them this video, we guarantee they’ll fall in love with Ford and Obie.

Join Team Tripawds for the Morris K9K Walk on 9/19/09

As we mentioned a few days ago, Morris Animal Foundation is raising  money for its Canine Cancer Campaign, and holding another K9K Walk, this time in Estes Park, Colorado.

Tripawds is hoppy to announce that another Team Tripawds has been formed to help raise money. And we need your help! You can walk with us, either in person or virtually, by joining Team Tripawds today.

We need a group of at least 10 pawrents from around the world who promise to register as virtual or physical walkers, and commit to raising at least $250 for the group. Can you help?

Learn more at the  Team Tripawds discussion in our Forums, or visit our K9K Walk team page here.

To add to the fun, on the same day as the K9K Walk in Colorado, our Northern California Tripawd pawrents will walk virtually with us here in Colorado, by hosting a Tripawd Pawty in the Bay Area. We would love it if Tripawd pawrents in other parts of the country did the same thing! To plan your own K9K Walk for the same day, visit our Tripawd Parties discussion topic. Then, come join Team Tripawds!

Many of us have found this community because we’ve been affected by canine cancer. It’s an awful disease, and we want it stopped! This is one easy way we can help make a difference.

Won’t you please join Team Tripawds today?

a group of 10 people who promise to register as walkers and/or commit to raising at least $250

Tripawds Take Over Colorado Dog Park

First Tripawds Pawty Longmont, CO Group PhotoToday is a day that will go down in the history books as the largest Tripawd gathering ever!

What an amazing day it was at our first ever Tripawds gathering in Longmont, Colorado. When we planned this party, we figured we’d be really fortunate if a dozen Tripawds showed up. What an incredible sight it was to see Tripawd after Tripawd coming through the dog park gates!

Wyatt and Jim Meet the Press at Longmont Tripawd PartyWe believe we had 30 Tripawds attend, but my silly pawrents forgot to bring a guest book so we’ll never know for sure. There were so many incredible pawrents and Tripawds of all sizes stopping by all day, we wish that we had more time to get to know each and every one better.20090816w_lily-clayjodi05

We should have some great local newspaper coverage out of this, thanks to Tripawd Lily and her pawrents Clay and Jody, who handled public relations for the event. And our hero Tika gets the award for traveling the farthest for the pawty, all the way from eastern Kansas, an eight hour drive!

Tika and Her Pack at Longmont Tripawds PartyWe can’t thank everyone enough for taking time out to gather with us today. We hope that more of you can come out for our next one sometime in the future.

Better yet, how about planning a Tripawd Pawty in your town?

BiTripawds Big and Small Athena and PivotMore pictures are posted on our Tripawds Facebook Page.

How My Pawrents Started Living Again, Part 2

Jerry with his pack workamping at Vickers ranch Ten months have passed since I left this earth. Every human has different ideas about what they consider “enough” time to grieve before bringing a new companion into their lives. For my own pawrents, they didn’t have any ideas about how long that would be for them.

As time went on, I tried to tell my pawrents that it was OK for them to want to share their life with another dog. And that dog didn’t even have to be a Tripawd, I just wanted them to be happy, to once again feel the joy at sharing life’s great wonders as a pack.

Throughout our travels together, we sought far and wide for land where I could live out my final days. Though I didn’t make it there with them, they did finally find my perfect resting place. Having made a vow to wait until they found our new mountain home, they now wondered if they were perhaps ready to open their hearts and welcome a new member to the pack.

Martha Ralph Codie Rae Smokey and Wyatt RayIn July, my friend Codie Rae’s pawrents, Martha and Ralph, posted this announcement about a young pup named Wyatt, who had just been rescued by some very kind people. Being just a little partial towards Shepherds, Wyatt’s big ears, deep eyes and handsome mugshot caught the attention of my pawrents.

“Did you see that Rescue Forums post that Codie Rae put up on the site?” my Dad said to Mom.

“He’s gorgeous!” Mom said.

Mom and Martha were soon on the phone talking about Wyatt. Mom wanted to learn more. Why was he a Tripawd? What was he like? Did he have any issues?

Seems that Wyatt is a well-bred Shepherd puppy who spent the first few months of his life tethered to a rope, in a backyard in Oakland, California. He was underfed and neglected by stupid humans that likely paid a lot of money for him, probably because they just wanted a guard dog. One day his cruel owners went outside and saw that Wyatt’s leg was tangled up in the rope for who knows how long. They took him to the vet to fix his leg, but it was beyond help. When the vet recommended amputation, the owners said forget it; euthanize him. They didn’t want a three legged Shepherd.

A kind vet tech at the clinic named Lucie said “No way!” She knew that Wyatt was destined for greater things, so she took him home, and called the good people at German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California for help. The group paid for Wyatt’s leg amputation, his post-op care, and all of the things necessary to help him get ready to find a loving home.

This group is the same one which helped save my friend Codie Rae from the exact same situation last year. In fact, Codie Rae was 8 months old at the time they found her, and she’s even from the same neighborhood! Her pawrents Martha and Ralph are active volunteers for the group, and that’s how they found out about Wyatt.

Jim meets Wyatt Ray DawgFinding out about Wyatt was such perfect timing; it seemed like the universe was conspiring to put him and my pawrents together.

See, last November when Mom and Dad met Codie Rae for the first time, it was only about a month after my passing. Mom and Dad were so heavy in mourning, that they just couldn’t imagine being able to bring another dog into their lives. Today, ten months later, it seemed only fitting that Codie Rae and her pawrents introduce them to the next great love of their lives; my legacy, Wyatt Ray Dawg.

Leg-a-cy. Get it?! 🙂

Last week, Mom and Dad went out to Northern California to get their stuff out of storage. Along the way, they made a stop in Oakland, to meet this very special Tripawd! Yes, it was puppy love at first sight. Wyatt made the three day journey back to Jerry’s Acres, and appears to be loving his new life.

Wyatt Ray Dawg at home in the Rocky MountainsAnd as my pawrents begin their new chapter in Colorado, Wyatt will be there alongside them to share all the joys that life has to offer. And, he’ll continue showing the world that “It’s better to hop on three legs than limp on four!” I’ll be watching over the pack as their travels continue.

Stay tuned for more details about our new Tripawds spokesdog, and read more about Wyatt on his Tripawds blog, Way to Go, Wyatt!

Did you know you can now sign up for your own free Tripawds blog? More big announcements about that coming up soon!

How My Pawrents Started Living Again, Part 1

Jerry and his pack at Whitefish Point on Lake OntarioAfter I said goodbye to my pawrents, it wasn’t easy for them to adapt to life without me. After traveling the country together for nearly two years, all those lessons I taught them about living in the moment became harder for them to follow. Their hearts were simply too heavy, mourning my loss.

Although our pack was still spiritually together, they were so sad that I wasn’t physically with them to enjoy new adventures.

Over the following months, they shed many tears. And each time a dog crossed their path, they felt as if their hearts were sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

But slowly, and thankfully, all of you good Tripawd pawrents helped bring them back into the present. The Tripawds mission became something for them to focus on, other than grief. These last few months they’ve worked hard to build up the site to support more Tripawd pawrents, and it’s kept them very, very busy. With each anniversary of my passing, the heavy burden of grief slowly becomes a little lighter.

In July, I led my Mom and Dad to a place in Colorado where I would have loved to roam, a spot where any dog would feel like king of the mountain.

See, ever since I got sick, they had been looking for a new place for us to call home. Although we roamed from California to Maine and down to Texas, we all knew that the Rocky Mountains were our destiny. In spring, they headed to Colorado, and began their search for my land. But months went by, and nothing seemed destined to become ours.

They had just about given up on finding what they wanted, when I led them to our perfect spot in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Funny because in our travels together, we had driven by the turn-off from Hwy 287, just west of Fort Collins, three times. This time, the road led them to a beautiful mountain retreat they now call Jerry’s Acres.

As they began making plans to bring our storage stuff out from California, my friend Codie Rae, Girldog Extraordinaire, and her pawrents were hard at work, helping to rescue a fellow Shepherd in need of a loving home. While I wasn’t able to spend my last days on the land we sought for so long, I can’t help but think what a wonderful place Jerry’s Acres would be for a neglected puppy from the inner city… (to be continued)