Growing pains persist.

Jerry Destroys Rubbermaid TubAfter working hard for months to implement WordPress MU here at tripawds.com, my people were quite excited to announce the new free Tripawds Blogs. Apparently, however, we haven’t quite worked out all the kinks … yet.

Some users may recently have noticed a slow down in website performance or the site being offline at times. While we specified a robust new server to handle the WPMU migration, we were not prepared for the mysterious processor load spikes we are currently experiencing.

What does all this technobabble mean for Tripawds? Only that we ask for your patience while we work to resolve these issues. You may continue to notice changes around here while we hunt down the gremlins.

Our primary goal is to ensure the Tripawd Discussion Forums remain fully functional and that members can continue to share their stories in the new Tripawds Blogs. Aside from that, we’ll be doing our best to optimize performance, and that might mean abandoning certain features.

If you experience trouble, please report it with as much detail as possible in the Tripawds Tech Support forum. Please bear with us and stand by for important updates. Thank you ever so much for your patience and continued support.

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

Your Tripawd Can Live a Hoppier Life with Dr. Marty’s Advice

Dr Marty Natural Animal Healing bookMany of you might be familiar with “Dr. Marty,” because he happens to be the veterinarian of choice for celebrities like Oprah and Martha Stewart. Dr. Marty also has his own Sirius Networks radio show on Martha Stewart’s network, Monday nights, from 8pm-9pm, EST. He has made regular appearances on many TV shows as well.

Long before many of us learned about the horrors of commercial pet foods, or embraced the concept of holistic medicine for animals, Dr. Marty was advocating for home cooked diets, speaking out against over-vaccination, and treating his clients with acupuncture and homeopathic medicine.

We were introduced to Dr. Marty after learning about Prana, a 15 year old German Shepherd who was a lifelong client of Dr. Marty’s. Prana lived a long, healthy life and with Dr. Marty’s guidance, managed to help her body cope and heal from several medical conditions that would wreak havoc on less healthy dogs. We asked Prana’s Mom what her secret was for living such a great life:

“I have been using alternative therapies on my Shepherds for the past 15 years. I give them a raw foods diet, mostly organic, avoid conventional vaccines, except for minimal use of rabies, never use heartworm meds and avoid conventional flea and tick treatments.”

When we heard about the amazingly healthy life that Prana enjoyed, we just had to learn more about her Mom’s Mentor, Dr. Marty.

Dr. Marty is a conventionally trained veterinarian who became a believer in alternative medicine long ago, when he sought out holistic medicine treatments for his own recurrent health problems which weren’t being helped by traditional western medicine. When these problems were finally resolved using a natural, non-toxic approach, he  committed himself to mastering the art and science of integrating holistic methods of treatment with conventional veterinary medicine in his own practice.

Dr. Marty is considered the world’s leading expert on holistic veterinary medicine. But he isn’t defined strictly by holistic medicine principles: he believes in the powerful curative effect of combining the best of both conventional and holistic medicine. As a result, he and his staff at Smith Ridge Veterinary Center follow the principles of “integrative medicine” where both types of therapies are combined to maintain health and guard against disease.

Since 1984, he and his staff have become well-known for their extraordinary success at treating cancer and other serious illnesses. Critically ill cats and dogs from around the world are brought to his clinic for treatment, usually after other vets have given up on them. The vast majority are restored to health and wellness once the principles of integrative medicine are faithfully applied.

The Nature of Animal Healing

Dr. Marty has a comprehensive book filled with practical advice about pet health and wellness, called “The Nature of Animal Healing.” This book takes readers through the essentials of holistic medicine, and shares basic tips for applying these principles to your pet’s life. This guide should be a part of every pawrents resource library.

Dr. Marty explains that holistic pet care is centered around the concept that the best way to cure an animal who is sick, is to help the animal cure itself. Neither us nor the veterinary pharmaceutical industry are not the true healers of our pets — they are. By treating the root of the problem instead of the symptoms, holistic medicine helps our pets regain and maintain their own health.

The book has great advice such as; why we shouldn’t feed our animals commercial pet foods, and what we should be feeding them instead. He explains why vaccines are doing more harm than good, and how you can keep your pet safe from overuse of them. You’ll learn what acupuncture and homeopathic medicine is and how it can restore your pet’s vitality. You’ll discover why sick pets need to experience a “healing crisis” and how a scare like that will actually help them recover. There is an entire chapter devoted to the methods Dr. Marty uses for treating cancer holistically, and also a comprehensive layman’s guide for treating a variety of common cat and dog ailments with common foods, natural herbs, homeopathic medicine, and lots more.

Originally published in 1999, The Nature of Animal Healing makes incredibly bold statements that fly in the face of what modern conventional veterinary medicine teaches. And while some of the holistic methods and principles he endorses might seem too far out for some (he believes in the “dubious effects” of vaccines), all of his arguments are supported with scientific data that he and other like-minded doctors have researched for decades.

We feel compelled to mention that we respectfully disagree with some of his ideas. For example, in his chapter about animal spirituality, he believes that there is no need for pawrents to be present during euthanasia. He explains that wild animals choose to die alone, and being present with our animals during their final moments is fulfilling our own human needs, not theirs. I think that in the time since this book came out, our thinking about this emotional subject has changed tremendously.

Overall, however, Dr. Marty’s book is life-changing. Read his book with an open mind, make a commitment to applying his advice to your own pet’s lives and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Results like the long happy life of Prana are proof that it works.

Dr. Marty’s clinic is located in South Salem, New York, about 1 hour north of New York City. His clinic is Smith Ridge Veterinary Center, and both in-person and phone consultations can be made by calling (914) 533-6066.

Help Cure Canine Cancer at the Morris K9K Walk in Colorado, 9/19/09

We just got word from the Morris Animal Foundation about an important Canine Cancer fundraising event on September 19th in Estes Park, Colorado:

“More than six million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year. Join us on September 19th at 8 am on the beautiful Lake Estes Trail beginning at Stanley Park in Estes Park, Colorado and walk for a cure! 100% of all walk registration fees, vendor fees and donations go directly to support Morris Animal Foundation’s Canine Cancer Campaign to fund research for canine cancer, early detection methods, effective treatments and ultimately a cure!

Walk registration and check in begins at 8 am. The Lake Estes Trail is approximately 4 miles, walk all or part of the trail with or without a dog. After the walk, speakers will discuss canine cancer, prevention, wellness and other topics. Visit the vendor booths and exhibits. Early walk registration fee: $25 Adults (postmarked by 9/12/2009); Walk day registration: $30 adult, $10 Child (10 years or older). Download a form here.

All walkers will receive a Canine Cancer Campaign bandanna for their dog, a canine cancer awareness bracelet.

After the walk join our health seminars where our panel of experts will discuss cancer prevention, wellness, cancer research and treatment.

Planning to walk with your club, office or group of friends? Start a team and we will create a team webpage and special team registration and donation forms. For more information about starting a team, click here.

Can’t attend the walk but want to help? Register for the “Virtual Walk”! You can support a great cause and receive a Canine Cancer Campaign bandanna for your dog and a canine cancer awareness bracelet in the mail. Join our growing list of nationwide virtual teams by signing up here.

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 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)

Frida Says Life is for Living and Learning

Three Legged Pit Bull FridaOne day my pawrents stumbled upon Experience Life Magazine, a great publication about healthy living lifestyles. Inside was a letter from magazine editor Pilar Gerasimo, who shared her story about her beloved dog Frida, and how she came to be a tripawd:

Alas, in that vast category of precious things not fully appreciated until they are gone, I must now list my little dog’s left front leg.

A few days ago, our pal Frida (a.k.a., The Muppy, pictured here with all four paws intact) was run over by a hit-and-run driver and ended up at the University of Minnesota Small Animal Hospital faced with wounds we were not at all sure she’d survive.

Survive, thank goodness, she did. And while my husband and I are still heartbroken about the loss of her leg, we are also more keenly aware than ever of just how easily even the most fundamental things can be whisked away while we’re busy focusing on the things that seem important — until they’re not.

Seeing our dog hobbling bravely on her three remaining paws, and making the very best of a tragic and challenging situation, has made a few things very clear to me.

Pilar’s editorial about making the best of ruff times is worth a read. So sit back, click here, and enjoy.

Amputation and Bone Cancer: Send in Your Survey Questions

07. Jerry's number one fan at the Fort Pierce Farmers Market Hey guys,  tomorrow my pawrents are heading to California to get their stuff and bring it back to my land in Colorado. They send their apologies if they aren’t around as much for the next week. But when they return, hang onto your hats, they’ve got some big news for you.

In the meantime, here’s something to consider: Recently, our friend Tazzie posted this in the Forums:

If I were more motivated, I might distribute a little survey each of us could complete to summarize how and what we did post-amp and post-chemo. We must have a larger sample of tripawds, however biased our group might be. . . than most vets will ever see.

When we read this, we thought “YES! What a great idea!” Every day Tripawd pawrents talk here about their different approaches to battling cancer.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could gather everyone’s experiences, treatments and then some, and compile it all into a survey / study?

If this works, we’ll run the survey questions periodically to catch newcomers. We need your help though. Send us the  questions you think need to be asked for a survey like this. Questions like:

  • What is your dog’s diagnosis?
  • Did s/he have a difficult time after surgery?
  • How long did it take until you were confident s/he was feeling good again?
  • What supplements are you using and when?
  • How was your dog the day he or she arrived home from surgery?
  • How was your dog the rest of the first week? (a) animal ?  (b) vegetable?   (c) sedementary rock?

Once we have a good amount of questions, we’ll put them into survey format that everyone can fill out. When the data is collected, we will analyze and post the results.

So put your thinking caps on, and start listing your amputation and canine bone cancer questions today!

Home Sweet Home in Colorado

Spirit Jerry enjoys his new mountain home.I finally led my people to our perfect mountain paradise retreat in Colorado.  It’s more than they could ever imagine. We left our original home in June, 2007, and boy, what a long, strange trip it’s been!

Lots of events and coincidences led us here, I can’t wait to tell you about them. And, there are also so many big things happening here in our Tripawds Community, I can’t even begin to tell you!

But I will, soon. Stay tuned, there’s lots of fun ahead!

Tripawds Pawty in Longmont, Colorado, on 8/16

Three Legged Agility Dog SerenaOn Sunday, August 16, our inspirational Tripawds and their humans are gathering at Longmont’s Dog Park #2 to show the world that “It’s Better to Hop on Three Legs Than Limp on Four.”

This is our first official Tripawds get-together, and we hope to make it an annual thing. Friends and family are invited, including those of the four legged variety. Festivities start at 11 am. Nothing formal, just a group of dogs getting together to have a great time at the park. Beverages will be provided and if you can make it, be sure to bring a snack to share.

To chat with others about it and stay current on updates, please visit our Tripawds Pawty Forum Thread.

Longmont Dog Park #2:

Located at Airport Road and St.Vrain Roads. Parking is provided at the site (behind the Public Works facility at 375 Airport Road). This fenced-in park includes a water spigot and shade shelters. Dog bags are provided