Make Tags, then Go Play Tag

OK pawrents, I’m not talking about dog tags here, but something almost as impawtant.

Have you ever tried looking for a specific topic in our three legged dog Discussion Forums, only to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of posts returned by the built-in Search feature? Who has time to look through all those posts? You should be playing tag instead!

With almost 20,000 posts in our Discussion Forums (and growing every day), we are asking you, dear Tripawds Family Members, to please start including Tags in every new post that you start.

By taking just a few seconds to add Tags, you can help build the Tripawds knowledge base, and make it so much faster for all of us to find information we need.

What’s a Tag?

Tags are relevant keyword(s) about each topic. Each tag is a link to related topics containing the same tag. They appear in little boxes beneath every Topic title in each Forum’s overview page. You’ll also see tags at the top of all individual topics.

Clicking the “Related” button when viewing any topic will also return a quick list of links to similarly tagged topics.

How Do I Make Tags?

Tags can only be created when starting a new topic.

First, create your Topic and write your post, but before clicking “Post New Topic”:

  1. Look for the “Topic Tags” field underneath your text box, to the left.
  2. Type a few relevant words about your topic.
    • For example, if you’re asking a question about “power mushrooms,” make that phrase a Tag. Or if you want to talk about booties, then “booties” can be a Tag.
  3. Can’t think of Tags? Click on “Get Suggested Tags From: Local Tags, Yahoo, Tag the Net
    • We prefer to click on “Local Tags” first. This gives related tags from existing posts. Using existing tags ensures consistency, so that you don’t duplicate a tag with the same meaning or a different spelling.
  4. If you are the first pawrent to cover a topic, keep Tags to a single word or short phrase. Type in lower case, and separate multiple tags by commas.
  5. Remember, there’s no limit to how many Tags you can include, but a short list of specific Tags is better than too many slightly realtive tags.

A Note for Forum Moderators:

Forum moderators can add or edit topic tags after posts are created. If you are a moderator who feels like making a huge contribution to Tripawds, you can always add relative tags to existing topics.

Tags can be added/edited from Forum view – where Topic titles are listed – by clicking the small wrench visible to Moderators.

Thanks everyone, for helping to make this the best three legged tripod dog resource in the world!

So much going on around here.

The Tripawds community has grown so much – in numbers and features – that sometimes important announcements and discussions tend to get missed. Recently the Tripawds Forums have been very busy, unfortunately, with talk of many heroic pups who have passed.

There are also lots of new Tripawds Blogs telling tales of many amazing three legged adventures.

Here are just a few recent items of interest from all over the Tripawds web site that members may find interesting…

Behind the Scenes Blog

We have a blog ring now.
Every Tripawds Blog is now linked together in a true Blogger style Ring of Blogs!

Supporters Demystified
All about Supporter Blogs and Premium Plugins.

New Easy Method for Embedding Videos
Instructions for putting movies in blog posts.
How to embed movies in forum posts.

Active Tripawds Blogs

Jake’s Life in Pictures
Beautiful Example of upcoming Flash Photo Gallery premium plugin. Stay tuned for details.

Travis Ray aka GSRNC’s Caruso
Codie Rae’s pack mate needs a furever home!

Raven is doing really well!
See his new movie in the forums.

Maggie meets new friends
Tri-pug Maggie meets Cemil

Support Tripawds while Shopping
Help keep René busy! 😉

Random Tripawds Blogs
Browse random Tripawds Blogs.

Tripawds Discussion Forums

Tika has left us
May our hero rest in peace. 🙁

Winter Apparel
Discussion of warmth for amputee dogs

Tags Enabled on All Forums
Assign tags ro topics for easy cross-reference.

What Can Forum Moderators Do?
Member and Moderator capabilities compared.

Welcome New Tripawds Bloggers!
Subscribe to topic for new blog announcements.

The Tripawd Dictionary
The three-legged lexicon is growing.

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

When a Tripawd Needs Another Leg Surgery

It’s a tripawd pawrent’s worst nightmare; being told that your tripawd needs another major leg surgery. What do you do? Can your Tripawd handle another confinement and recuperation? Will he ever be the same?

Chuy is one pup from Arizona who says: “Yes, indeed! Just look at me!

Chuy is a Tripawd friend who was diagnosed with Legg-Calve Perthes Disease, which is a fracture in the ball of the femur. In May 2009, he underwent Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) surgery on his rear leg, the same side in which he’s already missing a leg.

Three legged dog Chuy before FHO surgeryThis “simple” surgery involves the head of the femur or the attachment to the hip. A new joint is formed by just the muscles of the hind legs, similar to how the shoulder blade is normally attached to the dogs body, by muscle alone.

If you have a Tripawd that needs to undergo another major leg surgery,  try not to worry. Check out Chuy’s Mom’s diary she sent to us, to help comfort other pawrents in this situation:

“Research is the key. Research the type of surgery your dog is going to have, the medications your dog will be on, the side effects and withdrawals symptoms. Research the actions you may need to take for your dogs recovery i.e. physical therapy, nursing, home preparation. Make sure you trust your vet, but remember, your vet doesn’t know everything, you need to talk to others that have been through similar experiences.”

Here are more details that Chuy’s Mom shared with us about his recovery:

Continue reading When a Tripawd Needs Another Leg Surgery

The Tripawds Mission Statement

Earlier this year, my Dad was searching for a quick way to describe Tripawds’ purpose. He came up with this nifty little bite-sized kibble:

The Tripawds Mission Statement

“To maintain a community of support for those faced with amputation for their dogs,
by providing resources and a platform for discussion.”

tripawd awareness ribbon for three legged dog websites

Schedule your own live chats!

More big news for tripawds and their people who wish to connect with others! We just created a new tripawd discussion forum where members can schedule live chat sessions of their own.

My people always try to be available in the chat room most evenings. But often there is no one their to chat with others in their time of need. Now there is a way to schedule your own chats, or just let everyone know when you may be online. Here are some other ideas that would make the Tripawd Chat Room an even better resource for everyone:

  • Add a new topic for scheduling breed-specific chats
  • Create a topic for scheduled live chats about specific issues
  • Announce a schedule of regular times you will be in the chat room
  • Update topics with a summary of the chat

Simply add a topic for your scheduled chat(s). Be sure to provide ample notification time for your chat considering some members may check the forums weekly. Optionally, use the Private Messaging (Inbox) system to invite specific members. Then, just be available in the chat room at your specified time and hopefully others will arrive. We’ll certainly try to be there!Jerry meets a puppy at Watsons Pet Products

After the chat, post a reply to your forum topic with a summary or transcript. If you do not refresh the page during your chat, all comments can be copied from the shout box and pasted into a forum post. Keep in mind, however, that emptying the shout box by reloading the page can improve browser performance during busy chats.

Anyway, we hope this new scheduled chat forum will help members utilize the chat room better. We’ll certainly use it to schedule tripawd chats of our own, so stay tuned!

Server Upgrade Campaign: We Did It!

Jerry meets Eisen at his Colorado home in for a six legged dog party Whew! You did it! Tripawds pawrents rock!

Between March 27 and May 31st, an amazing $4342 was raised for our first ever web server upgrade campaign. Wooo hoo! You helped us make our goal, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The kindness of our Tripawds family never ceases to amaze us, but it is especially touching because of the ruff economy going on right now. Wow. What a testament to the awesomeness of our Tripawds family.

Your generosity has covered the cost of migrating to it’s own dedicated website server, and paid for a whole year of hosting fees and maintenance. Now, aside from experiencing faster performance speeds in the Forums and Chat Room, you’ll soon get to participate in an awesome new way to tell the world about your own unique Tripawd journey. Stay tuned for our big announcement, coming soon.

With gratitude always,

Rene, Jim & Spirit Jerry

Web Server Upgrade Status Report

First and foremost, for all of you who have contributed to our current fund-raising campaign, we can’t thank you enough for your generous support. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Jerry and Jim Jeeping in Old Blue at Vickers RanchMy people have now completed our migration of this blog and the Tripawd Discussion Forums to our own dedicated server. This was no easy feat, but the upgrade was necessary due to poor website performance on our old shared hosting account.

As our community grows, so must we. It is our mission to help support those of you facing the difficult decisions of amputation and cancer care for your pups. With your support, we can continue to do so indefinitely.

It has been almost three weeks since we made the big leap to our new box. We believe we have worked out all the kinks. Those who remember all the mysterious Server 500 errors, shouldn’t be seeing them any more. If you do, or encounter any other anomalies, please report the details here.

Now that we have the bandwidth, you can expect more major improvements around here too. Our new random tripawd header images are just the beginning. The forums are finally working well, and our next project will be a better chat room solution. The big news, however, will be when we launch … we don’t want to give away too much about this yet, so stay tuned for some really exciting announcements.

All that’s left to do with this upgrade is pay for it. And thanks to many of you, we are making great progress toward that end. But we have a long way to go. As of this posting, we have raised 30% of our goal to cover the next full year of dedicated hosting and all our operating expenses. Just 20 contributors have made this happen. But consider this: we have more than 500 registered forum members and blog subscribers. If everyone gave just a few dollars, we could call this campaign quits.

If you have given already, please don’t contribute again. Let’s give everyone a chance to help out. If you think Tripawds is run by some big company, we are honored, but you are mistaken. Our campaign announcement includes more details and an itemized expense budget for those interested. And don’t forget Sasha’s generous offer to create custom tripawd poster artwork for every dog who donates.

Please know that we totally understand the costs associated with canine cancer care, and we do not expect everyone to Chip In. If you are not in a position to contribute, please consider helping by placing the widget above on your website or Facebook profile. Just click the <copy> link for details.

Thank you for your continued support.

Original Art Posters Free for All Tripawds Campaign Supporters

Tripawds Angel Jerry G DawgWe are so thrilled with the generous gifts that have been coming in for Jerry’s Web Server Upgrade Campaign!

Many thanks to all of our friends and family who have been so kind.

As an added incentive to click that button, anyone who supports the campaign can get a custom electronic work of art starring your beloved Tripawd pal(s) or other fur kids!

Spirit Lalla’s Mom Sasha has kindly offered to create this lovely artwork for Tripawd supporters.

It would look similar to this one she made for us, but of course tailored to your own pal’s story.

All you have to do, is click to support the campaign. Any amount is great!

After you contribute send us an email, along with:

  • one high resolution, good clear photo of your fur kid(s),
  • and a few words about his/her favorite toys and personality.

As soon as our resident artist has completed your art, we’ll send it your way.

Thank you for your support!

Please Help Tripawds Grow!

Poor Hot JerryWhen I had my leg amputated, Mom and Dad were terrified. They had never seen a three legged dog before, and thought that life as we knew it was over.

The day I went into surgery, Dad started my three legged dog blog, and began sharing our journey with the world. It didn’t take long before other pawrents wrote to tell about their experiences. Suddenly, Mom and Dad didn’t feel so alone anymore.

That’s when they knew they wanted to pay it forward, by helping others and creating the world’s greatest place for three legged dogs! Since 2006, Tripawds has been a true labor of love for them.

A Labor of Love

Tripawds might look “big” but did you know my Mom and Dad are the only ones who take care of everything here? As volunteers, they do it all from the 24′ foot trailer they call home. And until now, they’ve covered all of the costs of keeping this site going.

The hours they spend on it each day are so worthwhile! To them, there’s nothing more gratifying than witnessing the generosity of people like you who are always willing to offer a shoulder to lean on for new Tripawd pawrents looking for help and advice.

Time for a Bigger Dog House

There’s only one downside to making more friends here: Tripawds has outgrown our current web hosting plan. That’s why you may have noticed performance issues in the discussion forums and chat room. Our time has come to move to a bigger dog house, so Dad can make major upgrades that will improve your experience here.

This bigger dog house costs money, and we can’t pay for it alone. We’ve never asked for donations outright before, but we need everyone’s help to make this improvement possible.

Today we are announcing our first fundraising campaign to help pay for this much needed upgrade and ongoing maintenance. We are seeking to raise $4,250 to cover the costs of migrating to it’s own dedicated website server, and cover the first year of monthly hosting fees and maintenance.

Let’s Keep Hopping Along

In technical terms, the low budget shared hosting account we currently have just can’t handle the traffic we get at any more. The number of daily visitors has tripled since we launched the discussion forums just over a year ago. And more members are joining every day! As our community continues to grow, we want everyone to enjoy their stay here, without degraded performance. So, we will be moving to the new managed server shortly.

Three Legged Dogs Jerry and Eisen play at Williams Creek ReservoirThis upgrade is sure to keep Tripawds up and running at peak performance, for a long time to come. But it means we need your contributions now. Won’t you please take a moment to make a secure contribution by clicking the ChipIn! button? This way everyone will know when we’ve reached our goal.

Your support will also help pay for things like informative cards and posters we send to vet’s offices, covering the shipping fees for harnesses returned by those whose dogs have passed away, and donations we make to canine cancer organizations. These are things Mom and Dad have always paid for out of their own pockets, and would love to get help with. Here’s some expense details if you’re interested.

Every Litte Bit Helps

We know you have a lot to think about right now with your own Tripawd experience. And we know these times are ruff. But seriously, no amount is too small! Every little bit will help keep this community offering awesome resources, information, and moral support. And once we’re on our new server, we’ll be able to offer some exciting new features too.

Won’t you please consider helping to support Tripawds? It’s easy and quick, and once you do it, we won’t bug you again for another year!

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for anything you can give today.

– René, Jim & Spirit Jerry