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I wanted to come back here and say farewell.  I lost my tripawd last Tuesday way too soon.  He was almost three.  The message I want to send today is not one explaining how cancer killed him, or his misery, or one of a poor disabled dog.  It’s one of a dog that was saved, and had a pain-free life and was loved as much as any dog, because we corrected his condition – an inoperative benign “crunchy” tumor in his shoulder – with his amputation.

Scooby loved chasing balls.  He had a nose that could find that Kong ball in high grass twice as fast as a four legged dog because of his amazing sense of smell.  Was he faster at chasing?  Not really, but that didn’t distract from his love of chasing them, nor my love for throwing it for him. He did have a huge advantage for tricks, especially standing on his back legs, but he wasn’t so good at ‘shake’.  He wasn’t real good for long hikes but he loved hopping around my huge backyard, and chasing his brother Shaggy (which Shaggy LOVED).

He had the same stupid dog problems – not listening, chasing my cats in not a good way, biting his brother once in a while. He needed a whooping once in a while for sweeping the countertops. He barked and howled during our ‘cuddle time’, which was really annoying.  He was just any old dog, except for the fact that he was mine, and we miss him.

Shaggy was his ‘buddy’.  When we brought Shaggy home, he was under 20 pounds, 13 weeks old, and all Scooby wanted to do was attack him.  We hired a professional dog behaviorist / trainer, and she suggested we get rid of the puppy because he was more ‘adoptable’ than the tripawd.  We stuck it out, and when Shaggy got to be about 80 pounds (versus Scooby’s 55), things took care of themselves.  It’s a shame people wouldn’t adopt a tripawd over the puppy, but I understand, I guess. Tripawds make great pets!

Scooby’s number one problem was his stomach.  We think he had stress induced collitis, and serious bouts of it, after ultrasounds and barium swallows.  Collitis is a common problem with many GSD’s.  He also couldn’t resist eating things, whether it was mulch, sticks, rocks, whatever – he wanted to eat it.  The last bout with his stomach took him from a lean 55 pounds to about 46 because he wouldn’t eat.  After a lot of tests from a specialist and a handful of pills every day, he started to bounce back for about a week.  As dogs that are gaining weight from such a condition, their bodies have cravings, apparently dogs can eat stuff they shouldn’t.  We think that’s what finally got him.  I spent the last few hours he had with him.  He was loved, and he is missed.

I hope when people read this they realize that tripawd dogs are just dogs.  They really don’t know they have a limitation.  They’re just dogs and they have dog problems.  They need boundaries like normal dogs.  They need training and play time, and exercise.  You’ll love them like any dog, and they’ll love you back ten-fold.

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