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Cutest Tripawd in Alaska!

Hi all – been FOREVER since I wrote a blog post πŸ™‚ Rene thought it would be a good idea if I blogged once my family and I relocated to Alaska so everyone could see our journey.

All in all – 6 days in a Subaru Imprezza with 2 people and 3 dogs… it didn’t go as badly as I had imagined! The dogs did great! Sara (the white one) was a huge seat hog and Gatsby and Barret ended up sharing 1/3 of the backseat most of the trip, but they didn’t seem to mind.

So here we are in our new home in Chugiak, AK… starting our new jobs tomorrow. We have a photoblog here if you’d like to see more pics and follow our journey. Β Here’s to seizing the day and living our dreams!


Category:  Fun Stuff     

Merry Christmas from our pack to yours!

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Just hopping in to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Tripawds family! May next year bring everyone lots of luck and puppy or kitty kisses!

Here’s our Christmas photo:11484439275_97a62a12a5

Here’s Barret in his Santa hat (still sitting at the kitchen table, of course).

Barret joined us at work for our Holiday Party and group photos (at That Fish Place – That Pet Place):

He was such a little brat at work though, he would not lay on the floor or on a chair I pulled up by my desk. he insisted that his bed be placed on top of my desk then he finally tucked out, but not before EVERYONE fell in love with my little guy. I mean, how could you not? I’ve been instructed that Ijust have to bring him in more often πŸ™‚ Love my babies.



Happy Holidays!
Heather & Barret




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Category:  Fun Stuff     

6 Months + My Wish List for Santa

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Hi there, Barret here. Momma came home with cupcakes yesterday and told me it was my 6 month ampuversary! Wow how time flies πŸ™‚ Untitled

Nothing much new to report on in our house. I keep being a naughty boy and sitting on the kitchen table and chairs. Mom said she might try feeding me dinner at the table once. That’d be fun! It certainly won’t discourage the bad behavior though.

We also had 2 snows last week. I HATE snow. It’s cold and wet and cold. I hide when it is time to go potty, I’d rather hold it forever than take a walk in that stuff. Here’s the only picture mom got of me in the snow. I had to run out quick and be referee with my brother and sister play-fighting, then I ran straight back inside.

The only thing I like about the snow is that it means Christmas is soon here. That’s my favorite holiday. I love helping open presents! Speaking of presents, I wrote on my mom’s blog my wish list for Santa. Hop over to That Pet Blog and read it πŸ™‚


Stay warm, my Tripawd friends!

Category:  Barret's Recovery     

Today marks another ampuversary

5 months. It seems like forever ago, then when I am in the forums and a new member comes in with all the uncertainty and questions.. it takes me right back to that hellish emotionally charged month before amputation.

Even now, 5 months after amputation, sometimes I will look at him; this perfectly happy, bubbly dog on 3 legs, and I think, oh my god. I can’t believe I did that to him. I have to remind myself that he had CANCER. He has so much more life to live and I gave him that chance. I have no regrets. I don’t think I’ll ever regret the decision, but sometimes it is still a shocking sight. He never did really regrow hair where they shaved him.

Other times we have those silly moments, like right before we go somewhere and he runs excitedly up and down the steps a dozen times before I get down the steps. I just laugh because nothing, NOTHING can take away his energy and zest. Not even when he stumbles on the last step or two. He just gets right back up and charges back up the steps again, hurrying me along.

He is truly one of a kind. My Bear. My baby. And I love him more than anything else.


Category:  Barret's Recovery     

Vote for Barret

Do you have a second? That’s all the time it takes, honest!

Can you pop over to Modern Dog and vote for me to win the Star Dog magazine spread? Pretty please? Then maybe share it with your friends so they vote too?

I promise to be the bestest-most-beautiful-tripawd-ever-seen-in-a-dog-magazine!

You’ll vote, won’t you. Pretty please..?


Category:  Barret's Recovery     

How long has it been? Oh yeah 4 months!

Hi Everypawdy, Just Barret checking in. Tomorrow marks 4 months. So far so good! Mom has been so busy with school and work and life that time is just slipping away from her. She really needs to take a minute to be more dog πŸ™‚ She was so busy we didn’t even put candles on my sister Sara’s birthday cake – we just ate the cake without any fanfare. I liked it, but it sure was unusual!

She keeps up with all the tripawd blogs through something called an RSS feed, so she’s still thinking of everyone and wondering how they’re doing.

Mom says now that fall has officially arrived, its time for me to get all my clothes back out. Problem is, none of them fit me anymore! The only one that doesn’t trip me up is my sock monkey sweater. I think its embarrassing to walk around in, but she promised to take in some of my hoodies and tshirts this weekend, so I guess I can deal with that. MonkeyBear

Wishing everyone a happy [rainy] Thursday. I’m happy because mom let me stay home from our walk this morning because I hate the rain πŸ™‚

Category:  Barret's Recovery     

3 months and still going strong!

3 months!

Today is the 3 month milestone! Yippe! No signs of regrowth so far, and trust me, I check him all the time πŸ™‚

Those of you who saw my flea dermatitis post in the forums know that we had an incident at the sitter’s house while I was on vacation. No big deal, but since I don’t have anything new to report, I’d like to share this story about Barret:

Anyone who knows about positive reinforcement training knows that associating sometimes unpleasant things (like baths, for instance) with yummy treats can help dogs look forward to those things they once hated. In my case, Barret always tolerated baths, but Gatsby is TERRIFIED of the tub. So I started positive reinforcement with cheese and the bathroom, cheese while the tub was running, cheese while in the bath… you get the idea.

The thing is, with multiple dogs, you have to give everyone the cheese or it just isn’t fair πŸ˜‰

My method kind of backfired with Barret. He craves baths. He is always in the bathroom with me, waiting for a bath. He will get sooo excited when I say “Who wants a bath?” it just makes me laugh and smile. If I leave the bathroom door open while giving Sara her bath (which she stoically tolerates, but does not enjoy), he gets in with her (even if he’s already had his bath).

Bath time!

Truthfully it is all about the cheese, but his zest for life warms my heart. He is such a special boy. I can’t express with words how much I love him, and I know that all of you reading this know exactly how that feels. I’m so thankful for this community of dog-minded people.

Bubble bath dog

P.S. Gatsby still hates baths, won’t go near the bathroom, and has not had a proper bath in years. I broke down and we go the “sponge bath” route with him when he gets dirty or stinky.

Category:  Barret's Surgery      Tagged: ,

Reflections on a rough few weeks

cancer_dog_tag This pretty much sums up how I feel about the month of August.

First there was Bogi. I didn’t really know Bogi through the site or have ever chatted with Manny, but the funny thing about this site is that with each tripawd to pass over the rainbow bridge, no matter how much you knew about their situation or interacted with their people you feel the loss in the deepest part of your heart. All of us pet lovers know what it feels like to lose a pet. Most of us have now come to the realization that a cancer diagnosis and fight makes the human pet bond even tighter than with your other pets and the loss is only that much harder. I cry for each and every one of these losses, because I can’t even begin to imagine how it will feel when Barret crosses the bridge, hopefully many years from now.

578398_10151783629222902_435348777_n Last Wednesday, a coworker that I’ve worked with for 6 years lost her very brief battle with bile duct cancer at age 29. She was at home, peacefully surrounded by her family, her new husband whom she married at the hospital during her brief illness, and her 3 beloved dogs. She was an amazing person, and I wish I had gotten to know her better while she was on this earth. Looking back, I can never remember ever seeing anything but a smile on her face. She was like sunshine, she really did brighten a room.

Yesterday, this community learned of the loss of Brendol and Sassy. My heart aches for the loss that Karma and Michelle are feeling right now. I wish I had words that could make it all better, make it go away, but I don’t. I am at a loss for words.

Both Karma and Michelle were ever present in the chat rooms and forums, dolling out advice and lending a virtual shoulder to lean on when recovery was rough. I will forever appreciate and cherish all of the people who were able to support me through the decision to amputate, through to recovery and those who still cheer on every ampuversary and month that we go without finding cancerous regrowth. I cherish every member of this community, regardless of if I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with them. I haven’t been as available to this community since going back to school and working full time, but I do keep up with the blogs and try to add my 2 cents when I can in the forums. I think about Tripawds on a daily basis.

All this loss has made me hold my dogs a little tighter, snuggle a little closer. It’s making me realize that life is so fragile, so fickle and can end at any time. Cherish each moment you have with your pets, your family and your friends. It is so precious.

**Edit: I think I read somewhere on Facebook that Deuce passed this month too. If I forgot anyone else’s loss, please know that this post applies to you as well.

Category:  Random rants     

I’m my sister’s hero today

Dog fell out of the carBarret here, Mom wasn’t there when this happened, so I get to tell this story!

Mom dropped us off at the babysitter’s (aka Grammie) this morning before work. Dad came to pick us up later. On the way home in Dad’s car we were just riding with the windows down partially. Sara jumped up on the window and it went down the rest of the way. It all happened so fast we aren’t sure if she jumped or fell…or maybe Gatsby gave her a push, but then she was outside of the car and we were speeding away!

This is where I become the hero. I let out a loud bark to tell Daddy what happened. He turned around and didn’t see Sara so he quickly pulled over. He ran back down the road towards her where she was just standing.. Kind of shocked in the middle of a busy road. Some lady stopped traffic for her while daddy scooped her up. He did a quick check, didn’t see anything broken so he rushed us home.

When we got home mommy got her first aid bag out, checked Sara all over, cleaned up some bloody scrapes on her legs, and checked her vitals. Good thing she took that first aid class last year. Now I’m off to take a nap, being a hero is hard work.

I’m taking it from here, Barret, thanks for the recap. Sara seems fine. She’s shaken up, sleepy and the only injuries I can see are a scraped paw pad, and two scrapes on her back legs and a little bit of swelling. Her vitals were normal and she’s got pink gums, a normal appetite and no limping. Phew. I feel like we really dodged a bullet there. Certainly we’ll be turning on the child window locks from now on. We’ll see how sore she is in the morning. That could have been so much worse. I’m so thankful.

I do have one little complaint for the Universe though: one dog who ate a pin cushion as a pup and needed emergency surgery, one dog with cancer, and one very accident-prone dog (she’s hurt her back trying to climb a tree and trying to use speed to propell herself through a cat door, and fallen down the steps). All under age 4.5. Really? I’m perfectly fine with a boring life, I don’t need all these veterinary crises!

My vet just put a very amazing addition on his practice… I suspect I helped pay for a lot of it.

Dog fell out of the car
Dog fell out of the car
Dog fell out of the car

Now, time for me to stop checking in on the poor girl every 5 min so we can both get some sleep!

Category:  Barret's Recovery     

2 months later!

Hi everyone, Barret here!

I can’t believe that it has been 2 months since my amputation. It honestly feels like it was a long long time ago!

I had a really exciting time since my last post. I went swimming in my grandpa’s pool, although I think I prefer going to the creek so I can just wade around and try to catch the fishies, rather that swimming in the deep end.
Going swimming!

My Grammie came up to visit me from Florida. She even said that next year when mom goes on a long vacation, she might come puppy sit my siblings and me. How exciting!

A really cool dog park opened up in my town, but I haven’t gone to visit it yet. Maybe next weekend. Still, the Beau Dream Park sounds like it will be soo much fun! I can’t wait to go!

Mom checks out where my arm used to be almost daily. She says she doesn’t see any sign of my cancer yet, so we hope I am in the clear. My hair is not really growing back though, and what did grow back is a different texture. I don’t mind, as long as I am healthy.
2 months after amputation

To celebrate my milestone, dad got out my red ball. I’ve been sleeping with it every night. Gosh, I don’t think I love anything more than my red ball, except maybe mom! We also went to the neighborhood park for a nice long walk since the weather has been really nice. I’ll talk to you guys later – good luck on everyone’s journey!

Category:  Barret's Recovery      Tagged: , ,