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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: , ,

I thought this roller coaster ride was over :)

It’s bedtime. I can’t sleep. Barret can’t sleep. He’s licking and biting his incision site until its red and raw. He doesn’t appear to be in any pain and he is on his last week and a half of Gabapentin. Phantom pain hasn’t been an issue since a few weeks post op. So where does this girl’s brain go? Immediately to the Worst Case Scenario.


I’m thinking of calling my vet and asking about metronomic chemo. One half of me thinks its a good idea to try, some preliminary research shows that it does pretty well for soft tissue cancers. The other half says wait until something presents itself before putting those toxins in his body. He is only 4. how long would he be able to tolerate those drugs? A third part of me knows my vet already recommended against it. Surgery was meant to be curative… So should I find another vet? I really wish there was an accurate magic 8 ball for crap like this. Sigh.

Ranting over. Breathing now. Trying to be more dog!

Category:  Random rants     

Business as usual

I’m sorry Barret and I have been absent from Tripawds for a week or two. I have a greater appreciation for the veterans of this site who take the time to come to the site every day and help everyone. Now that Barret is doing good and I am not flipping out over every faceplant, I’ve been able to focus on work and school and I feel like there is no time for anything else! We already cancelled our cable TV because we just don’t have time to watch it! So, THANK YOU to all the veterans who are reading this.

As far as Barret’s recovery goes, nothing new to report, except a cute puppy covered in mud.

Dirty tripawd at grammie's

The last few days I’ve been obsessed with figuring out if the tumor is growing back. The tissue around where a stump would have been doesn’t appear to be changing, but I am keeping a close eye on it. I’m sure Barret is wondering why Mommy keeps feeling him up all the time, LOL! Any veterans with soft tissue cancer have any tips on spotting if it has returned?

Have a terrific weekend, Tripawds!
Barret & Heather

Category:  Barret's Recovery     

I’m Fine, but Momma’s Traumatized

Where's the cheese-dogsHad to share a pic of Sara, she looks too pathetic here

Barret’s on hyperdrive, I swear. Yesterday he fell trying to get up on the back of the sofa and took a good tumble, was tripping all over his own feet and sliding around, crashing into things a lot playing with his sister, and then during our walk he fell a few steps behind to sniff, got all three legs tangled in his leash, ran to catch up and… BOOM big, hard faceplant right on the sidewalk.

He got up like nothing happened and wanted to keep going. Me, on the other hand, I am completely traumatized. I kept playing the “what if” game.. what if he broke a leg, chipped a tooth, put an eye out…

Where's the cheese-dogs
The main issue I’m having walking the dogs is that when there is slack in the leash, he gets tangled in it. Until this week we were letting him use the long extendable leash so he could go at his own pace. Now its time to get back to our regular schedule and that means Momma walks all the dogs at the same time. No extendable leashes, its too dangerous.

The first thing I tried was a harness that is nearly idenditcal to the Tripawds Convert Harness. It was called the Dean and Tyler DT Harness from Amazon.

I had to send it back because he could slip even the XXS size with ease.

I tried a RuffWear harness (on the dog, not me) locally and the size that fits his chest is super bulky on him and the buckle is right at his peepee.. eww. I also tried a regular mesh harness with no luck.

Barret might be the cutest pup, but he has an ODD body shape. He can slip pretty much anything other than a martingale collar.

Now I’m thinking that since slack in the leash is the problem, I’m considering this Planet Dog 6 foot extendable leash, but some of the bad reviews scare me about it breaking when a dog lunges.

Thoughts, suggestions appreciated!

Thanks, Heather

Category:  Barret's Recovery      Tagged: , ,

1 Month Milestone!

Barret here, Mom’s been too busy catching up on work and studying Accounting to update the site much, so I hopped on to let everyone know that today is my 1 month ampuversary! I’ve been helping her study though.


I don’t really know what ampuversary means because I’ve always had 3 legs, right? I don’t remember having four of them. All I know is that Mom got the red ball out of hiding. I wasn’t really that excited about fetch like I used to be, but I was still happy to see that the red ball was safe and sound.

The only medicine I’m on is Gabapentin, but it doesn’t affect me at all. I still wince a little when I scratch my scar too hard, but otherwise I feel completely back to normal!

Happy Ampuversary to me, gotta run, Mom said I can have some watermelon and ice cream for snack as a special treat 🙂

Tripawd with his red ball

Category:  Barret's Recovery      Tagged:

3 weeks & still going strong!

I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since Barret’s amputation! That means it’s been 6 weeks since diagnosis!  8 weeks from now I’ll have completed my first graduate class. Wow, time is flying!

Getting better
The difference in the way Barret is acting between week 2 and week 3 is probably pretty mild from an outsider’s prospective, but to David and I it seems like he has improved by leaps and bounds. Keep in mind that from the start Barret has taken to 3 legs like a fish in water. He’s really great, hardly misses a beat.

We’re weaning off the Tramadol this week, so far so good. He’s got a little more interest in toys and bones, though he did have a little bit of a hard time figuring out how to hold the bone down, but we’re working on it. He still won’t walk farther than a few houses, his back left leg buckles. I don’t think he has quite mastered the tripod hop. He mostly tries to walk like he still has 4 legs, but I caught a glimpse of the hop last night and it seemed like an easier gait for him, though he didn’t keep it up for long 🙂

Getting better
He had a visitor on Sunday (his Grammie, my mother-in-law). He was super excited to see her and it lifted his spirits greatly. It did tucker him out and he hid in Sara’s crate after about 10 minutes and slept the rest of the day.

The main challenge we’ve had during this whole process is night time pain and restlessness. Unfortunately, he is still very restless at night and I am still sleep deprived. Luckily, the sharp cries and whimpering have ceased. Last night was particularly draining since we had big thunderstorms and Sara likes to try to sleep on my head for comfort. Between Sara and Barret moving around I think I only got a few hours of restless sleep.

Morning snuggles
Sorry Sally, we haven’t brought the red ball out yet. Maybe for his 1 month ampuversary we will bring it out for a special treat!

I’m looking forward to seeing more and more of my Barret as the weeks go by. I’m really looking forward to having a good night’s sleep, hopefully I can report that next week! Thanks to everyone in this great community for your love and support!

-Heather & Barret

Category:  Barret's Recovery     

Cheers for new beginnings 2 weeks post-op

Stiches come out today!Today is a new start, both for me and for Barret.

For Barret, those itchy stitches can come out and hopefully we can start weaning off the pain medications soon.

I’m trying my best to give myself a new start too. I don’t have to tell most of you, but my life virtually came to a crashing halt once Barret was diagnosed. I dropped everything to research and dote on my poor baby. All of my free time was spent reading various cancer books, checking information online, and clinging to my lifeline,

I was depressed. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t concentrate at work. I ate everything unhealthy in sight (self-medicating). I stopped going to the gym. If I wasn’t at work, I was at home in my sweats feeling pity for myself and my dog.

I’ve resolved it’s time to end that way of life. I got up this morning and went to the gym (and let me tell you, 6 weeks without the gym and I was DYING). I had a salad for lunch (I am hungry now, lol). I start grad school next Monday. I’ve been pretty productive today, well at least until I brought Barret into the office around lunch time.

Bring your tripawd to work day!
Today we lose the stitches. Tomorrow is our 2 week ampuversary. Day by day, the pain he is in seems to get better. Nights are still terribly difficult for him, he is seemingly having phantom limb pain and has trouble getting comfortable. He is getting around without any difficulty and can navigate the steps like a champ. I almost have my Barret back. The sun in shining and things are looking up!

Category:  Barret's Recovery ,Random rants      Tagged: , , ,

Leaving your new tripawd home alone? Monitor your pet at home remotely!

Today is a big milestone for me… I went back to work for the first time after Barret’s amputation. It was something that was a huge source of anxiety for me, but truthfully I wasn’t getting enough work done from home because I was so distracted. A part of me thought that my constant fretting might even be making him more agitated and restless than he already was.

Barret had a good day yesterday, so I informed my coworkers that I’d see them at 7 am. I think I jinxed myself because he was up crying and shaking at 1:30 am and we never did get back to sleep (coffee to the rescue).

So what is a girl to do? Being a bit of a techie I had already posted an infographic on That Pet Blog about using Skype for monitoring pets, but never tried it personally.  No time like the present! I set up my laptop in the living room, followed the instructions and tested it out on my iPad. Success!

(Excuse the messy living room)
Skype with dogs

It actually worked pretty well. I “called” to check in on him about every half hour until 11:00am. Then it stopped working. Nooo! Because I work with a bunch of pet people who do this sort of thing regularly, they told me about an iPad/iPhone app called iCam. It’s $4.99, but what’s five bucks for a little peace of mind?

Over my lunch I went home to administer pain meds and set up iCam on the computer. It was easy to set up (easier than Skype) and so far seems to be more reliable. One really unique feature you can set up is motion detecting. It sends an alert to your phone every time something on the screen moves. Ok, I know that sounds great… until you realize how many times a dog will twitch an ear, roll over, or hear something and go running to the window. I had to turn that feature off.


In conclusion, I am a little less distracted here at work, and I am not stressing Barret out by hovering, but I can still monitor him for my peace of mind! Plus, it is kind of interesting to watch what the kids do while we’re not home (hint: a lot of sleeping, a little bit of barking).

Barret seems to be displaying the same behavior he was while I was home. He won’t completely lie down (he’s propped up on the edge of the sofa) and he seems to be awake most of the time, sitting up and looking around. I wonder if his meds are too strong…. It is so hard to tell!

As marketing professional in the pet supplies trade for over 6 years and a pawrent of 3 dogs and 2 cats, I’ve gained a plethora of pet-related experience ripe for the picking, though I am new to tripawd pawrenting. My goal is to share my story and the knowledge I’ve gained with the pet pawrents everywhere. You can also find me on That Pet Blog or .

Category:  Barret's Recovery      Tagged: , , , ,

Reflections on the first week as an tripawd mom

RecoveringI can’t believe that it has been one week since Barret has his front left leg removed. Time really is flying, though I wish this recovery period was finished!

UntitledThe first few days, Barret was more laid back than usual, but not by much. For him it was pretty much life as usual. A few days after (I’d say Saturday afternoon) he started displaying more pain symptoms. He was yelping more often and not sleeping through the night. We added Gabapentin to his regimen and just today my vet increased his dosage of Tramadol to help with the extra pain he seems to be experiencing.



Sunny daysThere has been lots of crying (both him and I) but when I take a moment to step back and look at the wide angle view I have to say that recovery is probably going pretty smoothly. His wound is not swollen or infected. Most likely he is in additional pain because he has done a little too much on his own and his muscles are tender. My only concern in this moment is that he is limping slightly on one of his remaining legs (back left) and he is still in pain.

By far the hardest part of this process is watching your baby be in pain and not being able to ask them what hurts, how much, or really do anything to sooth their pain or explain why they have it.

I’m hoping we are going to start getting better instead of getting worse from this point forward. It’s a new week 🙂

 As marketing professional in the pet supplies trade for over 6 years and a pawrent of 3 dogs and 2 cats, I’ve gained a plethora of pet-related experience ripe for the picking, though I am new to tripawd pawrenting. My goal is to share my story and the knowledge I’ve gained with the pet pawrents everywhere. You can also find me on That Pet Blog or .

Category:  Barret's Recovery      Tagged: ,