We brought our boy "Felix" home when he was 7 weeks old
from a relative's house and he's been the love of our lives ever since.
Felix is 11-1/2 years old and is a German Shepard/Labrador Retriever/
American Pit Bull Terrier mix. Felix has had a history of mass cell
tumors and has had a few surgeries to have them removed.
About two months ago we had to put him in for surgery again
and mentioned to our vet that Felix had been limping and favoring
his front left leg. To make a long story short, the vet did x-rays
and discovered he had an aggressive tumor that was eating away
at the bone. There was a chance it could be an Osteosarcoma,
but there was also a chance it might not be. We had only a few days
to decide if we should have his leg amputated or not. The vet told us
that if we didn't remove the leg, within a month or two Felix would be
in so much pain we would have to put him to sleep. This was the
hardest decision we have ever had to make. Our dog has so much spunk
in him we could not imagine having to put him to sleep. After days
of crying and changing our minds over and over again, we decided to
follow our vets advice and remove the leg. Your website helped in this
decision. It was so comforting to read all the stories and know
that there are so many other three-legged dogs in this world
and that they have owners that love them so much. It also helped
to find a source that told us what to expect. It has been a month
and a half now since Felix had his operation and it is fantastic to see
how well he has adapted to being a three-legged dog. I will admit
that the first few days after he came home were tough, we cried
and weren't sure if we had made the right decision, but now I can
clearly say we did. Each day he seems to get a little better,
he's getting stronger and his walks are getting longer.
He loves to go out and visit with his friends in the neighborhood.
I wish our story was going to have a happy ending, but unfortunately
we found out that the tumor was an Osteosarcoma, and the chances are
that we won't have our boy at this time next year.
However, if we had to make the decision over again, we would do it
all over again. We consider ourselves lucky that we still have Felix
around and will be able to spend as much time with him as we can.
I am sending a picture that we took of Felix at the beach this past
weekend. He loves to go to the beach and once the weather gets warmer
we hope that he will go for a swim! Thank you so much for your advice
for Felix. I appreciate any information you can pass along as this is
all new to us. We are lucky enough to live near the beach so will
make sure that we walk him more in the sand than on the concrete.
We have been concerned about keeping his one front leg healthy
and want to make sure we do what is best. I think your vet is a
wonderful vet not to prescribe Deramaxx, it's nice to have a vet
that you can trust. We are lucky as our vet has been so good to Felix
and he really likes him. We have another 3 weeks before he goes back
for a check up. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my email
and for having such a great website.
Thank you so much for the nice compliment about Felix.
Just like Cassie, we too believe that Felix thinks he is human.
My sister-in- law calls him the "hairy human that lives in our house".
Our neighbor calls him the "most human dog he knows".
He really is a very social dog, he loves everyone.
Tonight on our walk we ran past one of the neighborhood kids and she
couldn't believe how fast he was running with only 3 legs.
Everyone in the neighborhood stops to pet him and are so happy to see
him doing so well.
One thing we are still working on with him is going up and down the stairs
in our house. Unfortunately our stairs aren't tripod friendly!
We have a steel staircase which is a semi-spiral, the stairs go
straight down for 5 steps and them curve around for 5 steps.
He's gone up the stairs a few times and actually down them twice,
but mostly my husband carries him up and down.
(Felix is about 70 pounds so I tell Dave he's getting a good workout!)
I'm trying to teach Felix to put his front paw on the second step
so he can put his rear paw on the first step and push himself up.
(However, to let you know, when he heard a noise on the back deck
last week, he literally ran up the stairs so fast and out his doggie
door in the back that my husband couldn't keep up with him!)
I'm sure he'll get it eventually. We're waiting for him to be ready
to do it on his own and would never force him.
We are actually looking into replacing the stairs with a traditional
staircase to make it easier for him, but as our house is kind of small
we are limited in the space we have. But we're determined and will
figure out something.
Yesterday was a great day with Felix. When I came home from work,
my husband & Felix were on the beach and when I called Felix's name,
he ran through the sand for about 800 yards without stopping
and did not stumble at all. He ran so fast that my husband couldn't
keep up with him. It was the best thing I have ever seen in my life.
Sorry to ramble on and on, it's just so nice to be able to share
with someone who understands.
I loved the pictures on your website of Cassie with Santa!
We always take a Christmas picture for our cards with Felix.
Two years in a row we went to a local studio that allows pets
and had professional portraits done as well! Hopefully we will
be lucky this year and will be able to do so again.
My husband Dave wanted me to thank you again for your website,
if it wasn't for your hard work and all the information you provide,
we might not have made the right decision for Felix.
We are forever grateful to you. He also appreciated your
information regarding walking on the concrete, as he was very concerned
about the stress that would put on his joints. He takes such great care
of Felix, he's always massaging his legs to make him feel good!
He has a really great daddy! As your email said, we don't want him
to be upset that he is missing a leg. I think he's adjusted to it
pretty well though because he has to stop and wait for everyone
to talk to him. Like Cassie, I think we already have the spoiled
rotten dog on our hands!
Best wishes to all the Tripods out there & their loving owners,
Dave & Cora Clark
Tuesday May 10, 2005
Well the day we've been dreading for so long finally came.
Felix passed away last night around 5:30-6:00.
Luckily Dave was home with him at the time. I didn't make it home in time
so I am grateful Dave was with him when he passed so he wasn't alone.
We took him out to the animal hospital and today he will be transferred out to
the pet cemetery so we can have him cremated.
We will be going out there on Tuesday because they let you have a viewing
if you want and then you can take the remains home the same day.
We plan to take some of his ashes so we can scatter them up at the beach.
He was doing better the past few days but I guess he just got tired.
He's finally at peace and doesn't have to worry anymore.
He really was our best friend and the best dog anyone could ever ask for.
Cora & Dave
Friday October 28, 2005
Happy New Year. Thank you so much for sending me the link.
It reminded me once again how important your website was to me.
I can't believe it is over a year already since we lost our boy Felix.
I miss him every day. The puppy we adopted last year, Sebastian,
has worked out so well for us. He is 1-1/2 now and is a moose!
He's 89 lbs and is a big dufus, he still has so much puppy in him.
It's so strange because he does some of the same things Felix did.
I will send you a link from Shitterfly so you can see some pictures of Sebastian.
I am so glad you are continuing your work with your website,
you really do make a difference to people and their loving animals
going through the Tripod experience.
Tuesday January 9, 2007
My name is Karen, I have a female Sheltie named Missy K.
She is 10 years old; I got her when she was 8 years old.
Her old owner did not want her any more so we took her in.
She is one of my babies. She had to have her left hid leg amputated
because of arthritis. It has been only a week since her surgery.
She is doing so-so. I'm trying to find her a wheelchair
so she can get around easier, or I will make one for her.
I'm sending you a picture of my girl; this picture was taken 3 days after
surgery. Thank you for all your information on limb amputation,
it was very helpful.
Sunday May 15, 2005