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Gratitude… and a Portrait fit for a King

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Hi Tripawds Family!

I am so thankful for all of your support over the last few days. I can feel your collective arms and paws embracing me with love, guiding me once again as I begin a new phase of this journey. And as I felt when we began our Tripawd adventure, I don’t know where I’d be without your empathy, shared tears, and the wisdom of all of you who have been here before. So again, thank you.

In celebration and memory of Loki’s life, I found a wonderful artist to make a portrait of my handsome boy! He used several reference photos to create this beautiful portrait, which captures Loki’s affectionate gaze, jubilant smile, and the three wonderful legs that carried him through his senior years. I hope you all can share in my joy over this painting!

With love and gratitude,

Brittnie (and family!)

 

The artist is Daniel Stas of STASgallery on Etsy and @stasgallery on Instagram. I was so impressed by his artistry, professionalism, and efficiency that I wanted to share with anyone who might be interested.

Loki Celebrates in Valhalla after a Hard but Beautiful Life

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Loki Celebrates in Valhalla after a Hard but Beautiful Life


On Monday, Loki hopped himself all the way to the stream, insisting that I come on an adventure with him. In the moment, it felt like he was taking me for one more trek. Lately, he’d only go a few feet from the door. He’s passed the recent months lounging on the couch or in the sun.
This week, he was adamant that Alex and I stay within his line of sight, if not within paw’s reach, following us to the kitchen, bathroom, shower, and wherever we sat.
Friday, he repeatedly woke me from my pre-work nap as if to say, “stay home with me”. It was hard to leave, and I asked Alex to tell him I loved him after I drove away.
On my lunch break, Alex called to say that Loki’s legs suddenly gave out, and he was floppy. He couldn’t move without substantial help, or even really go to the bathroom. He seemed at least to have no sense of pain anymore. Over 3 years of life as a tripawd, an old history of Lyme disease, and over a decade of life in general, had left him with chronic discomfort that was only minimized by the few medications his sensitive body could tolerate.
I rushed home to be with my best friend. We slept snuggled in Loki’s favorite spot on the couch. In the morning, he ate two breakfasts like the king he was. Even Phineas, typically intolerant of his big brother, cuddled up one last time.
We didn’t want Loki to struggle in the car, or spend his final moments nervous, so hospice veterinarian Dr. Chan from Peaceful Paws LA came to our home without hesitation. Loki was excited to greet his visitor with some happy sniffs, and then settled into my lap for another nap. Dr. Chan put us all at ease, and helped give him the peaceful passing that he so deserved. Although I’m struggling to process life without him, I am relieved that we were able to give Loki the gift of comfort, dignity, and serenity at the end of his life.
After Loki’s death, we had a huge hail storm with thunder and lightning (in Southern California). I imagine he’s celebrating in Valhalla and already causing mischief in the universe. He took a piece of me with him, but he is alive within my heart and mind. I love and miss him more than words can express. The world won’t be the same without Loki, but he was ready to leave us.
Loki was the gentlest, kindest, and purely good soul I’ve ever known. I don’t know why he chose me, but I’m so grateful for every moment we shared in the almost nine years since we met at a small animal shelter in Connecticut. I promised I’d try my hardest to give him the best life, and I know he gave that to me and more.
We haven’t been active much on the forums over the years, but can’t express just how much this community has helped us in navigating Loki’s journey as a tripawd. Thank you to all of you who shared advice, products, experiences, or just reached out to check on Loki and cheer him on. Loki’s tripawd journey officially began on July 10th, 2017, and ended on Saturday, November 11th, 2020. However, we will forever be part of the Tripawds Community, and hope that Loki’s journey gives hope and inspiration to others who are just beginning the path of tripawd life, especially those with senior or big dogs.

With love,

Brittnie, Alex, Phineas, Callie, Figaro, Chia, Moo, and most of all, Spirit Loki

Seems like yesterday… but it’s been TWO years?!

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Hi everyone! I’ve been meaning to update you all on my first few months and first year as a Tripawd, but it seems I’ve been too busy enjoying life!

Why, it feels like just yesterday that I ditched my bad leg, but Mommy and Daddy say that I’ve been cancer free for TWO whole years! Can you believe it?!

In all this time, my snoot has turned grey and my hops have slowed, but I am still loving life on three!

Since my last update, I’ve stolen this endurance tunnel from my stinky little brother Phineas.

I’ve gone on too many rides and road trips to count!

I’ve hiked and adventured in all my favorite places.

And best of all, I’ve napped as much as I please!

Being a Tripawd isn’t always easy, but I’d say that life is pretty sweet. With the help of some Gabapentin, carpet runners, and my cozy Big Barker bed, I am feeling great. After all this time, it’s still better to hop on three than limp on four!

What a difference a month makes!

Posted in Post-op | 6 Comments »

I celebrated my one-month ampuversary on August 10th. I just know that Mommy and Daddy couldn’t be prouder of me! Weeks two to four brought dramatic changes for this Tripawd, and I am excited to share!


My hair is growing back.

Those itchy sutures and staples are gone.

Car rides don’t require a sling.

I’m not in pain! Now only taking Gabapentin 300mg and Carprofen 62.5mg with my breakfast and dinner.
My little brother is getting pushy again. He must know I feel better!

I roam the whole yard, and sometimes ask to go outside just so I can lounge in the sun!

I’ve started standing up for rides! My balance is better than ever!

I went for my first real walk in the park, and yes, I can run! 


Becoming a tripawd has really given me a second chance to feel young again! All that hard work and struggling my family went through has been worth it. I can’t wait to see what my future will bring!

Ups and downs of week one

Posted in Post-op | 5 Comments »

Post-op Day 2

I started to feel like myself again. Mommy had slept in my bed with me, so I woke her up bright and early for a potty outing. After that, she took off my dressing, cleaned my incision, and put me in this spiffy compression shirt! It’s made just for forelimb tripawds like me, and helped keep swelling down while stopping me from sneaking any licks! 

Oh! Did you spy stinky Phineas lurking in his crate? He was none too pleased that I woke him up at 5am. 😈

Anyway, later on I ventured outside to relax on my new lawn! Daddy’s working on a better one, but this did just fine for me! It was nice to enjoy the sun again.

Later in the day, I started feeling really sore, panting and yelping more and more because I just could NOT get comfy. Also, the more I moved around, I started having vomit kind of slosh out of my mouth. I wasn’t feeling sick, and didn’t throw up, but I felt like every time I hopped around, the liquid would hop with me! With a quick call to the vet, we learned that the buprenorphine I got on day 1 sometimes relaxes the muscle that keeps my stomach closed off, causing something similar to “acid reflux”. For that, I started taking Prevacid. For my pain, I was allowed to have my gabapentin (300mg) every 8 hours, plus a little extra carprofen (62.5mg every 12 hours) and Tylenol 325mg every 12 hours. This suited me quite well! I ended the night with a sloppy bowl of chicken, rice, and bone broth, and a blob of pumpkin for dessert. Now that’s the life!


Post-op Day 3

Day 3 was much better in the pain and reflux department. My incision was looking great, with just some mild bruising.

Yep, things were feeling much better! I got myself up on the couch and spent all day lounging.

I felt like a real life Tripawd warrior!


Post-op Day 4

I was feeling pretty good, but Mommy and Daddy were totally freaked out by this big red area!

I knew I was fine, but I didn’t tell them because it was a good excuse to go for a ride!

When I got to the vet’s, I took a HUGE poop and then ran all the way down the hall to the exam room by myself! The staff were so proud of me, and rightfully so! The vet figured out that the big blotchy spot was just a bruise, with blood pooling there because of how I like to lay down.

With a clean bill of health, we headed home! There I tried on my Ruffwear booties for the first time since surgery, and I spent some time wandering around with Phineas.


Post-op Day 5

I got the sweetest card in the mail from Spirit Jerry and fam! They sent me this sweet bandanna, too! Being a Tripawd has its perks. 😃


Post-op Day 6

I went all the way up the hill just to poop and pee in Mommy’s garden! Spiky plants beware: this Tripawd is armed!


Post-op Day 7

My belly bruising went away! And my hair started to grow back!

I was feeling devious, so I stole my old bed back from Phineas when nobody was looking. Just ’cause I got a new one doesn’t mean he should get this one!

His window view is pretty nice, anyway! Here I was watching Daddy coming down the driveway.

I was even feeling up to surveillance duty! When the construction guys came around, I kept my eye on them! Really, I was hoping they’d come visit and bring me treats. They did not.

Overall, my first week went better than expected! I graduated from my Prilosec and antibiotic by day 7. I was still sore and tired, but who can blame a guy? Mommy was able to go back to work, and with Daddy as support I was able to start eating out in the kitchen, move around the house freely, and go potties on my normal routine (and that’s the best!)

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