FOLLOW TRIPAWDS » ARE YOU A FAN? » DISCUSSION FORUMS » LIVE CHAT » DIRECTORY » NEWS BLOG » RANDOM TRIPAWDS BLOG »


Maggie is helping in the puppy decision…

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

So I have to start this blog post with saying that I have had thoughts about not wanting Maggie to think I’m replacing her with a pup….silly thoughts maybe but Maggie meant the WORLD to me…but those thoughts have changed into I think she’s really helping me in the decision!  And the story goes….

My sister, Gina, and I went to go look at the litter of pups…they were barely 4 weeks old at the time.  I could really see nothing in particular.  But Gina being more astute at puppies, having had raised three litters herself, did notice something.  There was one female puppy that kept giving us eye contact and sitting and staring at us.  She witnessed that several times during our first visit.  The puppies eyes weren’t even working really well at this age but this female pup seemed to be easily making eye contact.  My breeder and Gina both agreed that this female puppy was the perfect one for me.  I want a dog for rally obedience and the natural eye contact she gave was appealing for this sport.  But I didn’t want to make my decision so soon…so nothing final in choosing just yet.  Her litter name is Paella but Gina fondly nicknamed her Peepers for her eye contact.

Then I visited with a friend of mine when the puppies were 7 weeks old.  It was confirmed by both of us(and again by my breeder) that this little female pup really was a great match for me.  She showed us many signs that she would be a great fit into my life.

In the meantime, I have been hunting for a name for the puppy.  The kennel name is Solis.  I wanted a sun theme for the pup.  After many rounds of names, after this second visit, Gina recommended a registered name of Solis’ Sunshower.  And referred me to this song….as you listen to it…you will see a story unfold….one that I see Maggie being in the beginning of it and then the puppy at the end…..  At minute 4:27 you will see little white butterflies….I have those in my yard and often see them on walks…I have always thought that it is Maggie in another life form.  I know…I’m off my rocker – but so be it.  I took this as another sign from Maggie.  I had just seen a little white butterfly just before this song was sent to me while mowing the lawn.  I said “hello Maggie”.  I had been gone for a week out of town.  I hadn’t seen her until I returned home!

YouTube Preview Image

So after listening and reading the words to this very moving song… I added a word to what will be the puppy’s registered name:

Solis’ Sweet Sunshower

And her ‘call name’ will be:  Shade.

A little shade of Maggie in her, perhaps?  I think so.  This puppy even has some white on her muzzle.  Like Maggie.  I found this very interesting definition of “Shade” way after I decided that would be her call name:

“a disembodied spirit : ghost  —used to signal the similarity between a previously encountered person or situation and one at hand”

To be fair to the puppy, she WILL be her own self, of course!  But I do think this is very interesting how this has all unfolded….

Maggie’s paws in it all along…..am I off my rocker, perhaps?  ;-)

Thank you Maggie.  Thank you for your help with the puppy….the signs from you have been noticed….

my beautiful girl...

my beautiful girl…

 

Shade is home now…and I am looking forward to playing and training with her.  I know you will help me, Maggie, in bringing up Shade…..

Shade at 7 weeks old

Shade at 7 weeks old

Shade first night home

Shade first night home

In Memory of Maggie….

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

One whole year since I put Maggie to rest….it all seems so unreal to me.  It’s been such an “odd” year without her.  I would say I am NOT back to normal.   I am not used to her being gone AT ALL.  Will I ever be?  I highly doubt it.  The saying “time heals all wounds”….not true.  Time hasn’t healed my loss of Maggie…

A little picture video I made of  Maggie’s incredible life…

YouTube Preview Image

And some photo’s tonight, sitting with Maggie, watching the sun go down….

DSCN0940

DSCN0944

 

DSCN0942

 

♥  ♥  ♥

Vivid dreams….

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

…of you, last night, Maggie…. ♥

We were at a rally obedience dog trial…you were off in the distance laying down in a field.  I was worried about having to take you to the vet to put you to rest due to kidney failure…I talked with my vet at the trial(why was she there?) and she said no worries, that she had something for you and all would be well…..then I remembered, well, I hadn’t had to give you prednisone lately to make you eat…you were eating on your own very well…. I had to tell Gina the good news…

Is this a sign?  Some of sort of sign from you?  That all is well with you and you are eating and feeling fine?

Crazy dreams….this photo of you from 2007 is similar to what I saw in my dream..bright white coat and glistening in the sun… ♥

Maggie summer -07

Summer 2007

1920492_657573550987319_1400291331_n

Love you Maggie!

Time to check in with you Maggie…

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Actually that is  a silly title…I think of you so often, Maggie.  I’m sure you are fully aware of how much I do!

Last weekend, Haley and I went for a walk in the field behind the house for the first time this Spring.  Thought of you when we got to “our”(yours and mine!) “Thinking Rock”, as I used to call it.  You and I would sit up there on that rock and just overlook the lake and our yard down below.

Standing on the "Thinking Rock"

Standing on the “Thinking Rock”

grass a bit long for this tripawd but Maggie managed...

grass a bit long for this tripawd but you managed…back on our “Thinking Rock”

the view from our "Thinking Rock"

the view from our “Thinking Rock”.  Ice still on the lake…

 

and the view from our yard to the field...

and the view from our yard to the field…Maggie’s resting place under those two large pines…

You loved to walk in the fields…mouse hunting was a great thing to do..

great smells in the field

great smells in the field

Or just taking in the views….

looking toward home...

looking toward home…

Miss you soooo much, Maggie…it’s the first Spring without you.  Got through the first winter but now emotions are all stirred up yet again with a changing season….

My gorgeous Maggie...

My gorgeous Maggie…

Sharing
Alone but together,
we walk this trail,
To you there is nothing
I could not tell
Walking in silence
engulfed in nature’s song,
We share so much
as we go along.
Kindred spirits,
friends for all time….
You and I,
we’re two of a kind.
grass too long...couldn't go far...

Love you Maggie!

Squirrels, squirrels and more squirrels….

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Or was it the same one only seen on three different occasions?

Maggie, I have to tell you, I have seen on three different walks over the

weekend, three squirrels. And they weren’t on their designated “Squirrel Trail”

They were on YOUR trail! I think they know you aren’t around anymore

to keep them off YOUR trail.

DSCN0048

When I saw them, I remembered back to a time you did a very bad thing

trying to get one at our house. Now, that said, you never, ever, EVER tried

to destroy or chew anything that you weren’t supposed to. Even as a pup!

But this one occasion, it was a squirrel that put you ‘over the edge’. You were

very much an adult when this happened too but if I recall correctly, you did

have four legs then, so could really

run fast! You chased that squirrel around

and around the garage, then thru the flower garden next to the house. Until

it finally scurried up INSIDE the corner of the house trim. I was in the house

watching you. And then, all of a sudden you started ripping apart the vinyl

sided corner of the house after that squirrel! Good thing I was watching you

and got you to stop!

I don’t know if that squirrel ever did come back out. I think he waited until

you came back in the house!

Just thought I’d show everyone how C-U-T-E you were as a pup…here’s a

great one. See, you didn’t even chew my boots as a pup! Missing you….

DSCN0191

Need to talk to you tonight Maggie…

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

 

Today has been one of those days, Maggie, where you are in my thoughts a lot.

Someone shared this with me tonight….very fitting indeed:

Afterlife & A Loss For Words

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep….
I could see that you were crying…you found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear.
“It’s me, I haven’t left you…I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea.
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you that I am not lying there.

I walked with you toward the house, as you fumbled for your key,
I gently put my paw on you. I smiled and said, “It’s me.”

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me to be so near you every day.
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over…I smile and watch you yawning
And say, “Goodnight, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you and we will stand, side-by-side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to be with me.

-Author Unknown

This winter has really been horribly cold…but I managed to clean out your trail of the grown up bushes from over the summer.  Missed your help!!!  Think of you so often when I walk on the trails, this being the first winter without you – I miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got a sign to mark “your trail”…I think you’d agree, you look damn good on the sign.

I know you know, Maggie, but I miss you dearly…you were the BEST.  I love you, Maggie, love you very much.  I wish I could hold your paw and rub your soft ears…

DSCN0049

January 11, 2000

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

…today would of been Maggie’s 14th birthday…

Maggie,

I still miss you soooo much.

When I walk Haley out where you are buried,

the wind chimes always seem to chime when I walk by,

I stop, say “hi Maggie”, shed a tear and keep walking…

The snow has melted enough around your “three” solar lights,

the sun charged them and even after dark, one was still glowing…

“Hello, Maggie… I love you.”

I finished cleaning the grown up bushes on your winter trail,

sure missed having your help cleaning the trails.

I so wished you had made it to the next milestone I had hoped for,

your 14th birthday.

But it was not meant to be…but I know you’re looking down on me,

I can see you young again, four healthy legs, playing with a stick…

YouTube Preview Image

Happy birthday Maggie….thinking of you today and always…

snowshoeing Feb 2009

snowshoeing Feb 2009

As winter sets in I am thinking of you Maggie….

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
100_4273

Run!!!! Go Maggie!

It’s been a while since I have blogged on your blog, Maggie.  Today is a good day to do it.  It has been snowing all day..and it’s really piling up after several days of it.  This weather really makes me think of you…  How tough winters were for you but yet you still did love the “white stuff” being of Northern breed descent(that’s a guess on my part!)

Ice was especially tough in the winter.  HATED it when things would ice over.  We are still making our snow sled trails in the yard…although have scaled back some now because you aren’t here with us.

The first time I go on our winter trails across the road today will not be the same without you.  You LOVED those trails!  Loved digging for frozen deer poop, loved helping me clean the trails with your great stick demolishing expertise and loved seeing and sniffing out winter wildlife.

I still miss you greatly….I suspect that will NEVER change…..

foolish mags 2011

Nice stick Maggie!

100_4038

Her favorite toy was a jolly ball…

Missing you Maggie!

 

Three Years, 7 Months and 24 Days….

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Almost…she almost made it to her 4th Year Ampuversary.  3 Years, 7 Months and 24 Days…

October 20th was her ampuversary date.  I remember when I first started her blog in December 2009, I was so paranoid about starting it, fearing it would jinx her and she wouldn’t be long on this Earth after amputation.

I once asked how long Maggie would have after amputation and I was told probably a year…well, she beat that all to hell, didn’t she!  Just couldn’t beat the kidney failure.

I want to share some video’s I may not have ever shared before.  To help those in their journey as a tripawd.  The good, the bad and everything in between.

It took from May 2009 to October 2009 to figure out exactly what was wrong.  The guess on what was wrong went from ACL injury, to psoas injury to finally cancer.

Vet #1:  diagnosed her as an ACL injury and suggested TPLO surgery.  Maggie was not put to sleep to check her knee, which I have learned since then, the dog can guard with their muscles holding the knee in place, so the dog really needs to be put to sleep to get a better diagosis on the knee vs. just watching her move and trying to get a “drawer sign” in her knee by palpation while she’s awake.  Her lameness was just a slight weight shift from the left to right side in the rear.

Vet #2: didn’t feel it was her knee but her psoas muscle that was the issue(groin).  Maggie got massage, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment.  She improved DRAMATICALLY after this session.  After the good effects of that session wore off, I can’t recall the amount of time, might have been a month,  I had her worked on again by this same vet but the results weren’t as good the second time.

As many are aware, my sister Gina Snow, is a Vet Tech, and so she was my coach through all of this.  She, too, didn’t feel it was an ACL tear, agreeing with Vet #2. But as a “just in case mode”, I put her on conservative management(leash walks only) for 8 weeks.  If it were an ACL injury, there would be an improvement.  There was no improvement.  She got more and more lame.  No noticeable lumps or bumps on that leg just more lame as time went on.

Vet #3:  This vet put Maggie under to do the “drawer test” on her knee as he couldn’t get any real movement in her knee either that would prove it to be an ACL tear.  When she was asleep, her pain was so severe she was crying out as he manipulated her knee ASLEEP.  He aspirated her knee.  That result showed “old bloody fluid”.  So this vet, too, then bounced on the ACL injury wagon.  When I asked him if he would do the surgery, he said no because he said to me he was afraid what he’d find in there.  In hindsight, he knew, in my opinion, it wasn’t an ACL but more severe things going on.

Vet #4:  By this time, Maggie’s knee was diffusely swollen.  I was prepared before even seeing this vet to the fact that Maggie’s leg would most likely be amputated due to the fact my sister, diagnosed Maggie as having soft tissue cancer.  I failed to state earlier that Gina did x-ray Maggie, thinking she might have OSA.  There were no signs of bone cancer.  The signs all led to soft tissue sarcoma, according to Gina.  She was right.  Dr. Chris Miles did a biopsy and it came back as STS.  10 days later, we amputated her leg.

By the time September rolled around, she was really lame and showing muscle loss as shown in this video:

YouTube Preview Image

just a little “happy” of Maggie finding a tug toy.  Even though she was in a lot of pain due to her leg, she still wanted to play:

YouTube Preview Image

This video was just after her biopsy.  Her knee swelled up bad after the biopsy.  Soft tissue sarcoma was the diagnosis.  I slept on the futon laid flat with her as that was where she wanted to be.  She was on Gabapentin for pain and Tramadol.  Also, after her biopsy, she had a pain patch:

YouTube Preview Image

It wasn’t an easy road for us at the beginning.  But I found out after joining the “tripawd family” that most others have the same 2 week recovery from Hell.

This video might be disturbing to some people, as Maggie was just out of surgery and home for 4 days.  Talk about a ‘trying’ time.  Watching this brings back all those horrible 2 weeks from HELL in her recovery…but we got through it!

YouTube Preview Image

Two weeks later, Maggie finally was Maggie again!  I had to put music over my voice on this video as I was crying so much(happy tears).  She is laying actually where she is buried now under those pine trees….

YouTube Preview Image

I had thought a ramp into the house was a temporary thing but she used that the entire time…never was strong enough to do a lot of stairs.  Throw rugs on the hardwood floors were also down the entire time…she was very leary of slippery surfaces.  A “must have” piece of equipment with a tripawd is the Ruffwear harness – very helpful in steadying her and helping her up/down stairs when there were no ramps or on slippery floors.

In 2010, I started her PT work that was so necessary for any tripawd, in my opinion.

These video’s we made for blogs for the website:

http://gear.tripawds.com/2011/08/11/staying-strong-with-maggies-fitpaws-workout/

Maggie was an agility dog prior to being amputated…so it was nice to let her do those things again, in a lower scale for her:

http://gear.tripawds.com/2011/09/07/how-to-build-a-homemade-tripawd-agility-course/

This video was about a month later from amputation….my happy girl!

YouTube Preview Image

and Barney came to Maine to visit from Maggie the Pug in California!

YouTube Preview Image

We will miss Maggie’s trail clearing skills!  She was a great trail groomer:

YouTube Preview Image

Winter was a pain in the butt with her being a tripawd…ICE! :(

YouTube Preview Image

I had waited for years for APDT Rally to come our way.  Unfortunately, it never came until Maggie was a tripawd.  She earned all three levels of APDT Rally titles and her Veterans title as a tripawd!  Sits were the hardest for her…she’d “run out of sits” toward the end of a course.  But what a trooper she was!

YouTube Preview Image

Maggie’s ‘boyfriend’ was Woodie.  Every once in a while I’d take her for a walk with him.

YouTube Preview Image

Yes, are you seeing a trend?  Maggie had a “thing” for sticks :)

YouTube Preview Image

and yes, she did do a little bit of agility now and then:

YouTube Preview Image

One of the biggest bummers about Maggie being a tripawd was the fact she could no longer go on long walks.  They were extremely short.  I’d say her longest walk was probably a mile.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

So I got her a DoggyRide cart but she was NOT impressed with that!  She’d rather walk on her own three feet, thank you very much!  Plus, it really was too small for her, even though I got the largest one available.

YouTube Preview Image

Maggie was a very good “singer”…

YouTube Preview Image

This Veterans run in February 2011 APDT Rally makes me smile and tear up…

YouTube Preview Image

Another one that makes me smile…

YouTube Preview Image

And Maggie competed in Wag It Games…it was sooo perfect for her being in the Heart Dog Program(for disabled dogs) – this was Independent Skills class:

YouTube Preview Image

This was Maggie’s first time back in the kayak as a tripawd…she was spectacular as always!  Note she is wearing her “Super Star collar”(that will make sense later in this blog)

YouTube Preview Image

Wag It Games Camp in Freedom, NH.  Maggie was never a swimmer with four legs, let alone three…

YouTube Preview Image

This was Maggie’s 1st attempt at being on the BOSU domes!  My “agilecowdog” displaying her agileness!  I worked her on these and other PT items at least three days a week:

YouTube Preview Image

Yep!  Tripawds can roll over! :)

YouTube Preview Image

Winter 2012 – still showing that she is pretty strong at 12 years old!

YouTube Preview Image

Another one that makes me smile…she was still feeling her oats in October 2012:

YouTube Preview Image

Maggie in Novice Sniff It in Wag It Games.  This was to be her last trial.  She LOVED Sniff It:

YouTube Preview Image

Maggie’s 13th birthday…little did I know the kidney failure was looming in her…soon to be diagnosed in March:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Played around teaching Maggie Wag It Games DogBall – never finished it but she was pretty close :)

YouTube Preview Image

Mid August 2013.  Maggie’s kidney failure was progressing and had been all summer.  Her last blood value check I did was the first part of June and her creatinine number was at 5.4 then.  That put her in severe renal failure category.  I never did any more blood work on her after June.  There was no sense in it – just depressing numbers to look at.  The only thing that kept her going was daily subQ fluids and the Prednisone to keep her eating.  On this video, after I stopped recording, she wanted back in the Jeep.  Just too weak to want to walk farther.  Such a trooper:

YouTube Preview Image

Love you Maggie…

YouTube Preview Image

This bracelet was made by Rene at tripawds.com.  It’s beautiful!  Notice the Super Star Maggie charm – with stars on the back like her collar in the video of her in the kayak.  The center charm Gina gave me on the day we put Maggie to rest.  Rene made the bracelet to match and fit Gina’s charm in the center.  I love this bracelet:

100_5237

100_5236

I hope this blog post shows there is life for a tripawd after amputation.  It is, of course, changed to suit the dog’s needs.  Some tripawds can go on much longer walks, for instance.  Maggie couldn’t.  It’s all case by case, in my opinion.  It’s a “crap shoot” when you decide to amputate.  How long will my dog survive afterwards?  Well, we have no crystal ball to tell us, unfortunately.  But I went with my “gut instinct” in that I knew Maggie had much more life to live!  I hope this blog helps others, as it helps me, even now after Maggie is gone…to heal from my grief of loosing her.

So there is Maggie’s 3 years, 7 months and 24 days as a tripawd in a nutshell.  She had a good life…a GRAND life for a GRAND dog!

Moose Point State Park June 2012

 Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on the snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft star that shines at night.

I am in the flowers that bloom.

I am in a quiet room.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there. I did not die.

- M.E. Frye

100_5121

The Final Step…

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

….to saying goodbye to Maggie… Today was a beautiful day, weatherwise…so we buried Maggie’s ashes under her pine trees.  She spent a lot of time under those pine trees through the years…  From her younger days of breaking off dead branches and playing with the sticks and breaking them into tiny little pieces, to just hanging out under them for shade, to in her older years, eating the pine needles off the branches(I’ve been told they have Vit. B in them – maybe that was my first clue to her having kidney disease?)…  I thought it was fitting to lay her to rest under the pines…it’s peaceful there…I can go visit her in privacy and just sit with her, as I did today afterwards…

this photo taken this Spring - shortly after we found out she had CRF...

this photo taken this Spring – shortly after we found out she had CRF…under her pine trees..

 

100_5121

100_5124

 100_5132

YouTube Preview Image

….It was a difficult afternoon burying Maggie….stirred up all the emotions….the final deed being done…but she loved it under those pines…

…one more picture….I found this on my camera a week or so ago…one of the last one’s I took of Maggie…this was after I’d made the decision to put her to rest…her soul shines through in this photo…I think she was telling me she was okay with my decision…or so I hope.

I used to tell Maggie all the time…          

“Love you Maggie, love you very much”….

100_5043