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31 Oct 2016

11th Birthday Milestone for Nitro

Author: dobemom | Filed under: Uncategorized
Lookin' good at age 11

Lookin’ good at age 11

As Nitro reaches his 11th year on this earth, I’ve been reflecting on my love/hate relationship with this journey we find ourselves on..

  • I obviously HATE CANCER, and all that that entails.
  • I HATE  that not one hour of a day is not spent stressing, or worrying about him; and if not him, then any one of several of our fur-friends we’ve “met” here.
  • I HATE  that his brother Kodi is oftentimes pushed into the shadows, as I worry and stress over Nitro.
  • I HATE  that our best friends, no matter how long they are with us, leave us far too soon.
  • I HATE  that I don’t take him for walks anymore, or let him chase the ball too hard, for fear of damaging any of his remaining legs. He was once a breathtaking athlete, and is now reduced to a few chases of the ball in the yard.
  • I HATE  that I used to be an optimist, but now I see zebras instead of horses.
  • I HATE  the gut-wrenching grief of watching other members lose their best friends, and not being able to hug them and cry with them, and say “lean on me, I’m here”.
  • I HATE  that when his time comes, I will never be the same; I can only hope to hold onto a little piece of  sanity as my world crumbles.
  • BUT….I LOVE that I stumbled onto a website filled with strangers, who quickly became not just friends, but family. You are the most caring, compassionate, generous people I’ve ever had the honor to “meet”.
  • I LOVE  that I got to really meet some of you at the Puppy Up walk in September. I treasured every second spent with you, and will never forget it.
  • I LOVE  that I got to experience, first-hand, what it means to be a Warrior; that I bonded with this dog like I never imagined possible…. my heart dog, that will take a piece of mine when he leaves his earthly body.
  • I LOVE  the joy he still has for life, no matter what is thrown at him, and that he continues to try to teach me to “be more dog” daily.
Anniversary/Birthday campfire

Anniversary/Birthday campfire


  • 20161029_151307

    Kodi cuteness

Since our last post, Nitro has experienced some issues. He developed some hind-end weakness, with reluctance to move. I started him back on his drug cocktail of Tamadol,  Gabapentin, and Carprofen which made him more comfortable. His chiro vet was able to squeeze him in for an adjustment and acupuncture treatment which really seemed to help. Dr. Patty didn’t want to ASSUME his issue was neuropathy, and consulted his regular vet; together they decided Nitro should have x-rays of his spine and long bones of his legs to look for any other obvious condition. 28!!! x-rays were taken, with some spinal stenosis noted in his lower back by his tail; since he is a “mature” Dobie, I guess this was to be expected, and was not really concerning to them. So for now, we will increase his chiro and acupuncture treatments to every 2 weeks. With the aid of the x-rays, it will be easier to pinpoint where the needles need to go to give him the most relief. I’m happy to report that he has had a dry diaper the last 4 mornings, and is back to his goofy self, wanting me to throw his ball. I can tell he is slowing down, but is still SOOO full of life. We will take every precious moment we can get with our brave warrior. Losing one of our most beloved members earlier this week was a blow, and drives home the fact that life is short and we need to treasure every second.

Peace and love from the Ehlers ranch

Cujo mode

Cujo mode

15 Responses to “11th Birthday Milestone for Nitro”

  1. takoda Says:

    Your love/hate list pretty much sums up my similar experiences! Happy (belated) barkday Nitro!

  2. jerry Says:

    Awwwwwrrrrrrooooooooooo! Hoppy birthday my dear friend, it’s a great day in the Tripawds Nation (ok, well it’s your birthday WEEK since I’m late to the pawty!). Warrior Nitro, thanks for showing us all how to live life, and you too Paula! You are both the ultimate example of loving life on three legs throughout all the ups and downs. May there be more UPs than ever! xoxo

  3. vibeke Says:

    Happy birthday, Nitro! You’re a very handsome pup! Have your mom give you extra kisses from us……and you know what?….give your mom an extra kiss as well.
    Love from
    Nora and her pack

  4. Codie Rae Says:

    Happy Hippy Hoppy Birthday Nitro! You are lookin’ hella handsome there dude, makin’ my li’l heart go pitapat! And aren’t you lucky to have such an amazing mom?! We are celebrating with you tonight in Oaktown! Rock on big guy and give your mom a lick for me 😉

    Codie Rae and the Oaktown Pack

  5. Suzy Says:

    So awesome. Just keep petting!!

  6. Michelle Says:

    Hoppy Happy 11 Birthday Nitro. Wow, make me cry Paula. Everything you wrote is so so true. All those hates so fitting. All those loves are so true as well.

    Yes, Nitro might be slowing down but he is 11 years old now. I notice Bosch slowing down as well he is almost 11. Bigger breed considered Seniors now.

    You two are true heroes.
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  7. 4myty Says:

    Happy Birthday you handsome boy!! You keep on kicking cancer’s butt, you hear? 🎉🍰

  8. hester Says:

    Happy, happy Impressive Eleven to handsome Dober-man, Nitro. I wish you many happy returns on this festive day. I celebrate you!!

    Love that you and your brother are embracing the cool fall weather with a warm fire.

    We do all need to live every day to its fullest – we cannot know what the future holds so it is incumbent upon us to make the most of the time we have together.

    Peace and love,

    Lisa, Mia and Angel Pofi

  9. linda8115 Says:

    Paula you summed up your “hates” and “loves” so perfectly for each and every one of us! Happy Birthday to that total love bug Nitro! He and you give hope to so many here each and everyday! Bravo you two! Nitro you have a humongous party coming your way, one we all celebrate with you! Much love and many hugs sweet warrior!

  10. karen Says:

    HaPpY HaPpY BiRtHdAy Nitro! What a gorgeous pic! He is just sooo handsome!
    I just loved your post Paula, I feel the same way about the many friends I’ve come to know & care so much about on this site! You have been there for me & Bentley from day 1 & that means the world to us! Please give Nitro a big bday hug from us! Enjoy his special day! 💗

  11. midnighter94 Says:

    I have tears in my eyes as I read this! Of course, my “twin” probably knew I would! lol I also, am so, so happy to have been able to meet you and the others in September – so awesome to have been able to jump right in like we’ve known each other for years!

    Hoppy Birthday Sweet Nitro!! Enjoy your special day. And give Kodi a big, sloppy kiss, too!
    <3 Donna & Murphy

  12. mom2shelby Says:

    I LOVE THIS and I Love you!!!! For all that you do and always will do for this community!

    I could have written your post when I was going through what I was with Shelby … I hated that I became fearful (all the time), nervous (I carried Shelby more than she walked), always thinking about her and stressing, getting more “crows feet” around the eyes than I knew what to do with (it’s like I aged overnight).

    Like you said on your forum post last week – this journey is not for the weak. It is a true testament of strength and you, and Nitro have that by the masses!!!

    We are so honored to “know” you in anyway we can!!! Happy Birthday sweet Nitro! You are our hero, our warrior and have the best ears!!!!

    He’s such a handsome fella! And Kodi is adorable!!!

    So much love!
    Alison with Spirit Shelby in her heart (and little Jasper too)

  13. benny55 Says:

    BRAVO NITRO!!! BRAVO!! HAPPY ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY!!! 🙂 You are sich a ha dsome, handsome. bou!

    Paula you articulated everything so well. The gift of extended bonus time and the gift of friendships that could never be found anywhere but here…yeah, thatw the silver lining!

    Of course, when you see these delightful a d adorable pictures of Nitro and kodi, it reminds us that the only emotion they have is love, pure love! Ahhh…the bliss of being dog! 🙂

    Wish we had the sound to Nitro “vocalizing” in his photo. The voice of dog…best sound in the world!

    And I’m sure Kodi is just fine with the level of attention bestowed upon him!”any dog that cute cannot be ignored! Impossible!

    Now we need pics of Nitro’s birthday bash!! Ice cream and cake, right’? 🙂 🙂 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET BOY! Thanks for being born!!! You are such an inspawration to all of us! 🙂

    Lots of love!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  14. Deb Says:

    Happy Birthday Nitro!!! Tell Mom to take you to Starbucks for a Puppy Frappe!!

  15. otisandtess Says:

    Hoppy Birthday Nitro! And just remember, Kodi gets whatever you get – that’s the Otis and Tess rule!

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