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17 Jun 2017


Author: dobemom | Filed under: Uncategorized


Best Smile Ever

Wow! I can’t believe its been 3 years! It seems like yesterday, and at the same time it seems like forever,  that Nitro has been a Tripawd. What an amazing milestone to experience, after years of amazing milestones. Thinking back to that first week, that first month, that first summer after the surgery…..I’m sure we never thought we’d be here, 3 years later. And it’s a little scary being in these uncharted waters we find ourselves in….even his vet has no idea, being that he’s so far off the osteosarcoma chart of  “what’s next”. Equally scary is the fact that I have ZERO experience in dealing with an “elderly” Dobe.

how royalty eats

so sleepy

Around the first week of April, Nitro appeared to be declining; his holistic vet convinced me to do a re-check of his kidney values (which hadn’t been checked in many months). The values were substantially higher than they’d been, so we scheduled a 2-day IV fluid session. When I went to flush the IV port the first night, I could tell something was wrong because blood was leaking out. Off to the ER vet we went only to find that the connection had come loose, which they fixed at no charge. About 3 am Nitro became extremely restless and whiney; at that point I was mentally preparing myself to say good-bye to him in the morning rather than do the second day of fluids – he just seemed to be telling me the journey was nearing the end. But John’s take on the situation was that Nitro was just over-tired from being at the vet’s all day with no rest; so he laid by him and pet him until sleep finally came. We proceeded with the planned fluids, but shared my concerns with his vet. We decided to see how he was over the weekend, and re-evaluate later. Long story short, he improved, once again bouncing back to “normal”.  The new plan is to do preemptive fluids (just 1 day), every 4 weeks, and not do blood work for kidney values; perhaps another example of burying my head in the sand, but I don’t need to obsess on numbers. Since then, he’s been doing extremely well despite all the challenges he faces; his arthritis is progressing, and he tires easily, but we just strap on his harness when he needs a little boost. He’s eating well, is happy and alert, and insists on chasing the laser light every night before he’ll come in the house. All things considered, we are in a good place right now.


bonding with dad in the garage

celebration treat

Can’t leave Kodi out


With all that going on, I had serious doubts that he’d be with us when I went to Virginia, and was apprehensive leaving home, but everyone survived (and probably thrived) without me. The East Coast Tripawd Party was one for the record books! The Puppy Up gathering last September was just the tip of the iceberg as far as the feeling of “coming home”; I can’t even put into words how it felt to spend 4 days with people who have come to mean the world to me. We laughed, we cried, we shared our hopes and fears, we healed,  we bonded for life. I can’t imagine a time when these friends, this family weren’t a part of my life.

first night together

Angel Sally

Tribute Table

So this is where we are, 3 years later….21 years in dog years. We’ll just keep on taking it one day at a time, one crisis at a time, because what else can we do? We’ll keep reaching for, and celebrating every new milestone…..looking forward to reaching his 12th birthday in October and also hoping some of his “aunts” might be able to swing by for a visit this summer. My greatest wish is for all of you to meet this amazing Warrior, while he still wears his earthly clothes. One can hope! For now, wishing you peace and love from the Ehlers’ ranch.


*************IN LOVING MEMORY OF MURPHY**************


We lost our friend Murphy this week….he was our mentor, a fellow Warrior, who showed us the way on this journey we travel. We looked up to him for guidance, as we moved into uncharted territory as cancer survivors. We will miss him terribly, and mourn his loss; until we meet one day at the Bridge – run free, brave Warrior! <3 <3 <3







13 Responses to “3 YEARS A TRIPAWD!”

  1. danielle Says:

    Now that the school year is over, I have free time to “play” with my computer, and I just started fully exploring the site. I hadn’t heard from you in a bit, and so I found your site to check in and see how YOU were…and it sounds very positive. I love the pictures you post, and am beginning to understand how important you are in this online community. I’m thankful you’ve reached out to me. I hope you’re enjoying the summer months….would you come feed me ice cream like Nitro?

  2. mom2shelby Says:


    What a beautiful tribute to Murphy and a beautiful post for our warrior and hero Nitro!!! I always forget our stories run parallel but I was in the height of paranoia (take the leg / don’t take the leg) when you were going through your journey.

    Three years is absolutely AMAZING!!!! No matter what happens (and I do think / believe we will see a 12th bday in October) , Nitro is the ultimate in fighting champions!

    It was such an honor and gift to meet you last month. Has it really been a month? It was, as you said, like coming home. Home to a family that is the best family you could ever hope for because it is just love … and joy … and happy.

    We will all celebrate each milestone with you always! I love his photos…he is truly majestic in appearance. A king of kings!

    Much love !!!


  3. tinsch Says:

    we talked about this that one one night and for me, that talk could have continued for a long time yet. If we only lived closer…
    Murphy will be greatly missed by the two of us I suppose, because it looks like it’s us now. I like how you call it uncharted territory, that’s exactly how I am starting to feel, too. The cancer becomes less of an issue, weirdly, as other things start to creep up. This journey is a nasty one and I am so glad I have you by my side. I love you girl.
    and I love that “believe” wall of yours.

  4. Isabelle Says:

    Reaching 12 is a massive achievement for Dobies – and congrats to Nitro for 3 tripawd years!! Hoping for many more…

  5. hester Says:

    Tremendous Triple Tripawd Ampuversary greetings to our dear Nitro. Paula, we are all so very happy to celebrate this milestone with you and though there have been some rocky moments, triply glad he is feeling good and enjoying golden moments this summer. And of course all the royal treatment that is his due.

    Like the magnificent Murphy (now an angel) and his family, team Nitro has inspired many of us.


  6. otisandtess Says:

    Massive congrats on Nitro’s 3 year ampuversary! He’s a fighter! And so are you!

  7. Michelle Says:

    Hoppy 3 Years Nitro. The lucky number of 3. You are kicking major butt. I am hoping I might be able to swing something and come visit. We will have to see though. It is something I want more than anything.

    I love each & everyone of these pictures Paula. He is smiling in the first one and I love to see it. Keep kicking butt you 2.

    Tears too. Happy ones and a few sad ones for Murphy.
    Time for you to enjoy & celebrate.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  8. Glenn Says:

    Great job Nitro an Pawrents!Keep up the great work!And Thank You for thinking of Murphy!Damn Allergies flared up again when i read it, eyes started to water

  9. jerry Says:

    I’ve got a smile on my face and tears forming in my eyes but it’s all good. Today we raise a glass to Nitro on his ampuversary and of course tosweet Murphy and all the angels we’ve lost this week too. There is so much to be grateful for, even within the sadness we celebrate because these Tripawds are so remarkable, they truly make us better humans!

    And let me just say that Nitro is OFF THE CHARTS PAWESOME!


    You know we have a thing about the number 3 here. I know it means lots of good things are still on target to come your way. Sure, there are ups and downs and will be in the future, but that’s just life and we learn to roll with it right? Which you have learned to do so well over the last three years.

    Give yourself some props too lady, because I sure do. You have come such a long way i how you’re dealing with these challenges and emotions. Nitro is a great teacher.

    Thank you for sharing this great celebration with all of us. Smooches to the pack!

  10. benny55 Says:

    Oh my gosh!! How could I not add how ADORABLE KODA is!!! I could look at that cutie pie all day long and never stop grinning ear to ear! 🙂

  11. benny55 Says:

    I’m soooooo glad you losted so we coud all join n in celebrating this MAGNIFICENT MIRACLE WARRIOR OF ROYAL DESCENT NAMED NITRO!! 🙂 🙂

    And we all give a “shout out of love” to our other MIRACLE DOG MURPHY and the humans he so dearly loved.

    It is soooo crucial we have VICTORIES like these ro celebrate!! And your ROYAL HIGHNESS NITRO is VICTORIOUS!!

    And before I forget, your treatment plan (especially not looking at “numbers”) is spot on!! And you still jave a lot of wiggle room if need be…a lot!!

    Now, let’s get back to pawtying and these GRRRRRREAT PICTURES!!! I keep scrolling back up because I can’t get enough of seeing NITRO SOOOO HAPPY AND SOOOOOO SPOLIED!!! Love that part!!

    Nitro is masterful at teaching you how to properly serve Royalty! 🙂 Hiss dinner being served as he lounges every so comfortably. His ice cream that he gets to eat right out of the carton! It’s the yummiest right out of the carton!! 🙂

    A man, his dog, and a motorcycle…..not sure who’s the happiest…Nitro or John!!

    And btw, kudos to John for his instinctive assessment when Nitro was having an off day!! And kudos to you for listening!!

    That picture of Nitro at the Tribute Table….look hiw the light reflected…..that is sooooo beautiful! It really symbolizes the BRIGHT LIGHT OF HOPE that surrounds NITRO! Because, make no mistake about it, Nitro IS a BRIGHT LIGHT OF HOPE! That really is a very symbolic picture the Universe lined up for us! 🙂

    Seeing dogs all snuggly and comfy in squishy blankies and cushions is always such a joyful thing to see. Well Mr Nitro epitomizes JOY in that restful sleep picture!! Such a special boy!

    That first photo…The one of him soooo happy and smiling…..that needs to be in your wall right next to the “BELIEVE” photo you have up there. Now that is a very, very happy boy!!

    There was something that you wrote to me after the Virginia pawty that I will carry with me forever…and I hope you’ll do the same. As magical as thst EPIC pawty was, I still felt a bit sad that our time together was almost nonexistent, as was the case with so many. I mentioned that to you and said basically all I got to do was hug you and maybe ssy three words. You said something along the @lines that sometimes a hug is more powerful than any words. It was such a beautiful and powerful sentiment.

    I want you to know that my hug, and the hugs of everyone at that pawty are ALWAYS with you..ALWAYS.

    A d today, we are all in a group hug with you in the middle as we celebrate NITRO’s THREE YEAR AMPUVERSARY!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Now go take some more great oictures and post…..we need selfies with you and Nitro together…And throw in John and his motorcycle!!

    Lots and lots of love and HUGS to you!!

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

  12. midnighter94 Says:

    Oh Paula, my “Twin” … I was ok until the end! Thank you for those words.
    Nitro – you just keep on keeping on! You got this. Keep proving everyone wrong, just like Murphy did! I’ll buy new batteries for the laser pointer when you need them 🙂
    Love you!

  13. linda8115 Says:

    Oh Nitro! Happy 3 years to my Buddy! Paula you’ll never know how much your friendship and your reaching out meant to me that first week with Max! How you and John met my John halfway to let us borrow Nitro’s harness was such a game changer for Max! How he came home just gushing about your Nitro and how having 3 legs didn’t slow him down a bit. And then actually getting to meet your sweet boy when we returned the harness well….lets just say I was in awe. Nitro is one extreme Warrior as are you! It’s been a privilege getting to know you and Nitro and sweet Kodi and John! Yes I’m the lucky “auntie” who has gotten to love on your boys. Somehow we must make plans for a Green Bay meetup for at least those within driving distance. Over a long holiday weekend! I’ll definitely help you plan it! (I believe Donna has already said she has off Labor Day weekend 😀). Nitro needs to meet as many aunties as he can! The bonds we formed with everyone at Puppyup last year and Va this year will last forever! Keep doing what you’re doing and taking one day at a time! You know we are all right there with you! Betting Nitro and his Buddy Kodi are getting steak on the grill along with their ice cream this weekend! Raising my glass high and toasting 🍾🍷🧀 both you and Nitro for being AWESOME! Love you friend!

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