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28 Jul 2017

Warrior Nitro….A Beautiful Life

Author: Paula | Filed under: Uncategorized


Warrior at The Bridge

My Warrior has shed his earthly clothes, and is running free at The Bridge….we are beyond devastated, but his story is a beautiful one.

The beginning of the end began, ironically, the day after his 37 month ampuversary – July 18, 2017.  He slipped on the tile floor upon waking, splaying his hind feet; no biggie, it’s happened before. Out in the yard, he was having a bit of a hard time standing up, and when I went to assist him, he let out a yelp of pain. Whoa! This was new. As the day progressed, his mobility worsened, as did his incontinence. I called Dr. Patty (chiro vet) and was able to get him in the next day for an early morning appointment. As she examined him, he began to tremble, so much so that at first she thought he was having a seizure. Eventually she determined it was a generalized reaction to pain, and could find no chiropractic reason for the new symptoms. She also said his “Qi” or life force was quieter than she’d ever seen it.



Heavy Heart

I called my regular vet to discuss…and to make arrangements should they be necessary. She increased his gabapentin to 3x a day and I scheduled several “visits”, one for the next day, one for the following day (both at the clinic) and one for the following Tuesday July 25. By night time, he seemed a little better, so we’d re-evaluate the next morning to see if it was “time”. The next morning, as he’s laying outside and we’re trying to make a decision, he saw a squirrel; he jumped up on his own and went running across the yard! Ok! Cancel THAT appointment! That morning Kodi had a chiro appointment, and we brought Nitro along just in case she wanted to check him over. She did, the trembling was gone, and his Qi was stronger. Ok! Cancel appointment for the next day too.


Laying down eating treats

Now we had to get through the weekend, with both of us working. His mobility still wasn’t great, so John came home both days to assist the sitter with getting him in and out of the house. His appetite disappeared – besides us spooning ice cream down his throat. Now Monday’s here, I’m off, still trying to evaluate for the next scheduled “visit”, which would be a home visit. It was a glorious day in Wisconsin, sunny, low humidity – perfect. We spent over 7 hours outside, he got up on his own all day and hopped around the yard unassisted. My friend stopped over to say a potential goodbye; when she offered him some treats, he ate ravenously! You get the picture, now I’m wondering about cancelling the appointment for the next day.  When I went to bed that night, I prayed for a clear sign, one way or the other, to know how to proceed.


Glorious Day Before

Brother Bonding with Aunt Laurie

Morning comes, we get him outside, and he just wants to lay on his bed; he’s calm, and restfully peaceful, and I know I’ve just been given the sign I prayed for. Sitting with him, waiting for the vet to arrive, I thought to myself that if I saw a cardinal, I’d know in my heart that we were doing the right thing. It was another beautiful day so we stayed outside, in the yard he loved. His transition was the most beautiful, peaceful thing I’ve ever experienced….he truly did just lay his head down and go to sleep. I was draped over his chest, whispering through my tears over and over “I love you, I love you, I love you”. They took clay imprints of all 3 feet for me, and Forever Friends came to take him away.

Morning of…

Morning of….

About an hour later, I looked over to my left, and there was a female cardinal, sitting on my sedum plant. I called to John to come see and was able to get my phone for a picture. Nitro was at The Bridge, and he was fine. <3 <3 <3

Visitor From Heaven –
Nitro at the Bridge?

There is a big void in our hearts right now, but we are at peace….it was not a minute too early or a minute too late, and my Warrior went out on his terms and with all of  his dignity intact. Who can ask for more than that? As Sally said to me, he beat that piece of crap disease, but he couldn’t beat old age. So my final words to him, the words I’ve said to him everyday of his life…..”BE GOOD, MAMA LOVES YOU”


Mama Loves You

22 Responses to “Warrior Nitro….A Beautiful Life”

  1. Jill Blackstone Says:

    What a beautiful story of courage and love. Nitro was a brave boy, gentle and playful and intuitive and devoted to you all at once. A true dobie. And you were brave enough to love him but recognize the sign when he gave it to you. This story reminds me of the many beloved dobes I’ve have to say goodbye to but way more it reminds me of every glorious moment they gave me. RIP Nitro, you live on.

  2. sketch Says:

    Paula, what a wonderful life you gave to your special boy. You and Nitro fought the good fight and when his time was over you gave him the gift of a peaceful passing, knowing that your love will be with him forever. I am so sorry for your loss…I know the horrible emptiness that comes with the passing of such a precious soul. Thank-you for sharing your beloved boy and his journey with all of us…he was/is special and so are you!

    Sending many hugs and lots of love.

    Trini, Sketch’s Mom

  3. benny55 Says:

    Ohh Paula……You did your boy proud Paula, sooo proud! Nitro was still able to “be Nitro”, even as his body tired from the rigors of old age. My tears are slobbering all over my face right now. I really thought the celebration of his life and the way he exited in such a beautiful way surrounded by love, would keep the tears at bay. Nope!! I’ve been on this journey with Mighty Warrior Nitro and you fir over three years. I celebrated soooo many victories with Nitro and laughed at so many of his antics. I was in awe of your devotion and commitment to do everything possible for Nitro. Yeah, I love him and I miss him.

    Nitro DID indeed, beat that piece of s**t disease…beat the hell out of it!! And no, ya’ can’t beat old age…but Nitro did!! HOW, you ask? Nitro didn’t give into it!! He still made sure he did things he enjoyed, even if it was in …er…an “elderly” way!!

    Such a Warrior in so many ways!!! Such an inspiration in so many ways!

    Paula, Nitro could NOT have had better care!! You did everything POSSIBLE for him! You clearly went to the “ends of the earth” for him many times over.

    Without question one of the most loving gifts you gave Nitro was to release him before old age did win…before old age took away everything he ever enjoyed….before old age started ravaging his magnificent Spirit.

    Knowing the timing could not have been more perfect does give you a sense of peace, a sense of relieve…for awhile. And then the void and emptiness hit you like a ton of bricks. Usually second guessing even tries to rear it’s ugly head every now and then…even though you know with absolute certainty there is nothing to second guess.

    The pictures, the beautiful sacred pictures will bring yousome comfort. They show soooo much love between you and Nitro. He just seems to melt intonyiur energy and you into his. There is such an aura of peace with the photos of you two. For that to show through a photo is quite magical! Quite spectacular actually!

    I want to share something that I noticed in the ohotos closer to his transition. I know I commented before that I had never seen any gray on Nitro’s muzzle…..until the hrotos of the morning you celebrated him home…..very, very slight, but I saw it. No, Nitro would NOT like a fully gray muzzle interfering with all his ELEGANCE and MAGNIFICENCE!! 🙂

    And without question…WITHOUT QUESTION…that Cardinal was full of Nitro’s energy and presence…ABSOLUTELY!!!! You wanted a specific sign from Nitro and you got it!!! 🙂 🙂 And I’m sure you’ve gitrten more since then!

    I hope you realize how very important Nitro’s story is to anyone starting this journey. We HAVE to have VICTORIES like NITRO!! We MUST have hope! Everyone starting this journey wants to believe their dog can be the next Nitro!! Statistics scare the crapmout of people. And then we have Heroes like Warrior Nitro to show them that statistics don’t mean squat!!! 🙂

    Paula, it is a true privilege to be a friend to you and to Nitro. I am honored.

    I’m surrounding you with one of those hugs we shared in Virginia….a hug that you said sometimes is more powerful than words.

    With lots of love

    Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    PS….Rumor has it some of the Angels are complaining about not being able to sleep at night…..something about laser lights keepi g them awake!! 🙂

  4. Brenda Ketner Says:

    I am so sorry to read about your beautiful dog Nitro. You were so helpful to me on the day I had to make the same heartrenching decision. You described such a beautiful send off and Nitro felt only love on his journey. I know the pain is so raw but I hope you are comforted with so many wonderful memories and the knowledge of such pure love.

  5. Ginger Says:

    Oh no….so sorry to hear about handsome Nitro. My thoughts and prayers are with you. He was quite the Warrior. I put my dobie Roc down on the 14th. He was a rear leg amputation and cancer came back in the front leg.He was a #tripaw for 5years 8 months. What a blessing these creatures were to us. Pease and love your way.
    Dobie tripaaw Mom Ginger

  6. elizabeth Says:

    I just saw this on Facebook Paula, I am sooooo sad to hear this. The cardinal brought me to tears. Nitro will ALWAYS be a rock star, we will never forget him.

  7. jerry Says:

    Paula, we share in the sadness that Nitro is in the heavens now, but rejoice in all that he did to show the world that life on three legs can ROCK. Nitro never gave in to doubters, he never failed to prove that even with cancer you can still have a great life and do what you love.

    We will miss him with all our heart but we are forever changed by the impact he and YOU have made on this community. Cancer sucks but we are blessed to call you our friend for life.

    Run free Nitro and enjoy having all four legs and your health again. Some day we will meet you in person at the Bridge. We love you forever.

    Paula, if you want to talk you know where to find us.

  8. steph Says:

    love you my friend!!

  9. megstamum Says:

    My heart goes out to you, Paula, for the loss of your graceful warrior. I know that the grief is overwhelming, but I am so pleased that Nitro left peacefully, and gave you the clarity to be sure that the moment was the right one. Sending all love, and thinking so much of you and your magnificent boy.
    Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie ❤️

  10. Bob G Says:

    Once again Paula, I’m so sad that Nitro is gone…he sure was a ham..acted like he never received any attention from you or John every time I stopped by, which (spoiled little man lol) we all know is the farthest from the truth.. He was truly one of a kind and I will miss seeing him Thank you so much for sharing you story..damn I had to fight back the tears. Take care and stay strong.

  11. travisray Says:

    Oh Paula, I am so sorry you lost your beautiful boy. But I am so glad to hear that Nitro got to go on his own terms and that you and John are at peace. And he sent you a cardinal, how awesome is that?!!! Sending you all kinds of love from me and the OP 💔🌈💖
    Run free Nitro!!
    Martha, Travis Ray and the OP

  12. hester Says:

    The photos of his final days and the beautiful morning of his departure are very moving – love the one of him looking back at his Daddy. I know how keenly you feel his absence, but am glad you have the comfort of knowing the time was right and he had his dignity and enjoyed the pleasures of his happy home to the last. Run free, dearest Nitro, with grace and power and your tremendous spirit.


  13. Petra Says:

    Super Stewie’s pack would like to extend their condolences. What a beautiful, peaceful send off you gave him.
    Nitro will always be with you!
    All the best.

  14. Suzy Says:

    You bet he beat that disease. None of us will beat old age. But he sure fought like the warrior he was. I’m lucky I go to know him.

  15. eurydice Says:

    Oh Paula, sweet, sweet Paula … I am so sorry Nitro had to leave you and John but my heart is so full of joy knowing, like me, you were blessed with a clear decision and Nitro was ready, it was the right moment: neither too late nor too soon. Just like his friend Eurydice he left in peace and just went to sleep 🙂 and was only to eager to let you know he was happy and whole again by sending you the cardinal 🙂 Even if you miss him dearly you know in your heart he is happy and well and surrounded by so many of his friends, all flapping their lovely silver wings and flying from cloud to cloud woooooofing away … My heart is with you, sweetie and Miss Cow has a new friend in paradise 🙂

  16. Isabelle Says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. You absolutely did the right thing but I’m so, so sorry to read this.

    Thank you for taking such good care of Nitro – he lived a great life and I’m so glad he went peacefully.

    Perhaps my doberlady is showing him around Rainbow Bridge …

    Hugs to you all xox

  17. linda8115 Says:

    Paula as you know you and your Warrior Nitro will always own a special piece of my heart! I’m so glad I was able to visit him one more time to love on him and fall even more in love with him. That he was able to gain his wings on his terms and in his time is the most any of us can ask for! It truly is a gift. Team Nitro beat cancer! Team Nitro WON! Your boy took one more step and sent you that Cardinal so you would know he’d made it! That’s just so Nitro making sure Mom could be at peace and know he’d made it and will always be near. Yours is a true love story! Team Nitro job well done, well done indeed! Fly free Prince Nitro I’ll see you again some Day! Sending you, John and Kodi much love and light.

  18. Michelle Says:

    I am with Tina & Alison. Sobbing . I know it was on Nitro’s terms but doesn’t make it any easier. We love you Nitro. We love you Paula. Nitro will never be forgotten. He won this battle for sure. Can’t help getting old.

    I am so glad that he had an easy transition.
    We are thinking of you, John & Kodi. We are all here for you and love you . Run Free Nitro.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  19. Jeanette Says:

    Oh, Paula…this just breaks my heart 🙁

    I’ve been kind of emotional all day today and couldn’t quite figure out why…maybe it was because I sensed Boone welcoming another TriPawd to the Bridge…

    Nitro had an amazing life and I loved hearing about him.

    Know that your TriPawd family is shedding tears with you today.

    Sending love and light,
    Jeanette & Angel Boone

  20. mom2shelby Says:

    Did we really say no sobbing? Because I have tears rolling down my face right now. What a beautiful tribute to our hero, our warrior, our inspiration. I am so honored that I have gotten to know Nitro and you through these forums and meeting you in May.

    Everything you ever did was indeed with love and from the heart and from your spiritual guidance … Nitro could not have asked for a better transition to being an angel.

    Sending you love and hugs and comfort … run free Nitro! Send lots of signs! I am sure Shelby was right there to greet you as well.

    Until we all meet again!
    Alison with Spirit Shelby in her heart (and little Jasper too)

  21. tinsch Says:

    We said no sobbing!! Good thing you can’t see me now. I am so -I guess relieved is the word- that you got to have the perfect timing and I am sure that Nitro is smiling down on you, full of love and thankfulness for giving him this last great gift. You did everything right Paula. Love you,

  22. Kathi Says:

    What a warrior! He lived his life like a warrior and left it in the same manner.

    Our hearts are breaking for you and with you. Nitro is once again whole and healthy, running gracefully at the Bridge with all of his Tripawd Angel friends.


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