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17 Jun 2018

4 Years Ago Today…..

Author: dobemom | Filed under: Uncategorized


first sign of trouble

4 years ago today we began the journey of a lifetime….

I’ll never forget the terror, heartbreak and stress I felt when we began this journey. Time has lessened these emotions, but they are forever burned into my memory. I think it’s good we had no idea what we were up against;  if we had, I don’t know if I would’ve had the courage to proceed. Ignorance is bliss it seems.

the lesion


As it turned out, the agonizing decision to go forward  with the amputation was the least stressful of all that lie ahead. Again, I’m glad we didn’t know what was in store for us. Ignorance IS bliss. I was terrified he wouldn’t make it out of surgery….I was almost afraid  he WOULD. That statement won’t win me any mother-of-the-year awards, but a part of me felt that way. I was so scared to be bringing a 3-legged dog home….how would we manage??? When we went to pick him up the next night, I was almost numb with terror to get that fist glimpse of him when they brought him to us.  I dropped to my knees as he came hopping down that hall, tears running down my face , amazed that he could walk. He was the most beautiful site! I fell in love a thousand times over in that short instant, and we never looked back.


the incision

1st week of amp











I didn’t realize it at the time, but a WARRIOR was standing before me…..



For anyone out there who is considering, or has just begun, this journey I leave you with this…this may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to go through, but it may also be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Because my dog got cancer, my life has changed forever. I have experienced a love like I never knew could exist, I’ve seen courage like I never dreamed existed. And I met people who were in the same boat as us, and I now  have forever friends because of it.



Virginia 2018


Peace and love from the Ehlers’ ranch



8 Responses to “4 Years Ago Today…..”

  1. JESH Says:

    Ladt June, days after our Bailey became a Tripawd, I found the Tripawd sight and read your blog of Nitro’s 3 year success and of his death. I cried, and cried. You post made me very sad and very hoprful. We only had 10 months with our gentle giant, but I want you to know how your words both comforted us and helped us enjoy every day we had with Bailey. Thank you.

  2. benny55 Says:

    You were standing next to a Warrior, and Nitro was standing next to a Warrior Woman!! Two Warriors who continue to inspire us all with their journey of hope and perseverance.

    As noted so well by others, you always express your feelings with honesty and courage.

    And through it all, you are always able to grasp the lessons your Soul came here to learn with Nitro as your Professor. ❣

    Nope, this journey isn’t “just about amputation””. We become so much more aware of our ability to love at depths we never knew possible. And yes, the connections….the bonds….the joining of Souls….all orchestrated by all our pups! They share an enlightenment and wisdome that can only be found in Old Souls

    Nitro KNEW you would get the lessons. He knew you were scared. But he always knew you would find your the Warrior within. All he had to do was show you what a Warrior looked like…..and he did it splendidly!

    So thank you Nitro, for bringing us all together as avery, very, very special family❤ A family who is so full of compassion, so full,of love,…..yeah, the vest of humanity. 😎

    Love you dear friend
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  3. jerry Says:

    Wise words Paula, and honest too. You have so much wisdom to offer people going through this journey, we are honored that you freely share it with so many. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    Four years? Wow. Seems like yesterday when you joined us, and yet it feels like you’ve been a part of this family forever.


  4. mom2shelby Says:

    What a beautiful blog post!!! I love how you can see how far you have come … And I think many of us shared the same fears of “what if” … what if they make it or what if they don’t?

    You guys remain an inspiration to so many in this journey. One of hope, one of true love, one of the pure power of knowing your dog better than anyone else and always trusting your gut.

    And I agree. .. out of all this sadness came new family … new friends for life … new hope and new adventures! Love to you all!
    Alison with Spirit Shelby in her heart (and little Jasper too)

  5. midnighter94 Says:

    I remember how scared I was – I worked the day Murphy had surgery, and I was pacing in the OR hallway when they called me to say he was finished – a lifetime ago!
    It’s crazy all the twists & turns we’ve been through since then, but it’s all still so crystal clear.
    Love to you from the Hansen Clan! <3

  6. Super Stu! Says:

    Paula, first of all I would like to send you a massive hug for feeling so raw and for being so honest!
    “I was terrified he wouldn’t make it out of surgery….I was almost afraid he WOULD.” These are words I’m slmost certain we have all felt at some point or other in our lives, whether with our fur kids surgeries or other traumatic situations where we fear the best and want the worst! I don’t really meant this literally, but I think you know what i do mean! It is the dichotomy of life, when we love too much, it hurts that much more!
    That Love and that Pain is a bond that will keep you glued to Nitro furever! This Love and Pain will never lessen, they just make room for more!
    Sending very special Spirit Kisses to Nitro, for being the Warrior we all aspire to be!
    Rots Of Ruv From Stewie and his Beautiful Pride xxxxxxx

  7. megstamum Says:

    Such a moving post, Paula. Nitro faced his challenges with such grace and dignity, and so did you. Warriors both. I love that picture of you in the heart of your Tripawds family.

    Sending love,

    Meg, Clare and Angel Pie ❤️

  8. Michelle Says:

    Sending all my love and thoughts today. What a journey. What a Warrior. A true true Warrior. One that will never be forgotten and one that will always be in your heart.

    Because of this crappy disease we have met and made friends and become family. I truly feel like you are my family.

    We will forever remain friends and family

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

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