“Mission of Hope”

Dear Tripawds  Family,

I can’t begin to thank you all for your loving thoughts and prayers after our golden, Hope, died quite suddenly of liver/kidney failure on Thursday.  We made the decision to let her go peacefully after she didn’t respond to strong, homeopathic meds; her body began to shut down quickly.  The outpouring of emails from you all have touched our hearts, as you all understood our pain and our need for guidance.  You are all strong, brave warriors for your dogs and a solid support system to those of us who need to feel others are there to help us through whatever path we have to take.  You will never know the strength and hope that you have given us as we traveled down that unknown path.

Today, a most beautiful day in Cincinnati, my husband, Hope and another family with a tripawd dog had planned to participate in a dog walk in Greater Cincinnati by setting up an information booth about tripawds.com and golden retriever rescue.  When Hope had her leg amputated on June 17 of this year, the doctor and surgeon didn’t know about tripawds.com and could offer little information on how to help Hope live a “normal life” as a tripawd.  Only by googling “dog amputation” did I find tripawds, and a loving, compassionate community of new friends.

Hope is no longer with us in body, but her spirit will remain with us forever.  She was a rescue dog with a rocky start, but she grew into a beautiful, sassy, prissy little girl.  In honor of her life and a tribute of the adversities she faced, we have decided to continue our mission via an outreach program to offer information and support to tripawd dogs.  We might have missed the dog walk today, but there will be other opportunities to reach families who need the support that tripawds.com and YOU can give them.  We plan to start our “Mission of Hope” by visiting veterinarians and surgeons and leaving information that they can share with families whose dogs are facing amputation.  That’s a frightening time, and I think that’s when people need to connect with YOU, the people who have actually gone through the fears that they are now facing.

Please remember us in your prayers.  This is such a sad, sad time for us; our grief is great.  I know you will be there for us as the road takes yet another turn…

With much love and appreciation,

Barb, John, and Spirit Hope


Author: 4hope

My golden, Hope, was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma of the paw three years ago. Early on, she had traditional surgery to remove the mass, but the lump always came back. We found a wonderful holistic vet who was able to use Eastern medicine to keep the tumor in check for most of those 3 years. Recently, holistic care lost out to the cancer and her leg was amputated at the shoulder on Friday. I joined this group to learn how I can assist her through the healing process and help her maintain a good quality of life. —– For the first few days following surgery, Hope was pretty high on tramadol and the patch. She seemed much better after the patch was removed, but refused to try to get up by herself. We had to use two slings to drag her outside to go potty and even then, she didn't go. She had only two bowel movements in the week and urinated only three times. She looked very depressed–like she had lost the will to try. The only thing that perked her up was food–Hope LOVES her food. Had she stopped eating, we would have been very worried. During this time, she continued to drink water. On June 25, we took her to the surgeon and she manually expressed her bladder. It took three big, thick towels to hold it all! Immediately, Hope got up and starting walking around and had a bowel movement right in the doctor's office and then started exploring down the hall. If I had not been there, I wouldn't have believed it! It's only been one day since she started walking without any assistance, but she looks happy and she is no longer in pain from her cancer. Another thing–her surgeon took her bandage off early. She said that some dogs really hate the bandage and to be carried around in a sling. Apparently, Hope was one of those dogs. Maybe having the bandage removed gave her some of her dignity back–you just never know how change affects our dogs. Hope might not be running a marathon anytime soon, but we are so glad to see the progress she's made in such a short time.

10 thoughts on ““Mission of Hope””

  1. What a beautiful idea 🙂 Thank you for doing your “mission of Hope”. You will be able to help so many others because of it.


  2. Thank you, Elizabeth. WE will be able to help so many dogs–you are part of the tripawd family that will be there giving your support too! 🙂

    I am a dog rescuer and have many friends in the dog community who I know will embrace “Mission Hope” and the encouragement of the tripawd community. I hope others in the organization will join me in Mission of Hope.

  3. please take time to feel the grief, but know that you are always part of our tripawd family and we will always be here to listen and help. once you get your ‘mission of hope’ up and going, please let us know how we can help with this great project, ok?? love never ends.

    charon & gayle

    oh, when we walk in september, we will definitely feel spirit hope walking with us!!

  4. what a great idea! thank you! when i was at the vet yesterday with Chili Dawg, the vet asked me how i knew so much about chili’s cancer, and I filled him in about the website and community as well. i told him we couldn’t have gotten through everything without this place.

  5. Yep, it sure surprised me when I learned that the vet I went to for 20+ years didn’t know diddly squat about cancer. When I noticed a slight bump on Hope’s paw, our vet said to just keep an eye on it. That was NOT the answer I was looking for, so I took Hope for a second opinion and tests elsewhere. From that point on, I tried to learn (and comprehend!) everything I could about nutrition and fibro sarcoma. We exhausted every possible treatment to help her beat the big “C,” starting with surgery and ending with holistic treatment and then (years later) amputation.

    We are our pet’s advocate and it’s our responsibility to learn everything we can about our pet’s medical condition so we can work WITH our veterinarian to understand the treatment he/she recommends. If we aren’t comfortable with one vet, it’s time to move on to another one–we can’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings when it comes to the health of our companions. And if a surgeon isn’t comfortable working WITH our vet as a member of the TEAM (as I called it “Team Hope”), then it’s time to find a new surgeon. Oh, here I am rambling on….thank you for listening.

    I’ve spent a lot of time (between the tears) to think about what we can do to educate and help pets and their owners as well as vets/surgeons about life after amputation. We have different skillsets and time limitations, but I believe we can all spread the word about tripawds, starting with our own vets, as Chilidawg’s mom did with her vet yesterday.

    I’m the new kid on the block and I just want you all to know that I am very respectful of the HUGE time commitments and the accomplishments that you have given to the tripawds community. You have shown me so much compassion and understanding; I could never thank you enough for that. Jim and Renee, I am in total awe of how you started and continue to grow tripawds.com in loving memory of Jerry–the Great Tripawd Warrior.

    As I formulate the plans for “Mission of Hope,” I will certainly share it with you so that you can take any part of it and adapt it (or improve it!) as you’d like. I have a lot of ideas running through my little pea brain right now.

    Hope was a special little girl and I just want her memory and spirit to live on… Thank you Charon and Gayle for letting Spirit Hope walk with you next month. She can really strut her stuff!

  6. My Mom’s eyes are all watery now….you are too sweet, thank YOU.

    You are most definitely in our prayers and thoughts, we know the difficulty in getting through loss but just remember we are here when you need us OK?

    Many hugs coming your way.

  7. Jerry,

    I’m sure your mom and dad often have watery eyes when they read many of our posts, as they bring back the sadness and sense of loss they felt when you went to Heaven. But when they offer encouragement or information to pawrents who are struggling to just make it through the day, I hope it makes them feel good; they have helped me get through the day more than once. As you know, they are very strong and special people. We should all leave the world a little better than we found it, and they have certainly done that.

    I can’t believe Hope has been with you for only four days; it feels like she’s been gone an eternity. Knowing that she is no longer in pain is a comfort to us, but not seeing her on her favorite bed overshadows that right now.

    When Hope was diagnosed with cancer, I made it my mission to talk to everyone I met about their dog’s immune system and how they needed to read the label on their dog’s food; cancer is fed by corn–they needed to know that. Somehow, that made me feel better. Now I need to tell people there is life after amputation and tell them about you and Hope. You are my hero, Jerry.

    Thank you for listening to me. Please give Hope a hug and kiss from us and tell her we love and miss her so much and we will see her again.

    Barb, John and Hope’s five furry siblings
    (Unfortunately one of them is a Monkeybutt)

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