love never ends

it is with a heavy heart, that i post that we lost gayle today.  she was about 22 months post amputation for soft tissue sarcoma, and was nearing the one year date of identifying the existence of oral melanoma.  she had two surgeries to remove the oral tumors, and continued to battle up to the end.  in the last two months, we discovered additional melanomas in her lymphatic system which were extremely aggressive.  sometimes, in battle, everything you have just isn’t enough.  gayle died a hero, a true tripawd warrior princess.

we appreciate all of the support we’ve received, especially from jim & rene, ge’lena, karen, the list goes on.  there were a few disappointments, when folks that we’d so valiantly supported, chose to close the door on us as we continued to fight.  at this terrible time of sadness in our house, you guys know who you are, and out of respect for gayle, i ask that you not post a comment.

it will be a blue christmas without you, my sister.  love never ends.

what a great day for a walk!

sunday was our first every morris animal foundation k9 cancer walk here in knoxville.  the weather was great, and the turnout was unbelievable!!  gayle got a little tired, but was a trooper thru the whole afternoon of visiting and excitement.  sam is still trying to add up all the new butts he got to sniff, it was nirvana for him!!  gayle and i won an award, for being the largest individual fund raisers for the event (thanks in part to so many of our generous tripawd friends and family!!).  here we all are after the walk.

  of course, once we got home, serious medicinal napping was called for!!!


2nd UPDATE!!! counting our blessings…

yesterday was charon’s birthday – she dare not even think about september when the news of gayle’s melanoma diagnosis came last december.  but gayle is a warrior, and again, she sat by her charon’s feet, napping and having puppy dreams, as the tap, tap, tap of the needles celebrated the day.

tomorrow will be gayle’s 17th ampuversary – another blessing for us.  again, gayle just won’t let the numbers and percentages and statistics rule her destiny.  she remains happily living in the moment, enjoying the treats and naps that each day brings.

on sunday, we will walk in knoxville’s first morris animal foundation k9 cancer walk.  althought we haven’t quite met our goal, we have raised a lot of money to help MAF kick cancer’s butt.  this was made possible by our friends, who are also our blessings.  thanks you so much!!!!!  wonders never cease for us – this afternoon we received a donation from diane hollenbeck aka maximutt,which got us to our goal of raising $1000!!!  and the donations keep coming, we are now exceeding our goal – tripawds really, REALLY rock!!!!  definitely you are all angels!!!

thank you livermore, ca

thank you bozeman, mt

thank you knoxville, tn

thank you chicago, il

thank you orange, tx

thank you wagoner, ok

thank you san diego, ca

thank you kingston, wa

thank you knoxville, tn

thank you mansfield, tx

thank you geneseo, il

thank you mckinney, tx

thank you knoxville, tn

thank you ft. collins, co

thank you las vegas, nv

thank you austin, tx

thank you knoxville, tn

thank you kingsport, tn

thank you red feather lakes, co

thank you lexington ky

thank you washington, d.c.

thank you chicago, il

thank you pontiac, il

thank you diane !!!

we are so blessed to have so many angels on our side.  pictures to follow the walk!

come walk with us in september – i’ll be the one doing the ‘tripawd hop’

charon & i are registed for the first annual Morris Animal Foundation K9 Cancer Walk in knoxville.  we’ll be ‘hopping’ on sunday september 18th, so everybody should try to plan on being in knoxville that weekend to walk with us.  there’s plenty of room, and the pool should be done by then!!!

if you can’t make it to knoxville, you can still help us – we’re trying to raise money to kick cancer’s butt!!!  go to our page and made a donation to help –  here’s our page:

we sure hope you can be here, or at least be here in spirit!!!!!

did you remember to make a donation???????

Spirit Trouble Comes to Knoxville

well, i guess knoxville must be in the geographic center of ‘what’s going on’, cause once again we got some tripawds visitors at our house.  maybe we just live close to texas, these folks were from texas just like fortis’ dad, so maybe that’s the charm.  whatever it is, we had a fabulous visit with shanna and bob…and of course spirit trouble was with them too. 

at first i was a little scared, meeting new people is not always my strong suit…but it didn’t take long to figure out that bob was my kind of guy..he can really handle a treat jar!!!  he took great care of me and brother sam during the trip!!  and miss shanna, well, she just couldn’t stop loving on me and talking about how big i was and how good i looked.  they brought us lots of prizes and treats from texas…the trouble mug really seemed to touch charon’s heart.

wish they could have stayed with us longer, but hopefully they can swing by again – such a great visit and so many wonderful stories about spirit trouble and duke and sister jane and all of us.  like we’d all known each other forever.  geesh, who’s gonna come see me next????

a celebration…and full disclosure…

well, today we celebrate – sixteen months since our ampuversary and we are doing well.  seems the loss of the leg and the five chemo treatments helped us to put aside the soft tissue sarcoma diagnosis.  we’re sure the voluminous number of medicinal naps, and the constant ‘tap, tap, tap’ of charon’s knitting needles helped us heal and helped us continue day by day.  every day is a blessing.

but now, full disclosure…  we’ve been keeping a secret of sorts, or at least we’ve been selective in the telling.  it’s time to tell all, and maybe help others in the telling.  in december of 2010, charon noticed an unusual growth on my tongue.  of course we skeedaddled to see dr. moser, and she was very concerned.  three days before christmas, i had surgery.  charon was right there, next to dr. moser and our favorite vet tech glenda.  two growths were removed from my tongue.  in a few days, we found out that i had oral melanoma. 

being a girl with a ‘black speckled tongue’, and having dark gums and skin in general, i was a likely target for this type of cancer.  fortunately, i was able to get four treatments of a melanoma vaccine which is supposed to halt the growth of new tumors and ‘buy time’.  they were pretty painless – the only pain being a few dim-wits charon had to deal with at the vet college….  we kept enjoying each and every moment, each and every nap, each and every treat.

well, at the end of may, it appeared the growths had returned.  we decided to stick with dr. moser, as she had already saved my life at least twice before…(she is one of our angels).  we took x rays and did a sonogram of my belly, and it appeared there was no spread of the cancer to my ‘innerds’…on may 26th, dr. moser again operated on my tongue.  again, charon and glenda were by her side.  this time, about nine tumors of various sizes were removed.  dr. moser is a great surgeon – when she was done, there was a ‘drunken road’ of stitches down my tongue about six inches long. 

the next two days were rough, but i was brave and i slowly got better.  now, the sutures have all dissolved and my tongue works fine.  although the tumors did return after the initial surgery, we believe the vaccine may have helped by restricting the spread of the melanoma – a true blessing. 

we just didn’t want to tell our story for a while, but now it seems like the right time to tell all.  sammy is so in love with me, i know the strength i gain from that will help me with any challenge i face.  so many friends have stepped up to be brave for me, it has truly made the difference.

so, today, celebrate for me!!!  sixteen months and going strong!!!  treats for everyone.  but please….take time to check your mouth, your tongue, your lips and your gums – for me, please promise you will.  melanomas in dogs are usually oral or in the toes – so check and make sure all is good. 

geesh, with all this typing, seems like it must be time for a nap…..

again we celebrate our lucky day!

when i posted last may 5th, i told the story of finding a little black puppy, waiting in a thunderstorm…my perfect sister gayle.  i wasn’t sure then that we’d get another ‘lucky day’ celebration – there are no guarantees in this life…but, i am blessed. 

today, we celebrate eleven years of sharing adventures with this beautiful, brave and giving girl.  every moment of every day is a gift.  although we’ve had challenges and changes, gayle continues to be my teacher, to show me the joy in each day. 

she is my hero.

catching up, strangers, and celebrating my day

geesh, we’ve been busy around here!!!  don’s finally going back to work part time, the garden is coming in, lawns to mow, weeds to pull, hardly any time to take a decent length nap!!  last weekend we had the strangest looking visitor!!!  charon went over to the north carolina border to pick him up, and she kept saying he was fortis’ dad, but he sure didn’t look like the pictures i remember….  do you recognize this guy?? well, i never could get used to that beard, and i think i probably hurt his feelings a little, but geesh, that’s alot of scary hair!!  sam, of course, was all friendly with him, and i just stayed by my charon’s side..just in case. 

well, on monday, fortis’ dad had to go back to his walk, as he’s on his way to see maggie in maine…that sounds like a long way off.  but, just when i thought we were getting back to normal, i got a new surprise – i got a Courage Collar!!!  it is so beautiful and it makes me feel even more brave. 

it is from the Dublin Dog, and they are donating part of the funds from these collars to help fight K9 cancer.  you can see them here:  i think they are just great, and i must say the blue is definitely my color.

so, by now i’m thinking – it must be time to settle down and get back into my routine.  but then this morning charon is just smothering me with hugs and kisses, saying it’s my day today!!!  yep, today is my 14 month ampuversary!!!!  so i am  celebrating with a long (overdue) nap, and when i wake up, i just might decide to take another.

test driving a little brother

well, it seemed so empty around here without our jane…waiting for her to come back, and yet knowing she wouldn’t.  so, in an effort to help me find some new excitement in my life, it seems we’ve decided to increase our family again.  charon went to a rescue event at the petsmart…thinking of looking at a young pup (wow was he short), but somehow, she was led to sam.  sam is about three years old, and they think he’s a sheltie/border collie mix.  sam is very handsome, and really understands that i need extra time and space sometimes and that i am the ‘number one’ (that’s the best part).  there are a few times when i’ve gotten tired of his barking and such, but a short growl seems to put him in his place which is perfect.  he especially loves to be outside, chasing squirrels and birds, which i think is goofy, but maybe it’s a guy thing.

so, after test driving him for a few days, i agreed that he could stay, as long as he never forgets that i’m number one, and of course that charon & i are inseparable.  he gets it.