TRIPAWDS: Home to 22479 Members and 2126 Blogs.

Patches Journey

This site chronicles Patches journey through OSA

A Dog in Need is a Dog in Need

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 3:04 pm on Friday, April 12, 2019

Without beating around the bush……..I am a tripawd mom again. I can’t believe everything that has happened in the space of a year and in the weeks leading up to getting my new DOGS. That’s right, dogs, not dog.

I don’t even know where to begin……so I’ll just let it all hang out. This year I bought a house, got married, broke a finger, toe and tooth, lost my sweet Rooster and got two rescue dogs from Russia, one of which is a tripawd, and got a new job. Don’t get me started on the home remodeling but that happened along with getting in a car accident caused by a 16 year old who looked to have had her license for 5 minutes.

The important stuff- My sweet Rooster, my doggy soul mate, my love, my boy boy and my loyal and loved companion of 13 years passed away on January 30th. I was crushed. God he was a good dog. He died in his sleep and I knew it was coming and I had a chance to say goodbye and I was still crushed. It’s different than losing a dog to bone cancer but no less painful. I wanted him to live forever if Patches couldn’t. That part never gets easier. Especially considering that I made sure I got a house with a big fenced in yard so that he could live with me and run around. We were so close. I had hoped he would get to meet the new dogs to help him feel like he had siblings. I still can’t believe I don’t have him. There will never be another dog like him. And I loved Patches fiercely but he was my soul mate in a dog. He was the gentlest and kindest and goofiest dog I have ever met. I will miss him and Patches for the rest of my life. I doubt I’ll ever be able to keep my eyes dry when thinking or talking about them but I’m ok with that. having them was worth the pain.

And then enter Dasha and Katusha. I may have mentioned that the girls came from Russia. I’ve come up against a few snarks who want to know why I would go to Russia when I could adopt here. My reply is “a dog in need is a dog in need”. I didn’t feel the need to mention that if they don’t want their dogs in Russia, they throw them out, shoot them, poison them and do other things I can’t even talk about. Not that it’s anyone’s business. I agreed to adopt my tripawd Katusha first. When I was asked if I would take Dasha as well my husband didn’t hesitate to say yes. Just one of the many reasons why I love the man dearly. And these dogs are soooo sweet, so good for my heart and so in need of a gentle hand and kind heart. Dasha is smaller and looks like a samoyed mix. She got here first on January 18th. She arrived complete with passport and baby picture. She was 6 months old, fuzzy and adorable. She was so scared when she got here and stressed from the travel. Turns out she hadn’t seen many men and she was nervous around them, scared of strangers…..scared of almost everything except me. Katusha came on February 1st and we think she is about a year and a half. Her story is not totally clear but from what we know, she had a family who put her out on the street when they no longer wanted her. She was near the train station when someone found her with her bone sticking out of her leg. We think she got hit by or thrown in front of a train. She walked around begging for help for a few weeks before someone took her and got her the care she needed. Her story broke my heart. I saw her picture and that was all it took. She is a love. To us. To anyone else, she is petrified and she nips. This is my first biter. And I thought I had this rescue thing down pat. She doesn’t lunge, latch or lock but she definitely lets you know she’s there. She goes for the back of the legs because she doesn’t want to get kicked. The things that this poor dog endured are disgusting and I will do anything to see her acclimate and not be scared of anyone. we are taking baby steps.  But they are here and we are delighted.

I guess my biggest concern was ……….how do you acclimate a dog from another country? What challenges does the fact that they are from Russia pose? Well……as it turns out, none really. Other than the fact that I had to learn to say “no” in Russian rather quickly. I was worried that they would have problems with our food and water. They didn’t. I wanted to give them some small comfort in any way that I could given that their entire worlds changed in one short trip. Every single thing was different right down to the language. So I learned some Russian words and we got them some of the cushiest beds and blankets I’ve ever seen. Not to mention some great food. And we loved them to pieces. They now understand a lot of words and phrases, especially “outside”, “time to eat” and “go git the kitty” lol.

And here we are almost three months in with Dasha and 2.5 with Katusha. What does that look like now??? Well, for starters, Katusha looks and acts like a different dog. She smiles more, she has gained some needed weight and she is playful and soooooooooo loving. To us lol. She now loves my son, who at first terrified her. She now loves my step-son. She is learning to have visitors without tasting them. The soft muzzle is a god send. We are being very patient and letting them tell us what they need and when. This is a big transition for them and we plan on at least a year until they no longer worry about or are affected by their past. Dasha is still nervous around new people but she now loves the boys as much as the girls. She and Katusha take turns sitting on my husband’s lap. And by take turns, I mean fight for real estate until they get their turn. We are totally in love with them. The cat ……..yes, there’s a cat and that’s another story for another day, but the cat isn’t as enamored but she’s getting there. And best of all, Katusha doesn’t even realize she’s a tripawd. She tears around the yard and can keep up with the best of them. I look out the window and watch them play and I cry. I cry happy tears for them, sad tears for what they went through and tears for my Rooster and Patches who I still miss with a heart crusing pain. It will always be there but my heart still has room.

The last thing I want to ask is this…………….if anyone here wants to adopt a tripawd, or even a quad pawd from russia, please let me know. PLEASE. There are currently three in need. Two boys and a baby girl. Uran, Mercury and Panda. I have attached pictures of Uran and Panda. Uran was found with a broken hip and leg and had bullets in him. He is a back leg amputee, as sweet as they come and he is in the US (PA). Panda is five months old and currently in Russia. She was attacked by a large dog and that is how she lost a front paw. I have uploaded pictures of Dasha, Katusha, and Panda. Details on Mercury will be available in a a week or so and I can provide a link to information on sweet Uran.  And a word about the group of women who rescue these dogs. They are very selective about who they let in. They have devoted their lives and their funds to rescuing dogs. They have two and three jobs to support what they can. I donate but they don’t ask for any funds. They simply want to get these dogs to homes where they will be loved dearly, like all dogs should be loved. So…….if you have an interest, or know anyone who would be willing to foster or adopt. Please let me know. I have three friends who have adopted and fostered and they are lined up to do it again. I am so grateful I got to make a difference. And if it weren’t for my sweet Patches, I would have never known.

As always, thank you for reading. I’m sorry if I rambled, there is just so much to tell and so many details. Suffice it to say, I am never far from my Tripawd community. You are never far from my mind. You all helped me through losing my girl and through her and you, I am helping other dogs in need. I used to say “I’m only one person, how can I make a difference?”.  And now I know how I can make a difference.

With love and hugs,


Debbie and Angel Patches and Rooster

I Never Thought I Would, But………..

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 8:00 pm on Friday, January 4, 2019

It has been a very long time since I’ve been here. At least not for blogging.

Last time I blogged I was still thinking about my sweet girl a lot. I still think about my sweet girl a lot. And I still cry. I still miss her. It’s the new norm. I’ve reached a point and I don’t know if I’ll get past it but I don’t mind where I am.

Exactly where am I anyway? This year I bought a house of my own. A lot of changes have happened, including one I never thought would. After I Patches died I said that I would never adopt another dog. I still have my boy Rooster and he’s going strong at 14 and counting. He still misses her too. But…..I’m adopting another Tripawd. I can’t believe I’m doing it but I’m committed to the decision and I can’t wait to save my new girl.

How did I get here? It’s all because of I made an amazing friend because of my blog. It has been a wonderful connection and we have kept in touch and I even got to meet her in person through my business travels. I’m blessed to have this person as my friend and it’s through her that I found my new tripawd.

My new girl will be arriving in the next few weeks. I’m nervous and I’m excited and I’m happy that I can save another dog in need. I think she will be a sweet friend for Rooster and good for my heart. She won’t replace my girl but when I heard her story, my heart tugged on my head and said “you have room”. And I do. And I didn’t think I did. I’m sure it won’t be without challenges but I have faced far worse and survived. Even thrived. But I will always miss Patches and I know that someday, possibly soon, I will have to say goodbye to Rooster. Even the thought has me crying. I just love hard and don’t handle losing them well at all. I accept that it is just who I am. But I’m still getting to know me and I like the me that will love another baby the way I love my first two canine babies. Hard to believe it but here I am. I have so many thoughts and things to say but for now, I’m just going to say thank you to Rene and the team behind You have made so many things possible and I’m better thanks to you.

More to come on the new adventure.


Debbie and Angel Patches

Dropping By For A Quick Hello

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 5:49 pm on Saturday, July 15, 2017

Even though I am not here much anymore, it’s not for a lack of thinking of my tripawd or my tripawd friends.  I still love her and all of you.  And I still think about her and all of you.  What I think now is different though. The intensity of my grief has lessened on a day to day basis.  If I really let myself wallow……it’s back with a rebound intensity. I try not to think about the details. I try not to think about how much we all still miss her.  What I focus on is the love. The love we gave her, the love we still have for her, all the good that she brought to us and us to her.

I never thought I would recover. At some points I didn’t want to. I wanted to be left alone to hate the fact that my little dog died of cancer. I don’t even know what “Recover” means. I have learned that grief is fluid and VERY individual. And that if even one other person knows where you’ve been and where you are, it helps. It’s so hard to go through what we have gone through, are currently going through and what will we have to go through in the future. I’m better prepared and I know what to do in tough circumstances. A support system is critical.  At least for me.  Talking about my girl, crying and having people give hugs and tell me they understand helped me. There is no magic answer. The pain is worse than I could have imagined but the healing is better than I could have imagined.

I will always be a tripawd. I will always be here. I will always be grateful for everything my tripawd family has done for me. And I talk about you. My cousin’s golden retriever just became a tripawd. You know I sent her here for information.  She loves the site and the people. Thankfully her dog has no metastasis. He is beating the odds.  I love her boy and I think God I could help her. And helping others is what gives me healing.  I hope to finish my book soon. I have no idea how to publish or get it out there but I know that Patches will guide me. It’s her and my gift as a result of our journey. I hope to help more people because it’s what helps me heal.

I may not be here often but Patches and my Tripawd family will be in my heart forever.

Sending love, kisses and hugs.


Debbie and Angel Patches

Three Birds, Three Legs

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 2:46 am on Friday, March 31, 2017

So.  My girl has been gone for 367 days.  And I’ve missed her for 367 days.  And tomorrow will be 368.  A year flew by and I know I thought about and missed her in some capacity every single day.  I didn’t post on the one year anniversary.  The last time I posted I cried for two days after.  I didn’t have the heart for it at that time.  I sat and pondered the year past while I was out on my front lawn with Rooster working on Monday the 27th.  It was a rainy Monday, the same Monday a year ago when we had Patches put to sleep.  The date had changed but not the memory or the day.  As I sat there examining the complexity of the year I saw three cardinals land on our huge elm at the end of the driveway.  I hardly ever see cardinals and I believe they are a sign from a loved one on the other side to say hello and to let us know they’re doing well.  They were chirping and flitting about.  And then they all looked straight at me.  I couldn’t figure out the significance of three at first.  I looked at Rooster and he stared back with a somber look.  He knew what day it was.  I don’t know how he knew but he did despite my efforts to remain positive and in the moment with him.  And as I stared into his pretty brown eyes the significance dawned on me.  Three birds………three legs.  I actually smiled.

Yesterday my boyfriend told me his husky, my beloved Thunder (aka pretty boy, blue eyes, Thor God of, lovey) died last weekend.  I was traveling when he died.  I never got to say goodbye.  His family is heartbroken as am I but I was able to console them with my knowledge of what is, what was and what is to come.  As the tripawd community did for me as I endured my heartbreak.  Thunder didn’t have cancer, he was diabetic.  It doesn’t matter.  I still think it’s unfair that dogs get sick like people.  They don’t deserve it.  He was only 7 years old.  My heart break is different this time.  I finally understand what I didn’t understand when Patches died.  Dogs get sick, fair or not.  They die, sometimes before their time, sometimes at an incredibly old age.  It’s heartbreaking.  There’s nothing you can do.  Grief is personal.  Some people cry, some people don’t. Some people need to talk about it, some don’t.  Some people are strong, some are not.  I cried when I needed to, which was often.  I learned who I could lean on for support and who I could not.   I also learned that life goes on whether you want it to or not and that it’s better to have something to live for after they are gone.  That may not always be possible but I do think it helped me focus on where I was going instead of where I’d just come from.  I’ll always be sad.  I’ll always miss her and love her and remember what she and I endured as a team that I hope to never have to go through again. I hope NO one does but we know how that goes.  I’m better for having had my girl.  I’m different from having lost her.  I won’t be the same and I’m not going to place judgement on myself for that.  I have a support system and I always will.  I will always be a part of the tripawd community and be a strength for someone in need.  I will go on living… step at a time.  In time I hope to be softer and not as raw but today is not that time and tomorrow might not be either.  I still have another dog, my boyfriend has another dog.  I love them both and I know I will lose them.  But it will always be different now that I know what I know.  And for that small knowledge, I am grateful.  And with the love for them eternally in my heart and mind, I will always be on the lookout for dandelion sylphs and three little birds.


Debbie and Angel Patches

Sometimes You Just Need a Hug

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 7:17 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wow.  It’s definitely been a while since my last post.  And not for lack of trying but my timing was all off.  Whenever I was dying to write I was busy doing other things.  Like driving.  And when I had the time to write…..I was catching up on stuff.  Like bad reality TV.  But my heart is still and will always be with the tripawd community and I will always be a tripawd mom.  Who is still plugging along trying to make sense of what I feel.  Because that is what analytic Type A+ people do.  It’s been an interesting time.  I know that having had my girl made me a better person.  Having lost her has made me a different person.  I contemplate more about the situation.  I ask myself “where am I with all this today?”

I’m not sure where I am and what I’m doing.  At least not today.  I can tell you that I talk about my experience a lot less.  And when I do, I don’t (Or at least I try not to) cry.  I can see the look on some people’s face when I talk about my girl.  They still get uncomfortable.  Like “is she going to cry?  If she is can I run?”.  Maybe they have forgotten about it, maybe they think I have or that I’m over it or at least SHOULD be over it.  Sometimes I just want someone to understand me, ask me how I am, tell me they know I’m sad and just give me a damn hug and let me cry.  Because I still cry.  A tear or two every day.  Usually when I’m alone in the car or my house.  Usually when I look at Rooster glued to me when we’re outside, inside, on the sofa, on the toilet…..  Rooster still needs hugs and I give them to him all the time because I get it.  Sometimes you just need a hug.  Like on Valentine’s day.  I was one little love short.  My birthday is coming.  She won’t be eating cake with frosting on her little nose.  It still hasn’t been a year and I’m dreading the year anniversary.  It’s all I’m going to think about on that day.  And then the next day after the anniversary will have me thinking about how broken I was after she was gone.  I was 28 pounds heavier, directionless yet needed to keep moving.  My son needed me.  Still does.  Rooster needed me.    Still does.  Now more than ever.  And here I am.  I need someone.  Maybe now more than ever.  So here I am with my tripawds.  No one understands unless they’ve been through it.  It’s made me a more understanding person.  Someone may be going through something I haven’t been through but I can empathize way more and feel for them.  And sometimes I give them a hug.  They seem to appreciate it.  This is the rest of my life.  And I know I still have another dog.  And he is going to be gone someday.  And I wonder if I’ll survive, or if I’ll want to.  It sticks with you forever, like anything else.  What’s different about canine osteosarcoma is the total loss of control, the total inability to make it better.  You  become a bystander.  You feel stress every day of the way from diagnosis to recovery or loss.  I grew up a lot.  I may have PTSD.  I don’t care.  Maybe 10 years from now I will honestly be able to talk about my babies and just laugh but not cry.  I’m certainly not there yet.  I see her everywhere.  To the outside world I look like I’m all better minus some “iffy” moments that are nipped in the bud when I see the look on people’s faces.  But my son understands.  He listens and cries with me.  Thank God for him and for the tripawd community because sometimes I just need a hug and I know where to get one.  I hope everyone here is doing well.  I’m sorry if you’re experiencing heart break and anguish.  I’m delighted if your baby beat whatever awful situation that caused them to become a tripawd in the first place.  No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’m still a tripawd to the end.

And that’s where I am.  If you need a hug, or an ear or a tissue, let me know and I’ll be there.  And thank you for being here for me.  I’ll never go away.


Debbie and Angel Patches

Next Page »