Today, I want to introduce you to a wonderful community that you may not have heard of. It’s called Tripawds, and it gives people who are living with amputee pets a place to chat, share their stories, and receive support. We have with us Rene, one of the founders of Tripawds, and she’ll be answering my questions.
C: Welcome, Rene! Tell us a little bit about TriPawds. What, exactly, is it for someone
who’s never seen it?
Rene: Tripawds is a support community for humans whose cats and dogs are facing amputation. It’s also a great place to research what life is like on three legs if you’re thinking of adopting a three-legged friend!
C: And how long have you been around?
R: Since 2006, we’ve been providing trustworthy and helpful information about life on three legs. Members come here to participate in discussions about pet health, comfort and mobility. We talk about things like:
– Coping with a cancer diagnosis in dogs & cats.
– The ups & downs of amputation recovery & ongoing care.
– Rehabilitation therapy tips for keeping pets healthy & strong.
– Diet, nutrition & supplements for dogs & cats in all health stages.
– Providing an exceptional quality of life for all animal companions.
– Helping people cope with the loss of beloved pets.
C: I know that many of your members start blogs about their three-legged pets. Do you have to have a blog to be a part of the community?
R: Oh gosh not at all. You can jump right into our Discussion Forums (http://tripawds.com/forums/), hang out in our live chat room or just hang out and read about others’ experience.
C: As it should be. Continue.
R: Right now only about 25 percent of our active members are felines but that number is growing all the time. I think more people are realizing that cats can have great lives on three legs, which is pawesome!
C: I can’t imagine why they would think otherwise. I, for instance, fly around the house like a rocket ship.
R: One thing we’ve learned is that Tripawd kitties bounce back so much faster than dogs do after surgery! And they have a much easier time on three legs too. But ssssh! Don’t tell our canine friends I said that!
C: I will shout it from the rooftops. What do you think brought about this rise of cats?
R: Tripawds began as a dog-centric community, but just about a year ago, one brave kitty (see Fang’s story at http://cldavis.tripawds.com) jumped in, shared his story and that was that! Suddenly over the last year we’ve had many more cats join us, and it’s been so enlightening and FUN!
C: Are you doing anything special for the cat constituency?
R: We are undergoing an exciting site makeover later this year and the overall look will be very cross-species in response to our new feline family!
R: No, but we’ve discussed Tripawd rabbits, a goat, hamster and even a turtle! Tripawd awareness is growing, more and more humans are seeing that it’s not always a death sentence if an animal loses a limb. And with prosthesis technology growing by leaps and bounds, even more animals will get to have longer lives now! Hopefully more species who are in this tough predicament will get the opportunity to have a good life on three legs.
C: What do you hope for members to accomplish when they join your website?
R: Most people join us during the research phase of learning more about amputation as a possibility for a better quality of life. We want everyone who joins to feel supported, respected and valued no matter what they decide to do. Members are always welcome to stick around if they don’t proceed with amputation, especially if they’re coping with cancer.
Amputation isn’t right for every animal, but you never know if it’s a pawsibility unless you do the research. Our goal is to give people the accurate, helpful information they need to make the best choice for their pet, whether that’s to proceed with amputation, limb-sparing surgery, prostheses or palliative (pain-management) end-of-life care. If they do proceed with surgery, we want them to have the tools to give their animal the best quality of life possible for their unique situation.
C: For those who aren’t already lucky enough to have one, tell us what the best thing is about living with a tripawd?
R: The inspawration! Seeing how resilient animals are when facing such a tough situation is all that we silly humans need to stop our own pity party when we feel down about some life challenge. The way Tripawds bounce back and face life head on is a lesson that you always take with you.
C: Do you have any further words for our readers?
R: The next time you or someone you know feels sorry for an animal on three legs, please don’t! Remember, they are so much stronger than we give them credit for. Animals don’t care they’re missing a leg, they just want to make the most of every single day and live life to the fullest. It’s a great way for us to live our own lives.
C: Thank you, Rene!
There it is! Some information about a community for cats like me. In fact, I might pop on there and see if I can check out a few of the mancat photos and compare stump sizes. If you’re interested, Tripawds has a Cafepress page where you can get some three-legged kitty t shirts to help support the community.
And, in case you missed it, MomFOD did an interview with Tripawds about what it’s like to live with ME. Have a listen.