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Training a Temporary Tripawd

Posted by: | March 25, 2010 | 15 Comments |

My sissy Emmy finally came home late yesterday.  I am sooooo glad she came back! But get this… she was wearing MY Ruffwear harness, and Mom was using MY sling to get Emmy into the house. She was limping terribly, but she still had 4 legs.  Mom was on the phone with Dad and told him that Emmy had “blown out her @$#^!%&* ACL (in her back left leg) and needed @#$#@^*#$ surgery.”  Geeze, I don’t know what all the @#$#%@#$ means, other than Mom was not happy about it.  She seemed so frazzled and upset.  Just getting Emmy out the door to pee was a big project.  Emmy is stubborn, and did not want to walk at all. It’s hard to move a 150-lb dog who does not want to move.  Mom gave me a big kiss, gave Emmy her pain medicine, and then took off to go see her cousin perform at a Comedy Club.  I know that Mom really needed a big-time dose of comedy right then, and probably a couple glasses of vino to calm down.

ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and apparently Emmy damaged this. It has made it so she will not put weight on her left rear leg at all, and that left knee keeps making popping sounds. I hate to admit it, but she is not a very good Tripawd at all. She is not getting the hang of hopping and is giving up very easily. I think I will need to teach her to be more pawsitive.  She will go a couple of steps, then collapse on the floor and totally give up.  It’s made it hard because sometimes she will lay right in my path, and then when I come truckin’ through, my power paw hits her bad leg. Then I wipe out on top of her because I couldn’t see her there. We had a big collision right in front of the food bowl this morning, so my salmon breakfast went flying everywhere. Emmy gobbled it up from her sprawled out position on the floor. Sneaky, huh! Mom says I should not be too hard on her because she is in pain.  But Emmy is not howling in pain at all.  Mom says it’s because Emmy deals with pain differently than I do.

Don’t tell Mom, but Emmy is playing her a little. When Mom left for a few minutes to drive my brother to the bus stop, Emmy made it down the hall and managed to jump up on my brother’s bed. So I think she will get this Tripawd thing figured out.  I am going to teach her some more of my Tripawd techniques today.

Right now Emmy is on Tramadol, which is that awful stuff that I had to take after my amputation. It makes her pant a lot, just like it did me, and it made her whine a lot all night for Mom, which made Mom say a lot more of those #%&@^! words!  She will likely have surgery the week after next (Mom has to do some research and get a second opinion), unless Mom can find a less invasive way to treat it. So Emmy will only be a “Temporary Tripawd”.

under: Uncategorized


  1. By: maggie on March 25, 2010 at 9:06 am      

    OMG Sue….I’m so sorry for Emmy and you! Maybe it’s just mensiscus tear? Seems to me I remember that mensiscus tears pop??? I did quite a bit of research on ACL’s back when was trying to figure out what was wrong with Maggie when two vets told me it was her ACL. Is there a vet that you could go to that does arthroscopic surgeries? They could look into her knee before literally opening it all up…less invasive and can fix tears that way…if I recall correctly.

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

  2. By: Tazzie on March 25, 2010 at 10:07 am      

    Wow. What a household you have right now – tripawds colliding in the hallway, tramadol, etc. Sounds like a heavy dose of comedy and vino was (is) just what you needed. Glad Emily came around and snuck into your bedroom. So, do you lift weights to get into shape for assisting your Danes?

  3. By: cometdog on March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm      


    Those knee boo-boos hurt like a son-of-a-b! I had it happen to me, not once but twice! I was a 2-legged circus dog for a bit!

    But I was lucky that one of best ACL repairmen comes to visit Vegas a lot and he did a lookie at me. He thought a TPLO was my best option. He even did the surgery at my regular vet’s office.

    It was so nice, I did it twice! (a year later)

    Take it easy on Emmy – okay? She’s being a trooper!


  4. By: jerry on March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm      

    Nova, it’s up to you now to teach your sissy how to be strong and a temporary Tripawd girl like you. I’ll bet you can teach her a lot about playing it up for treats and love too! Just don’t teach her how to get your Mom out of bed at 3AM every night OK? Your poor Mom, she really needs a break.

    Emmy, feel better soon. We feel so badly that this happened.

  5. By: janeothejungle on March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm      

    Ooohhh. What a household you have right now!! Take good care of your sissy and let her sneaks some of your food for a bit. You’re a good sis for teaching her the tripawd way… Hope she feels better soon. And don’t worry. My moms says #%&@^! words sometimes, I think they helps her feel better.

    Luvs, Rosie

  6. By: Cherry on March 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm      

    Mom & Dad have always been trying to send pawsitive thoughts to your entire family, including Emmy, during this entire journey. They will just have to work harder and move Emmy to the top of the list for now. Dad has always said that this is the language of Shakespeare but those “@#$#@^*#$” just come out in describing some of these nasty things. At least for the moment, it is not you freightening Mom, and that has to be a good thing!

  7. By: GerrysMom on March 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm      

    Gerry says: Ahhh! My knee used to pop tooooooo!!!! I have sooooo much in common with the Great Dane girls, I just KNOW I must share some GD DNA. And we found out at the vet on Monday that I gained almost 4 lbs. since I was last in – so maybe I’m not done growing! (Okay, Mom just sort of snorted at that, so maybe not. Guess it’s just all the training treats).

    That’s cool that your sis’s leg doesn’t have to come OFF (wouldn’t want her stealing your tripawd thunder, right? Heh heh). But ICK those ACL injuries are so frustrating until they’re all healed up. We’re wishin’ your pack the very best!!!

  8. By: jakesmom on March 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm      

    Oh Nova,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your sister Emmy! Your poor pawrents… no wonder they are #$%@$#@^ all over the place! 🙂

    Now you be a good sister and show Emmy the ropes… She’ll get the hang of it eventually… and by the time she does, she’ll be all healed up and back to her normal self…

    Angel Jake’s Mom

  9. By: Carmen (Catie's Mom) on March 25, 2010 at 10:42 pm      

    Oh, sorry about Emmy! When things take a downward slide they sometimes don’t know where to stop.


    Sending lots of get well soon wishes.

  10. By: Opie on March 26, 2010 at 2:42 am      

    My mom has been *(&^##@! a lot too lately. But I’ll tell you about it later on my blog. The important thing is that Emmy get better fast, so that Nova doesn’t keep crashing in to her. I am going to try one of those swears myself: here goes:
    < ……Poop. Everytime I try a swear it just comes out fish.

    Hang in there Emmy. Be a helpful sister, Nova!

  11. By: josiethebluegreatdane on March 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm      

    Best of luck Emmy….and thank you Nova…you are a great inspiration….Hugs….Mia, Gully and Josie-the-greatest-dane

  12. By: Peyton's Path on March 27, 2010 at 8:19 am      

    Sorry to hear about Emmy! Sounds like she’s playing you a little Nova! She makes sure she is where you crash into her and then your food gets splattered all over and she gets to eat it! You need to be really nice to her because she is in pain, but watch out for that one she sounds a little sneaky.

    We are sending pawsitive thoughts your way!

    Dillon and Rhys

  13. By: gineej on April 7, 2010 at 12:39 am      

    Sue……a very good friend of mine would say you are living a Morton salt life……”when it rains it pours”!!
    I am sorry about everything Emmy is going through.

    Sending you love & support,

  14. By: Opie on April 24, 2010 at 2:40 am      

    You must still be crazy busy, haven’t posted for a month. How are the Danes? : )
    Nancy (Opie’s mom)

  15. By: Vicki T on May 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm      

    Hi Sue,

    Gosh, I’m so glad to be here on your new blog. I kept going back to the other one and worried that it hadn’t been updated in so long. Thanks for letting me know about this one. I’m so glad to hear that Nova is 18 months post-ampuversary, but I’m sorry she seems to be more confused due to her blindness. Also, that’s really tough luck that Emmy’s ACL has suffered damage. I read somewhere that when a dog has an injured leg they have a much harder time moving around than if they were a tripawd (NOT that I’m suggesting amputation, mind you). But, that could explain why Emmy is having problems with her bad leg. If the ACL isn’t too damaged it can heal on it’s own, but if not then it might be time for arthroscopy or worse. I sure hope this doesn’t happen because I’m sure your vet bills are going through the roof!

    It’s so good to hear from you again and I promise to stay in touch. Thanks again for guiding me to this newer blog… I had no idea you were on tripawds blog, but it’s a good place to be.

    Your pals, Vicki, Blazer & Kitty Kimber

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