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Loving my Christmas Pressies!!!

Posted by: | December 25, 2017 | 8 Comments |

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!!!  This little guy right here is the best Christmas present a girl could ever ask for!

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Posted by: | December 23, 2017 | 1 Comment |

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The 2 weeks following the surgery were challenging and draining to say the least. He needed to be on strict bed-rest/crate restriction to prevent post-operative complications like suture dehiscence and seroma/hematoma formation. It broke my heart to see him in the crate in pain, dazed and confused, so I chose to let him lay and sleep on the bed. His wound was oozing and draining, and I had to lay many towels down so it wouldn’t get on the bed and sheets. My days were spent cleaning and dressing his surgical incision, putting warm compresses on it, helping him walk, lifting him up and down the bed, feeding him, giving him round the clock pain meds, cooking his food, and doing loads and loads of laundry.

~ with foster sister Cali keeping a close eye and keeping him company ~ 

~ sleeping in bed with his mama ~

~ lots of get well goodies from good friends ~

~ getting some rays ~

~ cooked food from “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide” book by Dr. Demian Dressler ~


Kokomo, who had always been a daddy’s boy, was glued to my side during his recovery. He refused to eat unless I hand fed him, and he would only rest and sleep if I was right next to him. I worried when he was so constipated from the pain meds and didn’t poop for a week. My heart broke when he started having phantom limb pain and would wake up suddenly from sleep with a jolt and panic, as if electric shocks were coursing through his little body.  You can see from these pics that his eyes looked so sad and lifeless… the pain medication made him lethargic and groggy, but yet they were necessary.  He was definitely not himself, and there were times I second guessed my decision… I was wondering if our stubborn sweet silly boy would ever be back.  I stopped counting all the teardrops shed, they would have filled an ocean.

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Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

2015 will forever go down as one of the worst years of my life.  It started with the unthinkable… on January 23, 2015, my heart dog Kaya died suddenly and shockingly.  She started having uncontrollable seizures from which she would not recover.  I had to make the most heartbreaking decision to let her go to heaven.  When she died, a piece of me died.  I was utterly and completely lost and broken… my only saving grace was Kokomo.  He knew somehow that I needed to be saved, and he was the only comfort for me during this time.  Taking care of and providing for him was the only thing that got me out of bed everyday… and so, slowly, I healed.

~ Kaya & I ~

Then, as if that heartache was not enough, end of May 2015, my sweet Kokomo started limping.  We all know how this story goes… we thought he had hurt himself during rough play and jumping, so we got a splint and splinted his wrist for a few days, maybe a week.

But it didn’t get better, and so off we went to the vet to get x-rays.  I was nervous but still hoping for the best.  Unfortunately, my worst fears were confirmed – the x-rays showed a destructive bony mass in his right distal radius (wrist area).  When I saw the x-rays, I knew right away that it was cancer.  My heart sank, I felt sick and nauseous and numb at the same time.  Our vet tried to make us feel better but she referred us to a larger specialty vet as this was beyond her scope, and told us to make an appointment right away.  I cried in the car all the way home.  How could this be happening?  How could our sweet boy have cancer???  What did this mean, what was the prognosis, what did I do to cause this, would he die soon???  I was in a delirious tear-filled fog for several days, and then I snapped out of it and went to action.  I searched for information online and asked everyone for vet recommendations.  The place my vet had referred me to was the same place who treated Kaya for her seizures right before she passed away, and I was not happy with their care.  I was not taking Kokomo there.  After several referrals to the Animal Cancer Care Clinic in Fort Lauderdale, I made the appointment to see the surgeon and oncologist ASAP.  I also found and ordered the book “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide” by Dr. Demian Dressler, and I found this Tripawds website.  Between then and the appointment date, I read as much as I could about osteosarcoma and three-legged dogs.  I watched videos of dogs walking on 3 legs and was simply amazed.  Armed with knowledge and information, I felt a sense of calm wash over me.  I was prepared.

We went to the appointment and met with Dr. Weinstein, the surgeon, and then Dr. Correa, the oncologist.  I liked them right away and knew that Kokomo was in good hands.  We booked the surgery for as soon as possible, and made tentative plans to start his chemo 2 weeks after the surgery date.  I am a medical person, and there was no question in my mind that amputation to get rid of the evil cancer and source of pain was the best way to go… and as far as chemo, I knew we had to give it a chance and at least see how Kokomo would tolerate it.  Dr. Correa gave us the statistics – if nothing done, most dogs die in 2-3 months… amputation alone with no chemo, 6-9 months…. amputation and chemo, 1 year… 20% alive in 2 years, 10% alive in 3 years.  I was afraid and had no idea what the future would bring, but I wanted to give Kokomo the best shot.

On June 10, 2015, we dropped him off for his amputation.  Surgery went well, and he spent the night at the hospital.  We were told he was already walking on his own the same day after surgery.  We went to pick him up the next day, anxious for the recovery period and what was yet to come.

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2014 – Happy Family

Posted by: | December 21, 2017 | 2 Comments |

From November 2013 to 2014, Kokomo blended in with our family perfectly.  Some memories of life on 4 legs….

Kokomo, Kaya & Sammy

Hiding under big brother Sammy

Kaya & Kokomo

Weirdest sleeping position

Waking mommy up

Walk along the beach

Fell asleep with toy in my mouth…

Happy Valentine’s Day

Kokomo & Kaya

Kokomo & Kaya

Kaya & Kokomo

Consoling big sis Kaya after she tore her dew claw

Happy Silly Boy

Kisses to daddy

Kokomo & Kaya – 2 peas in a pod

Celebrating Kaya’s birthday

On a boat!

Cute with my baseball hat

Snuggles with Kaya & Kokomo

Kaya & Kokomo

Hiding… freaked out when we got home and couldn’t find him anywhere!!  Here he was!!

Sleeping Baby

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The Beginning

Posted by: | December 16, 2017 | 4 Comments |

On October 2013, little did I know it, but my life from then on would be changed forever.

I was following the Facebook page of Bull Terrier Rescue of Florida Inc. and saw a foster plea for a deaf white bull terrier with a black spot around his left eye.  His name was Coco and he had been pulled from Miami Dade Animal Shelter by the rescue group.  He was found as a stray in horrible condition and had since been bounced from foster to foster for a whole year.  His last foster was a guy named Walt who lived on a boat.  Coco was not doing well there and had stopped eating and was losing weight; they think that being deaf, he did not do well with the balance issue on the boat.  At that time, my ex-husband and I had 2 dogs – Kaya and Sammy.  Kaya was a big white bull terrier, my heart dog.  I had rescued her from a rescue group in NY.  She was found tied to a post in JFK airport, in the cold and pouring rain.  She had a torn ear and many scars on her body.  She was extremely dog aggressive when I first got her, but miraculously was able to get along with my ex-husband’s dog Sammy, who we introduced when we first started dating.  Sammy was a big, goofy Viszla/Lab mix who was super mellow and got along with every dog he met.  The 2 of them were getting old, we estimated around 10-12, and Kaya was getting mellower in her old age.  We would never have been able to bring in another dog into the home previously.

Coco’s pictures and foster plea tugged at my heart.  I wanted to foster him, but I was afraid of him being deaf, and of how Kaya would react – whether she would attack him.  But after several weeks of no one stepping up to foster or adopt him, and him needing to be off that boat, I finally volunteered to foster him with the condition that he get along with Kaya.

On November 12, 2013, we brought Coco home.  I was nervous about him being deaf, and of course whether Kaya would accept him into our pack.  But I had no reason to be concerned.  Kaya took to him almost immediately and never, not once, attacked him.  As for Coco, who we now renamed Kokomo, he seemed perfectly content and happy to be part of our family.  He bonded with and followed my ex-husband everywhere.  The first night at our house, he slept like the dead, comfortable and secure at last.  He followed Kaya and Sammy around and took his cues from them, his “ears”.  It was only a matter of days when we knew he was not just a foster dog, he would be ours forever.

~ MDAS listing ~

~ On our way home ~

~ Meeting the pack: Carla with Kaya, Kokomo and Sammy ~

~ First night home: Snug as a bug in a rug ~

~ Look at that clogged pore nose! ~

~ Kokomo was happy to be on land again ~

~ Kaya & Kokomo: Two Peas in a Pod ~

~ Baby Kokomo ~

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