Friday, April 24, 2009

Triumph's Triumph

About a month ago, I did a google search for double amputee dogs to see what would come up. That was when I came across Triumph's story.

"Triumph's story began in Turkey where she was found beside the road bleeding--her rear legs had been cut off! She was taken to a shelter where the first of many miracles began....they treated her wounds and kept her alive instead of euthanizing her as many would have. Her story was put in the paper there and for the next two months they tried to find her a forever home."

An amazing woman in TN, named Moe, has been Triumph's caregiver and companion for many years now. I think Triumph was the first dog ever to have permanently implanted prosthesis.
"Moe will be the first person to tell you tho that NOTHING in this dogs life has been by's as if she has a mission and a destiny that only Triumph and her maker knows. Moe has said many times that she is the blessed one who is at the end of the leash of a dog that is doing the footwork and leaving the results to God. From the first day she arrived in this country Triumph has given back by becoming a Delta Certified Therapy dog who has brought smiles to hundreds of people and children in schools and hospitals."

The challenges faced and overcome by both Triumph and Moe have been numerous, and make my experiences with Popeye seem like a stroll in the park by comparison.

By the time I had read about Triumph, one of her back legs had been amputated because infection from the implant had set in.

I was excited to read about Triumph, to have discovered another dog out there with 2 missing back legs. I emailed Triumph's mom and introduced Popeye & myself. Soon after I had her on the phone. At this point, I was just on the cusp of deciding once and for all to proceed with Popeye's amputation but still very unsure of whether it was the right decision. I had gotten the opinions of a number of vets but I had not yet met anybody whose dog had actually been through it. I felt that my research wasn't complete without learning the point of view of someone who had practical, hands-on, day-to-day experience with the results of double amputation.

Triumph's circumstances are not identical to Popeye's. Foremost, she is not paralyzed in any way. She had an implant in one leg and so was not a "practicing" double amputee. But Moe was the first person I had managed to communicate with that came closest to fully understanding my dilemma regarding Popeye's legs. She was encouraging and our conversation went a long way to easing my mind about the decision to amputate.

Just a couple of days ago, Moe told me that Triumph's other leg will need to be amputated, because of the infection from the remaining implant. Moe, Triumph, Popeye, and I will be going through the same experience together and no doubt learning from each other as we all do our best to adjust to a new situation.

Triumph's surgery is scheduled for Monday. We wish both her and her mom the best of luck.

To donate towards Triumph's cause or to drop a note of well-wishes, you can visit Triumph's website.