After scheduling Lucy’s amputation surgery for tomorrow (Monday) morning, I’ve been doing some reading and research about three-legged dogs. Although several people made jokes about changing her name to “Hop-a-long” or “Tripod,” I’ve discovered that a lot of people with a three-legged dog use the term “tri-pawed” or “tripawd” when talking about their pet — it’s become shorthand in some circles. Please note, I am not changing Lucy’s name to any of these terms; if anything, I would call her “money pit.”
One of the items I’m looking to purchase is a full-torso harness with a handle on it. The handle will allow me to lift and assist Lucy over rough terrain and rocks as well as up and down stairs and into the truck. Many tri-pawed owners recommend the Ruff Wear Web Master Harness and I think I’ll purchase one of these for Lucy. She’ll still jump in and out of the truck and run up and down steep hills, even if she shouldn’t, but she will certainly need some assistance for the first few weeks after the surgery. There is also a D-ring in the harness itself, situated midway on the back that will allow her leash to attach instead of on her collar — I’ve read that three-legged dogs need to have a leash centrally-located to keep them from being pulled to one side and losing their balance.
I spent the day today playing with the dogs and taking them for a long walk in the nice weather (shh, don’t tell our vet we took a walk). We’re headed to the pet store in a while to grab more dog food and probably some special treats, too. Lucy deserves a good day before losing one of her legs.