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Pofi: Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation Pofi's long strange trip to becoming a Tripawd dog

October 27, 2017

A Year Gone – And the World is Still Less

Filed under: Uncategorized — hester @ 9:30 pm

It is 13 months to the day from when I last posted in this blog and we thought Pofi had kept cancer at bay.  The irritated old growth/bump on Pofi’s leg that I simply had to have removed (his remaining front leg – I could not have him worrying it and getting it infected) was Not Cancer.  But while we had to suspend Palladia for the surgery and the wound recovery, the insidious monster that was lurking in the darkness and not defeated at all roared back.  In mid October we got the all clear to resume Palladia and he was his happy self, counter surfing and playing at the dog park.  And a few days later the neurological symptoms showed up causing a fall and a bad entry into my vehicle.  At first the vets thought it was just a groin pull (and it surely was that, too), but the neuro symptoms increased incrementally.  In days he could not longer walk.  We did a Hail Mary spinal x-ray and there was hope it might be a disc compression as there was no sign that an STS tumor had pushed vertebrae out of the way or misshapen them.  So surgeons jockeyed the schedule to get him an MRI and potential disc surgery immediately after on October 26, 2016.  But the MRI again revealed my stoic, brave, strong warrior had a demonic mass, already large and ugly, in his spine.  And really, I know, it was already there when he started licking and bothering that old bump. Nerve sheath tumors are tricky.

It just was not possible for us to let him not wake up – I know that may have been selfish.  But he had not seemed to be in real pain and his appetite was undiminished and we thought we could have a day or two to spoil him with treats before we said good-bye.  But again, like the first MRI six months prior, manipulating him had left him with more pain than he started.  We still went home – had delicious burgers and tater tots delivered and slept all together on a mattress brought downstairs.  One final night snuggled right up against us.  Early in the morning I sent up flares and the wonderful home vet who had given him acupuncture the week before answered.  One year ago today we freed his spirit from the body that had failed him.  He took his sparkle with him.  The world immediately became less.  Less bright, less beautiful, less joyful, less fun.  Simply less.

One year later and it is still inconceivable to be without him.  I am not saying we don’t laugh and don’t smile.  But our lives are duller, diminished.

But my sweetest boy, you did bring us such joy.  Added such zest to our lives.  You lived yours with such gusto and we are so grateful you blessed ours for nearly twelve years.  Thank you for every moment of that.  Thank you for taking my breath away with your beauty and grace and the light that shone in your eyes.  Thank you for being a perfect for me dog.  We love you so much, my Boo.


  1. I know this was hard to write. Yes, bittersweet.

    But I’ll tell you this, you did Ppfi proud. You wrote with such heart and such love. You honoured him so beautifully as you thanked him for his courage, his zest for life, the joy he brought you and everyone who had the privilege to meet him.

    And those of us who got to “know” this one-of-a-kind unique dog by traveling with him on this journey truly were privileged! Truly touched.

    Pofi continues his legacy here with us. His incredible resilience and “take-no-prisoners” attitude uplifted us all as we watched him overcome one challenge after another. He was, and still is, a BEACON OF HOPEfor anyone starting this journey. I reference Pofi so often when new people just starting are so anxious and scared about the recovery period. I alwayw hold Pofi out as an example of a dog who basically sailed through his reovery, as well as SAILED UP AND DOWN HIS PORCH STAIRS with no hesitation!! 🙂

    And Pofi brought us you with all the invaluable wisdom and support you so graciously offered anyone facing this journey.

    We cannot talk about Pofi without talking about how HANDSOME he is!! His looks have so much character, so much uniqueness! I could look at pictures of this boy all day long and smile at all the expressions he made utilizing his ears, his happy smile, his smart and intelligent eyes that always sparkled. Yep, Pofi is a one-of-a-kind pup in so many ways.

    I kmow your life feels empty without him, but it’s alao so full because of him.

    Surrounding you with Pofi’s eternal grace and eternal light, his love and our love

    Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie

    Comment by benny55 — October 27, 2017 @ 11:13 pm

  2. It was difficult – I struggled for the entirety of the year – there was such hope in my post of just one month prior. Although I knew we were on a timetable, I was shocked at how swift the end came. So were all of the doctors – one of them who had been helping us manage the post op incision care saw him coming out of the MRI in a cart and the look of shock on his face and sorrow as he said, “Is that Pofi? Oh, no!” was sincere and profound. And then he looked me in the face and I could see his disbelief and real sadness. Thank you for saying I do his memory justice. Thank you for saying he was special, but they all are so special to each of us. Thank you for everything, Sally.

    Comment by hester — October 28, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

  3. Lisa your most special boy took a piece of our hearts with him too. Sometimes when I find myself with tears and being sad at thinking about all our angels I turn my mind to the miracle of how Pofi found you. That story always brings a smile to my face and shows what a warrior your best boy was from the start. Pofi and you and Ken have touched many on your journey and continue to do so. Your “bestest” most handsome boy is proud of you and the legacy he left you with that you continue to share. From his miracle start with you to becoming the stair stepping prodigy of the tripawd world that boy was special! Sending you and Ken love and hugs and celebrating your Po’s life which was filled with many adventures and so much love!
    Love you my friend
    Linda & Spirit Mighty Max

    Comment by linda8115 — October 28, 2017 @ 9:05 am

  4. Linda, your kindness and empathy have been and unyielding source of strength to me. Thank you for loving our boy, too.

    Comment by hester — October 28, 2017 @ 2:50 pm

  5. Oh Lisa, I can’t see to type for the tears. Your tribute to the magnificent Pofi is truly beautiful. I can’t believe it’s been a year. Seems just a minute ago he was peering through the deck rails at us. He was a special boy and stole everyone’s heart.
    Many, many hugs.

    Comment by teri — October 28, 2017 @ 11:25 am

  6. Thank you, Teri – it means so much to me that you say this both because Isa and Pofi were on this journey on somewhat parallel timelines and because you right so beautifully about your relationship with lovely Isa and beautiful Roxy.

    Comment by hester — October 28, 2017 @ 2:52 pm

  7. What beautiful, eloquent words for a magnificent warrior! We mourn each loss the Tripawd family has, but some really tug at our hearts….Pofi was one of them. It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed, I know you miss him dearly – we all do. I loved the deck pictures most of all, and was so amazed at how he manuvered those steps. I don’t think my healthy dogs could have done it any better. The world is indeed a lesser place without him in it. But heaven is surely “more” with him there. Hoping you find peace, until you’re reunited with him once more. Selfishly, it gives me comfort he’s at the Bridge, to keep my warrior company. Nitro never liked other dogs much while he was in his earthly clothes, but I believe in my heart that he and Pofi are fast friends. Just as we’ve become fast friends… you!

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

    Comment by dobemom — October 28, 2017 @ 1:32 pm

  8. Thank you, dear friend, for all your many kindnesses to me and to my boy. I know Pofi and Nitro would be fast (literally fast) friends outside of any earthly trappings – they both will have left any insecurities behind. They both know how loved they were and that alone would bond them.

    Comment by hester — October 28, 2017 @ 2:56 pm

  9. Lisa,
    You did Pofi proud. I can honestly feel every emotion as you wrote this and I know you had tears streaming down your cheeks as you did write it. I know that Pofi was a very special dog and the joy of your life. He is a true Warrior and is missed tremendously.

    I am so glad we got to know each other besides in chat on here. Thinking of you and I know Pofi is watching over you.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    Comment by Michelle — October 28, 2017 @ 5:51 pm

  10. Thank you, M, for all of your incredible support then and now. And thank you for missing him with me. He was a mighty Warrior.

    Comment by hester — October 28, 2017 @ 8:29 pm

  11. Lisa ~
    I knew this post was here, and I knew I would have a hard time reading it. I still remember how full of disbelief we all were when we found out about the MRI results, how we wanted to reach right through the computer to hold you. When I think of Pofi, I think of him at the top of the stairs, looking through the rail. I know that was his place, the place he just couldn’t wait to get to after his surgery – what do you mean no stairs, watch this! haha, he showed you, didn’t he? I know you can feel us holding you, so you just keep on crying and yelling at the universe, because we’re all here.
    Love you!
    Donna & Glenn

    Comment by midnighter94 — October 28, 2017 @ 7:28 pm

  12. Donna (and Glenn), I truly knew and felt you were there with me in hope and then in sorrow and grief. Thank you for thinking of him then and now and regarding him with such genuine warmth.

    Comment by hester — October 28, 2017 @ 8:34 pm

  13. Lisa, this took big courage, we wish we could give you giant hugs for coming back and sharing what was in your heart on such a significant, and bittersweet day. Writing it all out makes it feel so final, and opens old wounds. You have shown such guts by this post.

    Jim, myself, Wyatt and SPirit send you lots of love as we honor Pofi’s life and memory. Always remember that by sharing his story here you are helping others to see that there is so much living to do after a diagnosis. And that even when the end comes suddenly and without warning, we can still go on while holding our Tripawd’s spirit close in our hearts.


    Comment by jerry — October 29, 2017 @ 4:39 pm

  14. Thank you, Rene (and Jim, Wyatt and Spirit Jerry). You hit the nail on the head as to why it took me so long to write this. It was never a plan to wait for a year, but writing it down did make it too final. Too real. I wanted actually to begin to write before he passed away about the misses in diagnosis – what I learned in hindsight. Hoping it will help others whose pets have STS nerve sheath tumors in the future. And I will try to do that.

    Comment by hester — October 29, 2017 @ 9:13 pm

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