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Today would have been Shooter’s 14th birthday and was our short term goal for survival. He only missed it by 3 weeks, but it has been a long 3 weeks. It has gotten quieter in our house as he was a talker and had very vocal opinions about everything! Frosty can chase the ball with out being barked at and occasionally beat up :-). Papi can have room to lick the dishes when they are put down on the floor. Rosie can sit in the front seat of the truck when we go on trips. We have room on the bed. And not one bit of it feels right. But, we are going to focus on the positive – Shooter is pain free, running on four legs, with his favorite brother Cutter and loving on my Dad (his favorite person ever). What a great way to celebrate his birthday. In his honor, the Three Amigos agreed (OK…I forced them) to have their picture taken with Frosty wearing Shooter’s Super Hero Survivor cape from the Relay for Life, Rosie wearing his Tripawds bandanna and Papi, well Papi is just plain celebrating!!! Hey – his namesake and the Red Sox are going to the playoffs!!!




I have been pondering a lot during these weeks wondering was kind of sage wisdom I can pass along to someone else that may read Shooter’s blog and came up with a few:

1. If you have a herding breed dog – please get them tested for the MDR1 Gene before allowing your vet to give any major drugs. Collies have the greatest chance for this gene, but Aussies and Mini Aussies have a 50% chance and others such as GSDs, Heelers, Sheep Dogs all have a chance. The test is cheap and done through Washington State University. For more information, you can Google it and get the whole list of breeds and drugs. This affected how Shooter’s first chemo drug (Vinblastine) was given as it is on the list.

2. If you have a dog that is highly allergic to things, please handle reactions quickly and don’t allow them to escalate. After learning more about Mast Cell Turmors, I honestly believe that Shooter developed them because he had severe reactions to spider bites and we had a vet that didn’t respond in an urgent matter and it took us over a week to bring the swelling down in his face and ears due to incorrect treatment. Aussies do not commonly get these types of tumors and if they do it is usually a dog with severe allergies.

3. That brings me to my 3rd thought – as so many on here have told me and many others. Be an advocate for your dog in whatever kind of treatment they are receiving be it for cancer or something else. Vets are wonderful people, but they are not always right and if they are a good vet they will listen to your concerns and act on them to make sure your dog or cat or horse or whatever receives the best care they can possibly get. ¬†They can’t talk so you must.

4. Last, but definitely not least, enjoy every single minute with your furry kid. You just never know when that last lick, belly rub, snuggle, silliness, etc… is going to be the last one you have between you. Remember the good times and feel good for the fact that you provided them with the best home and family they could ever have. They were love and you were loved.

I’m sure there are lots of other things I’ve learned, but they are pretty common things that we all learned from coming to Tripawds and being supported in our journey no matter how it has ended.

Thanks to everyone here and thanks for letting me hang around and help out when I can.

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Shooter, Happy Birthday to you! We miss you!

Just a Baby

Just a Baby


10 Responses to “Happy Birthday in Heaven”

  1. willowsmom says:

    Happy Birthday Shooter! You are loved and missed and will always be remembered!

    And thank you to your mom for sharing such wonderful advice!


  2. snoop says:

    Happy Birthday Shooter.
    A beautiful boy who is dearly missed and will not be forgotten here by any of us on Tripawds.
    A wonderful Mom who takes the time to reach out and help others in any way she can.
    With admiration,
    Esther and her Snoop

  3. Michelle says:

    Happy Birthday Shooter. I know you are in Heaven but we still celebrate every day of you. Thanks for being such a great advocate down here on earth. Thanks to your mom for continuing on in your honor

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    • fourminipups says:

      Thanks Michelle – I learned from you how best to help others.

      I just realized that they have Wizard of Oz hats on which of course makes one think of Somewhere Over the Rainbow – just where Sassy and Shooter are waiting.

  4. Dakota Dawg says:

    Luanne, I know how much you miss him. I know it’s too quiet and a bit too clean. It’s so hard to know full well that the best place for them is no longer with us.

    Thanks for all the good advice, especially about the MDR1 gene. Believe me, someone will need this and read this.

    Shooter, I hope you had a wonderful birthday. I hope you’ve met lots of new friends, and it would be lovely if one of them was Dakota. Wait for the rest of your pack, sweet boy, but have loads of fun while you’re waiting.


  5. roxiesmom says:

    Happy birthday, Shooter! I hope Roxie serenaded you!
    And I thank you, too, Luanne; you’ve shared much wisdom, most of it learned the hard way. I’ll be looking more into the MDR1 gene because of my GSD, Smokey.

    Hugs and hearts to you. -Liz and Angel Roxie Roo

  6. benny55 says:

    Precious Shooter! Thank you for being born! You do know that the world is a betterplace because you were in it! You’ve touched…inspired…..and changed lives in a positive way forever.

    And that baby picture…OMD! How cute is that? I can still smeel your puppy breath! I love puppy breath!

    Luanne, everything was very well said, vry heartfelt and genuine. Yes, you were loved and Shooter was loved. You ARE loved and Shooter IS loved…….by all of us!

    Okay Shooter…fourteen…FOURTEEN! That, my dear boy is NINETY EIGHT YEARS OLD! Time to admit it, you are old as dirt!! But you’re the one laughing your doggie butt off, because we all know once you crossover, you get younger and younger! Oh my goodness! Do I smell puppy breath again!?

    Here’s a little “birthday card” for you…


    Sally and Happy Hannah

  7. benny55 says:

    And you pack is ADORALE! Look at them sitting together like they’re glued in their spots!!,…..they aren’t, are they…..glued in their spots??

    Reallh Luanne, o e of those potos that makes yo grin ear to ear…Thank you!


  8. Karma says:

    Happy Birthday dear Shooter you lovable huggable boy. Your momma misses you terribly and your pack all wore silly hats just for you. Hope you had a fabulous bash at the bridge, you deserve it.

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