Happy Tripawds Awareness Day

To all our beloved tripawds out there, both angels and living, we celebrate you.

We celebrate the courage you have to keep fighting the fight and living life to the fullest. We thank you for showing us how sacred, fragile, & beautiful life is even during its toughest moments and darkest days. Through your warrior spirit we find our own strength. You touch our lives in inexplicable ways, and we are forever changed.

Bruno, we love you and miss you. Not a day goes by that you aren’t in our hearts & on our minds. You are FOREVER with us.

Maricela, Jeremy & Daphne
& (your boys) Vinnie, Lightning, Lincoln, & Frankie




On This Day…

On This Day…

On this day, a year ago, I was forced to set you free
You left us for a better place where whole again you’d be.

It felt as though my heart had been ripped out and I struggled to take a breath
Up to then I’d never experienced quite as big a test.

Life without you hasn’t been the same
And often still I struggle with wanting someone to blame.

You taught me so much about love, hope, strength, & gratitude
And helped me change my outlook and refresh my attitude.

Bruno, I know there will NEVER be another you
With a gentle strength and love so true.

But I thank God for bringing you to me
And making whole our family.


Bruno, my sweet boy,
We love you, think of you EVERY day, and miss you. You are forever on our minds and in our hearts.


Dad, mom, Daphne & your boys (Vinnie,Lightning,Lincoln,& Frankie)


Missing You

Bruno was so much more than a pet or even a dog, at least, to me. His soul and essence brought a sense of tranquility into my life. His cognac- colored eyes never failed to “get me”, and I especially loved the flecks of amber and gold that shown (in his barely squinting eyes) as he would bask on a warm, afternoon; his face tilted towards the sun. He was a sun-worshipper. He was a lover. And…he taught me how to love, live, and relish in the smallest, simplest of ordinary, blessed moments which too many of us allow to pass by, unnoticed, each day.

Bruno awakened emotions within me which I had yet to experience & understand prior to him entering my life. He revealed, to me, a side of myself which I had yet to know even existed & Which, I am certain, would have remained dormant within me had it not been for him.

EIGHT months have gone by since he’s been gone.

EIGHT months.

And…they haven’t been at all easy. Not a single day goes by that I don’t think of Bruno and wish that he were still here. WISH-that just somehow we could be together; just, once more. Nothing is the same. But, I thank God for the journey and the lessons of love, strength, courage, hope, and fortitude I was taught when he was by my side.

Bruno, we love you and miss you so much. You are always with me and forever in my heart and mind.

Feels Like Home

Today, marks four months since I last saw my sweet boy’s face and caressed his soft spotted ears. Some days are harder than others, but the memories help fill the void of his absence when the emptiness feels like more than I can handle. One thing that’s for sure is that he gave me memories and a love that will last and live on forever.

Friday, April 5th we took our annual, long-awaited trip, to our favorite cabin along the Buffalo National River. And even though I was enthusiastic, this year’s trip was bittersweet; as we had decided early on that this would be the time and place where we’d spread some of Bruno’s ashes. How he loved this place! He would fill with excitement as we prepped for the trip. The spot, at Lookout Point, was a given; for this is where he’d taken in countless sunsets, found peace, contemplated, and performed his famous twirl.

When I envision what peace he must feel and what “home” are like, I picture it like here. And, I know this is a trip he’d have wanted to take once more.

We love you Bruno. You are always in our minds and forever in our hearts.

Maricela A. Gaytan

You Would’ve Loved a Day Like This

You Would’ve Loved a Day Like This

You Would’ve Loved a Day Like This
A day where the sun is shining brightly
And the grass is long, soft, and green
A day in which the breeze blows gently
And we say, “hello” to Spring.

I think to myself, “You Would’ve Loved a Day Like This.”
Then I smile cause I remember
That where you are is more beautiful
And filled with so much splendor.

We miss you Bruno.



” THE RIDE”- The Tripawd Rollercoaster Ride

” THE RIDE”- The Tripawd Rollercoaster Ride


Any breed allowed
No height limit
No age limit
In considerably good health
Within weight limits (for breed)
3 legs required!

WARNING! (Read before entering ride):

NOT recommended for the faithless, hopeless, easily knocked down, or faint of heart!!!

I’ve said it time and time again. That, “THIS journey is one that ISN’T for the faint of heart!!!” You’ve got to BRACE YOURSELF FIRMLY, DIG DEEP, and HOLD ON to any and all HOPE.” THIS journey though, is one that we voluntarily, willingly, go through (as scared and paralyzed by fear as we may be) out of sheer LOVE.

The “Tripawd Rollercoaster Ride” is just that: One Hell Of a Ride!

The ups and downs, Highs and lows, twists and turns can at times be ALMOST too much to handle. At some points during “The Ride” you are climbing up (on a steep incline, bracing yourself for what you know lies just up ahead), sometimes you are taking the plunge, free falling (stomach in your throat, heart racing, hair in the air)You find yourself torn between adrenaline induced exhilaration/terror. And…just when you think it’s about to be over- at an unforeseen, unexpected moment- “The Ride” throws you for a loop. And, For a split second you find yourself completely upside down (not knowing which way is up and which way is down, or if you lost anything in the process). And by the time you try to focus on re-orientating yourself, you’ve exited the loop and are right side up again. Phew!

THIS ride, which most Tripawds end up riding, which I refer to as “THE RiDE”, is a force to be reckoned with.

“The Ride” is: nail-biting, thrilling, terrorizing, exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping…you name it.

It awakens ALL senses and allows you to experience the broadest spectrum of emotions.

It awakens the most primal instinct within each of us, that perhaps had been lying dormant. It shows us who we really are, and what we’re really made of.

On THiS “Ride” We, by virtue of our “Warrior Tripawds”, are transformed into “survivors” and “fighters”. We are able to catch a glimpse of the ZEST for life which embodies each Tripawd Warrior, the STRENGTH with which they confront obstacles, and the RELIEF they feel once the journey and crazy ride has ended.

For me, “THE RIDE” which I took with my tripawd, my boy, my great love, Bruno, was NEVER an option. It was ultimately “the ride of a lifetime” and taught me so much. Regardless of how anxious it made me, (Which I can’t say that I would ride again immediately after getting off) is one which I WOULD, however, definitely get in line for again. (If I knew then, what I Know now, I WOULD Do it all again.)

Because- to pass up “The Ride”, means to pass up an “experience of a lifetime”.
To me, it means to “fold” and not play the hand you’ve been dealt, to choose to “pass” and not play, to not cross your fingers, to not “roll the dice” and hope that LAdy Luck is on your side, to not “try” (for the sake of the possibility) to “defy the odds”, and to CHOoSE to not “BELiEVE” in even the slightest possibility of “miracles”.

THIS “Ride”, for some, seems to end far too quickly and way before they were wanting it to be over; and yet for Others, it crosses the finish line just at the point Of Being more than they can handle.

Within such a Short span of time, “The Ride” leaves you feeling grateful, alive, stronger, and with a sense of accomplishment.

So…will you ride?



I Close My Eyes

I Close my eyes and wonder…

If it’s like this where you are:

Are the days long and full of sun?
The grass the greenest you’ve ever seen?
Are the flowers in full bloom?
The rivers crystal clean, And your bowl full of ice cream?

Is the “special of the day” pepperoni pizza?
Followed by a nap,
Or have you suddenly decided to be athletic,
And swim an extra lap?

I’m sure your paradise is amazing
And that you’ve met up with friends.
Back home we all miss you
And can’t wait to see you again!

Love you.









The Gift that Keeps on Giving





When my husband, Jeremy, decided to get Bruno (then, only known to us as “double eye patch male”) from a breeder in California, I must admit I hadn’t given it much thought. It was 8 years ago, we were still newly married, and I suppose that I considered that this new addition was to be HIS dog, therefore I didn’t involve myself in the research or decision making whatsoever.

Little did I know, that by the time night would fall- on the first night of Bruno’s arrival into our lives- that HE would become MY little boy.

From that day forward, Bruno became My greatest gift. The gift I never new I’d always wanted and the gift that kept on giving. He brought more joy and love into our lives than I could have ever imagined.

Therefore, with two months approaching (on Monday) since he crossed Rainbow Bridge, I miss him more than ever. I could go on and on by the list of things I miss about him is too long and the pain too great. He is with me-embedded in my heart-everyday, in ever way.

Two weeks ago we received a letter in the mail from Iowa State University. It was upon reading the entire content of the letter that I came to realized that Dr. Julia Gillespie, the vet whom I had turned to at the end of Bruno’s journey, had made a contribution in Bruno’s honor to the Animal Companion Fund. This gesture on her part, gave me what I so desperately needed during this time in my grieving. Her acknowledgement of his life, and the love he brought into our lives, and the care I sought out for him- was what I needed just then. Her contribution, her gift, on his behalf and in his memory would serve to help others in their quest for answers.

Although Bruno and I did not share much time with Dr. Gillespie and her wonderful staff, they gave me what I needed, when I so needed it. In the end, I had turned to her in hopes that there would be one final alternative, one wonder something, which I had not yet tried which would save my Bruno and which would give us more time together. She listened. She understood. And although she knew far too well the road which awaited ahead, she allowed me the arrive at the understanding that the impending inevitable was just around the corner and assured me that I would know when our time had come.

“Thank you, Dr. Julia, Kendall, and Jessica, for the gift of care. The way you cared for Bruno and the peace of mind which you gave me during a terrible time, of trying to figure out how to let go, made it as painless as it possibly could be.I thank you for your work and for honoring him with the contribution made in his name.”

Once again, Bruno proves to be the gift which keeps on giving.







WHEN will the day come in which when I open my eyes & awaken to a new day, that the thought (blissful & peaceful , yet NOT fully conscious) of Bruno, which is the first to greet me EACh morning, will be allowed to linger; STAY with me a second longer.

WHEN will I have a morning in which Bruno, and thoughts of him -beckoning my attention- will Not feel ‘forcefully-ripped’, ‘shattered-intentionally’, and pried away from me?


EACH morning, the same. My “Awareness”-and the way by which I arrive at that state, an awaken, is so immediate and forced. EACH morning it reveals itself to me by jolting me into ‘Reality’. And in that very instant I Remember that my (old) reality is no longer, and that Bruno is not with me.
(These are the times when ‘Reality BITES!’) How can it be that EACH morning it feels the same? So- unexpected and heavy, as though I’ve been punched in the gut.

It’s as though a cruel, sinister prankster, “Reality”, finds pleasure in tormenting me by watching me fall victim to the “groundhog day” effect. EACH morning, over, and over again.

“REAliTY!”- is currently a.k.a “my nemesis”, “bully”, “tormenter”…

“Reality.” -It rushes upon me, overwhelming my emotions and mind; StEALING the glimpse of Bruno which I yearn for (taking the happiness which accompanied that brief moment with it). I awaken feeling vandalized & disillusioned by my “Awareness” to my “Reality”.

WHY can’t “REality” just give it a rest?!?!

JUST for ONE morning.

JUST for ONE morning, please ALLOW me the pleasure of remaining in that hazy, unaware state (in which I am transported back to the serene memory of our blessed, extraordinary, everyday life-what I call “HoME”. That sacred, secure, special place.)

JUST for ONE morning?
JUST for a Moment longer!

JUST for a Moment longer, can I peer back to times- times, NOT so long ago- when my life, my family, was the way I’ve always know it to be; the way I ALWAYS wanted it to be and remain.Unchanged. With Bruno…still here.

For JUST ONE Morning. JUST a Moment longer.


Honoring Bruno

Today marks 1 month since we said goodbye to our boy Bruno. We just received his urn, and I was more than pleased with the final product. It is the place he will rest until we take our annual trip to the Buffalo River, where we will spread some of his ashes. I also always carry a part of him with me, close to my heart, in this beautiful cremation pendant. It gives me a sense of comfort and peace during this period of grieving.

We miss you Bruno!

Golden Eyes
In Loving Memory.

When golden eyes no longer glow,
and we both know it’s time to go,

Don’t look at me with eyes so sad,
but think of better times we had,

When sunlight did upon us shine,
and happy days were yours and mine,

And through the grass we both did run,
and on our backs we felt the sun,

Think not of this dark final hour,
think not of when our lives turned sour,

Think not of hopelessness and pain,
but think of joy and laugh again,

For in that final act of love,
you released me to heaven above,

Where finally from pain I’m free,
where one day you will join with me,

Where together again we will rejoice,
and you and I as with one voice,

Will in perfect harmony sing,
of the joy and pain that love can bring,

And remember me just as I will,
always think of you until,

At last again I see your face,
grieve not, I am in a better place.
By Carol Walker