René Agredano & Jim Nelson
Our 15-year adventure began in 1998, when we escaped the San Francisco rat race to start a new life in the rugged Northern California coastal town of Eureka. The years flew by as we built strong ties to our community and grew our Internet-based marketing and printing business from a small home tucked away in the redwoods.
Almost a decade had passed when a series of terrible events changed our lives forever. The biggest tragedy occurred in 2006, when our beloved dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal bone cancer. Jerry was the center of our universe, our rock in an ocean of insanity. When we were hit with the hard news that our time with him was so limited, we quickly made plans that changed our lives forever.
By June 2007, we sold our business, home and nearly everything we owned to hit the road with Jerry in a RV and travel the country together as a pack. If he only had months to live as doctors suggested, we wanted to give him the one thing he loved most – the road trip of a lifetime! When we pulled away from our home, we left the our old life behind, and never looked back. Jerry proved the doctors wrong and loved life on three legs for nearly two years. During our journey together he taught us new lessons every day as he faced the many challenges of a canine amputee without so much as a whimper.
This glorious adventure caught the attention of a renowned documentary producer who prominently featured our story in the 2009 PBS television program, “Nature: Why We Love Cats and Dogs.”
To spread the word that it's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four, we started the Tripawds blogs and discussion forums (http://tripawds.com) to document Jerry's progress and help others share the stories of their own triumphant three-legged dogs. The site has since grown to become the largest online community for three-legged bone cancer survivors and other canine amputees.
When Jerry left us in 2008, our hearts told us that we still had more living to do on the back roads of America. Today our permanent road trip goes on with our three-legged German Shepherd, Wyatt Ray, who serves as the official Tripawds spokespup. Our book, “Three Legs & a Spare, a Guide to Canine Amputation,” serves as the definitive guide for coping with a dog's limb loss, bone cancer and life on three legs.
Meanwhile, we continue to follow our passion for adventure while remembering the many lessons our fearless leader taught us, including how “Every day is a great day, no matter what may come your way!”