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Light bulbs die my sweet. I will depart. - Magorium

Love Rollercoaster

The eyes of perfect love.

The eyes of perfect love.


I’ve heard folks call the Tripawd ups and downs as an “emotional rollercoaster”. I totally get the relevance, however, I LOVE rollercoasters and typically the lows are just as much fun as the highs. With that said, there’s not enough money to get me back in line for this ride.

However, just like the Grinch’s heart, the power of love can do amazing things, including the purchase of a ticket for another “ride”.

The rollercoaster pulls at every dimension of our being. From sleep deprivation to financial duress, no matter how prepared we are, the rollercoaster is ruthless and breathtaking. But that’s why we bought the ticket to begin with, right? Added to the “thrills”, if by chance a disease (such as cancer) is included in the Tripawd ride, all of a sudden it  takes a nasty turn from just ups-and-downs to cork-screw feats that keep us wondering which end is up.

Analogies aside, the highs and lows of dealing with pre and post maintenance for our Tripawd’s journey is not for the faint-of-heart.

I remember the first emotion I felt when we received the news Harmony had cancer and would lose her leg; dis-belief, “You’ve got to be kidding. She’s vibrant, active and in great health. How could she have this ugly disease?”

As time progressed, then came the rest . . .

Anger (emotionally charged frustration) –  “That’s so unfair! @#*%&*($ !!!!

Reflection – “How could this be? We were so careful. We did everything possible to keep her healthy and happy. How did we let this happen?

Guilt  . . .see “reflection”.

Denial –  “Her ultra-sound came out clean, they’re just wrong.”

Sadness –  “I’m so sorry sweet girl, I promised I would never let anything happen to you and I’ve let you down.”

Guilt  . . . see “sadness”.

Despair –  “God, punish me. Please, please, I’m begging you, spare this innocent creature.”

Joy –  “Oh look at my sweet girl! Yay . . . we have poop!”

Relief –  “Thank goodness her blood work came back clean.”

Desperation (not to be confused with Despair) – “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her from suffering.”

Regret –  “If only I had started you on chemo when the doctor first hinted about it.”

Guilt . . . see “regret”.

Surprise – “What do you mean it’s spread?”

Frustration (the lighter side of Anger) – “Please, please, please eat this for mommy.”

And these are just the prevalent emotions. There are so many more that could fill this page.

The transitions are seamless and just when we think we’ve gotten  to the very last emotional ping, they start all over again.

My epiphany was this wasn’t an emotional rollercoaster as it was a love rollercoaster. Harmony was our love, our heart. It wasn’t emotions that kept us going day-after-day, night-after-sleepless night. It was love in its rawest form; a selfless love that, oddly enough, we learned from our fur-babies, Grace is what Calvert’s mommy called it.

How could it have been anything else other than love that brought us from the pit of despair when Harmony passed in our arms?

I’d say the debt we owe could only be filled with the same reflected love and dedication they gave us; Polly, Ty, Shelby, Harmony, Calvert, Rox, Maggie, Jerry, Moose, Leland, Chuck, Lexie, Snoop, Calamity Jane, Billy, Franklin, Grady, Sasha, Shooter, Brendol, Dakota, Happy Hannah, Jake, Libby, Rosie, Sassy and many, many more who’ve gone on to the Rainbow Bridge.

Harmony’s love rollercoaster came into the station on November the 1st. Although the ride stopped being as scary, it’s taking a while for it to slow its momentum. The day it does will be the day that only joy remains.

Merry Christmas everyone. Love and joy to you and all those you love and cherish.


  1. mom2shelby

    Merry Christmas to you all too!!!

    I made the mistake of reading this at work (tears galore). Thank you so much for so eloquently articulating what many of us (including me) feel about this journey. It is indeed a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs. When I think back to all the near ‘heart attacks” I had with Shelby it stuns me that I am still alive. Seriously – so many times I thought “this is it” and yet we kept riding and fighting.

    Thank you for sharing a bit more of your story and your soul with us. While the circumstances of your becoming a member of the tripawd nation are horrible, I am glad you are here and for all the love and support you give.

    And thank you for the Shelby shout-out. She was so important to me and I am honored to keep her life and legacy alive through this special place.

    May this Christmas bring some joy knowing our babies are playing together (Shelby LOVED bigger dogs).

    Much love to you and the “hub-a-dub”.

    Alison with the Spirit of Shelby (and little Jasper too)

  2. jerry

    Wow. Every time you write a post about the amputation and cancer journey, I’m in awe of how eloquently and accurately you describe it. This one nailed it completely. A “Love Rollercoaster.” You are SO right, I never looked at it like that before. In that love, we get stronger. Love feeds us and gives us what we need to make it through this journey, it helps us when that ride is over and love is there for us when it’s time to start another journey with a new packmate. Love never fails.

    Bravo! And hoppy howlidays to you too!

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