Have you ever seen an animal paint? We hadn’t either until pretty three-legged Kaiserin showed us how it’s done. And in 2020, this talented painting dog is making art for Tripawds Foundation!
We are honored that Kaiserin the Painting Tripawd is raising money for Tripawds Foundation programs. “Last week we opened an Etsy Shop to sell her paintings,” says her mom Natasha. “We are planning to donate $20 from every painting sold in 2020 to the Tripawd’s Foundation.”
Isn’t it incredible? Not only is this rising star getting attention for her wonderful artwork, but she’s donating money from painting sales to help other three legged pets everywhere!
We asked Natasha to share Kaiserin’s story today, and here it is. We know you’ll fall in love with this wonderful girl!
Kaiserin’s Long Road to the Tripawd Life
Kaiserin is a 9 year-old long coat German Shepherd who is the love of my life. One day in August of 2017, my husband noticed a bump on her ankle. It looked like a swollen joint, perhaps she had hit something or was maybe developing some arthritis in the joint. We ignored it and went on a two-week beach vacation. She showed no signs of pain. No limping. No signs of feeling ill in any way.
About a week after returning from vacation I went to get the lump checked at the vet. I was still not in the slightest bit worried. The vet on the other hand looked very worried. Then came x-rays and a biopsy. The diagnosis was a grade 2 fibrosarcoma. From there we were thrust into an unfamiliar world of difficult decisions and consults with oncologists and surgeons. We decided to remove the lump and then follow up with radiation because at the ankle area, they could not get wide enough margins.
From radiation to amputation
We had the surgery and then opted for the less aggressive palliative radiation. 5 treatments over 5 weeks. All under general anesthetic. Statistics showed that this meant there was a 50% chance it might return in 3 years (and of course a 50% chance it wouldn’t). The more aggressive daily radiation offered only marginally better 70/30 odds and requited 18 daily treatments under anesthetic. With either option there was basically a 0% chance it would grow back in the first year. And if it returned a few years down the road, it could perhaps be removed again. I felt the odds were good. But I was wrong!
On the day of her last radiation treatment I pointed to a small flat bump in the incision area. The oncologists were pretty sure it was scar tissue but told us to keep an eye on it. It had to be scar tissue, right? I mean they said there was no chance it would grow back in the first year. It grew. And grew. And grew. It grew 2-3 cm in diameter in a week. It was soon confirmed the cancer had returned (or perhaps never truly left).
We were considered a radiation fail. We tried oral chemo to perhaps shrink the tumor and give her more time on 3 legs. It also seemed to do nothing. The night before I was going to drive 2 hours to consult an oncology surgeon to talk about our options, the tumor burst open. There was a lot of blood! A lot! Our kitchen looked like a crime scene. In a sense, this was a good thing. It helped make the decision easier. This was one nasty aggressive tumor and unfortunately the only way to truly get rid of it was to remove her leg.
An amazing life on three.
On August 1, 2018, Kaiserin became a Tripawd. At the time, it felt like it was the worst day of my life. And, although it was a bit rough at first, life with a Tripawd over the past year and a half has been nothing but amazing. She is as happy and as vibrant as ever. Last summer she completed her championship dog trick title. Not a lot of 4-legged dogs can easily get a title like this and she did it all with only 3! Years ago, after seeing a video on you tube, I taught her how to paint. I attached a paint brush to a dowel and taught her to brush it against a canvas. She caught on fast. We did a few paintings and then kind of forgot about it.
Kaiserin the Painting Dog Helps Tripawds Everywhere!
Recently she has taken up painting again after we were encouraged by friends. People kept telling me a dog who paints is unique. A Tripawd dog who paints is even more special. I felt we needed to pursue this more and that we could use her special talents to do something good in this world.
How to Get Your Original Art by Tripawd Kaiserin, the Painting Dog
Last week we opened an Etsy Shop to sell her paintings. We are planning to donate $20 from every painting sold in 2020 to the Tripawd’s Foundation. Anyone interested in purchasing an original Kaiserin can:
visit her Etsy shop at ArtByTripawdKaiserin or
contact us directly through her Instagram account @tripawdkaiserin
or e-mail me, Natasha, her assistant.