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Meet the Cast

Atticus is a 10 year old Catahoula mix that my husband and I adopted from a county animal shelter three years ago. I’m Megan. I’m a 35 year-old policy analyst by day, fitness instructor by night. My husband Kevin and I have Atticus, a Great Dane named Spaghetti, and three cats that follow me everywhere like a pack of hungry raccoons. I’ve had many animals, and loved many dogs, but none so much as Atticus.

Atticus at my wedding

It’s hard to explain what’s different about Atticus. A rescue that had sat in the shelter for months, he’d clearly known grief and loss before he came to us. Somehow, that has made him more attached to us, more grateful. Kevin adopted Atticus on my insistence after I found Atticus’ picture on a shelter’s website a few months after we started dating. We weren’t technically living together at the time, but after he got Atticus I only spent one night away at my place, then I wound up staying for good. Atticus is the first dog we both had after losing our previous dogs, and really the beginning of our relationship and family.

This is the picture that made me fall in love with Atticus

Atticus was rescued off the streets of Gresham, OR. He’s a brilliant dog; I can see how he made it as a street dog. At the same time, he always likes to have a pillow to rest his head on, so it breaks my heart to think of him sleeping on a cold, hard street. He doesn’t need us, but he wants to be near us.

Atticus’ nickname is Crunchy Bear, or Crunch. It’s a long story but comes from a text my husband sent me about how our neighbors were staring at Atticus while he “crunched out a two-legged front-pawed bush growler.”

Atticus crossed the United States with me twice. We drove from Oregon to Virginia, and back again, for an ill-fated move. Atticus loved living at the edge of nature in the South, but my crunchy PNW heart couldn’t stand it there. In Virginia we lived in a townhouse with a backyard that led directly to miles of trails. We spent the shutdowns of 2020 exploring the woods. Atticus is probably a better hiker than me.

Atticus isn’t a swimmer, but he loves playing in the creek behind out house.

I wasn’t originally planning on starting a blog about Atticus’ tripawd journey. Writing this out hurts quite a bit. It’s all fresh, and painful, and I know the ultimate ending of our story will be sad. But I think that there’s a place for stories like ours. I read a lot of stories of dogs that bounced back immediately after surgery, and had easy recoveries. Our surgeon told us that recovery, especially for rear-leg amputees was not hard, and some dogs can recover as quickly as within a week. Before surgery I didn’t see (or more likely, I chose to ignore) the stories of dogs that had tougher recoveries. I wasn’t prepared for the recovery we had.

Our recovery experience was not easy, nor was it quick. For about three weeks I thought I had made a terrible decision. I thought I had caused my dog terrible pain and suffering that he would not recover from before the cancer claimed his life. Not to mention we spent a large chunk of our savings on it. Two months out from surgery, my outlook is completely changed. Atticus is back to himself. He is pain-free, and we are getting good quality time with him. So I’m piecing together our story with the rough stuff, in hopes it helps someone else going through this.

3 thoughts on “Meet the Cast”

  1. Welcome and thank you for sharing Atticus’ story. Your future blog posts and pages will publish immediately without requiring moderation.

    You will find much more help and feedback in the discussion forums or by searching the member blogs. Start here for help finding the many Tripawds Resources an assistance programs.

  2. Absolutely loved reading about Articus, his hoomans and his dog/cat pack.

    The way he jumped into your hearts instantly clearly shows he was waiting his whole life for you to find him.

    Been following his journey in the forums. And no, it was not an “easy” recovery. No one gave up though. You knew Atticus had the will and determination and we knew you had the will and determination AND the love to get Crunchy Bear’s sparkle back. Such an huge inspiration for anyone starting this journey. You have already made a wonderful contribution with your suppprt of others here.

    Thank you for sharing his story and introducing us to the “cast”. And, of course, for sharing pictures of that smoochable adorable fella’. We need more!!!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  3. Oh Megan! This is off to such a beautiful start. THANK YOU! Yes, there is definitely a place for your and Atticus’ story here. You are already helping others and even though you may never know who they are, I guarantee you that his entire story, the good and not so good, will benefit future members.

    I just love the backstory. And the photos! He is so very, very lucky to have such great people.

    Can’t wait to read more.

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