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Its Travis Ray Day 2023

One year on since you left us and I can maybe finally post about losing you without disintegrating into a sodden mess.

For the year before, in anticipation, I said that when you died the floodgates would open. And they did. Your loss let loose such a storm of grief in me I am not sure I will ever recover. My grief over losing you is entangled with my grief over losing the rest of the pack; such a time we all had! Now only memories and images left. Our very identity gone. My grief at losing you is compounded by the constant grief I carry while witnessing the steady destruction of this beautiful planet we call home and all its priceless wonders, my grief over the pandemic and what it has shown us about ourselves, my grief over the countless horrors that humans inflict upon themselves and other beings.

But I never lost sight that you were you, my most beautiful baby boy, my big bubba, my sweetest heart. You deserve your own epitaph, elegy, end note. But I am not ready to write it yet. For now, suffice it to say, I will love you forever and ever Travis Ray, to the Milky Way and back, as long as the rivers flow and the birds soar. Run free big dawg, I’ll see you on down the road.

Travis Ray 12/01/08 – 2/17/22

They Called Him Mr. Exuberance!

I can’t believe its already been two years since we helped you gain your wings Smokey B. I remember: your decline was slow over the years but you went down so quickly at the end. I remember: our last two walks together. Your hind legs collapsing as we headed down the stairs. Your slow, stiff walk. You stopped more than once and stared into space, until I encouraged you to move on. But then we met a woman, coming toward us. You veered unsteadily, straight at her, cut her off, greeted her with tail wagging. You were so far gone, but you never stopped loving meeting new friends. I remember: when the vet came to help you leave the body that no longer served you. You greeted her too, like a long lost friend. You perked up so much I questioned my decision. These last memories make me so sad, they make me cry. My heart breaks again thinking of you, so diminished. But I am also grateful, for those last hard days, and for all the better days we had before we parted ways forever. I am a better person for sharing my life with you.

You were Mr. Exuberance. I remember: you were returned to the shelter because you had “too much energy”. You loved everyone you met and they loved you back. You never stopped jumping on people, or trying to stick your tongue in their ear, but no matter what you did they loved you. I remember: walking to work one morning and how determined you were to meet this one guy, a total stranger, pulling me toward him as if he was a magnet. I remember: watching you run through the fields. It was, cliche as it sounds, like watching poetry in motion. You moved so beautifully I was convinced you were part exotic hound. Pharaoh? Sloughi? You galloped, bounded, pronked, and leapt your way through life. That was your lesson for me: greet life each day with exuberance, joy, and an open heart, and you will receive it back tenfold! Thank you for the lesson my sweet boy. I needed it and I am still learning how to live it. You are always in my heart Mr. B.


Waaaaiiiiiitttttt! Whatchyoo mean she’s stayin’?!?!

Sooo, a few weeks back Maw ‘n Paw ‘n me went on a li’l day trip in the BigAss Gray Truck! We went to this nice lady’s house and there was this li’l shepherd girldawg with her. We hung out for a bit … aaaand before you could say “Tripawds Rule,” Paw put me back in the truck and then …. he put that girldawg in the truck with me. “WTF?,” I said. Maw said, “We’re fostering to adopt!” Whatever that means! And I said, “Not so sure about that!”

Now its been awhile and this girldawg has made herself at home. In MY home!! On MY couch!! I say again, “WTF????”

I was havin’ a grrrreat time being the ONLY dawg in da house! And dawg, can she be a PEST!! At first I thought maybe she was the spirit of Codie Rae come back from the Great Beyond to make my life hell again. But then I discovered if I snark hard enough at her she will throw herself to the ground belly up! WOOT! I am da MAN!! Take that CR!!!!!! Maybe this is a GOOD thing!!

So … she’s kinda growin’ on me. Sometimes I even want to play with her! But I gotta watch I don’t throw my back out ya know, I’m just not the young pup I used to be. She IS pretty cute, dontcha think? Especially when she’s asleep! Thank dawg she LOVES her crate!

She’s a funny li’l thang. Took her two weeks before she would chase a ball in the yard! Way to burn off some a that puppy energy grrrlfriend! Way better than pronking on my head!

So Maw and Paw sez she’s a keeper. I guess that’s OK with me, as long as she ‘members that I, the grrrreat Travis Ray, am the king of this here castle!   So … WELCOME to the Oaktown Pack RILEY RAE!!!!



And Then There Was One

Hey Everypawdy,

I am hijacking Travis’ blog today with more devastating news from the OP. We sent Austin Ray on at high noon on Friday the 17th. Given he was a 10 or 11 year old tripawd GSD he was doing OK until last October, when he developed vestibular disease. Many times it clears up within a short period of time and never recurs. Unfortunately, after 6 weeks of improvement, Austin’s recurred and never really went away again. He would get a little better, only to decline again. He had a permanent head tilt (cute, until you remembered why), his one back leg totally gave out on him, and recently his front end basically gave out as well. Lately his spark just really seemed to dim. Although he still enjoyed riding in the truck and in his stroller, and he still loved his food and treats, he was …. less than enthusiastic. And he was just tired–sometimes he slept so hard we could barely get him to wake up. He became semi-incontinent. We finally really got that he just wasn’t going to improve again and his quality of life was suffering, so we made the call to let him go. It was so hard to contemplate, it just felt unbearable given the vast amount of pain and suffering going on throughout the world right now. But it was the right and only thing to do.






Austin was the dog no one wanted. Once upon a time someone cared enough about him to pay for an amputation but he then somehow ended up on the streets. When he was picked up by animal control he was emaciated and had severe yeast and staph infections. His rear amp was floppy–they hardly left any muscle! He was a trainwreck.  We fostered him for a year, got him healed up and tried hard to find him a loving home. Turns out that home was destined to be ours. So we bought him a Paco collar and welcomed him into the pack.





Austin Ray was hands down the sweetest member of the Oaktown Pack. He was our take anywhere no surprises dog. He loved all people, especially kids, and most especially little Mexican girls.











Austin got along with all dogs but took no guff from anyone, not even Codie Rae! Austin ran for Mayor, he was on tv, he represented the OP at our local Tripawds parties, he represented Tripawds at fundraising events large and small. He traveled the West, he chased balls and swam and chewed on his purple squirrel dudes. In spite of his physical issues he was never mean, he never complained, and he never let life get him down.



Run free sweet boy, whole and strong. You will always be our inspiration.


Martha, Ralph, and Travis Ray

Duuuudes, this is not my beautiful life!

Holeee Tripawds! Its bin one heckuva long time but I’m baaaaack! How y’all bin? Me, not so much lately. So … I got this lump on my elbow a couple months ago but it din’t bother me or nuthin’. Maw and Paw finally noticed it and decided it was a lipoma ’cause it was squishy and din’t seem like it was attached. Then about a month later it was much harder so Maw freaked out! We went to my regular vet and they did a fine needle aspirate. Come to find out they thought it might be a soft tissue sarcoma. Whatever that is.

The Lump

Then, pretty much the day after I went to the vet for my lump, Maw noticed one a my teeth looked like it was going sideways. WTF? Dang! Quicker ‘n you can say ‘get that stick’ they knocked me out and pulled that sucker (the vet, not Maw and Paw) ’cause it was broken! So then we went to UC Davis and talked to the docs there. They were like, we gotta get this lump offa you and then we can decide what to do from there.

Maw! They gave me a poooodle cut! Noooooo!

So 2 weeks later I was back at Davis and they knocked me out again! Woke up and my elbow hurt and there were all these stitches….Cone time….hated it!

So the last month has pretty much been hell on earth ’cause I HATE going to the vets, it just stresses me out! Waaay too much time there, stooooopid cone, and no walks!

Take the picture already!!!!!




But Maw has been trying to make up for it 🙂 Woohoooooooo! Flying Dutchmans!!!!!!!

mmm, mmm, good!



OMD, sooooooo goood!!!!!!




And hey, did you know there’s this stretch of I-80 where everything is named after meeee? Woohoo! There’s a Travis Boulevard, a Travis credit union, and a Travis AFB, whatever that is. How cool is that to have your awesomeness recognized by the whole world 🙂 So I guess things ain’t all that bad :).

I am totally healed up, feeling grrrrrreat and ready to rock and roll again! Maw sez she is gonna post more details over in the forums so hop on over there and take a look!

xoxo you guys!

Travis Ray minus one tooth and one lump

Dawgs of Summer

So lookin’ back over the summer one event really stood out for the Oaktown Pack. Our hometown ball team had their annual Oakland A’s Bark in the Park Day and peeps and their dawgz came from all over California to play! The most beautiful Hannah and her maw Kim came from the southland and Shelby the petite princess and her maw Cindi and her chauffeur Jack came from Santa Rosa and Austin Ray and Smokey B represented the Oaktown Pack along with our maw and paw. Whoa dawggies did everyone have a grrrrrrrreat time! Especially when the A’s came back and spanked the Orioles in the bottom of the 9th! Wish I coulda bin there to meet that purty grrrl Hannah. Sigh……The OP looooved meeting Hannah and her maw and it is always soooo good to see Shelby and her pawrents. What a grrrreat game and good time!

Kim, Cindi, and Jack
Kim, Cindi, and Jack


Shelby and her chauffeur
Shelby and her chauffeur










Representing the Oaktown Pack
Representing the Oaktown Pack



OMD, I came all this way and they're losing
OMD, I came all this way and they’re lo0000sing 🙁










Pleeeeze Miss, can I have some of your corndawg?
Pleeeeze Miss, can I have some of your corndawg?










Oooh, maybe they're not gonna lose after all!
Oooh, maybe they’re not gonna lose after all!










Woohoo! A three run-homer!!
Woohoo! A three run-homer!! We wooooon!!!!

Dude! I coulda died!

Yo Everypawdy!

So Wyatt already scooped me but I am finally feeling good enuf to post myself. Feelin’ pretty lucky today, oh YESH, I am! So last Saturday I bloated and my stomach did a 180 twist. Its called gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). Uh, yeah, whatever that means. All I know is I felt like %#@$. And then I was at the vets and I woke up with about a zillion staples in my belly (more about that later). There’s alot of theories out there about why this kinda thing happens to us dawgs and some of us are genetically predisposed (whatever that means). So I was havin’ a great day–I got to play in the Bay and drink some salt water (even though my mom kept telling me not to). Then I got a frosty cone, which I ate in two big bites. Then I promptly threw up said frosty cone. And then I went home and drank some water and then I threw up again. I was so thirsty after drinking salt water I really wanted some regular water but every time I drank some I threw up again. My mom thinks all that throwing up and retching made me gulp alot of air and that when the bloat started…..thats her theory anyways and she’s sticking to it!

So I bin modeling all the cone o’ shame alternatives my pawrents have around the house. They got just about everything! I freaked out when they put the standard vet issue model on me. HATE that thang! Can’t see and bumpin’ into things all the time. So they took pity on me and we went to the blow up donut and a t-shirt. The donut is grrrreat ’cause it doubles as a pillow!







That worked ok but it can’t keep a determined long-nosed GSD like me from messin’ with their back end. Then, just for the heck of it we tried out the bite not collar. But that thang pretty much doesn’t work at all for a long-nosed dawg.







I was pretty good for the first few days, I just kind of licked around my incision ’cause it was kinda raw from where they shaved it. Everything was looking really good other than the bruises and seepage. But my pawrents were havin’ to keep an eye on me pretty much 24/7 to make sure I didn’t mess with it. ‘Scuse the x-rated pic of my peetie! So.Embarrassed!







Then, once I lulled them into a false sense of security and they took their eyes off me for awhile…. I decided to go for those staples cause they were driving me nuts! I managed to destaple a couple and my pawrents freaked when they caught me. Off we went back to the vet–DANG! they put even more staples in me than before! And, I have to admit, it freaked me out even more to be back there than it did to wear the cone o’ shame. So when I got home my folks said…Homie–we don’t play that anymore….and slapped one of two new models they had purchased since I went down on my ass (well, on my neck actually). I kinda freaked around a bit but they just ignored me until I decided I wasn’t gonna die from having it on. This morning they put a new one on doubled up with the donut ’cause its a little short. But its clear so I can see and I guess I can live with it…..sigh….







So thats my tale of woe–I am just so hoppy to still be here!

xoxox, I love U guyz,

Travis Ray

p.s. My mom sez if you don’t know anything about bloat PLEASE take the time to learn about it, it could mean the difference between life and death for your dawg. Here’s a couple of links if you don’t know anything about this nasty mess:


Tripawd Awareness Day – Travis Ray

Yo! Travis Ray here, representing the Tripawd Nation! I grew up in a backyard and knew nothing about the world outside. Then I got rescued, but not before my foot went missing. I found a home with the Oaktown Pack and grew up into a strong, proud boydog.  I became a K9 Good Citizen! I’ve been to the ball park (Go A’s!). I’ve been to tripawties! I’ve been to the snow, O.M.D.  I love the snow.  I’ve been from California to Colorado and all the states in between. I was given a chance to love and be loved.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!


The OP Meets the Off Road Safari

Yo! Everypawdy!

So ya know how Shelby, the most beautiful Pawtite Princess, has her ‘lil Red Wagon? Well, as of December 25th the OP has their very own ‘lil Red Jeep (aka the Off Road Safari)! Duuuude, did we have fun in round one–the OP v. the ‘lil Red Jeep! Behold the documentary evidence as we get Down and Dirty on our Off Road Safari!

CR had to jump right in at the start and REGULATE, she just can’t help herself…..She dared us all to get near the ‘lil Red Jeep.


Ooops, Smokey got a little too close……..


Then Austin slipped in while she was distracted and got a good bite on that thang!


Sensing the potential for ripped ears, blood on the Christmas tree, and the untimely demise of the ‘lil Red Jeep, Pops corralled Codie and Austin and shut ’em up in the back room. It was up to me ‘n Smokey B. to take it out!

We thought maybe we could BARK it to death!


That din’t work so I made a big move, with a swift chomp to the roll bar…..take THAT Off Road Safari!


Then Smokey B. got his knickers all in a twist and snarked at me to get away, HE was gonna take care of it!


You know me, Ima big chikin, so I let him take the lead…..and he POUNCED!


‘K end o’ Round 1: OP Meets ‘lil Red Jeep…..who’s hurtin’ now!


Note the hole and the big crack in the hood. Still running like nowpawdy’s bidness tho so there is mos’ def gonna be a round 2! Stay tooned !

Hoppy Howlidays and Merry New Year youse guys!


Travis Ray








Travis Ray is brought to you by Tripawds.