Saturday, February 2, 2013

The passing of a dear friend

Spanky the greyhound March 2003 - February 2, 2013
Born in a racing kennel, Spanky was the 2nd puppy in his litter to get his ears tattooed. yep, that's right my dog was tougher than me because he had a tattoo. I adopted him when he was just over a year old. He had broken a leg as a puppy there by ending any future racing career and landing him in the life of a sofa guard. A job he took very seriously as living room sofas may take off at any moment. He defined 45mph couch potato.
I had been wanting to adopt a greyhound for a couple of years but wanting to provide a forever home for a dog I wanted to make sure it was the right breed for me. I took more than enough time researching the breed. I adopted him from a small local group that I had more or less been stalking for 2 years. They had a meet and greet booth at my local farmers market. I liked stopping by to visit with the dogs but I never really had any questions; after all I was "reasearching". when I finally filled out the paperwork and had my home visit; They thought it would be funny to match me with a black dog. I had black hair at the time and wore black clothes so I NEEDED a black dog of course. It was a perfect match. never could I have had a better greyhound...a better friend.
 I had 9 wonderful years with him. He was accident prone though and pulled out toe nails like it was a hobby. He dislocated a toe and once had a 6 inch gash on his leg. Did he ever cry? Nope, I rarely knew that there as an issue until I noticed blood on the floor or saw his foot swollen to twice it's size. Aside from his accident prone nature he was quirky. He always thought the ringing telephone was for him and he'd run and dance around it. He had a weird fear of snowmen and he wouldn't walk by one at all. It was his worst nightmare once when after a heavy snow fall we went to a local park and all the kids in the area had made snowmen. He could be as stubborn as a goat when he wanted to. If he got tired on a walk he would lie down and refuse to move until he was ready or if he saw a squirrel, deer, or rabbit on his walk he'd dig his heels in and refuse to move until the other creature was out of sight. His toys always had to be indoors and he'd get terribly upset when a foster or visiting greyhound friend would take them outside.
Spanky (left) and foster Paula (right) maybe 2006 or 2007
He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma Jan. 30, 2013. The only symptom I noticed at first was some stiffness in a back leg. I put it off as possibly an injury from slipping on some ice as it has been icy that week. It never improved and lameness with his back legs got worse. We went to vet for x-rays. In the back of my mind I wondered if this wasn't osteosarcoma even though the symptoms weren't a 100% match. I cried buckets of tears and made up my mind and changed it a million times. I opted for pain management only. Knowing that the cancer can be cruelly fast I opted to say goodbye to my sweet friend earlier than I would have liked. I couldn't stand the thought of seeing him sicker, weaker, and even more in pain. Let's face it any time would have been sooner than I'd have liked. I was with him right up to the end. I held his head and whispered to him.
"A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way." - Mary Carolyn Davies 

"Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

"There is no death. Only a change of worlds." - Chief Seattle 

"If it should be....
If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
and pain should keep me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done,
for we know this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand,
but don't let grief then stay your hand,
for this day, more than the rest,
your love and friendship must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years,
what is to come can hold no fears.
Would you want me to suffer? So,
when the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,
only stay with me until the end,
and hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.

It is a kindness that you do to me,
although my tail it's last has waved,
from pain and suffering I have been saved.

Do not grieve, it should be you,
who must decide this thing to do.
We've been so close, we two these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears." - Author unknown 

1 comment:

Sharon Hawkins said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. ((((Hugz)))))

SharonH