Saturday, August 20, 2011
He was the messiest water drinker I ever saw. He loved water, dranks lots of it, would lap it out of the bowl and make huge puddles everywhere. He would get up, water trailing from his mouth all over the floor. Our floors are warped because of the amount of water he left there - being working people we had no choice but to leave water out, even knowing the damage he'd do. I tried everything - a variety of containers within containers, lining the floor with towels and trays, I put steel balls in the bowl designed to make him more delicate - nothing worked. He was a splash dog.
Oh well, dogs are more important than floors.
Being a greyhound, he was very fast. I don't know his racing record because he raced in Mexico, but his litter mates were champion dogs in Phoenix. Stoli was the fastest dog I've ever owned - he could make it around our very large, 1/3 acre long backyard in three bounds. It was a thing of beauty, seeing him run.
He wasn't allowed on the furniture, but Saturday morning, he would come sneak into bed with me after my husband got up. I pretended I didn't know he was there.
Stoli was an assertive dog. He listened to me, and nobody else. He didn't have the same gentle nature that many greyhounds have - maybe that's why I think he was a champion. Oddly though, he always let our other dog Cherry go through the back door first. She lines up, nose down, in racing stance, waiting for the gate to open and the "We're off!" to sound. He just went out second, racing days over, toy in mouth.
He was returned to the greyhound rescue once, the previous owners didn't like him and considered him uncontrollable. I will never understand that - he was a great, sweet dog. They really missed out. They changed his name to "Ollie" too, which explains a lot. It didn't fit him at all. They didn't understand the dog.
I just spent the last 45 minutes with him, head on my lap. He would let out a groan or five. I don't know if it was discomfort or satisfaction. Maybe a bit of both. Maybe he was telling me he was tired. Maybe he was telling me he wanted a snack.
When my husband got the leash to bring him to his final destination, he jumped up so fast that it made me wonder about our decision.
I didn't go. My uncontrollable crying would have scared him, and he is scared of vets already. He and my husband did the walking and the outdoor things together.
He had pancreatic cancer that spread to the liver, obstructing the biliary tracts. His kidneys were beginning to fail. The vet said she thought he was too far gone for chemo - that metastatic pancreatic cancer in dogs has about the same cure rate as it does in humans - pretty low. That photo above was taken six weeks ago, July 9th. He weighed 70 pounds. He was 50 pounds at his last vet appointment a few days ago. Cancer took him fast.
He got sicker and sicker but never seemed like he was in serious pain. He got more lethargic, more weak, but we just now gave him some cheese and he enjoyed that. I toyed with the idea of letting him die at home, in peace, in his own bed, like I may, but we aren't home all the time and it might disturb the other dog. Plus, although he didn't exhibit outward signs of pain, cancer eating you from the inside probably does cause pain, and why put him through that? We gave him toredol, drug of choice for vets. We cancer patients have all taken that and know it does nothing to help with pain - at least for humans.
While in the PET scan yesterday, I had a dream that Stoli threw up on my lap and then looked up at me. Maybe that was my way of knowing he was telling me it was time.
It is so unfair that as you go through a catastrophic illness like cancer, the animals that comfort you get it too and die when you need them the most. You see your future and lose your silent companion at the same time.
I have another dog, Cherry, straight off the race track. We've only had her a few months. She is very timid and she needed Stoli to help her. She was afraid of the kitchen for example - she would back away from crossing the threshold. But when Stoli crossed the threshold, she did too. She followed him and learned inside dog ways from him. She is still timid though, and I fear for her (and my stuff - she's a chewer) when she's a lone dog. We have to work during the day and I don't think she is going to be able to be as calm about it as other dogs.
But, with my health problems, we probably will not be getting another dog right now. It would be an unfair burdon to put on my family.
Stoli, I loved you. You were MY dog. You got my disease.
I'll miss you.
Posted by Ann aka ButDoctorIHatePink at 2:30 PM