Miriam came to us almost exactly 10 years ago. She came as a foster in July of 2011. Dixie and Casey seemed to know before we did, that she was part of the family. From day one, Dixie had "that look" about her. Casey the kitty immediately upon being released from his carrier, started grooming, licking and chewing on Miriam, who literally just walked in the house after being picked up by Roy and I to foster. And she didn't attempt to eat Casey. After visiting the person who was interested in adopting Miriam, it was determined that it was not a good fit, and the adoption did not happen. Miriam officially became part of our family in the middle of August 2011.
To say that Miriam was shy was an understatement. She was a full-blown spook who was afraid of us a good part of the time. I think it took at least a couple years before she would approach Roy. She wasn’t just afraid of men. She was afraid of Roy’s mom and sister when we first adopted her. When it was time for her to eat, we gave her meal in her food stand and sat “bolt still” without even a whisper. If we would talk, whisper, or shift in our seat she would become afraid and not eat. She was afraid of so much stuff it is hard to remember all that scared her.
We had her for close to 2 years when she gave us our worst scare. It was winter and around 8 or 9 degrees above zero in the middle of the night. Miriam needed to go out, and since we have a fenced in yard, we just let her out. Little did we know that she was so afraid of us that she had no plans of going back in the house. I think it took almost 20 minutes to get her into the house. I was in tears by the time she was worn out enough from her fear and the cold. Roy was finally able to get a hold of her and bring her into the house. We attached a 15-foot rope to her collar for the next couple years and bought her a spook harness.
We are not sure when it happened, but she blossomed into a real pet who was not afraid of new people and actually sought out attention from them. Several years ago, we ended up moving into an apartment that faced a busy state highway at the top of a hill at the edge of town. There is a lot of semi-truck traffic and they love to use those “Jake Brakes”. The first time I heard them I nearly jumped out of my skin, but Miriam was not bothered by them. Her favorite thing to do was to lay in the sun on the hottest days. At the last GPA-WI Greyhound Gala pre-pandemic she was crowned queen of the Gala and was presented with a large, round Kirkland dog bed. She knew she was queen and that bed was her favorite.
Five years ago she was diagnosed with Copper Storage Disease (liver disease) and she had to go on a low copper diet. We planned on feeding her a commercial prescription diet, but the company that made and marketed the food irritated me so I consulted with a registered dietary veterinarian and I started making Miriam her own special meals. The girl ate better than Roy and I most times. Her internist said that Miriam had a very good chance to live a long greyhound life.
Like most “old folks’, as Miriam aged it became difficult for her to get around. To make things worse, she had corns which caused her to slow down more. The last few weeks we have had to persuade her to eat her homemade diet. She even did not eat her marshmallow dessert on one occasion. We finally found a veterinarian locally who knew how to hull corns. Her corns were removed this past Saturday. One of them the vet called a cutaneous horn and it was huge. We were sent home with tramadol for pain. The tramadol was not cutting the pain. On Wednesday, Roy reached down to pet her on the neck and she screamed in pain. Off to the UW Vet School to get her help. X-rays were taken of her spine, neck, and lungs to rule out cancer and to see if the cause of her pain could be found. There were no definitive answers. She was transferred to neurology yesterday afternoon and they did not like the amount of pain she was in. They originally were going to do an MRI on her neck to see if there were any tumors. She was on a fentanyl drip that had to be increased in strength to try and keep her pain in check. Today, instead of doing an MRI, a fine needle aspirate was done. It was determined that she had lymphoma and that it probably metastasized to the neck and that was most likely causing her neck pain.
Miriam was such a wonderful girl who blossomed into a wonderful pup that amazed us every day. She was loved by her parents and kitty brother.
We were able to go into the clinic this afternoon and be with her when she was released from her pain. We will miss you forever Miriam.