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R L Nevada ( Cora)


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Over the past several days, I have written many versions of this post. The ones that expressed what I want to say were far too long; the shorter versions were sterile shopping lists of Cora's many wonderful characteristics.

 

So I have decided to include three (still long) sections: one on what happened, one on why she was special, and one with some photographs, and let you choose what to read. I just hope that I can give you some insight into a very special grey.

 

What Happened

 

Cora broke her left femur in March. It was repaired with a lot of hardware. She made a remarkable recovery, despite a lengthy setback in May, and an FCE (spinal stroke) in June that affected both of her right legs. But late July / early August, she could once again move around the house without restriction, and be off-leash in the yard with me. Her life was returning to normal. On August 11, five months to the day after the break was repaired, x-rays showed that she was healing well.

 

Not ten days later, she was suddenly, inexplicably, lame again. We tried rest and pain medication. She improved for a time and then relapsed. She was x-rayed on September 1: the hardware was still in place, the healing had continued. There was some indication that she might have hurt her knee.

 

From then on she was on a roller coaster of recovery and relapse. We'd increase the pain medication and reduce her walks. She'd improve and return to normal walks (she was never able to climb stairs or be unsupervised). Then she'd suffer a setback, and the cycle would begin again. On Tuesday October 12, she had her best day since August, and I was hopeful. But by Saturday she was lame again. I reduced her walks. On Monday, still shorter walks and more pain medication. It didn't help.

 

On Wednesday I took her to the clinic for yet another set of x-rays. This time, right in the middle of the plate, directly over a still-healing fissure, was the deceptively soft, unremittingly evil blossom of osteosarcoma.

 

Amputation was not a realistic option: the right leg, weakened by a hip injury two years before and the FCE in June, would never have supported her as a tripod. Nor did we have long to wait: the bone was being held together solely by the plate; the pain was breaking through high doses of two different painkillers.

 

I decided to give her one more day at home--as normal a day as possible, save for some extra attention, a few special treats, and the maximum possible doses of both painkillers. The meds helped: she had a relatively good day.

 

Early in the evening I took her back to the clinic, and stroked her beautiful head as she rested it on my arm one last time.

 

Why Cora Was Special

 

Cora's most important characteristic was kindness. That kindness, plus related traits like considerateness and gentleness, infused everything she did.

 

She was wonderful at meeting people, approaching calmly, holding her head up, waving her tail. She was never rambunctious, she never got too close, she was never demanding. She would have been a great meet-and-greet dog.

 

She was good with her sisters. She never pushed her way onto the beds if she didn't think there was enough room. She never attempted to steal a toy or chew bone; she'd covet it--the best bone was always the one that another dog was chewing--but she'd wait just far enough away that the other dog could not object, and move in when the object was abandoned.

 

She was also very good at playing with other dogs. She was flexible enough to adapt her style to whatever suited a particular playmate: chasing Piper from a safe distance; mixing it up with Tally; reminding Jessie, who had been an only dog in her previous home, that playing with other hounds is fun.

 

As considerate as she was, she wasn't a pushover. This was most obvious when we met a rude dog on a walk: she'd blast it with few short sharp barks, and it would back away. I always thought of this as her "mommy dog" behaviour. But she didn't look for arguments, and I never had to worry that she would start a dustup in the house.

 

She cared deeply about what I thought and what I wanted. It made her very easy to live with. It also made her fun to train. She was always willing, and, if she didn't know what I wanted, would wait patiently for clarification, or try something and see if it worked. She loved the praise and treats that she got when she was right. She learned that a sit was almost always worth something, and she would often offer one. She also developed a nice little obedience dog strut--head up, eyes on mine, front feet dancing. That dance became one of my best clues about how much pain she was in--if I said something encouraging during a walk and she didn't do it, she was very sore.

 

She never once snarked about what we had to do to her after she broke her leg: pick up her broken body from the floor, examine the leg, massage the repaired limb, x-ray her over and over. She was also incredibly tolerant of all the times that I had to lift her or carry her or swing like a suitcase by her harness. She seemed to trust that I would do my best not to hurt her.

 

She tolerated far too much crate time, isolation when she was unable to join us at bedtime (usually her choice), separate and often later walks, and all manner of other restrictions. Sometimes, when the pattern changed, it would take a couple of days to adjust, but she always knew that I would take care of her, and she would wait patiently until I did.

 

She served her industry well as a racer and a broodmom, and she was a perfect addition to my family. I wish that I could have given her the long and comfortable retirement that she deserved. Instead, she had just two short years marred by a badly injured hip, two rounds of infected anals, a shattered leg, an FCE, and finally, horribly, OS.

 

Throughout it all, she was and remained, a wonderful dog. A kind dog. My Corora Borealis Superstar.

 

Some Photographs

 

I met Cora right after she arrived at GRA Canada in mid-July 07. But it was too soon after Piper had joined us, and I misread her as dominant to Minnie, so I dithered. Here she is at the kennel in mid-August 07, waiting patiently for me to come to my senses. On September 3, I brought her home:

GRANevada01.jpg

 

When she arrived, she bonded immediately with fellow broodie and recent arrival Piper. Here they are (Piper, Cora) in October 07 doing a simul-bow to tell me that it was time for their lunchtime walk:

PPCWalkNow.jpg

 

About a month later she somehow injured her right hip, and her recovery took more than four months. In November 07, right after the injury, she enjoyed breakfast in bed:

CBreakInBed.jpg

 

Heading out for a walk in May 08 with her walking group, The Four More (from left, Piper, Tally, Cora, and Jessie). She wasn't often in the lead--she preferred to hang back and wait for one of the others to pee so she could cover it--but ahead or behind, with her group or alone, healthy or in terrible pain, she was always up for a walk:

C9BDay11.jpg

 

In May 08, with Edie's duck. This is the first decent portrait that I took of her. In retrospect, she looks a bit sad, but she wasn't:

CDuck03.jpg

 

Chasing Tally in the yard in September 08. She wouldn't take off on her own to do laps, but she loved to play, and was always up for a romp with one or more of her sisters. Before she broke her leg, she and Tally were the best of play buddies:

All8Are913.jpg

 

Back on the dog beds in the living room in March 09, about ten days after her broken femur was fixed:

CBrokenLegT12.jpg

 

In mid-June 09, wearing her non-slip socks so she could (finally) safely move around the house without direct supervision. The woe-is-me look is her way of telling me that she's doing a lovely sit and deserves a treat. She got one. Just days later she suffered the FCE, and was once again confined.

CStylish02.jpg

 

Finally free in the yard, enjoying a beautiful day, in July 09. This wasn't a typical pose, but it's the image that's been in my head ever since we said goodbye:

CBrokenLegF14.jpg

 

Playing with a toy in the living room, July 09. It was one of her favourite games, especially while waiting for breakfast. She'd bare her teeth, chomp the toy, stomp around. She was so gentle that she could never quite bring herself to make a toy squeak. This toy was her favourite during the last few months. I knew how she was feeling by whether and how long she played:

CFCEPlay02.jpg

 

In late July / early August she was briefly--oh so briefly--healthy enough to run a little while in the yard with me (August 09). I was so hoping that by late fall she would be able to play with her sisters:

CBrokenLegRuns03.jpg

 

On the same day in August 09, doing her sit-for-a-treat in the yard. About a week later, she was lame again:

CBrokenLegRuns05.jpg

 

On the last afternoon (October 09), awaiting delivery of the next bonbon (raw stewing beef):

CGoodbye01.jpg

 

I didn't think she was going to leave her crate that afternoon--she hadn't felt up to it in the previous couple of days--but I left the door open when I walked into the kitchen, and when I came back a moment later she was standing outside it, ears up, eyes eager. So I helped her across the hardwood to the dog beds, where she joined Jessie (out of frame to the right). Moments later, her old buddy Piper joined us and rested her head on Cora's hip; she'd moved it a bit by the time I got the photo:

CGoodbye02.jpg

 

A little later, Tally joined the group, and The Four More was together one last time (from left, Tally, Piper, Cora, and Jessie). They each shifted positions a couple of times; I picked this photo because they're all touching each other:

CGoodbye03.jpg

 

RL Nevada

Cora

Racer. Broodmom. Retiree.

May 10, 1999 - October 22, 2009

 

Godspeed Cora

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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Oh no! I am so sorry! Cora was beautiful! :grouphug:f_pink

 

Godspeed Cora :gh_run You were loved so very much.

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
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Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

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Guest tricolorhounds

My heart is breaking for you :brokenheart

... run free Cora, you leave a giant hole in your Momma heart :gh_run2

Edited by tricolorhounds
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Guest lynne893

Thank you for sharing Cora's story. She was so beautiful and obviously SUCH a good, sweet girl. I feel like I knew her. And she looked so very much like our Timber, who passed on September 14. It hurts very much. My heart goes out to you.

 

Godspeed, sweet Cora! Timber is with you up there. I hope you've found each other!!

 

Lynne

:gh_run:dogcookie:f_pink:grouphug

 

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Guest hannahmom

My Dear Sweet Cora,

 

I am so very sorry it was your time to say goodbye.

You are such a sweet little girlie, and cuddling with you is a memory I will cherish forever.

Your Momma loves you, and so do I

Godspeed sweetheart

 

My heart is so sad.

 

Tena

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Guest KennelMom

:( I'm so sorry.... :grouphug What a special girl Cora was, who had a wonderful life with you.

 

p.s. I don't think she looks sad in the pic with the stuffee....I think she looks beautiful and thoughtful :wub:

 

Godspeed, sweet Cora...run fast and free....

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I love the pictures of her bowing with Piper, contemplating life with a duck, and snoozing in the grass, and .... all of them, really. What a beauty she was. I'm sorry she didn't get to spend longer with you, sitting for treats and whiling the days away eating bonbons until next walk time.

 

Godspeed, gallant, beautiful Cora.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Your tribute was lovely and perfect, just like Cora. I am so very sorry.

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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What a happy and beautiful girl who was obviously so loved.

 

I am so sorry for your loss.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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