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Cee Bar Easy (Piper)


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I knew she was going to break my heart.

 

I thought that I might lose her early to one of the health concerns she had when I adopted her. Instead, she had two fairly good years, and then endured a months-long decline from a mysterious ailment.

 

This is the story of Piper's retirement.

 

The Adoption

 

After Edie joined us in November 05, the family was complete. Bill of GRA Canada made it clear that he thought I was fortunate to have a nice stable group of four girls, and that I should not add to it. I thought he was probably right.

 

Before the GRA Canada Reunion Picnic in June 07, I vowed not to enter the kennel. I thought that the only way I'd end up with another dog would be if Bill handed me the leash.

 

He didn't do that. But when I saw him, the first words out of his mouth were, "Have you met Easy yet?" He told me that GRA volunteer (and GTer) Jiffer would introduce me to her. Bill didn't hand me the leash; he delegated that job to Jiffer.

 

Easy was an 8 year old brindle broodie who had arrived at GRA the previous month. I don't know if she every raced or not, but she'd had lots of puppies--more than are listed on greyhound-data, including a litter in the Spring of 07.

 

When Easy came out of the kennel building, she walked up to another woman who was standing nearby. I suggested that she take the leash instead. She refused.

 

So I took it. Easy, Betsy, Edie, and I went for a nice walk around the property. Easy was happy to meet people, fine with other dogs--even a little dachshund--and got along well with my other girls. Edie paced her, which is a sure sign that she likes a dog. But Easy didn't really respond to me.

 

After I gave Easy back to Jiffer, I found Bill and told him that there wasn't a connection. He nodded.

 

But on the way home, I thought that if Bill was sufficiently impressed by Easy to let me add to my group, it was probably worth meeting her again when there were fewer distractions.

 

The next day (Sunday June 17) I went back to GRA with the poodles. When I walked into the kennel with Bill, GRA volunteer (and GTer) DorasMom, and another adopter, Easy--whom Jiffer had assured me was a quiet dog--started bouncing around in her crate and yodelling. Perhaps she was responding to one of the others, but I was sure she was looking right at me.

 

Easy, Perry, Minnie, and I spent time in the turnout area. By the time Bill and the others came out, we were getting along famously. Bill asked whether I would adopt Easy. Despite the dislocation it would cause--I wouldn't be able to fit all the dogs in my car, I'd have to walk the girls in two shifts--I said yes. A bit later, Bill took Easy back into the kennel. She got several feet inside, then turned and trotted back out to me. I told Bill that if the deal hadn't already been sealed, that would have done it.

 

There were, though, a couple of potentially serious health problems: a large breast mass, and a very weak back end. The vet who spayed Easy removed the mass, and assured Bill that it was not something to worry about. The weakness, which Mama Caffie (GTer wmlcml6) had been good enough to exchange PMs about, was assessed by my vet when I brought Easy home; she concluded that it was probably due to inactivity, and might respond well to exercise. Both vets were correct.

 

The Retirement

 

I decided that having an Edie and an Easy would be a bit much, so I renamed Easy Piper. The morning that Piper spent at the vet clinic for a bath proved that my choice was apt: when she was in the kennel, she wailed.

 

Her previous name was appropriate too: she was very Easy. She may have been almost 8 1/2 when she came home, but she adapted seamlessly. She understood all about pottying, enjoyed her walks, accepted crating, discovered toys in a big way, realized (eventually) that the cats were not errant puppies, and basically fit in perfectly.

 

In fact, she was a joy.

 

Sometimes it takes a while for me to build a bond with a dog. With Piper, it was immediate, total, and very strong. We understood each other. We were connected.

 

She convinced me that all of the wonderful things I'd read about broodmoms were true. Having smashed the four-dog restriction, she paved the way for three more additions in a very few months. And, due to the characteristics she shared with Betsy and Edie, she established the running joke / dog-screening filter that I would only adopt white-faced fuzzy-butted brindle females born in the year between my oldest (Perry) and youngest (Edie).

 

She was incredibly smart--easily the smartest hound in the house. She learned new things quickly, with very few repetitions. Before the end of Grade 1, she had learned most of the Grade 3 skills (random sits and downs, signals, and so on) just noodling around on late night trips back from the potty area, which was then at the back of the yard. She even taught me a trick: when I said "Punch", she'd jump up and tap my left shoulder with her paw. The instructors often didn't see how well she was doing because she tended to be quite tense at school, but she knew the material.

 

She wasn't often tense at home, but she did sometimes get quite excited: one of her many nicknames was Hyper Piper. Her favourite trick when she was wound up was to race through the main floor of my small house. I'd worry that she'd bump into something or slip on one of the floors, so--contrary to what a lot of dog trainers would recommend--I'd grab her in a hug. Very soon, her breathing would slow and her muscles would relax, and I could let her go.

 

She loved toys. She'd make the noisy ones squeak like crazy, and shake any and all vigorously. She'd often arrive at the door for walks or potty trips with a toy. She also loved a good chew: she'd root through the bone box for a suitable object, and drop into a sphinx for a short enthusiastic chomping session.

 

She enjoyed her walks immensely. She tended to walk beside me with her head up and ears back. Especially in the winter, when she was wearing her black coat, she made me think of a ship of state, or the Queen of the Nile. She loved meeting other people and dogs. She was always friendly and polite.

 

She loved to run. All I had to do was let her loose in the main yard, and she'd be off. She only had one speed: full tilt. She didn't need a play buddy. If one of the others chased her, she was accepting until they got too close, and then she'd wheel around and tell them off. But whether she'd been a racer or not, she'd clearly done enough running to cause arthritis in both shoulders, and she often jarred one or other hard enough to put herself on the injured list.

 

Other than the bursts of play, she was calm and quiet in the house. She was quite happy to share a bed and frequently used one of the others as a pillow.

 

When she first came home, she tended to get her front feet up on chairs and other objects. But she never tried the chesterfield. Nor was she prone to ETS. She did roach, but usually only in the privacy of her crate. It was a long long time before decided she didn't have to roll out of a roach when she heard me approaching.

 

She wasn't a velcro dog, but she did like to be within sight of me if I settled in one spot. She was usually with me when I was in my office. At night, when I made my own dinner, she'd be on the beds in the dining/crate room so that she could watch me.

 

She loved attention. When I was standing, she'd rest her lower jaw on my belly, and gaze at me with those big eyes as I rubbed her ears. If I happened be on the floor near her, she'd rest her head on me. She was quite happy to have me on the dog beds. The second last afternoon, I found a spot behind her and she rested her head on my arm and snuggled into me.

 

She'd accept almost everything that had to be done--from brushing teeth to stitching up a cut foot--without complaint.

 

She was a sweet, smart, happy, playful, tolerant girl. She was a joy.

 

The Slow Torturous Decline

 

In mid September, she started drinking and peeing too much. She was prone to UTI's, so I got some of her usual antibiotic. It didn't work. We tried a second; it made her sick. We reduced the dosage and nursed her through. The symptoms abated, she finished the drugs, and she started to recover.

 

Just days later the symptoms recurred. Again, the usual antibiotic didn't work. The second (a different second) made her sick. A drug she was given for gas pains made her back legs tremble. After the UTI symptoms had been under control for several days, we pulled her off all of the drugs in the hope that some of the other symptoms would go away.

 

For the most part, they did. But she never really regained her appetite, no matter how special the meals. Nor did she regain all of the weight, even when she ate large amounts.

 

There were other crises. After each, she would start to recover, but never really manage to make it back to where she had been before the latest incident.

 

We did blood work, x-rays, various stool tests...nothing showed up.

 

She was tentatively diagnosed as having IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).

 

At the end of December, she had a bout of HGE (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis). We repeated the blood work and discovered that she had also developed PLE (protein losing enteropathy), so what little she ate was not staying with her.

 

More drugs. Higher dosages. New special treats. Nothing worked.

 

Either the IBD was far worse than we had thought, or she had intestinal cancer. We couldn't scope her to reach a definitive diagnosis because she was too sick to endure the preparation and surgery.

 

Finally she became so thin and so weak that it was time to say goodbye.

 

After I left, two of the vets did an external examination, and found yellow skin--a fairly clear indication that she'd had intestinal cancer and it had spread to her liver.

 

Now my Stripey Pipey is gone. Much too young. After much too short a retirement. And after much too much suffering.

 

I knew she was going to break my heart.

 

The Photographs

 

She quickly learned how to share the beds, in July 07 with Betsy (left) and Edie (right):

ExcuseMe02.jpg

 

She was fine even when things got more crowded. From left, Edie, Jessie, Piper, Tally, Cora (August 08):

BrindleBuddies201.jpg

 

When Cora arrived in September 07, she and Piper bonded immediately. Here are Piper and Cora in April 09, about a month after Cora's broken leg was repaired. Now both my beautiful broodies are gone:

CBrokenLegS03.jpg

 

She learned how to sit, as she demonstrated after her Grade 2 graduation in January 08:

PPGrade206.jpg

 

And in the yard September 08. Olé!

All8Are909.jpg

 

She had wonderful ears--long, soft, and expressive. Here she is listening to a video of the Mudd puppies in September 08:

PPMuddPuppies01.jpg

 

She loved her toys. She quickly de-honked the centre of this jack, but the ends still squeaked (March 09):

PPJack01.jpg

 

She loved loved loved to run. Here she is racing up the hill in February 09. This photo is January 3 in the 2010 GreyTalk calendar:

PP10BDay06.jpg

 

After a romp, she invariably ended up on the deck, smiling and waving her tail (February 09):

PP10BDay09.jpg

 

Now some portraits.

 

The first two are from the same day in February 09 as the previous two photos:

PP10BDay07.jpg

 

PP10BDay08.jpg

 

With Edie's duck in August 07:

PPDuck03.jpg

 

Her sweet senior face (December 08):

SeniorFaces05.jpg

 

Contemplating life (September 07):

All6Are804.jpg

 

The last photo, taken less than three hours before I said goodbye (January 10). She was so very very sick:

PPGoodbye.jpg

 

 

Cee Bar Easy

Piper

Racer? Broodmom. Retiree.

02/08/99 - 01/13/10

 

Godspeed Piper

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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You gave her a wonderful life and I'm sure she knew how loved she was.

 

Godspeed Piper, may you run free with the wind at the Bridge.

blackgreys5.jpg

, Phoenix, Okie, Casey, and Ellie the Galga; with Aggie, Alexa, Bear,Cody, Gianni V., Missy B, Babette, Bernice, and BooBoo at the Bridge

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Oh no, I'm so sorry. You've had so much loss. Piper was a real sweetie who will be missed. flowers_red.gif

siggy_robinw_tbqslg.jpg
Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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What a beautifully written tribute to a beautiful girl. I'm so sorry she had to leave.

 

God speed Piper, knowing how very much you are loved and will be so missed.

Watch over your mom who is left behind with a broken heart.

Wait for her

Claudia-noo-siggie.jpg

Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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Bill must have known exactly where she belonged.

 

So beautiful, and gone much much too soon.

 

Godspeed, Stripey Pipey.

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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I'm so sorry for your loss. Piper was a beautiful girl & lived a lifetime of love with you. Godspeed Piper! f_yellow

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Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

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Guest greytbookert

What a wonderful tribute for an equally beautiful stripey dog. Run free pretty lady.

 

When I looked a few of her pictures, she looked very much like my bridge boy T. The resemblance is striking. I'm so sorry she was taken from you too soon!

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Oh my goodness. My heart is breaking for you. weep.gif What a beautiful and special tribute which I know can not even begin to hint at what a lovely lady she was. Love and specialness just radiate from the wonderful photos. What a girl. My deepest sympathy.grouphug.gif

flowers_red.gifghrun.gifflowers_pink.gif Dearest Piper, run free, fast, healthy and happy. You are loved and missed forever.

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Guest jackjack

Oh Suzanne! I'm shocked to read this. Rest assured, Piper knew she was loved, and she was exceptionally lucky to have found her way to you. RIP, sweetie. f_yellow

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Your tribute was beautiful for your beautiful girl. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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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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Oh my goodness. My heart is breaking for you. weep.gif What a beautiful and special tribute which I know can not even begin to hint at what a lovely lady she was. Love and specialness just radiate from the wonderful photos. What a girl. My deepest sympathy.grouphug.gif

flowers_red.gifghrun.gifflowers_pink.gif Dearest Piper, run free, fast, healthy and happy. You are loved and missed forever.

 

So very sorry for you & Iknow that doesnt begin to cover how sad this is for you.

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Caroline, Mom to Daphne (49B-50215) and Penny (41D-55779)
Remembering Bridge Angels Margo and Sabrina

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Beautiful tribute for a beautiful lady.

 

I am so sorry.

 

 

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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Wow, she was such a beautiful girl, inside and out. I am so sorry for your loss, but so happy for you that you had the time with her that you did.

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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A very beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. I am sorry she is gone.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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