XTRAWLD Posted August 2, 2015 Share Posted August 2, 2015 (edited) Forgive me for the long tribute. This will likely be the only place I will chronicle the most vivid memories of my 10 years of doggership, and I’ve made it as compact as possible. When we got our first house, we got Kasey shortly after. It had a fabulous yard, actually that was pretty much the only thing that was great about the house! Boy, did he ever tear up the grass. He didn’t do circular zoomies, rather he would a straight line rush to one end, turn on a dime and rush back. One turn on a dime occasion resulted in a busted nail. Took him to the vet who gave it a big yank without so much as a small controlled inner yelp from him. We realized then that he was an extremely tough-as-nails greyhound. Stoic doesn’t really describe it. He just seemed to have an incredibly high pain tolerance. He would often talk to squirrels out there, that would just cackle at him high in the trees because he was out there having fun. He stood at the base of the tree and would look up wondering what their problem was, he was just a grey loving life, and doing what he was born to do – run. He would signal his intention about wanting to go outside by “tinking” the doorhandle with his nose. After doing his thing and letting him back in, he would run across the kitchen floor, jump into the living room and completely full out fly onto the carpet with an incredible slide and swoop with the stupidest grin on his face aimed at whoever was sitting in the room to announce that he did his duty outside and that he was now inside, “Look at me!” Kasey wasn’t allowed on furniture, but we did allow him on our bed after a year of “breaking him in”. He would lay between us every night, NEEDING to touch one of us in some way throughout the night. His back, his feet, his butt. Countless times I was booted from the bed, or had to orient myself so my head was where my feet should have been, just so this king roacher would be comfortable…..he was also a brick house to move when he didn’t want to move, and at 3am it was easier for me to just move. Also at that house, my parents came for a visit, and my dad decided to nap on our bed. A few hours later, we realized that Kasey had disappeared. Where was he? You guessed it, snuggled up with my dad, breathing into his ear. What made this so funny? Never have my parents allowed a dog to sleep with them. I think my dad secretly enjoyed this cuddling session and would often talk about it as a fond memory. Kasey would never pass up a good nap with a person. If I fell asleep on the couch, he would be on his bed a foot beside me – he had to absolutely be in the same room, and that part wasn’t necessarily a nap thing. Gregarious and wanting constant company. If one of us left for more than 2 minutes, you knew he would be trotting to find us and hang out. If I was moving from room to room, and took too long, he’d get up and follow….and wait to see if I would settle somewhere always in the way too…..never a straight line walk in the house, nope. He geocached and hiked with us like it was nobody’s business. I remember very vividly walking a Bruce Trail with GPS in hand and as we got close, realized it was in a cave, across a gap in some rocks. Well there was just no way Kasey could go to the other side, so off hubby went, jumped the gap and went down some rocks looking for it. Because coordinates could be off in the thicker woods, I tried to look for it on “this” side of the gap. To do so, I tied Kasey to a nearby tree and told him to stay. And he did and was within eyesight of me. I moved about 10-15 feet searching between rocks for the cache, glancing up every few minutes to check on the white one. There he stood, awaiting our return, just staring at mom and dad way over there looking under rocks for some reason and not including him. I went a little deeper into the rockery, and after inspecting the area backed out of the space and took a glance at Kasey. He had figured out how to get the leash taut and said, “to hell with this holding me back” had begun to chew his way through the leash. We hurled bark at him from a distance to get him to stop until we could get closer. He ignored our futile attempts at distraction. As I was laughing, I bounded over and got him to stop, untied him from the tree and brought him a little closer to an area to keep looking. As long as he was by one of our sides, he could help us to look, but he couldn’t help from way over there I guess was his thinking. I still have that gnawed up leash…..he thankfully never made it all the way through. He did however refuse to cross certain structures, and always when there really was no alternative. A grated bridge or a ladder type turnstile, he was carried up and over. The champion hiker, just when you’d think he was done for the day, we’d stop to grab a quick cache on the side of the road and he’d be up ready to go again. He’d walk to the end of the earth with us, and for us. Born for it. He hated water, but made him a part of our adventures. Naturally, we put a lifejacket on him and put him in a boat. We lowered him into Georgian Bay near Beckwith Island and joined him in the water. We called him “torpedo in the water.” There was no attempt to move, he would list and we would hold him by the handle of the life jacket to keep him upright, tail straight out the back like a little rudder. It helped to cool him off on that summer day, but I think he hated us for the rest of that weekend. It’s ok, I call that the one time I’ve gotten back at him for being a pain in the butt for all the years I’ve had him. Our road trips involved him sticking his head out the windows, but he REALLY loved sticking his head out the sunroof. We took him camping, and more geocaching that really took us everywhere. While he was primarily an Ontario hound, we did make it into Quebec, where he got so excited he stood for four hours, and decided he couldn’t contain himself and pooped in the car. We could not pull over fast enough for him to exit and vacate the rest of his system on the side of a country road. After that, he laid down for most of the trip, but finally that trip was one that did him in. This greyhound that would never relax, was now finally spent 15 hours later. Quick excerpts include encountering fleas, which made me go into sheer panic throughout the house; one day I came home and he was so excited he smashed into a glass table, cutting himself very badly and bleeding all over the foyer of the house; he never really escaped the house much, except one time where he ran down along the sidewalk to his favourite spot to pee. I guess he just really had to go! We took him to a charity event (Relay for Life), countless Greyhound events and Meet and Greets. He is such a social butterfly, and so very good with people. We also took him to a palliative care unit to visit an ailing family member. It took us about 15 minutes to get to her room however, since everyone wanted to stop and pet Kasey. Talk to him, to us, being a great ambassadog. After we sold that house we lived with my parents for a short time, and that became his second home. Whenever we went to visit them, he fit right in and was very happy there. Unfortunately, that move triggered a severe allergic problem that would haunt him the rest of his life. I cannot tell you how much knowledge I amassed during this time. Food trials, meds, blood work (right from the jugular), we are honourary vets! The things we do right? He was our ring bearer at our wedding and the one who helped propose as well. My marriage became a separation a little over a year ago, and what was the most heartbreaking was that Kasey would go on to live his most senior years without mom AND dad together. The split was amicable and while Kasey and Ryder both lived here permanently, they often went to visit their dad at his place, usually on weekends. Over the past winter, I noticed Kasey really changing. He’d fall in the house, just out of nowhere seemingly, his back legs not being able to hold his weight and he’d just skid across the floor. He was diagnosed with Lumbosacral Stenosis, essentially nerve compression in his spine, preventing the signal from going to his back legs to do what he wants them to do. His back legs would bend and he would just start to sink. We controlled this as much as possible by using a combination of gabapentin and prednisone. Just recently I cut his dose of pred to try to get him on Metacam, hoping to help with the LS. Also discovered a lump on his bum, got it aspirated, got it biopsied in May. It came back as Intramuscular Hermangiosarcoma. Floored, we tried what we could. Did an ultrasound first to determine if it spread, and after getting news it didn't (elation by the way) opted for some chemo to get rid of it. Chances were good that we could, since this apparently responds well to chemo. What a tough road. This dog is so strong and brave. He knew we were there to help him, and we laid down with him through all the IV rounds of chemo, and I picked up the pieces at home as we went through incredible rollercoasters of physical well being. He struggled to get up one night resulting in a torn dew claw right at the base. Just pile on as much troubles as we can, because we can get through all of this right? He had a full wellness check just last week, and bloodwork couldn't be more perfect. On paper he was stellar, in person he was really an old 12.5 year old dog with multiple issues. Cancer thread here - http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/313901-and-so-it-begins/ This long weekend, we agreed his dad would take them both up to Wasaga Beach, where he has family there. I figured with all this cancer and LS going on, and not knowing how much longer he has, he should have some more experiences. Ryder could also use the attention to, and as his primary caregiver really I also needed a bit of a break. It was there in the evening that the swollen lower leg was discovered. Thinking he maybe just banged himself, or overexertion, it was iced over-night with limited results. Hubby made the call to take him to the vet up there earlier this morning, where he was told the tumour was cutting off circulation to his lower leg and it continued to swell. The dog that would walk forever and a day, no longer couldn’t. A greyhound born to run, he could barely move a foot. Boy he tried, he never picked the bad leg up to hop on three legs….he just dragged it around as an anchor. The leg really looked like it belonged on another animal, it was husky like, very big, very furry. His regular vet closed at 2pm and wouldn’t re-open until Tuesday since it’s the long weekend. I felt that I still wasn’t ready and it was way too rushed for a dog I had been waiting on hand and foot for months, well years!. Kasey got back home around 1pm and I was able to see his condition first hand, and knew it was bad. We went for a short walk, and hubby and I chatted. Mom and Dad would be together for him, right till the end. I found a very nice mobile vet that agreed to come by later in the evening. I loaded him up on meds to make him comfortable until the vet would show up, chasing all those pills down with tasty cheese - his favourite being the dairy dog that he is. Kasey got a pound of raw hamburger which he licked and ate with vigour, and washed it down with some Ensure. He got pizza and pizza bones, and actually argued with us as we asked him to sit before he could get some. He got up a few times to just walk around the house, have a drink, but restless as had been the case lately. We let him look and sniff and survey until he laid down again. We chatted about all these memories, and I typed them out, all the while Kasey lightly panting in the background and dozing off now and again. I peered over my screen to see his chest heave with each breath. After he passed, we both swear we could still see those heaves. The vet checked one more time, and ensured us he was gone. Now I peer over my screen to just an empty bed. I’m certain he was put on this earth to teach us something, well teach us everything he possibly could about greyhounds in his white ticked red package. Grateful and thankful for all the moments, good and bad. His racing name is Goodbye Kasey, and I uttered that into his ear for the last time he was able to hear me, and repeated “you’re a good boy” the whole time, until that chest no longer heaved. My last pic of him just as the vet pulled up. May you run again completely pain free with nothing to hold you back anymore. One day, we shall meet again. Edited August 2, 2015 by XTRAWLD Quote Proudly owned by:10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 201012.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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