Opened my email this morning and got sucker punched. I knew it was coming but somehow put it out of my mind. Not hard to believe. I set an annual alert in my Google calendar to remind me of the passing of my greyhound Oliver. One year ago today, I made the toughest decision of my life, to allow him to pass with dignity and grace.
We got him in early 2004. He failed off the track, and never ran a race. We liked to think that he was too smart to race. All greyhounds have issues. They spend their youths only in the company of other greyhounds, and live life in kenels. It is hard, and it definitely affects them.
Oliver had needs. He was afraid of most men, but I was the immediate exception, He glommed on to me, and really was my biggest fan. He would mope when I would leave on a business trip. He would be bounce all over when I came home. He was really a super companion.
As a greyhound, he loved to run. It was in his blood, and he would turn it loose. It was a thing of beauty.
Then, one day, he pulled up lame. I thought nothing of it at the time. He had over exerted him self a lot of times, and always snapped out of it. This time was different. Over a period of three weeks, he got progressively worse. We tried metacam (an NSAID), and other pain medications. We tested for Valley Fever. We had x-rays done. THe hope being that he had a bone chip, or torn cartilege, or some other explanation.
Alas, that wasn’t the case. Greyhounds are highly susceptible to osteo sarcoma. It is a hell of a disease, and really hard on the dogs. No really good treatment besides amputation, and chemo therapy. The was never an issue, but research showed that the prognoses even with this aggressive treatment is poor.
On his last night, He was up, restless and whimpering all night. I laid by his side, and came to the realization that it was time to end his suffering. Anything else would be selfish.
I guess that since this hurts me so to write (I am blubbering and crying like a baby) it means that he touched me in a very deep and special way. I miss him terribly, and will probably always miss him.
God speed Oliver, keep chasing those bunnies in doggie heaven. I miss you.