kaupunkigreyn elämää

greyhound Taran ja ihmisten seikkailuja arjessa

Friday, April 01, 2016

Goodbye, my dear humans

It's me, female human. I've been putting this post off for a week now.

A week ago her royal highness enjoyed a very, very good morning with her male human. They went out for a long walk: Tara chose to walk to a small forest nearby, and spent ages sniffing the wind. Back home she wolfed down her breakfast and happily retired to bed.

After a few minutes, she got back up and walked to the male human. She was in distress and soon her legs gave way.

The male human called a taxi, helped Tara to get up and took her to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Viikki  as an emergency patient. She was examined immediately. It turned out she had pericardial effusion: there was an abnormal accumulation of fluid within the pericardical (heart) sac and also in her abdomen. The exact cause for this was not diagnosed but the most common cause is cancer. Her heart was failing and she was in shock.

The male human did the only right thing and agreed on letting her go. He decided with the vet that waiting for me to arrive would not be in Tara's best interest. An hour and a half after her collapse she passed away.

I had kissed both Tara and the male human goodbye the same morning when I left for work. When Tara collapsed I was giving a book talk to a group of 3rd grade kids, breaking the ice with stories about my skinny granny dog. When the group left I chatted with my colleague, and she showed me an online story with funny images of greyhounds in trouble, making me laugh. When I finally left for my break I saw the messages and phone calls and immediately left for the Vet Hospital, knowing that it was already too late. I finally got there about 1,5 hours after she had passed away.

Tara had been tired the evening before. She skipped afternoon walkies and didn't have much of an appetite. However, she did finish her meal and we went for a small walk later the same everning, and Thursday morning she was skipping and dancing and jumping in joy, being her usual self. We had no reason to suspect anything out of the ordinary.

We are beside ourselves with grief. Her death was so unexpected and completely took us by surprise. She had her annual check-up less than two months ago and an ultrasound scan on her heart a month ago. Everything was fine. However, she was 12 years, 9 months, and 12 days old. Death does not come as a surprise for someone her age: it's something that's bound to happen, sooner or later. Being ok in February doesn't mean she'll live forever.

We had hoped that when it's her turn to go it will happen quickly. That's exactly what happened. Everything, everything that final day went perfectly, even if it felt like a nightmare. She was with her male human, who always has an easier schedule in the morning - she wasn't alone when her legs gave way. They got to the hospital quickly. He was with her till the end, and she was visited by her physiotherapist Kirsti whom she really liked. And I got to say my goodbye - we got amazing service at the hospital.

We lived with Tara for 10 years, 5 months, and 10 days. We consider ourselves very lucky, having learned from the master the most important lessons in life. Remember to eat well and sleep well! If in doubt, sleep! Never let the rabbits take over the neighborhood! If it has a long tail and a long snout, it's cute! Nothing's more important than your pack, especially when it's cold outside and you need someone to keep you warm! Live, love, enjoy good company!

Rabbit Rush Scarlett O'Hara (Tara) 12.6.2003 - 24.3.2016


Anonymous Auntie R. said...

I got the news the day it happened, and still, reading this, oh dear. I know the emptiness and strange silence in the home when the dog is gone, but also I know that all the memories and stories - ten years worth of them! - are slowly but surely filling the void. Also your fingertips will never forget the feel of her coat.

I'm proud to have known such a noble lady.

9:59 pm  
Blogger Greyhounds Aren't Grey said...

We are SO sorry to hear about your loss. We've been following Tara's story from afar and felt like we knew her just a little. Having lost my 12 year old male in January in a totally unexpected fashion, my heart aches for you both.

Here's hoping you can find some peace and comfort in the fact that she was not alone and you always did the best for her.

10:39 pm  

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