Friday, November 17, 2006

Goodbye Teresa

I noticed the mass growing on Teresa’s chest in October. We decided not to pursue treatment namely because Teresa panics and stresses during medical procedures and has little tolerance for pain. Instead, we made the most of the time we had left. Teresa's favorite thing in the world was to hike trails. Even as a senior on shaky legs, she often could out walk everyone. Concerned that our time was growing short, Stephen and I cleared our calendars on a recent Saturday and took Teresa to Cloudland Canyon for a 5-6 mile hike. It was perfect and she loved every minute of it. The tumor continued to grow and we continued to appreciate our time and hiked the local trails when we could. By our last hike at Red Top Mountain, I noticed a definite drop in her speed and endurance. Time was growing short.

Teresa was a funny greyhound. Black with a white star on her chest, she maintained her youthful look and only developed a little bit of white hair on her face in the later years..... very unusual for a black greyhound. She also had a broken tail. The last quarter of it could bend in directions a greyhound tail just shouldn’t bend. She did not come that way, but we never were able to surmise what happened. She was high strung and restless much of the time. She often paced from room to room when everyone else was sacked out. She was usually unsatisfied and always wanting something else. She did best with no routine at all and she seemed to like being kept on her toes. For a boney dog, she was very cuddlely. She was an excellent spooner and would curl up right next to you. She did not play with toys, but loved to retrieve a plastic dumbbell........... but only a few times. Teresa never raced and was rescued with a broken leg at 4 months. From what we can piece together, I believe she was born in 1994.

Unfortunately, Stephen and I were in Costa Rica when Teresa passed away. We had prepared ourselves, Mom and Dad, and our vet, but in the end you just cannot fully prepare for it. I left believing that she would still be hanging in there when we returned. Never an easy decision, but no doubt harder when making the decision for someone else. Mom and Dad took good care of Teresa during her last week. When the time came, Mom was able to take her to Diane Castle and they were able to carry out my wishes. I had asked that she be put to sleep in the van or outside. I did not want her to have to walk into the hospital.

I am sure that Teresa is busy hiking endless trails in perfect weather. I think of her during every thunderstorm and I am glad that she does not have to suffer through them anymore.