Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Regrets

On October 10th, 2007, Katie suffered a neurological injury.  It is well documented on this blog and you can find the posts by clicking here - Katie Neurological.  It was thought to be a Fibrocartilaginous Embolic Myelopathy (FCE), but after speaking with Dr. Cuoto a few years later I learned it was probably a blood clot.
I am really proud of Katie and her rehab.  We tackled it like every other goal we had set out to achieve and even had fun doing it.  Katie's rehab is also well documented on this blog and you can find those posts by clicking here - Katie Rehab.
My biggest concern in Katie's last year was whether or not I was asking her to do too much.  The exercises and activity were important to maintaining strength, but they also could contribute to arthritis, pain, and ultimately breakdown.  She also continued to run and spin in the backyard.  At times, I felt I should stop her as the risk of injury was a concern.  Her toes were especially problematic and I feared that she would eventually be in too much pain.  I felt there was a great responsibility in deciding when it would be time to let her go due to something not life threatening.  I did not want to have to decide that. 
If there is such a thing as the right time, the bone cancer came at the right time.  Katie had been having some good and bad days.  Since the summertime, I had eliminated some of the exercises we used to do as I felt they were becoming too challenging.  She still felt sound enough to play and spin.  In fact, the video below was taken just ten days before I put her to sleep (it was taken with a phone so I cannot edit otherwise I would have cut out her peeing :-).
Katie was definitely deteriorating, but it makes me smile to know that she was still feeling sound enough to play.  Obviously, the amount of rehab, exercise, and activity kept her strong and energetic enough to make it to her cancer diagnosis.  I am glad I never stopped her from playing as she never suffered any injuries from it.  No regrets.  We did just the right amount of everything. 
The cancer diagnosis was 100% black and white.  There was no treatment in her case.  The unbearable pain arrived overnight.  There was no decision to make.  It just had to be done.  It is one of the few times I feel no guilt.  I was not too early nor too late.  The perfect greyhound even exits perfectly.
After Katie passed away, my friend Kathy sent Stephen and I wind chimes in memory of Katie.  To say that we LOVE them is an understatement.  WE LOVE THEM!  They make us feel like Katie is still spinning in the backyard when we hear them.  Thank you so much, Kathy!
That concludes my time on earth with Katie.  Thank you for letting me rehash her old stories.  I cannot believe that more than three months has already flown by.  The other day I heard someone say that Katie died last year.... no she didn't.  It was just the other.... oh, yes, I guess it was last year.  Goodbye, Katie.  See you later.

14 comments:

houndstooth said...

Katie really was a beauty! Looking at some of what you've said about her neurological issues makes me wonder a bit if that could have been what we were dealing with with Treat. I think Katie really did lead a charmed life with you, doing everything that she really enjoyed and not worrying about a thing!

Crystal said...

Oh, this entry brought tears to my eyes.

Granted Wishes Greyhounds said...

RIP, Super Star. Katie, you really were perfect. Feel free to pass some of your talents, skills, and perfect-ness to my hounds from Dog Heaven.

This is so touching, Jen. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope my hounds can have such an obvious time as well. I am terrified of making such a call.

Mad Red Hare said...

She was truly a beautiful soul and the best part was the you had the good fortune to be loved by her! Seeing this reminded me about losing my Dixie three months ago. Although I really don't need a reminder, I think about it every day. I lost my sweet girl to Osteo as well. At least we have our memories!

Hiking Hounds said...

The chimes are beautiful! Bone cancer seems to show up fast in some dogs. It's great that she was so full of happiness to the end.

Katie said...

Katie was such an amazing dog in so many ways and I feel so lucky to have been able to share in her story, even if just a little bit.

Anonymous said...

I love reading about Katie. She looked like such a sweetie.

Andreja said...

Your story about Katie is very touching. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I have to say, I love her spinning. She must really have loved life to play like that despite her advanced years and pain.

Muttsandaklutz said...

It has been a pleasure getting to know your girl better. What a blessing, if it may be considered, that there was no agonizing decision to be made at the end of her journey. Those wind chimes are just beautiful -- what a thoughtful gift and lovely way to be reminded of her spirit.

Michelle said...

Tears in my eyes. Goodbye sweet Katie, Godspeed.

Sam said...

Katie really enjoyed life and got the most out of it! She was lucky to have you!

RIP, Katie!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks for all the kind comments.

Kathy said...

I can't believe it's already been going on 4 months. She was and always be a very special girl. I feel blessed to have met her, and watched her play and interact with Jen. Katie loved Jen intensely. There's no doubt about that.

I am so glad the chimes have brought you and Stephen joy in your memories of her. I think the world of you and your special hounds, my dear friend.

IHeartDogs said...

Beautiful... Your love and devotion to Katie and her great talent and beauty... So complete and amazing.
<3
Katie will always be with you...