Saturday, February 12, 2011


Today we had it in spades - all because of one little soul.

We have been fighting the battle for the last year when the original diagnosis was made after Trouble was exhibiting a slight limp in her left front. We thought she had badly bruised or perhaps cracked her shoulder. Our vet didn't like the x-ray where there was some shadowing, so they suggested a specialist. After the fiasco we had been through with the orthopedist previously recommended with Arthur, we opted to find another and received a recommendation from a friend.

After new x-rays, he diagnosed the possibility of osteosarcoma in her left scapula - a biopsy confirmed it. He suggested trying a scapulectomy and that she would be able to once again utilize her front leg after the muscles and connective tissue adjusted and strengthened. Unfortunately not long after she had healed from  the surgery, I noticed that the top of the forearm, where it met with the scapula, was slightly enlarged. A lump also appeared where the top of the scapula once was - and it was very painful. Another appointment and another surgery scheduled - the rest of the limb was removed, as was the offending lump.

A couple days post-surgery, the stitches began to split and then it opened up completely. There just wasn't enough good skin to keep it closed - so it was cleaning and wrapping with wet/dry bandages. Trouble took to the routine easily - as soon as we put a towel on the bed, she would jump up and stand on it while we worked on her. She would wag her tail the entire time - and then she would get a treat of some special food.  She healed much quicker than I expected and we thought we could relax for a while. That was in July.

About a month after she healed...the lump reappeared. It was not as aggressive nor was it very painful. We could touch it without her making a sound where previously she would fuss and cry. So we kept an eye on her and she went about her normal business as if nothing had changed and being on three legs didn't hinder her in the slightest. She could always make us smile, but it was touched with sadness, because we knew that the cancer was not going to let her stay as long as we wanted (as if it's ever long enough).

Her remaining front leg began to thicken ever so slightly - hardly noticeable at first. Then the growth appeared on her muzzle - it was spreading. Then her back legs began to thicken as well and we knew it was getting closer and closer. Except for Trouble's outlook - she still was happy go lucky, constantly wagging her  tail - and keeping Victor to the schedule of giving her her special food just before bedtime. She was downright insistent on it. And the lump where her scapula used to be continued to grow.

It became obvious that no matter how much she ate, it was no longer feeding her body - it was feeding the cancer - and she began to lose weight. The last week she dropped down to nothing. We had always used the measure of marking the time of a "decision" to be when a dog quit eating or lost the shine in its eyes where you could see they could try no longer. I looked at her and just knew there was no way that the rimadyl or tramadol was helping her any longer - yet she kept on, her behavior never changing, and still eating regularly.

I went ahead and called the clinic for a Saturday appointment so Victor could be there too. This was a different clinic than we usually use for the dogs, although they come out for the horses. The clinic was  crowded so we left her sleeping in the van for a bit while the clinic cleared out of its appointments. When it was calmer we brought her in and they put us in a room immediately.

What happened will be with me forever as an example of what a pure soul little Trouble (who was anything BUT trouble in her lifetime) truly was. Her front leg was so hardened that we thought being able to administer the shot would not be possible, so they were going to try a vein in her neck. The vet was so gentle with her and talked to her, and they began to give her the injection, but it ended up that the vein collapsed in the process. We watched her but it was obvious that she had not received near enough. She lifted her head and was looking up at the vet, and wagged her tail while he held her head in both hands and stroked her face. The assistant meanwhile had gotten some more of the solution and they quickly found an outside vein in her rear leg. And she was gone. Loving and friendly to the very end. And fearless.

We are heartbroken - she fought so long and never complained. It was almost like she did not want us to worry more.

In her remembrance, here is a link to a poem I found years ago:

Rest in peace, free of pain, in our hearts forever.

silken windhound - Trouble
Rarities BIS Gryffyn's Aeyrie Gypsy Road
3/16/2005 - 2/12/2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ending 2010 on a High Note

December 2011 saw two Gryffyns complete the requirements for their AKC conformation championships!

First was Deckard, who took Winners Dog (and 1 Best of Winners) both days of the Conroe Kennel Club's show cluster. His finishing win was bestowed by breeder/judge Pat Murphy, Oaklara Borzoi. What a greay way to wrap up his show career (he hates showing, so this is it for him)!

Ch. Gryffyn's Aeyrie Blade Runner

Our second champion of the month is miss Pumpkin. This Solo/Duri daughter has blossomed into a lovely little lady and she loves to show off (must get that from Dad)! She completed her championship at the Dallas shows, and some of her friends from the local performance club saw her - not used to seeing her all dolled-up and overgroomed! They usually see her in her normal "tomboy state."

Ch. Gryffyn's Aeyrie Incendio, SC