Friday, August 14, 2009

Rest In Peace GiGi

My heart was broken Tuesday.
It was broken like this once before, much worse. I think the fact that I'm on anti depressants tempered the terrible event.
I had to say goodbye to my sweet Greyhound girl GiGi Tuesday.
I knew the day would come, after all, dogs do not live forever; but I did not expect it to happen so suddenly. She was having more and more trouble standing up on her own, and would "flop" over frequently after drinking water or going outside. Tuesday morning she did not want to eat, and had diarrhea on top of it all. We put her in the kitchen for safekeeping while we went out for a few hours. Upon our return it looked like she had not moved from the spot she was in when we left. She was unable to get up, and even when my husband walked her with her sling, she had no interest in food or going outside.
This was not good.
After much soul searching, I called my vet who cared for her last year. She was kind enough to fit me in during her evening appointments. I did not want GiGi's quality of life to get worse while my vet was off on Wednesday. We did not think she was going to get better; after all, she was just 3 weeks from her 15th birthday. Greyhounds are not expected to live past age 14.
I had a few precious hours left with her before her 6 pm appointment. I lay down with her on her soft dog bed and whispered to her what a good girl she was and how much I was going to miss her. Her expression was exactly the same as my other Greyhound's the day I had her euthanized. She was ready to leave this world. I knew I was making the correct decision for her.

I held her paw from time to time as we drove to the hospital. My husband did not want to go inside with her, and as he walked away he was crying. This surprised and touched me, as I never knew the deep affection he had for our Greyhound girl.
My vet hugged me, and patted me as I cried and held GiGi as she took her last breath. Dr Smith cared for GiGi with dignity and love, and I would have had it no other way. My girl passed from this earth surrounded by those who loved her.

The house seems very empty now, devoid of all her dog beds and food bowls. I still have little Slander, but 13 lbs of Schnauzer is no replacement for a full size Greyhound.

I have shared my life with Greyhounds since 1995. This is the first time since that year that there is no needle nose close by, helping me eat my food, following me around the house, and going with me for long walks all year round.
I may not get another Greyhound, as I feel I would constantly be comparing the new one to the ones that have passed away. I have love to give, but don't know if I would physically be able to handle a young Greyhound (and one who would eventually grow older and have to be sling walked) with the way my back is now.
Perhaps it's best to open my home to another Schnauzer...small yet lovable. In any case, I'm mourning the loss of my sweet mischevious GiGi, and remembering the good things about her:
The time she ate an entire Entenmann's raspberry danish.
The time she escaped from the back yard and was found wandering the streets 15 heart stopping minutes later.
Visiting nursing homes with her as part of the Therapy Dog program.
Countless meet & greets to educate people to the plight of the racing Greyhound.

The memories go on and on...just like the love she created in me along with her sister Heidi Q.

They will never be forgotten.

1 comment:

Tara said...

RIP GiGi.. Hugs to you <3