This morning started off just like any other day. The first issuing of the alarm summoned both Big Dog and Little Dog onto the bed for their morning cuddles. When I finally left that nice warm place, Big Dog accompanied me done the stairs. I noticed he was limping slightly but thought little of it. Greyhounds can be very wimpy dogs who cry as if they were dying with it all to be better two seconds later with a magic hand rub.
I let him out but as he came back in he tripped or slipped and he cried. He wouldn't stop for a while and touching seemed to make it worse. I carried him to the sofa, assuming that he had pulled a tendon or some such. I continued to get ready for work and went upstairs. He followed me up the stairs, falling over as he did so. Every stair a heart breaking effort. We stripped off our bed and helped him up and shut him in so Little Dog couldn't leap on him.
I was down all day at work but I fully expected to return home to find him all chirpy and bouncing around. He grinned at F when he returned and Little Dog snuggled up and gave him kisses in greeting. I returned a little later and his howls and whines let me know how desperate he was to get to me. but he couldn't.
Upstairs I realised that it was not just his leg troubling him but his shoulder to. It obviously hurt a lot and he didn't want to lift up his head. He was worse. Much worse. I hurridely took him to the Vet. Last thing on a Friday night.
Getting him off the bed and down the stairs was heart rending but I was consoled by the very spirited resistance he made to going through the Vet's front door. It took all of my strength to make him go in.
The Vet quickly became concerned and all the staff stayed late in order to X-ray his leg. He had a tumour which must have grown rapidly which had been pressing against his leg at the very top and weakened the bone. The fall had cracked his weakened bone.
We could have had his entire leg amputated but for such an aggressive cancer it seemed unlikely that this would save him. It seemed likely that it was already in his lungs due to the effect the opiates had on his breathing. He wouldn't have adjusted well to losing a leg for he was an old dog really.
I couldn't do it to him and he was never bought round. Even when sedated moving his leg made him cry. It seems these things can be very quick and virtually un-noticed. A human would have made a fuss but he never let on.
I love him dearly. He was the most devoted of dogs. No one will sleep with me when I go to bed before F. No one will grin at me when I return home. No one will get up with me in the mornings (Little Dog is very slow to wake up!). I will be able to move around the house without my loyal black ghost.
He had a helluva life. An ex-gypsy dog who was abused and dumped with multiple breaks, scars and a cigarette burn M on his side, he was a normal dog by the time he moved on. All signs of fear of men had retreated into the past. I already miss him so much. I returned home to find an inconsolable F and we clung to each other and cried together in the hall.
Rest in peace, beloved beast.
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