Monday, November 14, 2011

Round 5 and the passing of a Champion

Today marked the Beginning of round 5. A combination of several things --including an extra week off, potassium supplements and Chinese medicine -- all worked together to bring my neutrophils back up from 700 to 1500, which is a normal range. Likewise, my red blood cells are only slightly low.
I'm feeling the usual: tired and slightly nauseated. It's manageable, and experience tells me that Wednesday (when the IV steroid wears off) will be a low day emotionally and physically. Blah, blah blah. Nothing new there.


Perhaps the biggest news in the past few weeks is that Kaia, my 10 year old retired racing greyhound, finally succumbed to her apparent kidney failure. The vet and I did everything possible, plugging her full of pills and IV fluids for nearly 2 weeks in an attempt to restart her kidneys. When she stopped eating and drinking altogether, and the pain started in, I knew then -- as she had clearly known for a few days -- that it was time.

She was a huge part of my life at a time when I spend a lot of time at home, and she was a great source of happiness to me in general.

All of the dogs I've had are as different as snowflakes, and though it would be tempting to say so, it would be unfair to the other 6 greyhounds I've had over the years to say that Kaia was the best. They were all the best -- in different ways. Kaia was the best chemo/cancer companion animal that a person could wish for, and in that way she was the absolute best dog I could have had at this time in my life. She was always patient, kind, empathic and understanding. Maybe these are skills she learned from raising 16 puppies, I don't know.

To that end, I've started to track down info on her 16 pups. Some are still racing today, some have already retired or never raced (and been adopted into homes locally) and some may be due for retirement soon. I'm keeping my eye out. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

While I know this won't bring her back, I do know that Kaia had an amazing personality. I feel that chances are good that some portion of it lives on in her kids.

And some race results: she had hardly any ego for such a successful racer: