I remember the day I saw her running along the median strip of I-75 like it was yesterday. Luckily I was able to get to her before she ran into the highway where cars were speeding by at 70+ MPH. When I stopped and got out of the car, she came to me immediately. From that moment on, she was always within a few feet of me so that I was never out of her sight.|
She had a misshapen jaw that caused the fang on her right side to stick outside her jaw. This led to her nickname of gooney.
She almost immediately bonded with Nikki (She has a site here) our boxer. Nikki taught her to pull coconuts from the lake and shred them, something she continued to do long after Nikki crossed over the bridge. One day a fisherman in a paddle boat approached the shore casting his line toward her. That was all it took to foster her lifelong hatred of boats. It didn't matter where the boat was on the lake, if she could see it, she barked at it as she waded chest deep into the water. Many a fisherman quickly paddled away from the shore as she waded in after them.
She loved people and dogs. She would run up and down along the fence with the dog in the next yard. When the other dog tired of the game and walked away, she would bark desperately after her trying to get her back.
One day we were watching television when an ad for Vonage came on with its "woo hoo" music. Something about that music got her fired up. She would run around the room, jump up on the sofa, roll around and begin to rough house with anyone in the room. She was so attuned to the music that she reacted after the first one or two notes played. Any funny sound would start her playing as my wife found out one day. Grafin was happily sitting on the sofa next to her when my wife started to make silly noises and wave her hands around in front of Grafin. Grafin rolled onto her back and grabbed her arm with her front paws. I warned my wife to stop, but she didn't. Suddenly, in one smooth motion she rolled over and jumped straight up and onto my wife. Hey, I tried to warn her about what might happen.
One of her favorite toys was the empty paper towel tubes. Every time I changed a roll, she was waiting. I gave her a few gentle taps on the nose and she grabbed the tube leading to a short tug of war before she pulled it away and shredded it.
We installed a three foot baby gate in one doorway to keep the dogs isolated on one side of the house. One afternoon, I wanted her to stay on one side of the house while I worked on a project on the other. Well she would have none of that and jumped the gate like it didn't even exist. She could sit on the floor next to the gate and raise up and jump it in one complete motion. So much for isolating her on one side of the house.
She loved ice cream. Every time I scooped ice cream, both she and Nikki were waiting for their scoops.
Somehow she always knew when we were planning to drive up to visit my mother in law. I'm not sure what tipped her off, but somehow, long before I even started to pack, she knew we were about to take a drive and she waited at the door. She loved to ride in the car, no matter where we went.
Then on August 18, 2014, she was unable to stand. She took a step or two before her back end collapsed. I thought it was her bad hips acting up. The vet ran tests, did x-rays and a sonogram and told me she was bleeding internally.
The cause was cancer in her spleen. It is called hemangiosarcoma and is 100% fatal. There is no cure. They removed her spleen, and biopsied her liver which was cancer free. Unfortunately, the cancer develops in the linings of the blood vessels and spreads throughout the body, so a clean biopsy means nothing. It settles and develops wherever there are large concentrations of blood vessels and blood. So, after the spleen, the liver is next, and then the left side of the heart.
We did chemotherapy. She had no bad side effects from the first treatment, so we gave her the full course. After the intravenous treatments, she went on an oral drug. She was active and happy until one day she started falling down again. The vet said she had bled from her liver and found it was riddled with cancerous lesions. The bleeding stopped and she felt fine again. Three weeks later she collapsed and this time it was bad. I knew that is was the end. She crossed over the bridge on February 8, 2015, six months after her first diagnosis.
She lived with me for a little over twelve years. She was always with me regardless of what I did or where I went, which makes the loss even worse. I will always remember the good times, playing with the paper towel tubes, playing in the yard, watching her scare off the fishermen in the boats, and just sitting quietly in the yard by the lake.
Wherever she is, she is happily playing with other dogs.