Tuesday, November 9, 2010
We returned home after a Long Island wedding followed by a two week vacation in Egypt. The dogs were home from the Animal Inn at Sky Run, everyone was settling into their routines, I had a few days to catch up on phone calls and e-mails for the business. An e-mail from Sergey who owns Melissa's brother Rimfrost caught my eye. Lure coursing about 40 minutes from home! I quickly downloaded the information, Melissa and I were going lure coursing. She had never been, but it didn't matter if she chased the lure, it would be fun to spend a day with friends watching hounds run. Life was good!!
And it was great, a bit chilly, but perfect weather for the hounds. I was in my element being outdoors on a gorgeous fall day surrounded by hounds and watching them do what they were bred to do. I called home to let Paul know how Melissa did and that I would be staying a bit longer, I couldn't just leave, I was captivated by each and every run. Paul said Catera, our 13 yr old Borzoi was not doing well. From the sound of his voice I could tell something was very wrong. He ended the conversation saying 'I think this may be the end'. I was on my way home.
How could this be? She had eaten two big meals the day before, had frolicked around the yard. She did seem a bit slow that morning before I left, but that was not unusual at her age. She had fast days, she had slow days, she ate some days better then others. When I left the house early in the morning she had been lying contently on her dog bed in the dining room.
I called my good friend Lessa to help, and let our vet know we would be coming in. My happy elated feelings had taken a 180 degree turn, I was now filled with a strange feeling that Catera was in trouble. Paul had sounded very worried, and ....sad. And I to was filled with sadness, I was crying as I drove home. The inevitable day that we all put in the back of your minds for our elderly dogs or our friends and family dealing with a long-term sickness might be here for Catera. But she hadn't been sick. Elderly and slowing down, but not sick, maybe she was just having an off day. But she was indeed in trouble. It happened quickly. I won't go into the details, those will remain with Paul, Lessa and myself. Suffice to say, she began to bleed, perhaps a clot or tumor burst from within. I held her, stroked her, and talked to her as she took her final breath. I felt her heart beat those last few beats....she died in my van as we reached the vets.
We are all sort of dazed. Puff our 7 yr old Borzoi is having a tough time. He and Catera were close, they always seemed to look out for each other. Lying next to each other, taking walks around the barn and through the woods together. He didn't eat for a day. Lessa and I took him for a walk around a lake on Sunday, just to give him something different to do. He is wandering the yard, he keeps walking around my car, he is sleeping a lot.
Last winter while playing my new camera I took this photo of Puff and Catera...together as they always were. Catera has snow on the tip of her nose, she loved burrowing her muzzle under the snow.
I will write about lure coursing at another time, right now I'm going to take the dogs out for a walk. We'll sit in the woods on the newly fallen snow and just enjoy the moments of being together.
MBISS Ch. Sky Run Catera CDX RE AX AXJ AXP OAP NAC NJC NGC
June 23 1997 -- November 6 2010 My favorite photo of Catera taken by Tom Kosawski