|Sugar's "glamor" shot!|
She had a very restless evening, tossing and turning, and squealing with pain as she tried to get comfortable, all to no avail. So I knew it was time. Her trips to the backyard had become less frequent because it hurt too damn much. She spent much of her day sleeping. The cancer had taken its toll and I don't think she could bear anymore. She also had that look in her eyes - that look of "can't you do something?" The pain meds were all but useless by this point. I knew I couldn't bear to watch her in pain any longer.
|Sami loves her Sugar!|
I do have very sweet pups - always have and they never cease to amaze me!
Back to Sugar - she came to me as a foster first being picked up by the Henry County Humane Society as a stray. They found her on the side of I-75 rummaging through a garbage can in someone's garage. They fostered her for a few days, then calling a local Greyhound adoption group for assistance. That group, who I volunteered for at the time, asked if I would foster her. I happened to be laid off at the time (funny, I'm laid off now as well) and said I would. So I met the HCHS volunteer to pick her up.
We went home and she met my other Greyhound, Remi. They immediately hit it off. As Forrest Gump would say, they were like "peas and carrots"! Well, I was in no position to adopt another right then as I was not working as I mentioned. So, she was adopted to a family south of Atlanta who had a farm. They had all sorts of farm animals including Emus. But before the Emu story (yes, there is an Emu story), Sugar (she was named Shuggie by HCHS but I renamed her to Sugar) appeared to not like their kids so much. I think they liked to chase her and she much preferred to do the chasing herself. So, the family had decided after about a month that having Sugar was not for them. The day they were to meet me, Sugar escaped the yard and went for the Emus. I was only told there was an Emu massacre. From that, I can only surmise that Sugar won and perhaps an Emu or two did not.
In any event, she appeared unscathed when I did get her back. And once again, we had "peas and carrots". It was only a day or two later that I called the Greyhound adoption group to let them know I wanted to adopt her. Whoo hoo - she was then Sugar Peterson!! That was in September of 2004. And what a wonderful 9 years we have had.
|Sugar coursing in Kentucky - look at that smile!|
It was that June that we went to ASFA's International Invitational. Sugar ran in the Open class both days. She didn't place on Saturday but came in first place on Sunday. I decided to go for the gusto, running her for Best of Breed (where she ran against the winning Field Champion Greyhound and the winning Veteran Greyhound). And she won!! Total points earned for that day - a whopping 40!! To say the least, I was the proudest Greyhound Mom around! It was that year (2005) that she was the #4 Greyhound in ASFA. Yes, did I say I was proud? You betcha I was!
She was well on her way to achieving her Field Champion title with ASFA! I can't recall when that happened but it did shortly thereafter, and then the competition was even more intense it seemed but oh so exciting for her and for me!
|Sugar in blue - Sweeney in pink. This was ASFA's first |
Greyhound Specialty in March of 2006.
She had been running in the backyard one day when she hit a tree. Although nothing wrong medically could ever be found, she limped on her back left leg from then on. She was okay with retirement. She enjoyed it as much as anyone would.
She was great at Meet and Greets, and was one of my therapy dogs in the beginning although I never had her certified. We visited many nursing homes through the years and even some children hospitals.
In September of 2008, Sugar began to get jaundice (yes, she was yellow). After a thousand and one tests (and about that much money), it was determined she was in liver failure. She was on several meds including Zeniqauin, Metronidazole, and Denamarin. Over time, she did recover. It was in November that she was pink again although her liver values were not within normal range, they had improved dramatically. We were on our way to a full recovery. I couldn't have been more estatic! The biggest battle during that time was getting her to take her pills and eating!! She did recover though, and we never experienced any liver issues thereafter.
|After she came home from the hospital.|
The last few years have been uneventful until recently. This summer I was picking her up at Manyhounds Inn and she couldn't jump into the back of the SUV. I initially chalked that up to her being elderly. Then in September she began limping on her right front leg. I feared what the root cause would be as osteosarcoma is pretty prevalent in Greyhounds. I didn't take her to the vet until the middle of October. The x-ray confirmed my fear - my dear Sugar had osteosarcoma.
We began her on a protocol of Gabapentin, Deramaxx, and Tramadol. In the beginning, all was well. the cocktail of drugs were doing what they were suppose to do - keep my Sugar pain free. But the last week and a half to two weeks, that hasn't been the case. It seemed the meds were not even touching the pain. And then, this week, she started holding up that leg, not bearing weight on it at all. She would hobble to the backyard to do her thing and would immediately hobble back in, plopping herself on the nearest dog bed. A day in the life of Sugar Peterson was, at best, difficult and I'm certain not something she was enjoying.
|Sugar sleeping in a hotel at the Moreland field trials. |
She always loved to have a pillow for her head!
Short of her aversion to having her nails trimmed, she has been the best Greyhound anyone could ever have wanted and I loved her dearly. I'm so glad that the "farm family" didn't work out for her because I couldn't imagine how the last 9 years of my life would have transpired without her in it. I've learned so much from her through the years - we've been through so much together and have pulled through it all but this osteo kicked both our butts. Neither one of us would beat this one!