In August, 2016 Dingo Canine, as I affectionately call him, is identified with a brain tumor...
Surgery and Radiation treatment give him several months of quality time…. Yesterday, February 28, Dingo lost his battle… and I have to make one of the toughest choices I’ve ever have to make… to give up the fight with and for him…
The clips posted above are from one of the many walks we did to the stop sign at the end of the street over the last weeks of his life...and from time before the surgery and radiation treatment.
Dingo is rehabbing well and I'm simply unprepared for the events that unfold yesterday. We start the day as usual. Up at 5:30, he gets his medications at 6:00 and his breakfast a few minutes later. I feed him with Blue the Siberian on the back porch and the small Australian Shepherd, who is now approaching 15 years of age.
Her name is Lakoda. I feed her in the kitchen in a small plastic plate because Dingo and Blue rob her of her breakfast and Lakoda is too old to protest. Later in the morning I share between Dingo and Blue a carrot and sometimes give Dingo a sliced zucchini. Blue doesn't much care for zucchini but enjoys the crunchy carrots just fine. Dingo will eat anything I present to him because of the steroid predezone the vet has him on to reduce swelling of the brain. He'll eat carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, he never turns down anything that I feed him...
I plan on paying my property taxes at the bank later in the morning so I take a shower and get dressed. While I'm dressing, I let Dingo into the house for a few minutes. When he is in the house, he wants my attention as much or more than Lakoda and Lakoda doesn't want to share me with him so she lets him know with excited barking and showing of her teeth. I have over the past few weeks begun to leave Dingo on the back porch because of the unusual warm weather we are having. But today, I let him into the house as I'm preparing to go to the bank to pay my tax... he comes into the house OK, he takes his medicine OK, eats his breakfast OK, no indicator that anything is amiss... he as usual walks over to Lakoda's food bowl and licks it even cleaner. I can hear the bowl clacking against the wall as his licking moves the bowl and bounces it against the kitchen wall.
I'm in the process of shutting down all of my electronic items in the living room. The TV, the computer monitor and lights. I have my jacket on and I'm just a moment from escorting him back to the porch when I notice he is having a problem with his right rear leg. I can tell it's not an injury as it persist as he moves around the house. I immediately determine that I must take him to the vet only a few minutes from the house... I start looking for the keys to the Jeep and my wallet when he drops to the floor in a full blown seizure... I stop looking for the wallet, having found my keys and open the front door... I scoop Dingo up in my arms and head for the Jeep... Dingo weighs about 60 pounds and he is dead weight. I leave the house open and get him to the Jeep.
The Jeep is locked so I have to lay Dingo on the ground to unlock and open the back hatch. I lay him in the back and drive quickly the mile or so to the vet. It is raining very hard and the roads are slick but I haul ASS... I open the hatch and pull him out... Dingo has lost control of his bowels, but appears to be conscious.
I walk to the door of the Veterinary clinic and kick on the bottom of the door. One of the employees comes to the door to let me in... I carry Dingo into the clinic and transfer him to the technician who takes him and disappears back into the clinic hall way.... I'm escorted back to one of the rooms where my vet eventually appears to tell me that Dingo has stabilized and is conscious. She wants to use a catheter so she can administer anti seizure medication and I agree... there is no reason for me to remain at the clinic as they will call me if necessary. I leave to pay my property tax at the bank.
I've invested a lot of me in Dingo's treatments, his rehab and in Dingo himself the past few months. I want, hoped for and simply expected a better outcome. A longer life for the little dog. To watch Dingo on a daily basis the past few months improve, do well and enjoy life and in just a few hours have him slip away is devastating. He is just a dog. But when I look into his eyes and my eyes meet his eyes, I see cognition. And I want to save it...
It was really difficult to finally have to say "yes" to someone who will inject the life stealing potion into his body after I've made such an effort to save him.
I will not see Dingo fully conscious again after leaving him at the vet.
When I say my good bye later in the day, he lays on the floor barely breathing and I never see a flicker of life... he is sedated to prevent any more seizure activity. There is simply no road map on how to proceed.
Dingo was always the first to get up in the morning. He would come into my bed room each morning and walk around my bed. If he didn't perceive that I was awake, he would leave and return in about 5 minutes, make another turn around the bed. I would usually allow him a few turns before getting up for the day. He would wag his tail and follow me to the kitchen so I could give him his morning treat which consisted of American processed cheese slices torn to a size that his morning medication could be wrapped in the cheese. He would wait expectantly while I prepared his 'meds'.
This morning there is no Dingo making his morning turn and his morning treats lay silent and undisturbed on the kitchen counter.
And that was all I ever got in the way of answers about the panther and the sign of war. I would one day learn that panthers were among the first beasts killed off by the English and German settlers in our region, along with red wolves and the eastern woodland bison. And that black is just one of the color possibilities of panthers anywhere on the planet. But in that day and in our world on Shanghai Road along the drains of Sleepy Creek panthers inhabited their place alongside witches, wolf trees, milk drinking snakes and other such creatures as prowled the subconscious and gave explanation to the greater unknown.
...create the extraordinary from the ordinary...