(June 23, 2005- January 25, 2012)
Steely was diagnosed with an aggressive type of lymphoma on November 1, 2011. He was 6 years old. I was devastated.
We tried all the different chemotherapy meds but, in the end, none worked. I took him off all cytotoxic chemo drugs and kept him on the prednisone, and made the best of the limited time we had left together.
Steely declined at first by the week, and then by the day. Still, he lived well and was happy and playful for all but the last 2 days of his life. Even now, it's hard to believe that 3 days ago, we went for a 2 mile (slow) walk and played tennis ball.
But then his body systems started failing and he stopped eating. It was a quick decline after that.
In the end, Steely died yesterday at home with Tim and me at his side. He died without pain or suffering. He was free at last.
I feel as if I started the mourning process the day he was diagnosed, knowing then that even the best successful treatment was a one-year remission. Unfortunately, we weren't that lucky.
I am engulfed in sorrow, but there is a glimmer of relief that I remember him in his physical glory running on the trails with his tail up and his ears flopping, always looking back at me especially from the tops of the hills, waiting, watching, as if saying "What's taking you so long? It's just a hill!"
Aside from Tim of course, Steely was for me the best companion in all areas of my life, running being one of them. And boy did that boy love to run! He would regularly and easily run 20 miles with me, crash for an hour or two afterward, and then spring to his feet, scoop up his tennis ball, drop it in my lap, and beg for a game of fetch.
He was a goofy boy, he loved life, and if he wasn't lying on his back waiting for a tummy rub, then he was looking at you with a smile and a wagging tail, which would usually result in a treat.
He was a poser, loved the camera. I have never before known a dog so much a ham for the camera.
I could go on and on about how empty my life will be without him and how I fear my rescued greyhound (who learned everything he knows about the dog world from Steely) will get very depressed without his brother around. I could go on and on about how Steely became my best furry friend and how his life enrich ours greatly, but I have already said enough, and wish to post a link to my eulogy for Steely.
He will always be in my heart and I will remember him for his zeal for life and running, and even more so, for his steadfast selfless companionship.
Rest in peace, Steely.