In Memory of a Friend

Pink

 

Pink had her first breast cancer surgery five years ago.  Her final cancer surgery was two months ago.  In between were two more breast cancer surgeries, plus a really big one to take out an adrenal cancer in 2013.   She was diagnosed at Stage 4 a couple of months ago when we got the pathology results on her latest mammary cancer.  Stage 4 means that the bad cells have moved into other organs and in people that usually means incurable, even with chemo and radiation.  If that weren’t enough her spine was partially fused from arthritis.  Some days it hurt her too much to walk.

Old Sycamore with Kat, Pink, and Goose Toy
Old Sycamore with Kat, Pink, and Goose Toy

I have had mild chemo – didn’t lose my hair or puke – but it drained my energy.  Radiation was much worse, but that was not an option for Pinkie.  I was 57 when they therapeutically poisoned me.  Pink was closer to 80.  At Stage 4 there was no reason for poison.  Wednesday we said our good-byes and Pink passed while we stroked her and told her the stories of her youth.  Then she was gone to a kindly veterinarian’s euthanasia.

Kat and Pink, Williams, AZ May 2014
Kat and Pink, Williams, AZ May 2014

But we are here to praise Caesar, not to bury her.  Pink had lived wild on the streets for months when the dogcatcher netted her, full of heartworms and ten pounds underweight.  Who throws out a beautiful pure-bred dog?  Somebody who won’t spend $600 on heartworm treatment.   Pink deeply feared abandonment by us, her new people, every day of the last 8 years of her life.

Pink's Wearing Her Socks and Duct Tape Shoes
Pink’s Wearing Her Burr Armor: Socks and Duct Tape Shoes

After our first two Springers died we provided temporary homes for several Springer Rescue cases.  Pink was our last.  She was mellow and soulful, not a show-off, and aggressive only when alone with a bowl of food.   She was with us five weeks before she first made a sound, yet Kat and I felt a connection with her early on.  I have mentioned “my job was to keep her from over-exertion until the worm damage had healed; her job was to keep me from feeling too sorry for myself on chemo”.  I did a pretty good job: she recovered full health.  Pink did a superlative job:  she brought me joy.

 

Pink, Waiting for Her Post-Hunt Whiskey
Pink, Waiting for Her Post-Hunt Scotch

Everyone and everything has vices.  Springer vices often include an irresistible attraction to water or mud, escape artistry, fondness for rolling in dung, and confusing skunks with cats.   Pink had none of those.  Her vice was a taste for cat cookies (don’t ask; imagine!) which she found readily with that great nose.

Pink Hated Shells
Pink Hated Shells

Kat’s brother who quit school after 3rd grade often said “That’s a smart dog!”  Yes, she was.  After months on disability I went back to work.  Pink quickly realized that I got up most days just as the dawn broke.  She became my alarm dog.  She’d shake the assortment of tags on her collar until I crawled out.  As weeks passed the sun rose earlier and she was waking me well before 6:00, even on Saturday and Sunday.  I solved that problem by removing her collar at bedtime.  That worked for one day.  The second day she found the collar by my nightstand, picked it up in her teeth, and shook it good.  She later figured out how to tell us “There ain’t no water in my bowl!” and make us laugh and fill it:  she’d pick up the empty water bowl and throw it around.  She was the master of begging and a talented consumer of leftovers.  While she could run she loved chasing geese and squirrels, and hated anything with a shell.  Land tortoises really lit her fuse, and she nearly dislocated my leash shoulder one night after spotting a rooting armadillo before I did.  We were in Tucson our first year on the road pulling up to a red light when Pinkie blew a gasket barking at a guy on a motorcycle one lane over.  His crime was wearing a helmet painted to resemble a snapping turtle shell.

Pink with Patty the Groomer
Pink with Patty the Groomer

Our buddy lives on in our hearts.  In time her ashes will be interred in North Carolina next to Samantha and Nike, our other great Springers.  From now on there will be only two fools chasing life along the blue highways.

Cooling Off in Zion N.P.
Cooling Off in Zion N.P.
Pink a/k/a Chumbers or Big Baby and Friends Pink 2002 - 2016
Pink a/k/a Chumbers or Big Baby with Friends
Pink 2002 – 2016

 

14 thoughts on “In Memory of a Friend

  1. What a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. I imagine Pink and our sweet Phineas are together wherever it is doggies go in the afterlife trading travel and Airstream life stories. Sending hugs to you and Kat.

    Like

    1. Good to hear from you again, Amanda, if under unhappy circumstances. I hope you and Tim are coping with your loss of Phineas … doggone, it’s so hard.

      Thanks for the comforting words,

      Jackson & Kat

      Like

    1. Jen, thanks for the kind words. My brain knows it was time and that we did the right thing, but my heart wants her back. We become so attached to our beasts. I hope your trio is doing well, and that you and ol’ Deas be bejoyin’ The Good Life.

      And hugs right back at you,

      Jackson & Kat

      Like

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your losing your sweet friend Pink, Jackson. As a fellow dog lover and pet parent, I know just how difficult it is, and my heart hurts for you. You gave Pink (great name, btw) a wonderful life and home, and when the time was right, you helped her pass gently and lovingly. I only wish all animals were so lucky.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Em. Watching my old buddy decline was the hardest part. We did all we could, but it could never have been enough. That said, we may have waited a few days or a couple of weeks too long. So long as there were a few good days sprinkled among the bad, I couldn’t let her go. Just couldn’t.

      Jackson

      Like

  3. This is a touching and beautiful tribute to Pink.

    My heart goes out to you and Kat.

    You put it well when you said your head knew it was time, but your heart is another matter.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    You and Kat gave Pink the best life possible, and I’ve no doubt she knew it.

    Sending giant hugs through the ether to you all.

    Like

    1. As we slowly turn calendar pages past E-day we gradually begin to see and believe we did the right thing. Still, we can use all the hugs we can get right now.

      We are grateful for expression of sympathy, Kahuna.

      Jackson & Kat

      Like

  4. Sorry for the loss of your pink. We meet you at Asseategue national seashore. We had truck camper snd dpoke about New Orleans we suffered the loss of 2 big dogs about 4 yrs now. We have 2 med black dogs now. It’s a difficult goodbye that we say to our furry family members. She had a wonderful life on the road with you guys! RIP pink

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s