Saturday, December 10, 2005

Ramius' angel

Last July, Thor got sick and we didn't know what was wrong for sure, but it seemed like he might die very quickly. He lasted 2 months. We soon started the search for a new puppy. My wife was very interested in a Whippet. My son wanted a Golden Retriever. In the end, there was no conflict because there was not a Whippet available within 500 miles, as far as we could tell. So we got Fenton, and he has been and will always be a great and obedient dog.

As I wrote here, our other dog, 10 year old Ramius, developed a lump on his chest just before Thanksgiving and was soon diagnosed with cancer. We were told that he would most likely live 1 to 2 weeks. The day after his diagnosis, a local Whippet breeder called and told us that a puppy had become available. He said the pick of his August litter, a dog he had selected specially for his aunt, had been returned because of a changed living circumstance for his aunt. Were we interested?

Feelings of fate overcame feelings of guilt of even considering a new dog just when Ramius needs more of our attention, and we went to see the puppy and her breeder on Thanksgiving morning. Named "Crimson" for her red coloring, she was so sweet and loving and, best of all, she went into a very calm mode within minutes of the arrival of 4 new people, including 2 children. She is just a few weeks younger than Fenton, and was born on the day before my daughter's birthday.

We decided that there was an element of fate that was too strong to ignore, but told the breeder that our major problem was that Ramius was sick and that we thought that he needed our attention right now. We thought that it might be unfair to Ramius to bring the second new center of attention in 2 months into the house just as he was going to start getting worse. He understood completely, and we agreed that we would wait 3 weeks to pick up the dog.

After Ramius made it through the first week of his death sentence in good shape, we decided to bring the Whippet home a week earlier than planned. We renamed her "Scarlett," and she immediately fit in perfectly. She plays rough with Fenton. She is generally very calm (when not playing with Fenton). She sits in the kids' laps. She is already sleeping through the night in my daughter's bed and they snuggle all night. And she loves Ramius.

As the pictures above indicate, Ramius has a new best friend. Rather than make his final days less pleasant (as we feared it might), it appears that the arrival of Scarlett was a very positive thing. Oh, and today marks the start of the fourth week since he was diagnosed. At this point, I'm going to predict that Ramius' new little angel is going to help him get through the end of the year.

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