A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
On the day I got the news about Raven's osteosarcoma, I posted a note to Deerhound-L. Within hours, my mailbox was full of notes of sympathy and concern, and stories. Stories of dogs who'd beaten the odds, stories of dogs who hadn't, but who'd had good quality of life after amputation, whose owners offered me a shoulder to cry on, but hope, too. And one special email from Jean at Circle of Grey, an email support list for the owners of greyhounds with cancer, mostly osteosarcoma. Attached to her email was a picture that changed how I felt about Raven's amputation, and, in a way no words could have done, gave me hope.
This is a photo of a much-loved and much-missed greyhound named Lucky, used here with the permission of the photographer, Gretje Ferguson, and Lucky's "mom," Meredith Holderbaum.
For all who think that a life on three legs will be hell for their hound - who don't think this could be worth it, even to stop the pain and give them more time - for those few who, through ignorance I'm sure, wrote begging me not to "mutilate" Raven by amputating her leg, this image is why I didn't listen to any of you, and why I encourage those with a dog with osteosarcoma not to rule out amputation without good cause. I thank Mere and Gretje for letting me share this photo with you here.
For more information on osteosarcoma in Scottish Deerhounds, or in other breeds of dog, please click on the links on the right.