Friday, June 15, 2007

A sad day at Spitfire Kennels

Raven 2002-2007
Born of Oreo (1997)and Ruffles(1993) at Windy Creek Kennel.
Raven raced in the Wyoming Stage Stop as a three-year-old and was also on Ken's spring sprint teams for a couple years. Her brother Strider (who I have) also did some stage and sprint racing, while her other brother Turtle (who is still at Windy Creek) has done the Iditarod. Raven came to me about a year ago although I have known her for several years. She was always one of more friendly dogs. My first summer at Windy Creek, I was out in the yard with dogs and she jumped up and poked me in the eye with her nose. My contact came out and just as I noticed it on the tip of her nose, out came her tongue and my contact was gone.
Raven ran with me when I won the Chena Passenger Race. She was bit of a pacer, but fun to have around and when Ken and Gwen offered her to me, I quickly agreed. Not long after I purchased her, she had a freak spinal episode and became paralysed from the waist down. After weeks of different vets, X-rays and meds, she was able to walk but was still wobbly and would never run in harness again. I kept her though, because she was a nice dog. That's also the reason I got Ruffles, her mother. I knew the two were so close that I didn't want to separate them, even though Ruffles is old and cranky and obviously doesn't run with the team anymore. A few weeks ago, Raven stopped eating. Since then she has slowly gotten weaker. I noticed she had a high temperature and her gums were very pale. I took her in to the vet earlier this week and they did blood work and an X-ray. Her platelet count was at 11 when it should be around 400. Her liver enzymes were abnormally high which got us thinking there was some kind of tumor. The X-ray showed that whatever spine disease had caused her paralysis, had spread. We tried some steroids in hopes of getting her red blood-cell count up but it hasn't worked and this morning she was barely able to stand. The vet was slated to come at 3p.m. to put her to sleep but called to say she'd be late. I was sitting with Raven trying to help her breath when Sam came home from work. We sat there petting her until she lifted her head back and died. The vet arrived and took her body to get cremated. Ruffles didn't understand what was happening and mustered the strength to nearly jump into the back of the vet's car. I thought about putting Ruffles down with her because Ruffles is having trouble getting around these days and because she and Raven were so close, but I just can't do it. I guess we'll see how she copes. She's been pacing since Raven left. Ruffles has taken a liking to Sister and Sister lets her be mothery, so we'll see. She has also started mothering Bull a little and he tolerates her. It's a sad day here, but it's for the best.


Anonymous said...

Jill- I am so sorry, I know your dogs are part of your family. She's a beautiful dog.

Hugs- Lisa

Brown Eyed Girl said...

Oh Jill, we are so sorry. That must have been a tough decision and we know you miss her very much. Thinking of you,
Shaun, Christine & Mikey

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful homage. My heart goes out to you. Let me know if there's anything I can do.

Anonymous said...

Jill and Sam,
Raven died in the arms of two people who loved her most. Our thoughts go out to you. Mom and Dad xoxoxo