Friday, January 9, 2009

Sweet Saffy


Poor Saffron hasn't been doing so well lately. Naturally svelte, she's dropped a full 15 pounds in the past few months, leaving her absolutely emaciated. She's down to 75 pounds. For comparison's sake, Daisy is an inch shorter and weighs about 135. Yeah, it's bad.

We've been back and forth to the vet many times in recent weeks, testing for everything from giardia to cancer, and unfortunately it looks like she's landing on the cancer end of the spectrum. She had her spleen removed today because ultrasounds suggest it's cancerous. We're waiting for pathology results, but best-case scenario based on what we know now is about 6 months. Worst case is much less.

I've already written an Ode to Saffron, but as a quick recap: she is the sweetest, most good-natured, most tender-hearted dog I've ever met (sorry, Daisy—you have your own good qualities, but they're not these). I know there are people out there who don't think dogs are sentient beings; a few minutes with Saffron would erase any question. She has this way of getting waaaay up in your space—nose to nose if she can—and staring intently into your eyes with her tail wagging furiously, as though she's digging into your psyche and trying to extract a smile. It works, even with the worst moods.

She's an almost-10-year-old Great Dane, so of course I've always known this day was coming. Really, since we adopted her almost 7 years ago, I've always been acutely aware of her impermanence. It sounds morbid, I'm sure, but in a Sartrean sort of way, it's made me appreciate my time with her for the perfect moment that it is. Really and truly, knowing her has been one of the great priveledges of my life.

So the idea of losing her—ugh, I just can't put it into words. It gives me this horrible, panicky feeling, accompanied by a watershed of tears. The idea of the house without her, of course, is terrible. Even more heartbreaking, though, is the thought of that ever-wagging tail lying still. And knowing that she won't be there to help us smile through the grief, well that's almost too much to bear.

In the meantime, however long that is, I'm going to do my best to drink up as much of her as I can. My sweet, skinny, stinky little girl.

16 comments:

sara-lou said...

oh Dreya, I am so sorry about Saffron. I remember when you got her! And you're right, she is the sweetest ever...sl.

Julie said...

This is what took our dog, the exact same thing. Her cancer had spread beyond her spleen. Putting her down may have been the saddest day of my entire life. I am so sorry. It helped that we had a vet come here, her 'siblings' were with her when she went. I am so sorry. I said that already huh? Just enjoy the rest of your time with her. That does seem like a good long life for a GD, not that makes you feel any better. We had Lummi for nearly twelve years. I swear that when our other two go, that might be it for me. I don't think I can have dogs anymore because of this very thing.

Mama Papaya said...

Oh Saffy sweetie. Your Mama needs some more time with you big girl. Feel better sweetie.

Deirdre, my heart is with you. It is too overwhelming to think of a sofa free of greyhounds. Life will never be the same.

rebekah said...

I am just so sorry.

cathy said...

I've been wondering how she was doing. I am so sorry. Keep us posted and don't be afraid to cry. So hard.

breemunger said...

D- Oh no! Poor Saffron. She is lucky to have you guys. Enjoy her, break out the camera, give her some extra treats when noone is looking!

sajbat said...

so sorry to hear about saffron--she sounds like a dog with an old soul.

Christina said...

Poor Saffron. Hugs for your whole family, and enjoy the next few months!

Mark and Sarah said...

I'm so sorry, Deirdre. She sounds like an incredible being...losing her sounds awful. I'm so sad for you.

FrogMom said...

Oh no. I am so sorry.

Heather & Adam said...

SO sorry to hear this, D. Saffron sounds wonderful. Enjoy the time you have with her.

hotflawedmama said...

Oh, GOd! We also have a "blue" Great Dane (he's only 8 months now). I cried reading your post. They are such terrific dogs, I only hope we'll get 10 years with Abe.

Enjoy the last few months, I'll be thinking of you and sweet Saffron!

habeshachild said...

This breaks my heart. Saffron sounds wonderful and so sweet. And I relate so much - I live in the constant awareness that my own amazing dog will leave this earth before I do and I have occasional panic attacks about how I am ever going to deal with it when the end comes.

I am wishing you peace and as much comfortable time as possible for Saffron. She sounds like an incredible blessing.

Alicia said...

I'm so sorry, Deirdre. :( Much love and hugs to you and your sweet pup. After reading this, I need to go love on my Sophie. :(

Cindy said...

Oh gosh I am so sorry. Been throught the dog cancer route before. A recurring lump that finally a vet wanted to remove. The removal sparked a quick decline and many more lumps and I had to put her down shorly after.

The worst part, she was my husband's dog (and a very special loyal companion--part wolf) for a dozen years before I came into her life and I was keeping her in KS until he was able to move out here from WA. So I was the one who had to deal with it all (and I regret removing the lump and will never do something like that again).

Before I took her in on that final day, I took her to the park with my other dog and let them play around. I almost let them run off together to return on their own when they were ready. But it was time. She wouldn't eat, slept in her own urine, but she still could run with Clementine.

Oh, Sam.

So sad :(

Liza said...

We are sending our love and thoughts to you all and especially to Saffron. I know how hard it is when your nonhuman kids get sick. We'll send her our best healing thoughts and hope that she's feeling ok. Lots of love

l.