We lost one of our dogs Saturday.
Casey DiMilo started stumbling Thursday afternoon. Within an hour, she could no longer walk and her bark sounded like a seal since it took so much effort. We took her to the vet Friday morning where xrays showed a cervical spine problem. In case it was a slipped disc, the first thing they did was give her a high dose of steroids. If it had been a disc, she would have started showing slow improvement. 6 hrs later, they gave her a second dose. If the steroids did not work, it meant it was a cancerous spinal tumor. The vet consult they did with the orthopedic vet said most likely that was it due to its location. We could take her to Charlotte and have a bunch of tests done (incl. a MRI). The vet we saw originally had to leave so we saw another one later in the day. She felt that Casey had improved slightly (we didn’t see any difference at all) but we allowed ourselves to be talked into taking her home for the night to give the steroids a little longer to work.
During the night, Casey started wheezing (we think she aspirated after vomiting on the way home). By morning, she was still able to kinda sorta hold her head up, but that was it. She could jerkily move her legs but could not stand nor balance. When propped up on her feet, she stood on their tops, a sign of neurological damage.
Lorna had to work (at the post office, you can’t reschedule a meeting or have your secretary call your 500+ customers to cancel delivery for the day) so I had to take Casey in on my own. I was with her, of course, when she was euthanized.
Casey was a 14 yr old power house of a mutt. Part Beagle, part Jack Russell, part jack rabbit, Casey was still jumping up past our waists just a few days before she became ill. Being a little dog in a house full of big dogs, she had the “short dog syndrome” really bad. She wasn’t a bully, but rather an instigator. She loved to start barking at absolutely nothing then go back to sleep while the other dogs ran around trying to figure out where the burglar was. And her bark wasn’t gentle. All of us regular cleaned ceiling paint out from under our fingernails after jumping that high from her sudden, uncalled for barking.
Of all our dogs, Casey was my least favorite. You could say I hated the dog. Okay, I will say it. I hated the dog. She never listened to what I said, barked for no reason, humped the other dogs as they played, barked at the other dogs when she couldn’t hump them, barked at the wind blowing a blade of grass, barked at anyone who looked at her or even thought about looking at her. You get the idea. She was an annoying little shit. But that didn’t mean I didn’t love her. I did. I just didn’t like her.
Lorna just complained at how quiet the house is today. And how quiet mealtime is. And how quiet it is at night.
Casey came to us as our last foster dog back in ’96. The group we fostered for had already been told we were not going to take in any more. We didn’t like the group that well. But they called and gave Lorna a sob story about this pup they had heard of and could we take her just for a few days until they found someone else? Lorna couldn’t say no. Casey had been found huddling near a burnt box near a dumpster. In the box was the burned bodies of an adult dog and at least one other pup. Casey had a burn on her lower back. The family brought her to our house and it was obvious they wished they could have kept her but their landlord had a one dog rule. They’d named her Skittles but I could never say the name right so we re-named her. The foster group forgot we even had the pup so we decided to keep her. The other dogs (Zeus, Jake, and Maggie) got along well with her.
So here’s to Casey DiMilo. While we think the silence is wonderful, we miss you.