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It is confession time.  I have a shady past.  I am a fugitive from justice.  When I started this blog, I decided to wait to tell exactly how I found my humans until once I passed beyond The Rim.  That happened today on June 6, around 12:30 EDT.  I’m not sure exactly, no one was watching the clock, all eyes were on me and giving me love.  And Bo Jangles biscuits.

The cancer did not take me.  Twenty-Six Months post diagnosis.  I am pretty sure I’m tougher than cancer.  The liver failure was taking its toll on my body and my heart was having a hard time keeping up.  My hind legs were starting to swell and it was a mixture of the ascites making it too difficult for me to stand for long periods of time and my heart just running out of gas.  My 12th birthday is in August.  The lifespan for a greyhound is 12 to 14 but over the years, we have met many 10 year old greyhounds that looked 16 or 17.  Quite honestly, until my liver started to fail, I looked amazing for even an 8 year old.

My humans brought me to the vet for a checkup on Thursday, mostly because of the edema in my legs and while we were there, got a spot on my 9th rib was checked.  And it was cancer.  Possibly a met from Osteosarcoma OR a primary chondrosarcoma since it was right where the cartilage and bone meet.  Dr. Huff was worried because for the first time ever, I objected to xrays.  A lot.  We all looked at my bones and I really don’t care for looking at computer monitors but I listened.  Dr. Huff and my human agreed that it had a moth eaten appearance.  Its amazing how greyhound people get a little too good at reading Osteo xrays.  They agreed to send it off to a radiologist.

As we went out to the car, I worked the crowd in the waiting room, even kissing the cat lovers because they needed to adore me.  This is important because its one of my favorite things.  My humans use a mixture of things for quality of life scale.  Not just for knowing when the END IS NEAR but for just regular health and wellness issues.  So my Three Favorite Things are:

1.  PEEING ON ALL THE THINGS.  Everything.  People.  Plants.  Pillars.  Posts.  Pets.  If it moves, I’ll pee on it when it holds still.

Nixon was here...

Nixon was here…

2.  Go for a ride.

IMAG0229

3.  Meet new people and hounds.  And say hello to old friends.

IMAG0662

Lets be honest now.  The past 6 months have been tough on me.  I injured my wrist back in February and things have been crashing down around me ever since.  I’m a fighter.  It is not in my nature to back down.   Ever.  I am always thankful for each moment and live very much right now.  Not now but RIGHT NOW so my above list wouldn’t matter if I had to have people carrying me around because I was in too much pain to walk.  I would still find a way to live life to its fullest each and every day and pee on something new.  That’s just who I am.  We won’t mention the failed pee garden in my yard but other than that, I want to pee on something new every day.  And cover all my old pmail too.

What I can’t do is live my life completely drugged up on opiates that make me taste colors.  The first time my humans saw the wave of pain hit me was on Wednesday.  I went outside to potty and I came in a different dog.  It took about an hour for me to find my center and get comfortable again.  My big, wonderful bed was no longer really comfy.  Or the other beds in the house.   I could fall asleep but it wasn’t my normal deep, wonderful sleep.

I woke up Friday morning feeling off.  I had gained about 5 inches of fluid around my waist over night.  The pressure from the fluid made me very uncomfortable in many ways.  It was spreading my ribs, putting pressure on that tumor.  I weighed almost 20 lbs more than I should and it hurt my bones and my muscles.

Then Friday night, I went outside to potty and the wave hit again.  This time so bad I was screaming at times.  We spent the night at the emergency vets, a trip I didn’t care for at all, and all it did was wind up hurting me more.  I just could not get comfortable and couldn’t explain where it hurt.  I was frustrated and decided to fix it my damn self.  I wound up reinjuring everything Dr. Williams has worked so hard the past two months to fix up with her magic hands and by morning, everything hurt, I had fallen many times, and my legs were cut up.  The vet tried to drain my abdomen but it didn’t help and might have made things worse.  My belly just was hanging off of me, everything pulling, and I no longer wanted to be touched.

That being said, my humans and I had a talk.  I showed them I still loved being alive and being here with them and no matter what, I would live in the right now.  At dawn, we were in the backyard one last time and a neighbor cat was trespassing.  I am sure it thought it was safe and had no idea I could still move that fast.  I chased it away with authority.  And then the UPS guy, I HATE THE BROWN TRUCK, showed up.  What kind of morning was this??  I had to tell him to get lost too.  And then I was tired.  Too tired to give many kisses at first but so tired I couldn’t fall asleep.  Everything felt wrong inside me.

So they cried and said I had been a wonderful friend and companion.  That I had taught them so many things about life, themselves, and how to never take any moment for granted.  We are not promised tomorrow and you must live now.  The Daddy even asked for permission to write a guest blog post. Of course he can.  My blog is not going to go away though.  I still have stories to tell and so many memories of a life well lived that I do plan to continue to share even while I’m in heaven sending pennies to my humans.

When the vet came, I got to be in my favorite spot where I can see everything going on in the house.  A promise had been made two years ago that when it was time for me to go, that we would celebrate this moment with a feast.  It’s BO TIME!  For years, I have been denied Bo Jangles biscuits because of my low carb diet.  I was so focused on the biscuit, stealing the entire thing from the mommy’s hands, I didn’t even feel the prick.  By the time I ate it all, I settled into a deep sleep into her arms.  And then I shared my final thoughts with my humans as they held me.

“I have always been on borrowed time.  From the first day you met me, I have cheated death.  I never meant to bite that child but she shouldn’t have put her face in mine while I was asleep.  I didn’t know any better and I didn’t know that my entire world as I knew it, with my lovely mini human, was going to end.  I didn’t want to go away.  I couldn’t believe I got a death sentence for one mistake.  I didn’t mean to cause so many stitches.  I didn’t mean to cause so much pain.  And heart break.  But it happened.  Through just dumb luck, I managed to slip my collar, and with the help of many people in the Greyhound Underground Railroad, was placed someplace safe, far away from the law.

“And then you found me, broken, afraid, and not sure what was expected of me.  Over the years, we have formed a pack that is just amazing.   First with Kitty and now with Cookie.  We have overcome so many barriers of communication that we all know what the other is thinking without much more than a look and a lick.  If I had found any other family, my life would probably have ended 4 years ago.  Or two years ago.  But you listened when I spoke.

“I’ve been your Irondog who probably could have used some armor….I have had a lot of stitches and staples in my time haven’t I?  I had my fall in the backyard and was paralyzed.  An FCE they called it.  Dr. Huff introduced us to laser therapy and my recovery was miraculous.  And then we faced bone cancer together.  And we beat it.  And then the liver failure.  Livers are important and mine has been through a lot.  We didn’t beat that.  But…I grew old.  I have cheated Death many times and now I welcome it and go with Death on my own terms.   But as long as you have known me, it always has been borrowed time.”

TastingColors

14 Responses to “It Was Always On Borrowed Time”

  1. Allison Duffy says:

    Nixon– Run pain free sweet boy. Your story has me in tears…You were a good boy till the very end.. I know your Mommy misses you so please send her pennies often. You are a beautiful pup who deserved all the love in the world and i am so happy you were able to find your forever Mommy in Ingrid… My Chase will be waiting for you at the Bridge as will so many other beautiful Angel Pups…. This is not goodbye sweet boy–it is “till we meet again”… <3

    • Pamela Green says:

      Sobbing my heart out. Said so many things that touched a very raw nerve. My Lulu, my loving affectionate Baby Dog. Miss her so much

  2. maximutt says:

    Oh Nixon! How missed you will be! I hope your Humans know that you couldn’t have landed in a better home than theirs. And though the pain is great right now, there will eventually come a day when a huge smile will come across their faces just at the simple thought of you. Godspeed Nixon. You were special, and you will not be forgotten. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  3. trituck says:

    Oh my Nixon
    I’m crying tear now reading this wonderful guest blog!
    Rest in Peace you wonderful tripawd!
    Many hugs
    Linda and Tucker

  4. Codie Rae says:

    Oh Nixon, you went out on your own terms and it doesn’t get any better than that. Your people heard you and gave you that final gift. Run fast as the wind beautiful boy, we will never forget you.
    xoxo,
    Codie Rae and the Oaktown Pack

  5. elizabeth says:

    Oh Nixon, how we love you and will miss you so much. We are so glad we got to see you at the tripawd party. Who knew we were in the presence of a fugitive ;). It just goes to show that there really are no bad dogs, just stupid people. I am so glad you “slipped that collar” and found your way to your mom and dad. And you BEAT that damn cancer!!! It didn’t take ANYTHING from you! You will always be our hero and we will never ever forget you!!!!

  6. Michelle says:

    OH Nixon borrowed time or not your family loves you. You were an amazing boy to them. You went on your terms and everyone maybe sad for awhile but they will eventually smile at those memories of you.
    I know there were a lot of people so glad to get to meet you at the VA party. Run fast & free and chase those kitties on the bridge

    Hugs xoxoxox
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  7. Karma says:

    It may have been borrowed time, but it doesn’t sound like any of it was wasted. Run free Nixon. Chase all the wayward cats and brown trucks. And send sweet memories to your humans that they may smile and their hearts not hurt as much.
    Karma, Adelaide and the crew and always our angel Brendol

  8. benny55 says:

    There’s that magic ofnyours again Nixon…the ability to make us laugh through our tears! You had us mesmerized with every single word.

    You darn right your presence will continue here through your blog! You can write from a different location…no problem!!

    And even though you wrote this yourself, perhaps your humans helped out just a touch. I am in absolute awe…stunned and in awe…of the strength and courage and infinite love it took for them to hold it together long enough to help you post this. Just another testament to the love and devotion they felt for you!!

    And yes, they way you are tuned into your humans and they with you..truly magical! I had the privilege of stepping into your light at two different tripawd pawties. I saw how you connected you and your humans were…how you REALLY could read each other’s mind. I don’t think you could have had anymore attentive and devoted soulmates than the ones you chose way back when you were a “fugitive”!

    Nixon, yes you are an Irondog, yet so gentle, such an “Agent for Peace and Love”. And yet, the epitome of strength and courage, a strong willed fighter. A Hero for all of us on this journey! The face of victory!! A rare success story! An example of what’s possible when others say it’s impossible! Nixon does things on his own terms, that’s for sure.

    And Nixon, I KNOW you are just beaming with pride as you see your blog show up today! We are all beaming with pride to be able to call you our friend, our hero! Your legacy is secure with js sweet boy! Through us, through your beloved humans, through all those you’ve inspired, and will continue to inspire, your bright light will continue to shine on!

    We love you Nixon! We love your humans and sweet Cookie too! I know Kitty was thrilled to see you again! Eat all the Bo Jangles you want…they have an endless supply at the Bridge!!

    From my heart,

    Sally and My Eternal Light Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle

    PS One of the favorite part of your blogs is your pee picture and how you relish in your “pee adventures”! Thank you again for taking the time to give us this post…it’s a gift that helps ease the pain some. You are so selfless.

  9. jerry says:

    Wow. You really, really took my breath away this time Nixon. This has got to be one of the most unforgettable blog posts in all of our Tripawds Nation history. I already knew that you had gained your wings when I came over here this morning, so I was prepared for what I was going to read…or so I thought.

    You and your pack, you are heroes in so many sense of the word. All of you are what every canine loving family should aspire to. Your communication with each other, your sense of intuition to know how to respond during the hardest times, your courage when it’s time to temporarily part ways. Amazing, and loving and so beautiful.

    I wept at today’s entry, but in my heart I will be strong and know that of course you aren’t going anywhere. Nixon, you will ALWAYS be so special here, you and your pack, how could someone like you EVER fade away? No way no how buddy. We want MORE. So please, take your time but do come back and share more of your wisdom, we need it now more than ever.

    And as for your shady past…wow. Thank DOG there are people on this planet who know the real nature of canine communication and behavior. You fell into one very special crowd my dear friend.

    We love you with all our heart and soul, forever and ever.

    • ohmynixon says:

      Thank you! I know we thanked you at the Party but let me say it again. Thank you for starting this community because I don’t know how far my pack or myself would have come this far without all the love and support from Tripawds. I know we love you all.

      As you may remember, Ingrid suffered horribly from anticipatory grief. Not enough to forget I was in front of her but enough to cry herself to sleep at night. Many nights. She thinks I couldn’t hear her or smell the sadness in my bed downstairs but I could. Dogs can hear your heartbeat and process all of your amazing smells and learn all about your soul without you ever saying a word. I knew she was having a hard time but not much I could do but hug her.

      Cookie was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows one night and I heard the most amazing story about an invisibility cloak hiding a man from death until he had grown old and was ready to die. I have the most amazing camouflage coat and the story just spoke to me. I know my humans have not felt robbed when I passed. I have grown old and to reach double digits as a dog is an honor. Yes, we all would have loved to see me hit 12 but I have no regrets.

  10. bcullom says:

    Ingrid,
    What a beautifully touching story about Nixon, thank you for sharing him with us. He lived an amazing life with you, and he will ALWAYS be another hero to me. He kicked cancer’s ugly butt for over 2 years, and with many ups and downs, he continued to fight and win. He was diagnosed 4 days after my Polly was in March 2013, and they both lost the same leg to different cancers.
    He is running free and happy with so many other angel pups and kitties now, but I know the heartbreak you are feeling. You gave him the most incredible second chance at life and that is what is most important.
    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts,
    Bonnie, Angel Polly, Pearl, and Zuzu

  11. Kris Murgas says:

    Nixon, you left us with beautiful memories and beautiful last words. You will always be seen on TGS’s website for all to marvel at.

  12. 4myty says:

    Run free precious Nixon! You will always be a true hero Warrier! Send your Mom and Dad lots of pennies, you hear? Ty will show you how, he has sent lots!

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