Argos the Greyhound was a big Greyhound (just over 80 pounds) and he has been a big part of this blog and of course, our life, too.
It was with shocked and heavy hearts that we had to say goodbye to him in June. It has taken me a while to write about our loss.
June was an extra happy time this year – celebrating our son’s high school graduation. Our small community celebrated with parties and family gatherings for weeks. We arrived home from one such celebration at 10:30pm, with Purl and Argos running towards the door to greet us, as usual.
Then a horrible scream and Argos collapsed. He was in excruciating pain after trotting to the door (on carpet) as he has done a million times before.
I knew immediately this was grim. We raced to the emergency clinic for radiographs. Horrible. Heartbreaking.
His humerus (upper part of the front leg) was smashed. This could only mean one thing: bone cancer. Also known as osteosarcoma. Something unfortunately all too common in Greyhounds.
Argos had lots of painkillers administered to him when we got there, so he was pretty sleepy and calm after the shock of the event. We had to make the difficult decision at that point.
Yes, you can amputate the leg and hope for a few more months, some dogs do pretty well. However, given the amount of destruction (bone and muscle/soft tissue) and the pain, we felt it was the kindest goodbye for him. We said goodbye with the heaviest hearts.
Argos was just shy of his 12th birthday. We adopted him off the track when he was 4. He had been a ‘successful’ racer with lots of races and a few injuries, too. He was in pretty rough shape when we adopted him (underweight, parasites, poor hair coat), but he settled out nicely and was a joy to have in our family.
As he got older, he had a few signs of arthritis/old injury that responded well to glucosamine treatment. His attitude, appetite, and everything else were fine leading up to this. I did a full bloodwork panel (prior to his dental cleaning) the month before, and everything was normal.
Hindsight… 3 months prior to this, he limped on that leg (this was also the leg that had the injury many years prior), but it resolved after about a week. Was it a microfracture that healed as the cancer grew? I don’t know.
Remembering Sweet Argos
As a retired racer, we weren’t sure how he would be around cats. He was untested. But he was a gentle giant. He never bothered our cats, despite being the target of so many hits from the invisi-cat shield.
He put up with cats stealing his bed all of the time, too.
When we first adopted him, he didn’t get what walks were all about. He walked obediently along, but rarely sniffed anything and did not seem to enjoy walk time like most dogs.
But that soon changed. If he even thought I was going for the leash, he would jump up and down excitedly. He didn’t care what the weather was like. A walk! Yes, please! Yes!
But even on a walk, his most favorite-of-all activity was napping.
Even though we have dog beds everywhere, including one of his very own, there was something special about hogging the couch all to himself.
We miss you, sweet boy. Run free. ❤