We lost our sweet Greyhound BOO! yesterday. He fought a brave, stoic battle against the insidious osteocarcoma that attacks so many Greyhounds.
(This is a different "Boo" than the senior Boo adopted by Chris Hoffman in 2006.)
What a privilege to enjoy such a wonderful Greyhound in our home for two months. There aren't enough positive words to describe what a phenomenal Greyhound he was.
Boo had his front, right leg amputated in the beginning of December. He had osteocarcoma, but the growth of it was so slow, it was labeled "abnormal osteo." X-rays showed no evidence of the cancer in other parts of his body. We now know it must have been there microscopically or simply didn't show.
We hoped with a special protocol, Boo might be one of the greys to beat the odds of osteo. But, last week we found out that the cancer was back and it was extremely aggressive.
Boo was brought to us by another Atlanta Greyhound rescue group that we have known for years, Greytfriends. He had already had the amputation in another state through another rescue organization and was well on his way to recovery. He came to Atlanta and we offered to be his foster home as he continued to heal.
It has been heartwarming to have our SEGA friends concerned about Boo, too. John Parker and I have been corresponding back and forth about Greyhounds with cancer. When I advised John about Boo, he put his picture on the site. Thanks, John, that meant the world to use. (Some of you might remember the "Snow Dog" photo of the Grey a few weeks ago having a blast in that winter "storm"? Well, that was our Boo--playing and smiling--two things he excelled at.)
To all who brought him into our lives, helped with his medical care, kept asking how he was doing, gave him goodies and toys and beds and special clothes--thank you so much. You helped make Boo's time here happy, healthy, and comfortable.
An extra special thank you to Dr. Guillermo Couto of The Ohio State University for his expertise in helping Boo. Dr. Couto is a national Greyhound cancer expert. He responded to my email about Boo and helped us all last week. He offered to look at Boo's photos and biopsy slides at no charge. Dr. Couto responded exceptionally quickly, advised about procedures and worked hand in glove with our vet. Once he got the slides, he made it a priority to get us an answer. I cannot imagine how busy he must be. He helped us as he has helped so many of our Greyhounds. What a gift to our Greyhounds to have someone like Dr. Couto in the corner.
We loved Boo from the bottom of our hearts. I have absolutely no doubt he knew that, too.
An abundance of joy left us. But, Boo is finally free of pain. For that, our hearts are grateful.
Run ahead and wait for us, dear boy. We will meet again and we will bring along lots of squeaky toys for you!
Gerry and Dan Skalsky
February 13, 2008