Mina, the hound that started it all. (2002 - 2014)The reason behind my 'conversion' from feline fanatic to canine convert can be attributed to a certain greyhound called Mina and she is why I can't remember what the years BC (Before Canine) were like! Now all my years will firmly be AD (After Dog).
If you'd asked me back in 2005 whether I'd ever share my life with a dog, I would have laughed in your face. I had two cats - Chivers and Tazzie - (who have now sadly passed over rainbow bridge) and had never really 'got' dogs. This was probably not helped by the fact that I was bitten in the stomach by a German Shepherd Dog as a child - I happened to be at the wrong end whilst another child was teasing the dog.
Little did I know that a long weekend in Barcelona would change my life forever. It wasn't the stunning architecture or finding a long lost Dali that was to change my life, it was a small notice posted behind the reception desk at the boarding kennels/cattery:
Female Greyhound - Good with Children and Cats - Looking for a Good Home
|Mina in 2005|
Mina was introduced to Chivers and Tazzie and the initial signs were good, so on Friday 11 March 2005, Mina joined our family and my life changed forever.
Mina was being rehomed as she had begun to fight with the older female dog in the house she was living in...this should have been a sign that she may have had some behavioural issues but we didn't think too much of it.
It was these issues that led me down the path to where I am now. I've learned so much from Mina over the years and she's been forgiving of my mistakes (all made with the best intentions).
Now, I look at this greying greyhound beauty in front of me and can't believe where the years have gone and how much my life has changed thanks to her.
|Mina in 2010 poses for the camera. Photo courtesy of Tim Rose, Dogs Today|
RIP Mina, 1 February 2014
Over Christmas 2013, Mina developed a tooth abscess on 26 December. She was prescribed antibiotics and booked in to have an extraction on New Year's Eve but by Sunday 29 she definitely wasn't herself. She was admitted to the emergency vet and kept in, as her temperature was so high. Her tooth was extracted on 30 December and she came home on 31 December 2013.
She didn't have a great appetite after her operation (not surprising, really) but she did eat a little on New Year's Eve. Then she stopped eating. Nothing I offered her could tempt to her eat. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of the end and signalled a series of hospitalised stays at the vets. We still don't know what caused the sudden decline in Mina - blood and urine tests pointed at underlying kidney and liver issues - but she lost over 5Kg of weight in a matter of weeks.
She came home just before the end of January and seemed to be improving. She'd regained her appetite (due to steroids) and was eating for England. However, despite having an appetite of a horse, she lost even more weight during her last week at home. There was nothing we could do to save her.
I made the most difficult decision of my life to have her put to sleep on Saturday 1 February 2014. She passed away at home and in my arms. I miss her dreadfully but am thankful for all she taught me whilst she was alive.