by Rick Bajackson
One proud German Shepherd
August 8, 2016
My wife, who's active in GSD rescue, and I decided to have you come to our house after the shelter found you apparently lost in Pikesville. We figured that, although you were about eight years old, someone would love to have you spend the rest of your life with them.
The weekend before, Jenn and I rode up and down the area in which you were found, putting up a sign on each telephone pole, hoping that your previous owner or someone who knew them would see your picture and contact the shelter. But there were no calls inquiring about you.
I was desperate to find your original owner and let him know that we found you wandering around in Pikesville and that you were safe and sound at the County shelter.
I've had several GSDs. Some spent a short period of time with us, and some we decided to adopt when their unique quirks would have made them unadoptable. Since Jenn was active in rescue, there were a number of shepherds who spent time with us at Shepherds Run.
I have not been able to get close to a GSD ever since I lost my buddy, Sarek, four years ago. But I figured that you were joining our pack and we'd see how things would go. Or if worse came to worst, we'd find you a suitable home with some other family. None of these dogs, great that they maybe, could come close to Sarek. Each dog came, spent a few weeks at our home, and then was adopted out to a "forever home." I got close to falling in love with one or two of them, but something was holding me back.
You made yourself right at home. We rushed to fill the child-wading pool with water, if just to see what you'd do.
It looked as if you'd be here for more than a short stay. And I fell in love with you that first day that you came to Shepherds Run.
August 17, 2016
We decided that you needed a walk up the driveway. When we got you back you laid down, too worn out to move. We decided that you should have your blood tested just to be sure that there were no problems. So we made an appointment for you at our local vets.
We put you on to a two feet by four feet board, carried you out to the car, and then were amazed when you decided to get up and walk around Jeep.
That's when the bottom fell out -- for you and us. You were diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. The tumor was pressing against your heart. The vet recommended prompt euthanasia. Rather than take that horrendous step, we retreated with you back to the house.
August 18, 2016
We had our favorite trusted veterinarian come over to tell us what we could do for you. The prognosis was poor but he handed us this packet of Chinese medicine called Yunnan Baiyao. It was rumored that this drug might at least shrink your tumor, giving you some additional time with us.
August 19th thru August 27th
So began our intensive research on what, if any, Chinese medicines would extend your life with us. Jenn contacted UPenn, which was running a formal test on I'm Yunity, but they were testing for splenic tumors. Worse, their testing had just started. Ipso facto: no results. But at least we saw some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
We ended up considering Yunnan Baiyao and I'm Yunity. We figured that we'd try a solid month with you on both drugs to see if they were going to take effect. We definitely had our collective fingers crossed.
Then you stopped eating and nothing that we tried seem to increase your appetite. You turned your head away from chicken, cat food, turkey breast, liverwurst, steak and just about everything that we could get from the supermarket.
And you were growing weaker by the day. We considered it a good day if you peed and a better day if you were alert and picking your head up when either Jenn or I walked into the room.
It took Jenn and me to get you out to do your business. We fitted you with two of the slings that we collected from our other late senior dogs and got you to go down the ramp. But you were growing weaker and weaker each day.
We called our vet and asked him to come over. I still can't believe how good you looked when you got here, and how devastating this disease was. With his help, you passed out of our lives that horrible last Sunday afternoon.
Although I worked hard, I never knew your real name. Whatever name I tried with you, nothing got your attention-not even a tail wag. So we called you Kahner, named after Kahn Drive in Pikesville where you were found and taken to the shelter.
I know that you belonged to a loving family who deserves to know what became of you... that you were picked by the shelter, placed a month later with Training Rescue Dogs, and then adopted by us. We figured that you needed a "forever home" even if "forever" was going to last a few days.
But I have no way of telling them. In spite of how sick you were, your radiance illuminated our lives if only for three weeks in August. If nothing else, you definitely were loved by us if only for a brief while.
Kahner, you didn't deserve what you got. And neither did I.
It is said that, "The ones we rescue, rescue us." So why do I feel so damned bad?
Rest in peace, Kahner.