My not-so-merry Christmas, and the passing of our dog Gangis Kind
So Chris and I flew home from his fight in Florida on December 18th, Saturday. We were greeted by a happy bluenose pitbull – Gangis Kind – who my best friend Serena kindly dog-sat for us. He loves her. I love that he loves her. He goes over to her, sits down, and lets her pet him. It doesn’t even do that for me! It’s like sometimes he sniffs me, gets bored, and walks away to go lay down. lol
I know he’s arthritic and has a stiff gait, but I thought, “Gee, is it my imagination or has he slowed down a bit more?” He was fifteen years old. Chris got him when he was a puppy.
It felt good to be back. Sunday, we went to a Christmas party at the Pinball hall of fame. We hung out with a few people while eating, but then I discovered the Dance Dance Revolution dancing game and spent a lot of time on that.
Monday Chris had off from work to recover from his fight. I kinda felt like my immune system was crashing due to the stress of travel and just the fight. I felt like I might catch a cold, but then again, maybe I was just being a wuss and was tired form the time change. I went to practice but tried not to overdo it.
I decided to get C19 tested and it came back negative. Hmm alright. I dunno.
Monday night into Tuesday early morning I realized I had a fever. But I didn’t have nasal congestion like I do when I catch a cold. I felt tired and slept a lot. Felt like when I got C-19 in the summer of 2020. The other test said negative! “You probably got tested too early,” Chris said. I quarantined myself at home just in case so I wouldn’t spread anything. I waited a few days until my fever went down a bit, and then got tested at Pro Am Sports near Syndicate, waiting outside on the bench so I didn’t have to go inside. Popped positive. Dang it! 🙁
Thank you, Serena’s mom and Serena, for bringing us groceries again. Last time I had a fever for 2 days but this time it lasted five days. At first it was 100, and then for the last several days, it was 99, so not too horrible but still annoying. Then I got a little stuffy and spit up loogies now and then that were oddly colored, but I’m glad I didn’t have worse symptoms. I’d like to think my immune system is normally pretty strong and I am in good shape. So before, “they” told us to wait until we had no more symptoms and then wait like five days or something, and then get tested. This time, the CDC announced we only have to wait five days period to get retested. Man…I dunno about the CDC. They are trying, I guess. -_-; But whatever, I’m trying to use my common sense at this point, so when I started feeling strong and like I wanted to go jogging, I got tested (for the third time.) Negative after 8 days this time.
So I resumed life on Dec 28th.
Chrismas was nice because I was with Chris, but sucky because I felt sick. Our doggy had a fever. I couldn’t tell but Chris said he felt under his arm and his chest and he felt hot. He was acting very subdued, not moving around, not really eating. It was scary.
I asked Chris to drive me to the Las Vegas Speedway Christmas lights! I wanted to so something festive but we had to stay quarantined, so this was perfect. We stayed in our cars with our windows mostly rolled up. It was beautiful! Worth the time and money!
I watched a LOT of My Hero Academia…the entire season 5! That was cool. I also finished the second season of Lost in Space. I started watching Demon Slayer, the movie, but got reminded how much I dislike two of the three main characters so I’m going to have to give up the series. Sorry, Candy, I know you love that one but I just can’t STAND Zenitsu and Inosuke. At least I met Rengoku because I had been curious about him. He made me laugh.
Chris, thank you for the nice presents! ^^ You are my favorite present, though.
So finally after two weeks we felt safe enough to take Gangis to the vet because he just seemed like he wasn’t doing well. We told the vet he has C19, and then vet said, “Oh dogs can’t get C19….” which I heard they can…Chris and I looked at each other.
The vet bent over and felt Gangis’ stomach area. “It feels like he has enlarged organs,” he said. I’d like to do an X-ray.
Okay….but wait what?
I ended up leaving for a conditioning session….I felt bad leaving Chris but my cardio was zero and I have my last fight coming up in a month.
When I got back, Chris told me that Gangis has cancer. A lot of it.
The vet suggested putting him down. I knew this day would come….I just didn’t expect it to be today. We brought him in because he had a fever from, what we thought was C19…
The first thing I thought of was how my relatives tended to pass away during the holiday season. My paternal grandfather was Christmas eve, my maternal great aunt Anne was the 26th, my maternal grandfather was the 28th…. CAN YOU STOP PLEASE?!? NO MORE. If you are my relative, then please do your best to avoid Christmas time. 🙁
We had three options: 1) put him down in the vet’s office 2) let the vet keep him overnight for a 24 hour kidney pump to flush him with fluids and maybe help him feel better to prolong his life 3) send him home with a bag of fluids. Chris chose 2, which I agreed with.
It was a hard, lonely night. The next day we started our daily routines and Chris went to work.
An hour later the vet called us and told us to get down there.
Chris ditched work and I dropped what I was doing. The vet told us he hadn’t improved and had blood in his poop. He wasn’t walking and just looked in pain. Chris really wanted him to pass in a familiar place as comfortable as possible, so we took him home and tried to schedule home euthanasia. Turns out it’s harder than we thought. I was ready to use “1st call pet cremation” because they are available 24/7 but their traveling vet canceled on us at the last minute.
We weren’t sure how much time he had but poor Gangis seemed to be stoically suffering. I dunno how Chris found her, but Dr. Sarena from “Peace for Paws” responded. It was 3:30 when he called her, and she was driving home from a long day at work. (She later told me this). But still, she told us she’d be there between 4 and 5. https://www.peaceforpawsvet.com/ I highly recommend her. She was so kind to us and to Gangis. We explained that he had cancer and was suffering. She took one look at him and understood. Using a foam board, she took a paw print impression for us to save, giving us plenty of time to hug and kiss Gangis. Gently, she rubbed his leg and injected a sedative to make him sleepy. Chris held his whitened face and told him what a good boy he was. Gangis locked eyes with Chris and didn’t break the gaze until the sleepiness pulled down his eyelids. I promised him that I’d take care of Chris from now on, so he didn’t have to worry. Finally, Dr. Sarena gave him a vile so that he could go to sleep all the way.
I’m crying now writing this. I used to think dogs were “just animals.”
They have personalities. Let me tell you about Gangis Kind, if you will indulge me for a moment.
He had kind, gentle golden eyes. I first met him one year ago in December when Chris took me to his house for the first time. I was nervous! I had to make a good impression on my boyfriend’s best friend!
“So I have to introduce you to him, and then it’ll be safe for you to come in,” Chris explained. I had heard he had a lot of trauma in his life, with burglars beating him up. He also had a death match with a German Sheppard to protect Chris, whom it attacked. So Chris opened the front door, the dog sniffed me a few times, and then ran away into the living room. I was kind of disappointed I didn’t get a more thorough sniffing, lol I must have checked out immediately, I guess!
When Chris, Gangis and I started living together, he accepted me into his family and protection. If I went to the bathroom, he took it upon himself to come guard me from potential predators. If I closed the door to have privacy, unacceptable! He would nose at it and snort until I either finished pooping or opened it. He’d guard me in the shower. If I did chores, he would trot after me and monitor. When I did yoga, he would sit near me and pretend not to watch….but watch. I’d hear his nails click-clacking on the tile floor. Then, his gray little head would poke out around the corner and he’d eyeball me up and down with his gentle golden eyes. If all was well, he’d sit in view of me.
I’d have to carry him down the stairs every day because he would slip! He was heavy! Like 80 pounds!
Chris has trouble sleeping, so if ever I woke up and Gangis was up and standing by the door, I would quietly slip out and take him out in the middle of the night. It was annoying but I loved Chris so much that I wanted to do it for him. Finally, it stopped bothering me. I felt glad when the pooch got to relieve himself. He always seemed thankful.
When I got knee surgery, he seemed to be always there within reach to pet. When I was in pain, he was there, quiet and loving. He was a good guide for me on how to be a supportive girlfriend, to be honest. He taught me that I don’t need words to show someone I love them.
He liked to climb up on the human couch and sometimes I let him. I’d rest my bum foot on him.
Chris said, “I owe that little dog a lot, so I want him to have a happy retirement.”
I dedicated myself 110% to being the best step-dog mom ever. And I fell in love with him in the process.
He seemed pretty happy up to the end so I think I did a good job with supporting Chris’ hope and goal for that.
Lots of people in Facebook comments mentioned a Rainbow Bridge, so I looked it up. I guess, never having a dog, I had never heard of it. It’s a beautiful concept. I think that the purpose of life is to love and to learn. I try and enjoy every single day I have on this earth. I know I’ve made a difference in some people’s lives, so that makes me really happy to know. If I died tomorrow, I know I’d be remembered, and maybe taught someone something. I believe that Gangis Kind passed knowing he was loved. I’m not sure how deeply dogs can understand things, but he made a difference in this world. I might not have my boyfriend if Gangis hadn’t been around, so he certainly made a difference in my life. Thank you, Gangis, my first doggy love. I miss you.
Today was the first day of normalcy. Woke up, ate, trained, came home…..and the house was so so so quiet. I tried to steel myself but cried anyway. I just keep reminding myself of what an amazing little creature you were and how you still exist inside our minds and hearts.