Saturday, August 22, 2009

Joys and sorrows

I have special feelings for each book I've written, but I think Senior Dogs For Dummies is probably my favorite. Certainly that book was the most heartfelt. I wrote much of that book while I was grieving the sudden death of my late great Sheltie, Cory. But also, because I decided to include profiles of real-life senior dogs who were living their lives to the fullest, I also came into contact -- albeit virtual in most cases -- with some unforgettable canine characters and their devoted people.

One of those individuals was CH Bramblewood's Taali' of Husn, an Ibizan Hound who shared her nearly 16 years with Carol Dickerson Kaufmann. I profiled Taali' in SDFD because she was being treated for mast cell cancer while continuing to enjoy life. When Taali was diagnosed in 2002 at the age of 9, Carol decided to pursue the best treatment available: radiation treatments at a clinic that was 170 miles from her home. The regimen required 16 such treatments over a period of three weeks. After the treatment ended, Taali' showed no sign of cancer for nearly a year and a half. But then, another lump occurred -- and again, the diagnosis was a mast cell tumor. This time, Carol and Taali' went to the clinic so that Taali could have surgery and chemotherapy. Carol was told that such treatment offered Taali a 70 percent chance of living for another year.

That was nearly six years ago.

Today I received a note from Carol that Taali' -- an Arabic name that means "star of destiny" -- passed away this past June 23, just two weeks short of her 16th birthday. I hope that, as Carol grieves the loss of her friend, that she'll realize that Taali's courageous example has probably inspired more dog people than she or I will ever know. For my part, I never had the privilege of meeting Taali' in person -- but I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to write about her.

Pictured above: CH Bramblewood's Taali' of Husn.

1 comment:

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Wow! Nearly 16. That's amazing. Much to celebrate. Much to mourn.