- August 29, 2002
is with extreme sadness that I report that we have lost our
beloved companion of more than 10 years, Martha "Calamity"
Jane on August 28, 2002.
was diagnosed with a large mass in or near the spleen, believed
to be cancerous, with 80-100% certainty of spread to the right
ventricle of the heart and life expectancy of 120 days. Due
to her strong constitution, the tremendous pain of this developing
tumor did not manifest until this last Monday. Even then she
never made a sound, but in retrospect, we both identified the
dozens of little signs over the past few weeks that something
and Tuesday she trooped on, not complaining, but bloated and
not eating enough and drinking some. When the condition continued
Wednesday, we took her to Pima Animal Hospital, where she had
not been, but who had helped us before with a wonderful 24 hour
phone hotline, through MJ's bouts with Colorado River Toads,
Gopher Snakes, Desert (Valley) Fever, and Gila Monsters. She
loved this place, but we could not let her roam free, because
she could find the nastiest varmints in the Sonoran Desert,
not to mention a nose or tail full of cactus needles.
a day of bizarre revelations, our trip the vet turned into a
nightmare, as a massive Arizona desert thunderstorm followed
us into town, with torrential rain, hail, and lightening punctuating
our initial consultation with the vet, waiting for X-Rays and
other tests, the vet's diagnosis and limited treatment options.
Our final decision to let her go on to the "Rainbow Bridge"
to meet ChiliDog, Rita, Spike, Rags, Rufus, Ace, and the dozens
of others we have all shared time and space with, was the correct
one, even though it was made in a short time. One look at the
X-rays, and a confirming plaintive look from our dog genius,
helped me put aside my selfishness for "just one more day",
and convinced us to let her go on her way. We are relieved that
she is no longer in pain.
we brought her back out to the desert where she loved to go
for walks, the storms turned some of the low water crossings
into near rivers, but not enough to block our path. We buried
her under a stand of Sonoran Mesquite and Palo Verde trees west
of the house, next to a Sanctuario placed there by a previous
owner. The storms came and went all night long, and are still
now stumbling around the area. As I write this, I am looking
out to the west, and the morning is finally calming down, with
blue sky and puffy white clouds replacing the storms. The overnight
rains have settled MJ in her place, and the beautiful desert
rocks we gathered for her monument look like they have already
been there a long time.
will miss her dearly, and we will carry her forward in our hearts
August 29, 2002