Today was a tough day.
My dog, Sweetie, a 13 year old Elkhound recently had a lump removed and we found out it was a grade 3 mast, and a seriously bad version of cancer. The day we had it removed she got home and was extremely happy. Well, a day after that with all the meds for pain and surgery she had to take she just didn't seem herself. We took her back to the vet and he said that the surgery went fine, and the incision area is healing great. He had thought maybe the stress from the surgeryhad gotten to her. So he had us stop that medicine and gave her some others to help her relax and eat better. Another few days went by and we struggled with finding food she wanted... even people food (she would always beg when we ate and now nothing.... she must not have felt good we figured, still recovering from the surgery). By this Friday she had not eaten any dog food at all and we looked around the house for anything that would intice her to eat. Carisa (my wife) had just gotten back from eating out with Bronwyn (her life long best friend) and she had brought a piece of steak )a filet no less) home in a doggie bag. What the heck, I sliced a thin piece of and showed her - boom she was up, 1/2 way into the kitchen wanting more.... so I cut up the rest - she loved it. But that is all she would eat the rest of the weekend. Saturday - nothing at all - no hot dogs, cheese - nothing. She ended up vomitting just water up and wasn't doing well again. She found her comfy spot by the front door and slept there. Sunday we got up and she would not move. It was time. I made the call to the Vet and he had us bring her in. He agreed.
That was tough.. I know this is a lot of information, especially to people I may or may not know. But I have to talk about it, it is the healing process.
Sweetie was so much more that a family pet. She was part of her family. We drove to detroit to get her... she was the best dog I have ever hadm she had a loving desposition. It's crazy. She loved being around us. She used to go to work with me at the lock shop. She hated tiled floors, but even though that was all the shop had - she wanted to go. She would sit in the front windows and watch the cars go by all day. She loved riding in the work van with me too then. I would roll her window down and she would sometimes hang out as we drove down the highway (I remember looking at her and her eyelids would pop up and her cheeks pop out wide from all the wind) and other times she would sit facing me and paw at me to pet her as we drove. She was a great dog. Everyone worried that when we had kids she would bit at them. But they didn't understand her. She loved her family, would protect it it to her death. When Freddy was little she would stand next to him as he got up - letting him grab handfulls of her hair to pull himself up. And not even flinch. If she did something bad, and you told her 'bad' she would hang her head as to say she was sorry. For a dog she was very emotional, and you could see it.
Miss you Sweetie.
After all of this today - I got home and had time to still make my first road race of the season. I had the truck already packed up from the night before. So I changed my clothes and headed out. I got there just in time. No warm up. A 43 mile Cat 4/5 race. Well it was time to see if the training and the weight loss was going to work. I am pleased to announce it was my best race ever, even with the conditions I was under. I stayed in the front pack up until I saw my team mate Dan attack the front with 1/2 lap to go. At this point the speed went up and it strung everyone out. I was hanging on to the end of the front pack. I made it to the 2nd to last hill and boom it hit me... not enough gas in the tank... they started to drift away... first a few feet I couldn't close, then a few yards... slowly growing. It was painfull. I would stand up to sprint to try to close the gap and there just was not enough to do it. I just put my head down and went to work. The road wiggled around with a nasty head to side wind, depending on the road. The we turned right... I could still see them, but they were WAY out there. There was a ton of odd people out there in between. So I just went to work. Picking them off one by one. I went by a couple of people and started to close in on 2 guys working together (from the same team). When I caught them I jumped in the back and let them both take the pulls qiving me a break. Then when it was my turn I realize that they were helping me so I had to help them. I pulled for more than my fair share - probably about 3 times longer than either one of them by themselves, but I wanted to be fair since we would be going placed quicker working together. I went left to pull off to let them pull again and they followed me - sticking me in the front. Nice. So I went back to work. Head down keeping the pace the same. I had a small downhill section I could keep the pace up and get a quick drink and I did. Bottle back and with the sun behind me I saw the guy right behind me getting his bottle out. Staying seated I jumped the cadence up 20 rpm and saw a gap - down 2 gears and stand up sprint. Boom. See ya... gapped them and they didn't try to catch me. The adrenaline was pumping from that I just put my head down and got busy. With about 2 miles left I never saw them again. If you want to play that game and let me work alone, I will work alone. Anyways I made the last turn to the right back into the nasty side wind and hill to the finish. I could still see the leaders cresting the hill. Sweet! I busted my rear to finish (within 5 minutes of the leaders) but still behind the main pack. I know there was 100 riders in the Cat 4/5 race I and I bet I was in the top 40. Felt great!
My day went from all time lows to a nice finish. I know Sweetie helped me out there. She made the rain stop, and I gave her some tears along the way.
Oh yeah, I have broken the 200lb weight now too. I hope to have lost another 10 lbs in the next month. Looking for a all time low for Mount Mitchell.
Sorry for the LONG post - so much today... the therapy of typing this helped. Thanks for reading!