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Archive for January 21, 2010

Caira Sue. What a long strange trip it’s been.

So how did we get to this point? How did we get to the point where we plaster cast and painted a mold of our dog’s front left foot?

In May 2002 an adorable brown puppy was born in Colorado. From here the story gets shaky. She’s never really told us the details. Stuff happens and this puppy was found wandering streets in a not-so-great-town and was brought into a clinic where my sister just happened to be working that night.  The lady who brought her in said “if you guys don’t take it, I will just put it back on the street where I found it.”

More stuff happens. All the vet staff take turns fostering this little puppy and calling her “Molly” of all things. Then in July 2002 my sister drives down to Ft Defiance, AZ and brings us the most adorable puppy we’d ever seen. We name her Caira Sue. We find “Caira” in an old dictionary to mean “It will go on” and “to charge forth.” That totally describes our girl-then and now. Of course, we did the only proper thing to do in America, we completely change the pronounciation. It kind of evolves into “Kara or Kyra.” The “Sue” is a nod to my hillbilly roots. Love those two names.

At the time I was working as a RN on the reservation. My husband, like most of the husbands there, had nothing to do but hike and explore. From the age of 4 months, Caira Sue has been going on adventures. Her jumping and smiles and all around goofiness has been infectious. You can always hear her shouting “I’M A DOOOOOOOGGG!” as she runs and jumps and digs.

7 years of amazing adventures. Hiking, backpacking, swimming (lots of stuff happening)-many moves later and Caira Sue lives in the east San Francisco Bay.

In July 2009 she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in her right shoulder blade. At the end of the month it was amputated-shoulder blade, leg, the whole kit and kaboodle. Stuff happens.

We have had many adventures since. Camping, hiking, swimming. Roadtripping across the Southwest. We have met beautiful people with huge hearts through the tripawds group. In NorCal we have met amazing tripawds. We have learned that having 3 legs never really slowed a dog down. In fact, I often thought they were having more fun.

While taking her to UC Davis to treat the OSA, Caira Sue was placed in a Gemzar inhalation chemo study. Because of that, Caira has had an amazing 6.5 months. I am forever grateful that we were able to take part in this study.

Now that this study has been ongoing for awhile and there’s evidence of it working, they are starting to use it on children. Our Caira Sue. Our most amazing, most beautiful, most adventurous, most precious dog…has helped countless children in the future.

And that’s a beautiful thing.

May 2002-Thursday, Jan 21, 2010.

May you always catch the tennis balls and swim in the waves. May you always be heard shouting “I’M A DOOOOOOOGGGGGG!” Charge forth, forever Caira Sue. Charge forth.