May 13, 1998-December, 12, 2009
A huge hole in all our hearts
Updated Dec. 2009
We had been wanting to adopt again for a long time, after all, three is a sacred number. ~;) But finances wouldn’t allow, when I (Saigh) got a new job we decided that we could soon get both a new horse (soon) and a new hound. And I just had a feeling that a black female would be at GPS when we were ready. There were several, the question was
were any of them right? Then I checked and there was yet another, Hi Tech Lollypop, this one without “New” on her profile…I figured she was a return. Sure enough she was “life style changes and separation anxiety.” She showed the crooked ear that Irony has. She turns out to be another Dutch Bahama granddaughter on her paternal side. And it turns out both ears do that! Scolaighe’s pedigree
We changed her name to “Scolaighe,” as we just couldn’t live with “Lollypop” or even “Lolly” as she apparently was called at the kennel. This took a bit of work a friend had suggested “Sgeolan” (“Sceolain”) to go with the name “Bran” which we considered, but then thought might be too pretentious. Besides, we thought maybe something ending in an “lly” sound would be easier for her to learn. And, no, “Molly” is a bit too “commonly Irish” for our tastes. So we discussed naming her “Sgeolan” and just calling her “Sgeoli. Well, the pronunciation didn’t quite work and we ended up with something that sounded more like, er, “Scolaighe.” We were hesitant at first as we don’t like to give our hounds “pop culture” names (and I’m assuming those of you who have a bit of Irish or even Scottish Gaelic can figure out how the name is pronounced). But it was too quickly ingrained on us.
“Scolaighe” is an Irish name derived from the word for “scholar.” And yes, it is a male given name. However, we figure it’s fine for a female as today the Anglicized surname is mostly associated with a female television character (sadly, of the past now). Got it yet?
Scolaighe, who will turn 5 this summer, is settling in well and quickly. Irony has established her dominant position without much question. Scolaighe does gently dominate Bran, much as Irony does but without as much growling…she just cuddles on top of him a lot. She is very cuddly. She did display some separation anxiety, but mostly the “for show” stuff, you know, when we’re leaving or returning. In fact, at first she followed us when we moved through the house and couldn’t stand to have us out of site. We believe she was fussed on whenever she showed anxiety and developed it through “training” as it were. So we ignore her when she behaves this way and it is quickly fading. There apparently is no problem once we’re out of earshot..no drooling, tearing bedding, tearing up her legs…. When she’s not displaying anxiety, she is actually very mellow, especially compared to Ironyand Bran who are both rather intense. She is fitting in perfectly.
Finally updating Dec. 2009
When we got Gleann she was very intensely interested in him, wanting to play. As he got bigger we allowed them to go at it. She might not be soft mouthed, but he had a lot of hair and he is soft mouthed so never broke her thin Greyhound skin once. Sometimes it looked a bit scary though.
Life with Scolaighe got a bit more interesting in the fall of 2006, as she started to behave oddly. It started with whining, a lot, without clear indication of what was needed. She started to “get lost” its seemed, in the house. Finally early in 2007, we got a diagnosis that either she had brain tumors or her brain was swelling. Rather than putting her through increasingly invasive tests, we just had her put on Predinisone, as it was the treatment for either. The difference would be that it would only work for a short time on the tumors.
The drug made her very sick, she stopped eating and we kept trying to find things she would eat. Finally in May of 2007 it seemed there was no hope, she lost too much weight, she had both bacterial and fungal infections and the weightloss meant the vet didn’t feel they could treat the infections. We made arrangements. And then, on the “smelly food is enticing” theory, gave her some canned salmon. She ate it up. She started showing improvement. We cancelled her appointment. She kept eating the salmon, she started eating her kibble again, she gained weight and after several courses of treatments we got the infections beaten down.
She was still rather crazy, but no longer having the “brain pain” just the damage. She was snugglier than ever, it was her life’s purpose. She might seem odd to others, many might have given up on her, but as long as she seemed happy, we’d work around her unique issues.
Towards the end of the summer of 2009 she got an infection again and lost a lot of weight during treatment. She had a bad spell early that fall, we thought it was the end again. But again she rallied. Perhaps a bit more brain damaged, a bit odder, but still loving and happy. As long as she responded to snuggling and wants to eat and other wise seems happy, she’d have a home.
We had hoped that she and Òrlaith would have more time together, but early in December Scolaighe got another infection. This time it was clear that she just couldn’t fight it again. Her body was still too weak from the last bout, the antibiotics made her sick, she couldn’t hold down food. We spent time snuggling her, helping her eat what little she could, until December 12, when we took her down to the vet. She still loved to snuggle, but was uncomfortable by this time when she did try to eat, her body no longer functioning enough to digest food properly. It seemed the only thing still working in her body was her might, Greyhound heart and it was keeping her anchored to this world too long.
She’s now reunited with Irony and Bran, chasing bunnies in the afterlife…and I bet there are couches there too. Gleann, who is the wonderful dog he is because of her upbringing, is one sad little dog so we comfort each other. Òrlaith didn’t get as much chance to bond with her, but is clearly saddened too. Our lives seem a bit emptier now, but we’re glad she’s not suffering as she was beginning to. We just happy we were able to give her several more years than we though we could when she first got sick. She was a very special, extra loving, hound.