This is going out to a lot of people, so excuse it for not being personalized. 

Blarneystone Miss Valdez, F. Ch., a.k.a. Val, a.k.a. The Jiggy Whippet, a.k.a. The Wonder Whippet, at age 6-and-about-2-thirds, has about 3 months to live.  Today she had a malignant tumor the size of 2 grapefruits removed...and there's plenty more small ones where that came from.  She should be back to her old self...for a while.  Then they'll eventually grow, and pretty soon she'll be in the same shape as she was today: low energy, not eating much, mysterious swelling in her abdomen.  She'll be coming home possibly tomorrow, maybe Monday.  We just called and she's doing okay.  On pain meds and still groggy, but she's doing as well as can be expected.  When the other tumors start growing and she seems miserable enough, we'll be calling the nice grim reaper vet who makes house calls, the same woman that did Puder the cat in our living room about a year ago.  So far, this has cost us somewhere between 2000 and 4000 dollars.  We're not sure yet.

Now for the minutiae and eulogy-in-advance:  We've had Val for just over 3 years.  She's the only pet that we didn't bring into our marriage (I inherited 2 cats, Cathy inherited some tropical fish), and she's been the only dog in the house.  She was supposed to live to be about 12 or 14.  We got her as a rescue, from the exceptionally cool Laurel Wilkes, who has a house full of Whippets. 

We can't get another Whippet.  Val ruined the breed for us.  Yes, I know, everybody says that their pet is the best one in the world.  Trust me, another one would be a second-rate substitute...and we know a lot of Whippets.  They're all great, but not like Val.  Val was perfect.  She didn't chase small animals (she's always been pretty much oblivious to all other animals, actually), was the opposite of stubborn, had the absolute perfect temperament, and basically had no detectable faults.  Maybe we'll change our mind, but that's what we think at the moment.

Most of the credit for making Val's too-brief life a happy one goes to Cathy.  Val was passed over as a puppy by Whippet owners because she "showed no interest in the lure."  Cathy worked with Val in the backyard with a plastic bag on a rope, and Val went on to become a Lure Coursing Field Champion after only 4 races.  Cathy worked with Val in obedience and agility classes.  How many Whippets do obedience and agility?  Cathy was mostly the one who made sure Val was covered up in the middle of the night.  Cathy made this:  I insist that you check it out.  (It is now, which is the site you are reading this on.)

Other important folks in Val's life include Laurel (who I already mentioned) who used to baby-sit Val when we went out of town, and who I used to pester on the phone anytime we had a medical question about Whippets; Jo and Glen Sowards, who let us come over to their house and practice box racing and who let me (Eric) drive the 3-wheeler and reset the lure at lure coursing events; Beverly McKibbin at Blarneystone who bred Val in the first place; the band, who always got Val all wound up on Sunday nights; and Deb, Candace, and Laura who were Val's (and Cathy's) teachers at BEDOG for obedience and agility.

Val lived for chasing white plastic bags that were pulled very fast on a string for a few hundred yards, playing Frisbee, mangling her bunnies (the stuffed-toy kind), going for car rides, getting cozy with her humans on the couch/bed/wherever, treats (especially broccoli, Brussels sprouts and asparagus), lots of petting and summertime.

Val's birthday was the same day as mine.  She probably won't make it to the next one.  But we won't forget her.

Eric and Cathy

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