Kireisa's Champagne Chorus
October 28, 2001 - November 4, 2012
Dam: Kireisa's Champagne Dream ("Moka')
Sire: Am. Can. Ch.
Regalia's Darqknight Excalibur ("Cal")
Our perpetual puppy, Chorus, is now playing with her favourite stuffed toy and her ball, in the green meadows over the Rainbow Bridge.
Chorus celebrated her 11th birthday one week ago today. True to her character, she was playful, smiling and full of life, as she was every day of her eleven years. Even though she had started to move a little more slowly in recent months, the day never came, even today, when she would not grab a toy or a ball and ask to play, her eyes shining, and with a big smile on her happy face. Later that same day, we laughed at her antics (as we did almost daily), as she gently shepherded the whippet puppies who broke into her room to see her. Always curious, she insisted on being a part of the activities, and offered her “seal of approval” last Sunday, when a family came to see the pups, bringing along their 14-year old Whippet to meet the babies. Chorus gently greeted the senior visitor, and “approved” her to take home one of “her” babies, even though we were never fortunate enough to be blessed with puppies from Chorus herself. What a shame, as she would have been an excellent mother, but I think she insisted on keeping herself young and playful, and having her own pups would just not have worked with her own agenda.
Chorus was very athletic – she loved to play soccer, pushing a ball around the paddock, the kennel, or our family room with her nose and paws. Her favourite ball was a horse “Jolly Ball” – a hard plastic outer shell with round holes in it, and within, a soft plastic ball. Chorus learned how to chew the outer shell apart until she could extract the inner ball – not an easy feat, as these balls are claimed to be almost indestructible. But, the makers never met Chorus and her determination. She decimated several of these Jolly Balls over her lifetime; even the partial remains of the hard shell ball provided her with hours of amusement as she threw them into the air and caught them within her paws.
She loved to make noise. We knew this early on when, as a very young pup, she would converse with us, singing and carrying on, just to be sure we heard her. Hence her name, Chorus – she who sings. Another favourite pastime, again involving lots of noise, was to flip her dinner bowl upside down and play hockey with it, slamming it into the walls or the fence in her kennel, or most aggravating to me, as it was like fingernails scraping down a blackboard, using her bowl to shovel the gravel in her run from one place to another. The Jolly Ball also made or elicited a jolly good racket as it slammed into the furniture and doors, or painfully, our ankles!
This past Wednesday morning, I went to take Chorus out for her walk. She greeted me with her happy face, but would not rise from her sitting position. No amount of encouragement could get her up, and I quickly realized that something was very wrong. Our son, Tynan, who was thankfully home, gently picked her up and brought her to the car so we could head immediately to the vet’s. While spinal x-rays were inconclusive, her other symptoms all pointed to an episode of FCEM (fibrocartilagenous embolic myelopathy) – a spinal stroke. Our daily visits to encourage her, and to bring her home-cooked meals, were filled with hope when she sat up, smiling and frenetically wagging her tail in an ecstatic greeting at our entrance, but our hopes were dashed each day as no sign of recovery, or even improvement, could be seen; her hindquarters remained completely paralyzed despite her will to live and her unsinkable spirit.
This morning, we helped Chorus across the Rainbow Bridge, one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make, as she had greeted us, mere moments earlier, grabbing her toy to play and, with some support, heading towards the door as if to say, “Hey, let’s go home now!”
Run free and whole again, sweet Chorus. Allow not your earthly tethers to hinder your insurmountable spirit and love of family and life. You will be forever missed but always a part of our hearts and soul.
November 4, 2012