Saying Goodbye to a Dear Old Dog

Last Thursday night was the last night on Earth fora beautiful Boxer named Mitzi. The 9-year-old Floridian was the best friend andmuse of inventor Marcy...

Last Thursday night was the last night on Earth fora beautiful Boxer named Mitzi.
The 9-year-old Floridian was the best friend andmuse of inventor Marcy Colangelo and her husband Vincent. Her dog’s long battle with cancer – Mitzi struggled bravely with the disease since puppyhood – inspired Marcy to create an ingenious alternative to the dreaded “cone of shame” for K9s recovering from surgery.
Sadly, as I learned with my dog Sam -and asany person or petwho has any experience with Cancer knows -the disease is a formidable opponent. Like the monster in a horror movie, just when you think you’ve got it licked, it shows up again, stronger and more determined than before.
Despite the Colangelos’ vigilance and TLC, three months ago Mitzi was diagnosed with a brain tumor involving the muscle that wraps around the cranium. “We treated her as aggressively as we could,” Vincent says, “but you could see the left side of her cranium cave in.” The disease had also spread to Mitzi’s optic nerve, and her hearing was affected too.
Toward the end ofMitzi’svaliant fight, there were some rays of hope in the pain-management department, as the Colangelos explored alternative therapies to relieve their beloved dog’s arthritis.
“All of the medications we were giving Mitzi were not working,plus theywere having bad side effects,” Vincent recalls. “But as soon as we switched to the cold laser, you could tell the difference-Mitzi was much more comfortable.”
Sheba, my very arthritic Border Collie, gets cold laser treatments from her brilliantholistic veterinarian Dr. Jill Elliot, and practically skips out of the treatment room after her sessions. That’s how good it makes her feel: The cold laser is moreof a treat than a treatment!
Like so many dog lovers who’ve tried this impressively effective healing modality and seen it work, the Colangelos are helping spread the word aboutcold laser therapyby enthusing about it. “The cold laserprovided Mitzi with a tremendous amount of relief from the physical pain associated with arthritis,” Vincent says. It’s only fitting that Mitzi foundsweet reliefin cold laser treatments, for this dog’s legacy is all about helpingher fellow dogs enjoy respitefrompain andstress.
BooBooLoon, the inflatable collar Marcy created forMitzi’s comfort, is now helping thousands of dogs cope comfortably with post-surgical recovery. For humans as well as dogs, the relief of stresshelps speed recovery from any injury or illness; having a soft pillow around one’s neck is far preferable to a hard plastic cone that restricts vision, muffles hearing, and makes one feel terribly vulnerable. Dogs wearingconestend to berigid with tension; dogs wearing BooBooLoons can let themselves relax and heal.
After driving Mitzi to the vet for the last time, where she received the lethal injection thateased herout of all pain, Vincent was moved to writea poem for the dog he and Marcy call “our baby, muse and head of security.” Reading it made me hug my 14-year-old Sheba more tightly than usual; Dogsters, I hope it bringsyoucomfort – thatwould have been Mitzi’s wish. Thank you, Vincent and Marcy, for sharing it.
Old Dogs
Old dogs understand us and wefinally understand them,
they have no time for mischief.
Old dogs prefer our company and we prefer theirs,
they never betray our trust.
Old dogs have earned our love and never withhold theirs,
why couldn’t we do the same.
Old dogs can be left alone and never abuse our space,
they never mean any harm.
You don’t walk old dogs, and certainly not on a leash,
old dogs walk you.
Old dogs seem to sense who’s boss and that’s OK,
a good lesson for us to learn.
Old dogs share their bed with us and always leave us space,
another good lesson for us.
Old dogs, alas, get sick and unfortunately leave us alone,
we should have appreciated them more.
We miss our old dog.

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