When you choose to adopt an older dog, in the far recesses of your mind you know you won’t have very long together.
But a lifetime can be lived in one short year, as experienced by Dana Provost and her beloved Cartier.
Cartier came off the racing tracks in Guam in 2008. Dana already had four rescued Greys and ran a Greyhound rescue. Why would she consider a fifth dog at this time? Maybe because she had just lost Renoir to spleen cancer, or maybe because Cartier spoke to her with his serene, majestic demeanor. Maybe because it was just meant to be that he spend his last year of life changing other lives.
Cartier was hard to place because of his chronic health issues. It was not fully determined how his health would progress or if his life would be cut short, but he was already about eight years old and he needed a forever home for however long that forever would be.
On June 14, 2008 Cartier joined Dana’s pack of four Greyhounds and one Greyhound/Deerhound mix. Cartier bonded with Chanel, the playful one in the pack. They shared toys and even created a game of their own. “Dueling Squeakers” became the preferred game with each dog taking turns making these horrific sounds! But to Dana it sounded like the most blissful sounds.
Cartier’s health problems continued to baffle his doctors. He had what was referred to as “episodes” and they were reduced to every few months rather than every few weeks. But Cartier’s demeanor was stellar and healthy. He soon became a Greyhound Ambassador and rose to Greyhound stardom. In his time with Dana he took 3rd place in Cesar Millan’s Best Camera Face, and 1st Place in the Las Vegas Humane Society’s Polished Pooch Contest.
Cartier became a therapy dog, traveled to California and Utah and experienced a life he could never have imagined. He soon became known as Guammie Bear and was always ready for the next adventure. But ten short months after his adoption he came down with renal failure. Five days at the vet and it was determined his original chronic ailment was Swollen Leg Syndrome and additional therapies were attempted.
Cartier lived with Dana and her pack for a total of eleven months before succumbing to all of his challenges. He lost his battle with renal failure one month short of his “Gotcha Day” – adoption.
We all understand how important it is to nurture our pets in the early months and years of their development. We socialize them, teach them, protect them, love them. But what we do in their final months is equally as important, if not more so. One Greyhound brought together people from all walks of life educating them on rescue, his mysterious illness, the power of love and healing and how eleven months is indeed a lifetime when spent in a forever home.
His name was Cartier.