Laying flat against the slightly dewy grass to soak in the last of the morning sun's rays and breathing deeply the earthy fresh scent of newly laid sod, she lazily enjoys the beginning of her day. In her peripheral vision she catches a blur of gray and she raises just her head for a better look. Springing to attention, she zeros in on the source of her interrupted serenity. A squirrel. Irresistible. Lead by instinct, she explodes from her resting place into instant sprint and the chase ensues. The squirrel invariably gets away and perches himself atop the fence to taunt and tease it's chaser with incessant chatter.
Although I did not witness this, it is the scene that I hope was Cayenne's last run. We came home to find our girl with a skinned nose, a swollen spot the size of a peach on her thigh, and unable to put weight on her rear leg. Coming from the vet, we had just confirmed that she had bone cancer in her femur, but she did not understand that and probably dashed without a thought, breaking the fragile bone. Until this day, with our vigilance to force Cayenne live a quieter life, it was manageable and at times we barely noticed her limp. Since that fateful Monday, Cayenne has been in steady decline and mounting pain and today we shared our last hug (yes, she gave the best neck embraces one can imagine), our last pat on the head and ear scritches, shared our last words together (hey, good girl) and we stared in each others' eyes for the last time. Her looking for comfort and me looking for some level of understanding. Although I can't stand the thought of her not being with us, to ask a born runner and integral part of our family to live even one more day in this kind of pain as a non-participant, sedated and unable to get up with no hope of ever getting better was simply not fair to any of us, but especially not to her.
Although we did not discover it for a few years, Cayenne's racing name was Miss Mojo and both of her names were perfect for her. She pranced as she walked, like a woman wearing high heals which was a giveaway of her girly girl feminine nature. She was also known to be a bit bossy and spirited - peppery - from time to time. From the time we first met our racetrack mud covered Cayenne, driving home together in our small sedan, Cayenne with Konrad - our buck and doe - standing up on all fours on the back seat staring between Pat and I through the windshield, until this day, has been a journey that was so enriched by her very presence, her silliness and her unconditional love.
One of Devi's first words was pup-pup for her Cayennie girl. Although I had my doubts, the two of them developed an incredible friendship in a very short time. Cayenne endured tugs, pulls, pinches, and tail pulls with rarely so much as a flinch. Cayenne quickly took on the role of mother hen and would come and find me if Devi so much as uttered a peep and would lovingly lay outside Devi's door during nap time. Devi was a very early talker and quickly let it be known that Cayenne was her best friend, planting big wet kisses on her wet nose when ever she got the chance. I remember what a joyous day it was when Cayenne, after months of giving assurance that she would NOT hurt Devi, finally took a bone form Devi's hand. The delight that both of them found in lifting their mouths to the sky and rooing to their heart's content is a priceless memory. Thought of the two of them no longer together bring me incredible sadness. Buds. My two peas in a pod, or as daddy would all them, "my girls"'.
This is the first time in 10 years that our household has been void of family members known also as pets and if feels eerily quiet and incredibly foreign to us. We will miss our sweet Cayennie girl beyond measure.
A Walk Down Memory Lane - Best Friends