Update on the eye and the sighthound

Four trips to the hospital, another two programmed for my eye, but it seems to be responding to the treatment. We’ll know what the damage is by the end of October when the inflammation ought to have completely subsided.
Now I can concentrate on Finbar. He’s going downhill very fast now. He did everything too fast. I looked at the Oracle, and she told me what she sees. Not consolation or false hopes. Quel che sarà, sarà.

Even friends we love slip into the shadows,
little by little, one unsteady step after the next.
No imperious cry can stop them
when the ears no longer prick at the sound of their name.
No tongue has the words
to hold back the inevitable end.

We watch the blue above,
how it spreads its clouds
untroubled by the tears below,

and all the honey sweet scents are rank;
the day is red with impotent anger.

The spring will not come again.
There is no sweet in the bitter of this sleep,
only the sadness of never.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

53 thoughts on “Update on the eye and the sighthound”

    1. We took him to the vet on Friday, because he was due for his vaccination. I said there was no point this year, he wasn’t going much further than round the meadow, if that far. The vet (of course) prescribed a treatment that wouldn’t do him much good anyway. We started it but on Monday he’d had enough and said he’d rather starve than eat food with drugs hidden in it. So we stopped. He’s happier now (he loves his food) but we’re just waiting for him not to get up again. I’ve been crying for the last two days.

    1. It was all a bit too much. When we went to the vet it was in the hope that there’s be some miracle cure, but of course there isn’t. They can’t bear not to sell you something though. I don’t think he’ll last much longer.
      There is enough of an improvement in the eye for me to be able to read this, so I’ll be around, thought not as much as before. Heart’s not really in it.

      1. I’m so sorry.
        Daughter’s cat has lived beyond what the vet told her, but they did tests and found the cancer’s spread through his body. And at the same time her best friend got his diagnoses that he has a terminal disease. Sometime’s it’s just too much.

      2. Life is cruel, unfair, and anyone who sees something to praise god for is delusional. I’m sorry for your daughter, she’s going to have to be the one to say this is the end. It’s awful. As for her best friend, that’s enough to make anyone weep.

  1. Jane,
    Shed some tears with you, your poem of passage so moving and my own sadness at the family I’ve lost through the years. Pure and incorruptible their love. Praying for you and Finbar.

    1. Thanks Dora xx
      It seems so unfair that dogs who spread nothing worse than love, only live to be teenagers, when so many awful human beings do nothing but harm and live far too long.

      1. You’re a pretty good human being to have rescued Finbar and given him a happy home and a chance to make your home happier. Such transactions are more than temporal and philosophically existential. They are eternal and divine. 💞

      2. They say that rescuing a galgo is like adopting an angel. They are lovely, gentle, delicate-natured dogs. You can’t teach them anything, all they want to do is run, sleep, then run some more. They’re not like domestic dogs, not close to humans, just the one human they trust. As my husband says, it’s like having a special needs child. There’s never a dull moment. I don’t regret a minute of it.

      3. An angel. A special needs child. They seem to have access to a dimension of being that sets them free from ordinary constraints which are so many times flawed. Boundaries disappear for them. They demand a lot from us, including love and patience. And the funny thing is, we give in because they model a kind of love that is simple and unconstrained. We have been blessed by it, Jane. And Finbar’s sleep will be all the sweeter for it. May you be comforted.

      4. You sound as though you speak from experience. They are animals that have seen the bestial side of humanity, and often only that. Yet they’re prepared to give us a chance. Often it takes immense patience, and they rarely accept more than the special one or few, but we owe it to them, to make up for what others have inflicted on them. We gave him a good life. The lady who drove the truck from Spain with Finbar and eight others came to see him last week. Very emotional. The rescuers in Spain remember them all and ask for news. Such good, courageous women.

      5. I have a friend who’s rescues such abused dogs. Her compassion is her driving force. I don’t think anything else she has done has given her life such meaning. If she had a life motto it would be Coleridge’s lines:
        “He prayeth best, who loveth best
        All things both great and small;
        For the dear God who loveth us,
        He made and loveth all.”
        How wonderful to hear of these women in Spain even as they grieve with you.

      6. They are poor, live from hand to mouth yet they never refuse to take in another misfortunate dog. They get death threats, the refuges are set on fire, just because they challenge the status quo of cruelty. I think anyone who has set themselves on the side of the oppressed sees the world in a particular way and can never accept to compromise with the persecutors.

      7. Nor should they. They sound indefatigable. Forgot to say how good it is to hear your eye is responding to treatment. That’s good news.💞

  2. Jane, that’s so terribly difficult. I’m sorry about Finbar… this poem sings sadness.

    Regarding the eye (I just read the previous post too) I hope things go as well as possible with your treatments… You’re in my thoughts, and I’m sending you all the positive vibes that I can.


    1. Thank you, David. It helps, it really does to know that others are just thinking about our problems. Watching someone die, even if the someone is only a dog you’ve lived with for over twelve years, is very hard. I understand those who won’t have another dog because they can’t bear going through it again.
      The eye was touch and go thanks to a rapid, mistaken diagnosis from my GP. It seems to be responding well though and I’m hoping the damage will be minor.
      I can feel the vibes. Thank you xx

    1. It’s hard. The last days of fine sunny weather. It’s breaking, but at least it gives Finbar a good excuse for not getting out of bed. We’re in a sort of lockdown. Life’s on hold.

  3. So sorry about your precious Finbar. I hope he passes peacefully, though I know any kind of passing is not easy (I’ve buried a cat and two dogs). I also hope that your eye heals soon! This corner of the web is magnificently brightened by your beautiful words, even when they are written in sorrow xo

    1. Thanks Erin xx No, it’s never easy. We’ve lost two cats from painful illnesses reasonably recently but at least you can hold a cat in your arms at the end. I hope he goes in his sleep.

    1. Thanks, Bojana. I’m hoping for that too. It’s been utter misery here for the last couple of weeks, but at least I can hope to get better. Not back to what it was before, but not as bad as we thought. Finbar is just going fast now.

  4. So sorry, I know how hard this is. Your poem says it all. I’ve never understood why dogs have to have such short lives, they deserve so much more.
    I knew about the abuse of galgos in Spain, but I didn’t realise the rescuers came in for abuse as well. The evil of some people beggars belief.

    1. He’s such a pig-headed dog. Won’t just lie down and take it easy. Like those cyclists who are so doped up they kill themselves peddling their hearts out.
      Yes, it’s shameful how the women are treated. The men feel that they’re betraying their honour by rescuing dogs they’ve condemned. Perverted logic. And they’re poor, get next to no help from local authorities, and they never turn a dog away. You’re right, it is pure evil.

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