Theresa Casselman ~ Strathmore, Alberta, Canada

email ~ casselcreek@ cciwireless.ca

Prim

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AKC/ASCA CHAMPION, CKC GRAND CHAMPION
CASSELCREEK PRIM AND PROPER DNA-VP CGN NTD
June 2012 - March 2020


It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share with you, my dear Prim, my one and only PRIMcess, has left my side.  


Prim was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma of the urethra on February 10.  She had shown signs of what we thought was a chronic bladder infection since late September/early October.  Several urinalyses showed a huge white cell count and blood, but repeat cultures grew nothing.  Different antibiotics, including an extended course, x-rays, and ultrasound gave no clue.  Blood work showed all pristine levels for a 7-1/2 year-old dog. On February 10th, we took her in to the specialty clinic for a detailed ultrasound where the diagnosis of TCC was made, including metastatic spread to multiple lymph nodes, already far advanced and in an area where no surgery was possible. Kidneys, liver, and bladder remained completely clear. The radiologist even commented in his report that she was in "superb" condition.  So terribly ironic.  All of my immediate research gave a very bleak prognosis, especially with lymph node involvement.  I knew I would soon lose my girl.  


For me, Prim was that once-in-a-lifetime dog.  We were joined at the heart, intertwined in each other's souls.  She understood every word of English I spoke to her; I wish she could have spoken it back.  Prim gave me so many wonderful memories and gifts, and filled every day of the last 7-1/2 years with unconditional love and companionship.  I have three of her beautiful offspring in my home, and many others out there with you.  


Prim had many fabulous wins in the show ring, the best of them at ASCA Nationals and pre-shows, with multiple first place wins in large beautiful classes of Open Red Merle Bitches. Mr. Richard Pittman awarded her the first one. When we were taking our win photo, I asked him what it was about Prim that made her stand out in the class, and he answered, "moderate, moderate, moderate".  After she finished her ASCA Championship, we never did make it back to enter the Best of Breed ring at Nationals; she always seemed to be just finishing a litter or completely out of coat post-litter.  I was certainly looking forward to hitting the Veterans ring with her, though!


I know Prim had her own little fan club and I have shared news of her diagnosis with you already ... to you, my friends, and Prim's friends, we love you and I thank you for the comfort and support you have given me these last few weeks.  


Primmy and I were so fortunate to have this gift of extra time; I know so many others who don't get any warning that today is their last day together.  Though it will never be enough, we had an extra 37 beautiful days together, and we didn't waste a minute.  My incredible husband, Glenn, took over all dog and puppy duties every evening.  He made supper every night, and did all the cleanup too.  He made it so that Prim and I could just stop the rest of the world and snuggle together, watching TV, sharing ice cream, and spooning while we slept. I will cherish those nights of complete indulgence. 

Prim earned her Novice Trick Dog title 1 week after her diagnosis.  She knew so many of the Intermediate and Advanced tricks also, but because "sitting pretty" or begging or balancing on a peanut engage lower pelvic muscles, it gave her discomfort and I wouldn't push her. We were both very excited with Novice, and she performed each behavior with her usual enthusiasm.  

We also had the opportunity for a very special photo shoot a couple of weeks ago.  No grooming, no fancy show suit, no stacked pose ... just beautiful natural shots that perfectly captured the incredible bond and relationship that Prim and I shared, including the photo above. 

  

Thank you, Jeff Margeson, for allowing me to bring Belle to Chubby. I remember that just minutes after Prim was born, I was already on the phone to Nancy Gagnon, asking her what she thought the coloring and markings on this little puppy (probably still wet) would look like as she matured.  I chose Prim the minute she landed in this world, gave her that name, and we never looked back!  


Prim also took her last breath here at home, in my arms.  We have an incredible vet, we also call a dear friend, and Jodi made herself available any time I had a question or wanted advice on increasing a pain med a little, and finally to come to our home when Prim let me know it was the right time ... still with dignity and mobility but with a little more discomfort than medications were controlling. Stoic as these beloved dogs are,  I could not deny how uncomfortable she was, yet how strong she stayed for me, but the sparkle was dimming from her beautiful eyes.  As Jodi and I sat together with Prim on a cozy comforter, she asked me to share Prim's story, "tell me about this beautiful dog of yours", and I did.  How special for me to smile and shine just a little at such a dark moment, as I got to brag a bit on my darling PRIMcess.  


I am so privileged to have shared this young dog's life, and to have also been her one and only. Prim was friends with everyone, but saved her devotion and loyalty for me.  She was my dog and that's all there was to it. My life was greatly changed by her being in it, and I'm not sure my life will ever be the same without her.  I love you, my girl.  Remember to visit me from time to time, I will always know it's you. 


How blessed am I to have loved and been loved by something that makes saying good-bye so unbearably hard.