Kes passed away on Tuesday August 14 2007. She had been diagnosed in July with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Wilhelm and I went away for a couple of days in Texas with my family. When we returned, we noticed this huge lump on her right shoulder. She had been limping for several weeks already and so when the lump showed up, we were pretty sure what it was. We took her to the vet and X-Rays confirmed bone cancer.
Because of Kes' breed and age, we opted to NOT do amputation, chemotherapy, or radiation. She did not like the car anyway, and it was our feeling that radiation and/or chemotherapy would have just made her miserable. Instead, we kept her as comfortable as possible on doses of Rimydyl & Tramadol. During her last days, although she did not refuse food, she did begin refusing her pills. Even when stuffed in hamburger, hot dogs, peanut butter... you name it. She'd take it in her mouth and then spit it out. Tuesday morning, she was not putting weight on the leg at all; and she would not move until you nudged her or pushed her. She was trying to tell us it was time.
We took her to the vet, and when we arrived all the vet techs came to say "hello". We were made comfortable in their "special" room which Kes investigated thoroughly. She then just looked at Wilhelm and Brenden who were on the couch. They got off it, and she made herself comfortable on it. When the vet came in with her syringes, Kes sighed and relaxed. I truly believe that she knew why the vet was there and she was ready. Kes went peacefully.
Kes obtained her American Kennel Club (AKC) Championship on April 11 1999 (the day before she turned 2). She was owner-handled to all her points except her last ... as I was unable to attend those shows due to prior commitments. That same year, we went to Texas for a specialty and a couple of All Breed shows before heading to the Nationals in San Diego (CA). Although it was not a huge entry, Kes did go Best of Breed, giving her a Best In Specialty Show win. This duplicated a feat already done by two of her sisters. Kes was never a great "Special" as most judges were looking for some piece that outstanding. Kes was never pieces; she was put together beautifully as a Dane should be.
In April of 2001, we went to Kansas for a couple of specialties and a couple of All Breeds. I was pretty discouraged as I was unable to get the judges to see either Tia or Kes. They were both being constantly overlooked. My friend Julie told me on the last day : "You paid the entry so you might as well show". That was probably the best advice I've ever been given and Kes went on to win not only Best of Breed (over 50+ Danes) but she went on to get a FIRST PLACE in the Working Group!! Kes was the fifth of her litter to get a Group Placement; and only the 3 girls ever placed Group One.
Kes obtained her International All Breed Canine Association (IABCA) title in 3 straight shows.with excellent comments. The judge on day one liked her so much, he gave her Best of Breed and told everyone that if he was still breeding Danes, Kes would be what he was trying to produce!
We tried several times to breed Kes but she never produced. The stud was in excellent health and so, sadly, it must have been Kes. The last breeding resulted not only in no puppies, but Kes developed pyometra. She was spayed 2 days later.
Kes was always an ornery little thing, and while she was obedience trained, she always knew when to stop working. And it was *always* when she stepped into the obedience ring! Because of this, we gave up the run for any other kind of title on Kes.
In 2004, we entered Kes in her first Veterans exhibition contest. She went on to win a Group Two. In 2006, we entered Kes in veterans sweepstakes at our local Great Dane club. Even as the oldest girl there (and the oldest Dane competing both days) she went Best Opposite Sex to Best in Sweeps - BOTH DAYS!!
And now she is gone. I know that Kes is in a better place with no pain. And while she leaves no legacy of puppies or a continuation of herself, she will always be with us in our hearts. Be happy Kes.