“Raffy” the Baseball Schnauzer

It is only fitting that I write a short story about the untimely death of our family pet that occurred 5 years ago. “Raffy”, our miniature schnauzer had been so aptly named due to my opportunity as a banker to have dealt with professional athletes. “Raffy’s” full AKC registered name was “Raffy Ivan Kreuter “(Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, and Chad Kreuter).

After returning our son to College in August 2002 we returned home to “Raffy”, our intelligent member of the family. As usual we played that Sunday evening, got up the next morning, said our goodbyes as my wife and I returned to work. Monday evening after work he greeted me at the door ready to play again. That evening we went to bed and as usual, “Raffy” lay in between us. On Tuesday morning I got up to prepare for work, but noticed “Raffy” still laying at the foot of the bed, breathing but not moving, he was very lethargic. We immediately went next door (our veterinarian was our neighbor at the time) and told Dr. Spikes what was going on with “Raffy”. She agreed to take him to the clinic and run some tests on Tuesday morning.

On Thursday morning I received the news that every pet owner dreads to hear. “Raffy” had died on the operating table during exploratory surgery to see why he wasn’t responding to treatment. Dr. Spikes was devastated and asked if she could send tissue samples off to Texas A & M to determine what had killed “Raffy”. I immediately agreed, because neither she nor her partner could come up with a reason why a healthy dog had suddenly gotten ill and in 2 days was dead. After two weeks, she came over and told us that “Raffy’ had died of leukemia. They had finally located the cancer in bone marrow that she had sent along with the tissue samples. She said that he could have had the disease for a year and something that night just triggered the onset, ravaging his body as he slept. We were devastated; he was only seven years old.

We had “Raffy” cremated on August 22, 2002. He lives in his cedar box on top of the bookcase in the study nest to “Treeskaa”, a Norwegian Elkhound we had for 12 years before having to put her down because of heart problems. We also have his collar he was wearing when he died, (his boyish smell is still there and reminds us everyday of the joy we had for seven years with him).

This is not the end of the story however, like you we rescued an 8 week old black lab/border collie mix named “Lexie” in November 2002. Although, she did not take the place of “Raffy”, she could have not come along at a more ideal time. She is now 5 years old and the strangest thing is that she has some of the same tendencies as “Raffy”. I think that he is looking down from his home in the study and helping “Lexie” bring happiness to me, my wife, and son.

The Kelly Family from FL