For the Love of the Greyhound

”THERE IS SORROW ENOUGH IN THE NATURAL WAY FROM MEN
AND WOMEN TO FILL YOUR DAY; BUT WHY WHEN WE ARE
CERTAIN OF SORROW IN STORE. WHY DO WE ALWAYS ARRANGE
FOR MORE? BROTHERS AND SISTERS. I BID YOU BEWARE OF
GIVING YOUR HEART TO A DOG TO TEAR.’
RUDYARD KIPLING

IT IS TRUE. THAT WHEN YOU TAKE ANY PET INTO
YOUR HOME, NO MATTER WHAT ITS AGE, IT IS
CERTAIN THAT WHEN IT LEAVES YOU, YOU WILL FEEL
THE PAIN OF ITS LOSS. THE QUESTION I POSE – IS IT
WORTH IT?

NO ONE ENJOYS HEARTBREAK. YET, TIME AND TIME
AGAIN, WE LOSE A GREYHOUND AND ADOPT
ANOTHER ONE. SOME PEOPLE ADOPT RIGHT AWAY.
OTHERS WAIT FOR A TIME. PERSONALLY, I HAVE
ALWAYS FOUND THAT THE ROUTINE OF TEACHING A
NEW GREYHOUND THE ROPES, TOOK SOME OF THE
STING OUT OF THE LOSS I WAS FEELING. THIS
DOES NOT MEAN THAT THOSE WHO WAIT FOR A
MONTH OR EVEN A YEAR OR MORE ARE WRONG.
EVERYONE DEALS WITH LOSS IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

OVER THE FIFTEEN YEARS I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED
WITH GREYHOUNDS, I HAVE HAD TO EAT MY WORDS
MORE THAN ONCE. I HAVE VOWED, LIKE MANY
OTHERS, ‘THERE WILL BE NO MORE GREYHOUNDS
AFTER THIS ONE.” GUESS WHAT? WHEN I LOST MY
FIRST GREYHOUND AT SIX MONTHS OF AGE, THE
VERY NEXT DAY, I HAD A FOSTER DOG. MY
GRATITUDE TO THE FOUNDERS OF THE GROUP WILL
BE FOREVER. I DID NOT HAVE TIME TO DWELL ON
THE LOSS. MY FOSTER DOG CAME WITH A BAD
FOOT AND NEEDED IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. THREE
TIMES A DAY I SOAKED THE FOOT, BANDAGED AND
UNBANDAGED THE PAW, TAUGHT HIM WHAT HE
SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT DO IN A HOME. WHEN
I FINALLY REALIZED THAT MY HEART WAS BROKEN
BUT THAT IT WAS NO LONGER BLEEDING, MY
SECOND GREYHOUND CAME INTO MY LIFE.

LOSING ONE OF THESE MAGNIFICENT GREYHOUNDS.
IS LIKE LOSING A CHILD TO A LOT OF US. I HAVE
BEEN ACCUSED OF LOVING MY GREYS MORE THAN
MY CHILD. SOMETIMES, THAT HAS BEEN TRUE. AT
LEAST I LIKE THEM MORE THAN HIM ON OCCASION.
I WILL TELL ANYONE. THE MORE I SEE OF HUMAN
NATURE. THE BETTER I LIKE MY DOGS.

WHEN WE ADOPTED THESE CREATURES. WE COMMITTED TO
TAKE CARE OF THEM. IN MOST CASES, THAT IS A
COMMITMENT OF FIVE TO TEN YEARS. WOULD YOU
AGREE TO THAT IF YOU DID NOT HAVE COMPASSION
AND LOVE FOR THESE GUYS?

WHILE WE ARE COMMITTED TO ALL ASPECTS OF
CARING FOR THE GREYHOUNDS, NOT MANY OF US
THINK ABOUT WHAT WE WILL GO THROUGH WHEN
THE TIME COMES FOR THEM TO LEAVE US. YES, IT
IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, IF NOT THE MOST
IMPORTANT ACTS WE WILL EVER PERFORM FOR OUR
GREYHOUNDS.

KNOWING WHEN TO SAY ‘THIS IS THE END” CAN BE
QUITE A CHORE. WITH ALL THE MEDICAL MIRACLES
IN THE LAST CENTURY, SOMETIMES WE LOSE SIGHT
OF GOOD OLD FASHIONED REASON. OF COURSE,
YOU WANT TO DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO
HELP YOUR DOG. IN SOME CASES, THIS MAY NOT
BE THE KINDEST THING TO DO. HOW DO WE
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF
LIFE? SOMEONE GAVE ME A WISE INSIGHT INTO
HOW TO HELP MAKE THAT DECISION.

THINK OF THREE OR FOUR THINGS THAT YOUR
GREYOUND MOST LOVES TO DO. IT DOES NOT
MATTER HOW IMPORTANT IT IS IN YOUR LIFE – ONLY
THE DOGS’. CAN THOSE THINGS STILL BE DONE BY
THE DOG?

DOES YOUR DOG STILL HAVE A ZEST FOR LIFE OR.
IS IT JUST DOING THE THINGS YOU ASK TO PLEASE
YOU?

DOES YOUR DOG SEEM TO ENJOY MOST OF ITS
DAYS?

DOES YOUR GREYHOUND STILL ENJOY EATING OR
ARE YOU HAVING TO COAX IT TO EAT? REMEMBER
WHEN YOU FIRST GOT YOUR DOG AND FOOD
SEEMED TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE
WORLD?

CAN YOUR VETERINARIAN TELL YOU THAT THERE IS
A CURE OR MEDICINE THAT CAN HELP YOUR PET
ENJOY LIFE OR MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEM?

ARE THE MAJORITY OF YOUR DOG’S DAYS PAIN FREE?
I DONT MEAN A LITTLE TWINGE FROM STIFFNESS OR
THE OCCASSIONAL ACHE AND PAIN FROM THE
WEATHER. ARE THEY IN PAIN EVERYDAY?

WHEN YOU LOOK INTO YOUR GREYHOUND’S EYES, IS
THAT SPARK FOR LIFE YOU SO ADMIRED WHEN YOU
GOT YOUR DOG STILL THERE?

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: WOULD YOU
WANT TO LIVE THE WAY YOUR DOG IS LIVING?

IN MOST CASES, THESE QUESTIONS WILL ASSIST
YOU IN MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION FOR YOUR
GREYHOUND.

I BELIEVE IT IS WELL WORTH THE PRICE WE PAY,
FOR THE HONOR OF LOVING AND BEING LOVED BY
A GREYHOUND!

HELEN COLEMAN

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