According to my daughter Megan, Jori was the best foster-failure ever. I remember the June 2002 day when I first met her. We were going to foster her for just a little while to build her confidence. Jori was just a tad bit shy, but she made up for it in a million other ways. She was gracious and sweet and loving. I was doing the front-line of greyhound adoptions back then and called Megan on my way home from a screening. “I think I just found the perfect home for her.” I could hear Megan choke back the tears as her voice cracked and she said OK.
I thought about it all the way home, and when I got home, I got on the phone and found the family another greyhound. She was called Sandy when she came to us, we called her Jori when we signed the adoption papers.
Jori was only 18 months old when we adopted her. She was merely a baby. She was a greyhound that was everybody’s friend. She really didn’t care who they were, she was their friend.
She was also a universal blood donor and on many occasion, donated her blood so that another dog might have a chance to live.
She hated to ride in the car and she loved to wander on the acre and snuggle in her bucket beds. She loved those beds best of all.
One-by-one, my daughters drove down from Portland to give Jori some love. We laughed, we told stories, we reminisced. Jori is the last of the original crew of hounds. She is the girl that said hello and good bye to every dog that has crossed our threshold.
We reminded Jori of all of the messages she needed to share when she got to the bridge. Megan sent hugs and kisses to Sadie, Holly wanted Emma to know how very much she missed and loved her. Karen and I told her that there would be a giant party tonight as Jori was welcomed by all of her friends that we loved and missed so much.
Jori assured us that she was ready. 14.5 years is pretty darn old for a greyhound. She was tired and despite all of the wonderful food she ate, her body was losing muscle mass at break neck speeds and really was not able to hold her up like it once did.
Ever so gently, Jori thanked Megan for all of the wonderful times before Megan left for college.
She promised Holly that all would be well and that hearts really do heal.
After the girls left for home, Karen and I sat with Jori in the shade of the ancient plum tree waiting for our wonderful vet and her tech. We are veterans at making this decision and it never, ever gets any easier. In the shade on this hot summer day, we felt at peace with our decision. We loved this girl with all of hearts for as long as her body would let us.
When our vet arrived, Karen sat by her side and I laid down nose-to-nose with her gently holding her face in the palm of my hands. We told her what a wonderful girl she had been and reminded her how much we loved her.
With the help of our vet, she let out one big sigh of relief and raced off in the wind to greet all of her friends that had gone before her.