I remember the day as clear as yesterday, February 29, 2004. Our greyhound Bentley has just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma and we put the word out that we wanted to adopt a special needs greyhound in his honor.
Joey was waiting in the adoption kennel. His own shadow scared him and anything out of the normal, new places, new people, new experiences terrified him. He loved coming home to our acre, the place we affectionately call Greyhound Gardens. We had other greyhounds that would befriend him and we were content to let him love us at his own pace.
We didn’t think it would take five years for him to trust us, but I remember the day, November 9, 2009 when he came up and nudged my butt. Feeling like a teenager receiving a kiss from a rockstar, I vowed never to wash those jeans again.
From that point forward, everyday was a celebration for Joey. He learned to trust us and love us. He learned that ear scritches were a good thing.
Last year he got to play in the snow from one of the few snowstorms that occurred during the almost 11 years with us and he loved it. At 12.5 years old, his face was becoming quite snowy itself. He grew to become a happy and confident dog.
Last spring Joey celebrated he 13th birthday. His face was snowy white, he had lost a few teeth, but after all of that time, he was a real dog. He wasn’t afraid of his shadow anymore.
In December he was diagnosed with a progressive sarcoma on his ribs. He spent the last seven weeks enjoying his favorite treats, time out on the acre and getting lots and lots of ear scritches.
Tonight marks the end of an era for us. Joey was the one greyhound that has been here for every greyhound that has lived in the gardens. Everyday was a celebration with him. The hole in our hearts is nearly larger than life itself.
Run fast, run free, run confident my sweet boy.