I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Our dear friend Nancy called and said “I have something I haven’t had in a long time.” She knew how much I loved the white and black greyhounds, the cow dogs. The very next day we were in the car and on our way up to Gresham to see the baby cow dog. Of course it was love at first sight. Of course we all knew that when he retired from his racing career, he would be coming home to Greyhound Gardens.
And so, we watched that cute little dog grow. He was a shy puppy, just like little kids he watched to make sure he was safe, and he was. He was destined to have a long and happy life with us.
He became more beautiful and sweet as he grew. Life happened and we didn’t get up to see him as much and before we knew it he was off to the race tracks in Florida as KNT Wings O’ Fire. We worried as every momma does, but we knew he was in the best hands possible and we knew that as soon as he was done racing, he would make his way back to Oregon.
Of course, Mickey was a party boy and he had zero to no interest in racing, so it didn’t take long before we got the call to bring him home.
Karen and I had been taking turns flying out to Florida to fly the retired racers home. This time it was Karen’s turn to fly.
On February 20, 2008 our incredibly beautiful boy flew back to Oregon. Oh my goodness, what a handsome boy he was.
I was mesmerized by his beauty and thrilled to have our cow dog home. Mickey was tested and was one of our blood donors. Back then, we were on call. When the vet clinic needed blood, Mickey ever so generously donated his blood. He really didn’t enjoy going places with people, but oh how he loved to run and chase on the acre. It was his happy place.
He loved his toys and for him, we could toss the toys for hours. He’d bring them back for just one more toss. Running around the acre though, chasing squirrels and birds were his favorite games and almost to the very end, he was out there on squirrel patrol.
Living with Mickey, I never realized how gray his muzzle got over the years. To me, he was still the most beautiful greyhound in the world. He never ever lost his love for the acre or his love for life. As long as he had his family, he was just a really happy dog.
On September 11, Mickey celebrated his 13th birthday. We always feel like we’re doing pretty good when we get a greyhound to between 13 and 14 years old. But this guy was so vital, so strong, so full of life. I just knew in my heart he was going to celebrate his next birthday.
Last weekend though, his hind-end started to give in. We thought maybe the cold weather was affecting him and gave it a couple of days. All of our hopes weren’t enough. By mid-week it was pretty clear that Mickey was not going to be able to get past this. He couldn’t run and play and open the back door like he could the week before. It happened so fast.
Karen and I are firm believers in quality over quantity.
Today, we said good bye to our bouncing baby cow dog. Goodnight my sweet baby Mickey. I will love you forever and cherish the piece of my heart that holds you.