Friday, January 23, 2009

Requiem for a Greyhound

I was out walking my Greyhound, GiGi, this morning, when my neighbor Karen pulled up to my house in her car. I had not seen her for a while so I assumed she was saying hi. When I walked over to her car I saw she was crying.
"What happened?" I asked her. 
"Joey's dead! He got hit by a car this morning!" she sobbed. Joey was her beloved Greyhound puppy that she adopted earlier this year. She would take him for long walks down our block and Joey would always stop by to sniff hello to GiGi. All spring and summer I would see him and remark how big he was getting, and how well trained he was becoming. 
"How did this happen?" I asked Karen, who was wiping her eyes with a tissue. 
"I put him in the backyard like I do every morning, and he must have gotten out somehow! I called the police and they were responding to a loose dog on Route 130, but it was rush hour and he had gotten hit sometime after that", she told me tearfully. "He wasn't even a year old yet! I feel so awful!"
I know from experience that no words can assuage the sorrow when a beloved pet dies. I had to euthanize my other Greyhound when she grew too old to walk and go outside on her own...but I have never had a pet hit by a car. There is no way to prepare yourself for this shocking situation. 
I told Karen that she gave him a good life, no matter how short it was...and that at least he did not suffer in the hospital or on the side of the road, alone. I also told her that I was here, if she needed to talk, any time. 
So today's post is in remembrance of Joey: the fawn boy who would go for long walks, carrying his toy in his mouth and prancing down the block; who obeyed the command "sit" pretty well (for a puppy); who always wagged when he saw others and sometimes jumped up to give you a tongue slurp before his Mom admonished him to sit; who enjoyed the best life anyone could have given him before his curiosity led him to run free one last, fatal, time.

Rest In Peace, Joey. 
You were truly loved.

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