January 15th 2005 3:22 pm
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I love my baby girl and she has stolen my heart. In fact, I feel her heart and mine are one. I never thought I could love a dog this much even though I have had other dogs. Miss Greta is my first greyhound and your first is indeed truly special and known as your “heart dog”. I know I can love others, but not the way I do Miss Greta.
I adopted Miss Greta on April 16, 1999 (also known as “Gotcha Day”) and she was 4 years old. Our greyhound adoption/rescue group is Greyhound Pets of America-Louisville. Miss Greta came from Wheeling Downs race track in West Virginia. I will never forget the call from our local GPA president telling me they had my little girl. I was so excited and could not wait to see her. They brought her in on Easter Weekend (isn't that something?) and when she went to her foster home, I immediately called them to see when I could meet my baby. The first time I met her it was instant love! In fact, when I got home later that evening, I called the treasurer of our group and asked if there was some rule or policy that she had to stay in foster care for 2 weeks. She said no and why was I asking. I told her (in between tears) that I wanted my Miss Greta NOW! She said they (the president and herself) would bring her to my house a few days later and we could finalize the adoption. I was beside myself with the anticipation of finally having her with me in her forever home!
That was the beginning of our life together and our mutual love for one another. I took a week off from work to get to know her and start, or continue, the bonding process.
She started out as a very shy little girl, but after 3 months of my loving her and lavishing so much attention on her, she developed into quite a pistol and loved meeting people and other dogs (not just greyhounds, but of course she was biased toward her own kind).
That was when I decided it was time to do Meet and Greets and give back to our adoption group for all they do and for getting me my baby girl. I know that because of Miss Greta, she convinced a lot of folks to adopt a greyhound. She had a way of luring people into rubbing her belly and just petting her. When they would stop rubbing her belly, she would paw at them. Many of them thought that was so adorable and of course they couldn't resist continuing to rub her belly. She milked them for all it was worth! Then in the last 2-1/2 years she started with the kissing (with me at first, of course) and then with almost everyone she met. She especially liked the men! I told her she was a "floozy"! LOL Of course she didn't give them the lavish kisses like she does me (she knows where her bread is buttered)! LOL
We also did a Diabetes Walk (2 mile walk) and she was the only greyhound there. She certainly got her share of attention that day!
Then we started doing nursing home visits and she enjoyed that as much as the Meet and Greets, especially when she jumped on the bed of this one gentleman. She had never done that, but something instinctively told her to do so. As I found out later, that gentlemen did not have many visitors. I think Miss Greta knew that and they bonded.
Miss Greta truly loved all the attention from me and from others. That is why I say she is a ham and show off. She is so outgoing and her tail is wagging almost constantly. She is a very happy little girl! She also does this chattering of her teeth and her mouth quivers, we call that “knitting” and that means they are so happy they are beyond themselves. Another quirky thing Miss Greta loved was for me to take my fingertips and rub her eyes, and when I would stop, she would take that paw and tap me on the arm.
She also loves toys, especially the screaming monkeys! She tosses them in the air and seems to know exactly where to bite them to get them to scream! One day, she was playing with one of these and was on the floor leaning against the couch with all four of her legs in the air and her legs and the dolls legs were just flying! I just laughed out loud and told her she was a pistol! The more I laughed and talked to her, the more she showed off.
I think I mentioned that she absolutely LOVED my queen size bed! That was the first thing she gravitated towards when she first came into my house. The couch was second place. She knew comfort when she saw it! She owns the bed, not me, and it is truly her "throne".
I also started fostering for our greyhound adoption group about a year and half ago and have fostered 9 dogs. Miss Greta was so accepting of these other "temporary" greyhounds. I think she knew that they were going to a forever home and were as lucky as she. She also taught them a lot because greyhounds are great observers and learn a lot from the others. Most of the time, what they learned from her was good, but sometimes they did pick up some of her "cunning" ways, like how she begs for treats! LOL She won't take no for an answer when she wants treats! She will stand there and paw at me and bark. The only time she barks is when she wants treats or sees a squirrel.
Speaking of squirrels, where I used to live I had almost half an acre (completely fenced in with a 6 foot high security fence) and I had a wooded area behind me, so there were lots of squirrels and other creatures (such as mallard ducks and possums). She used to start from the hallway, and hunched down in a stalking mode, and when she got to the patio door, she would straighten up and look out. If she saw a squirrel, her entire body would just shake in anticipation of getting that squirrel. She did, in fact, catch 4 of them over a period of time. 2 she killed, and 2 others she broke their legs. She wanted to bring them in the house to play with! LOL So I bought her a very nice and soft collar, from Mrs. Bones in Virginia, with squirrels on it and said I needed to put notches in them for the number of squirrels she would get! LOL
She loved to run and play, and was poetry in motion! She did share her life with another greyhound I adopted after I had had her for 10-1/2 months. He had raced for 5 years and was 10 years old when I adopted him. He had been in 2 previous homes, and I just had to adopt him and give him the best life I could. He and Miss Greta fell in love with each other and were very close and would play together. Sadly, I had to have him put down on September 9, 2003 due to kidney failure, but at least he had 4 good years with us. Since then, I have adopted another male named Toby (as Miss Greta needed another greyhound companion) and they too are in love with each other.
In October 2003, Miss Greta, Toby and I went to the “big pond” (Atlantic Ocean) at Dewey Beach in Delaware for the huge Greyhounds Reach the Beach event. Miss Greta loved the ocean, but Toby was afraid of the water. Even though Toby was afraid of the water, he really loved seeing 3,000 greyhounds, but I think Miss Greta was overwhelmed. This trip really bonded those two and they became even closer. I know it will be just as difficult for him as me when she goes to the Rainbow Bridge.
Any way, that has been her life with me. She was very much loved, adored, pampered, and spoiled while in my life. I am so grateful for having her in my life and to her for loving me as much as I love her. I will do everything to keep her comfortable and happy for however long she will be on this earth.
On December 16, 2003 my beloved Miss Greta was diagnosed with bone cancer. I was so devastated at the news and, frankly, in shock and denial! You could have knocked me over with a feather, as this was the last thing I had ever thought would happen to her. The cancer was in her left rear leg in the femur area. When my vet told me she only had weeks and at the most 2 months, I was once again in shock and devastated. Once reality set in, I threw my heart and soul into giving here even more love and attention and to take the best care of her I could. Miss Greta turned 9 years old on January 27, 2004, and I had her in my life for only 4-1/2 years, just way too short! She had at least a month of pretty good days and nights, and would even try to play. Then I began to see changes in her. She was restless, anxious, and as much as she wanted me loving on her, she just couldn’t get comfortable enough to enjoy the attention. As much as I dreaded it, I knew the time had come and it was the darkest day for me! I knew it was the right thing to do because I never wanted her to suffer and I was there with her to help her to cross over to the Rainbow Bridge. That day was on February 12, 2004.