When I first met Grace, I was convinced that I wasn’t a dog person. I only agreed to adopt her, because my ex wanted her so badly and I couldn’t say no. You never know, right, it might be a good thing.
I didn’t mind dogs, not at all. I got along with them just fine. I just didn’t think that I wanted to live with one and care for it.
A week later I wouldn’t have given her away had my life depended on it. I had become a Greyhound person. I definitely had become a Grace person.
I don’t think anybody who knew Grace didn’t love her. I’m not just saying this. She was not only beautiful, she was stunning in every way. She was special. She was funny and naughty and smart. I’ve met many Greyhounds since, but not another one like her. She was a princess, who loved to be a tomboy. A wild cart and a silly goose.
I loved her to bits. Still do.
The first time she made me cry she had just chewed up the second power cord for a Macbook Pro. A few days prior she’d done it for the first time, thinking herself very smart indeed whilst proclaiming innocence in the face of irrefutable evidence right at her feet. Just as we replaced the cord for a whopping $150.00 she goes and does it again.
I came home from work to find the mess. I couldn’t even be mad at her, I just cried for about ten seconds, because we really couldn’t afford her destroying expensive equipment. That is when I knew that Grace could do nothing to ever give me enough reason to want to return her to the adoption agency. I wasn’t aware of that fact right in that moment. Only later I realized that the option of returning her never even crossed my mind.
And believe you me, Greyhounds have been returned to the agency for far less than that.
Grace wasn’t an angel, but she belonged to our family then, now and forever.
We eventually got her settled enough that we didn’t have to worry about her destructive behaviour all the time. Of course, we also learned how to Grace proof the house before we left her alone.
A few months later Joe came along. The kennel managers from the adoption agency believed that he might be a good fit for Grace. But I proclaimed myself to be a one Greyhound person and wasn’t keen on a second one, so we agreed to try a foster-to-adopt process. For a long time I remained adamant that we should find Joe a home even though he and Grace got along just fine.
Yes, I was stubborn and foolish and not quite ready. Joe went to someone else… for about 18 hours. He went into a home with another Greyhound and the lady, who adopted the two of them, decided to let them run around the backyard without their muzzles on, although the strict recommendation from the agency was to leave those on for the first few weeks so that the neighbouring cats got the hint and wouldn’t stray onto the property.
Alas, a cat strayed, Greyhounds chased and the cat didn’t get away.
Bleeding from a dozen scratches each the ex-owner dropped both dogs back at our place and Joe never left again. That’s when I became a Two-Greyhound-Person.
They were a pair, these two. We called them brother and sister, because that’s what they were like in our little family. I could write a novel about them, or a dozen short stories. They’re in my profile picture, here and on Facebook.
Gracie’s race name was Two Clouds. I’ve adopted that as my nick name whenever I need one online. Joe’s race name was Lightpockets. Both of them are with me every day.
We had Grace for a little over three years. Joe a little under three years. They passed within six months of each other. Joe had a massive abdominal tumor, which we didn’t pick up on even though there were signs. Grace… Gracie, who I thought would outlive us all, was gotten by another dog and that is all I can say about that. That was today, a year ago. And it was the worst news I have ever received.
I wrote for both of them a eulogy. I know they’re buried side by side. In a grave that I will never be able to visit, because it is in a place I’m never going to get access to.
When I had to leave New Zealand, leaving them behind with my ex, I knew there was a chance that I might never see them again. There’s always that chance, if you’re being honest. But I didn’t believe it for a second.
Loosing Joe was bad enough. He was such a sweetheart. The loveliest cuddliest Greyhound boy you could ever hope to meet (unless you were a cat). He gave the best hugs. He had just turned eight.
Grace was only six.
Before I left New Zealand, I made two dozen little video clips starring the two of them. Nothing special, just everyday stuff. I’ve not watched any of them since Grace passed away. For the longest time I’d burst into tears just looking at their pictures, choking every time I even mentioned them.
It’s better these days. I can look at photographs. I can talk about them laughing at how funny and dorky they were, but not about loosing them.
They were the best thing that happened to me in New Zealand. I will forever be grateful for having had these beautiful, graceful, lovely, loving, silly hounds in my life. They’ve turned me into someone I didn’t think I was and they’ve saved the lives of other Greyhounds, because I will have other Greyhounds one day, when I have a home for myself so I can give a home to them.
It’s amazing to find how much love you can give and how much you get back.