Saturday, August 19, 2006

A tribute to GG the greyhound 1993-2006

aka Cee Bar Moon. She raced in Florida, retired at 3 1/2 to be adopted by us. A better dog there could never be. She was loved by all that knew her. Thoughts on GG (named by her foster mom, it stood for "Good Girl"): Her gentle spirit, her will to live through many health crises, her spindly but powerful legs, her endearing personality, her brown and black "tiger stripes" brindle soft, soft coat.

Sleek and graceful, she ran for the sheer joy of it, doing figure eights in our yard and the yard next door. Clods of dirt and bits of grass would fly, as if she were some cartoon character. She would run straight at us and swerve at the last minute, while we cheered her on and laughed.

We first met her at her foster home in North Bend, where I immediately knew she was the dog for me. She laid her big (66 lbs) body down, right in the middle of everything (A knack she kept forever). I pet her and her foster Dad said she liked me. I asked him how he knew. He said "because she isn't afraid of you."

So we formed a bond that lasted 10 great years. Whenever I drove into the garage, the whole neighborhood heard her welcoming howls. Always a "mama's girl", she'd whine if I left, or sit by the door and await my return. That whine was her way of saying "Hey, it's dinner time" or "I need to go out." (Not a welcome noise at 3 AM!!)

I swear she knew the word "walk", because whenever I said it, her ears would perk up and she'd get exicited, prancing around and lifting her foot high to tap me as if to say "Let's go, I'm ready!" But always she would walk very sedately and grandly on the leash, never yanking me along. Such a lady. We had so many people ask us questions about greyhounds and she patiently stood by as I talked about their wonderful characteristics. Rob took her to show and tell in second grade and explained how even her ears were aerodynamic - held back close to her head (although she did perk them up when interested in something). Her slim face and needle nose, big chest and powerful thigh muscles were just meant for racing. But, true to her breed, she was that "40 mile an hour couch potato," content to relax except for about every third day, when she'd get that crazy "let me out quick" look in her eyes. If I wasn't fast enough, she'd run around the living room and what a racket that made! Once out in the yard, she'd run full speed for a bit, then come back in and flop down with a "Thanks, I needed that" look in her eyes.

Those big chocolate brown eyes! So expressive, so gentle. They glowed green in certain ligths and became clouded in later life. That coat that, no matter how much it was combed, still shed. Who told me greyhounds don't shed? Wrong! Her "goofy face", when her tongue would just hang out the side of her mouth and she looked so silly. She loved to lay down and be pet. So much so, that if I stopped petting her, she would tap me with a front paw, her way of saying "Please continue."

Those GG hugs were absolutely the best! If I was sitting down, she would walk over and put her head right into my lap or my side, holding it right there with a gentle pressure. She gave me hugs on her last morning, as if she knew time was running short.

She loved having her ears scratched and would stretch out her neck and turn it from side to side to make sure all the itchy spots were taken care of.

When she first came to us she was so shy, she would cower behind me if another dog approached. But when Prints came along, he taught her how to bark and they charged out together to greet any dog that came by the fence, running up and back joyously.

They made a funny pair - she the stately, tall, quiet greyhound - he the stubby, pudgy, high energy mutt. I'm sure people made comments behind our backs! She the older sister, looking at him disdainfully, as if to say "Why did you get him?" and sighing at his foolishness. He, the younger brother, always trying to rile her up by chomping on her neck, but never succeeding in breaking her calm demeanor.

She loved water, be it pond, river or stream. She'd wade right in and maybe even lay down in it, no matter how cold it was.

Greyhounds love to wander and aren't much good at listening to human commands, so we promised to always keep her on a leash or in a fenced yard. But she had a knack for escaping, especially at night, if the gate were mistakenly left open. For awhile, our new front door would blow open with a gust of wind. She'd listen for that opening click and out the door she'd dash. Prints and I would go looking for her. Most of the time we'd find her and she'd give us a sheepish look, as if to say "Sorry about that, but I couldn't resist the freedom." A few times we couldn't find her, but she would turn up at the front door in the middle of the night, calmly laying on the door mat until we woke up and let her in.

I called her "The Dog with Nine Lives". She made it through so many tough times. Her folder at the animal hospital got to be quite thick. They loved her as much as I did, and cried right along with me when she had a crisis. She would go to the vet's willingly, but once in, she'd turn around and point her nose toward the door. "I want to go home now" or "If I don't see them, maybe they won't notice me."

When the final morning came, and the cancer had gone so far she couldn't put any weight on the leg, Jack and I took her to the vets and they helped her to gently go to sleep as peacefully and serenely as she had lived. Goodbye, sweet GG girl, your spirit will be with me forever. I once read someone's idea of heaven, "where every dog you ever loved comes running out to greet you." I look forward to seeing her again on that day.


At 11:04 AM, Blogger Kerry said...

It's going to be strange around the cabin without her. Who I am going to step over everytime I want to go in our or out or anywhere. She is always there, lying right in the way.

My favorite GG stories:
1. As told by Dad - Mom and Rob were in New Jersey and GG was home alone all day. At night GG was hanging out downstairs and Dad came down to join her and she looked at him, sighed and walked out of the room. That always cracks me up.
2. She hated fireworks and thunder and the only place she liked in those times was in the bathroom with her head behind the toilet. Gross!
3. When we were making the stepping stone for the garden, she hated putting her foot in the cement. I had to do it four times because she kept messing it up. Then I had to run after her to wash her paw so the cement didn't harden on her foot.

She did have lots of lives:
1. Surviving racing to be adopted.
2. Eating all those tulip bulbs that made her so so sick.
3. The bee attack.
4. the first cancer go around to become a toe amputee.

She really was a lady though. Regal even. She'll be missed.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger suegee said...

Thanks for more GG stories, Kerry. Remember she survived the broken leg, too.


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