We are absolutely heartbroken as we say goodbye to the matriarch of our pack, our queen, Lorelei.
Lorelei was the dog that everyone loved, even people who didn't like dogs. She was sweet, adorable, kind, and incredibly empathetic. We always said she was everyone's dog, not just ours.She came to us almost 11 years ago (next week) as a foster and we never planned on keeping her. At that time we had an incredibly neurotic Galgo Espanol who bonded deeply with her. She was petite, pretty, sweet, and cat safe so we knew she would get a home quickly. Argos, however, had other ideas and destroyed our house when we took her to a meet and greet. When we came home with her he met us in a state of panic and shot straight to her as if he would never see her again. We always said that Argos adopted her right then and there. Over time she helped us teach him confidence and how to cope with a scary world. It was the first of many lives that she would touch in her 12 years.Lorelei loved everyone. She got along with every dog and person she ever met. She was a calm, steady presence in every situation. We fostered a long time and for years our home was a revolving door and she was always an integral part of pack integration going smoothly. Nobody could have a problem with Lolie.She really LOVED people. She was the perfect Renaissance Festival breed ambassador and therapy dog. She was gentle with those who needed it and fun-loving with those who wanted it. She attended several years of the Carolina and Georgia Renaissance Festivals and the Enchanted Chalice. She visited the elderly and young children and special needs children at various events. She was always incredibly well-mannered and never stepped a foot out of line. She was truly a very good girl. You could always rely on her being a perfect princess when it counted.Lorelei loved all dogs and especially puppies. She had a lot of health issues (mostly automimmune) for most of her life and acted like an old dog years before she should have but every time we brought her a puppy she came to life. She would run and play and bark and go wild with "her" babies. They brought her life and vitality and she took her role as Momma Lolie seriously. She raised Delilah, Finnegan, and Aziza as her own and all three are incredibly attached to her. They are going to be beyond devastated when they realize she is not coming home tonight. Every member of this pack came after her and respected her greatly so I anticipate a rough few days here.Lorelei was a quirky dog. She loved collecting toys and would hoard them in piles. She had the cutest little-dog yip and sweet smile and tail wag. She always met you at the gate with a smile and a cute little tail wag. She was simply adorable all the time and would charm everyone she met. We always joked that she was Princess LoLie of LoLie land and she had marshmallow clouds in her head and was made of sugar and iced with love. She was an incredibly happy dog.We are going to miss Lorelei so much. As many health issues as she has had we are fortunate she stayed with us as long as she did. The past few months have seen her going downhill rapidly. She was so exhausted and ready for a long rest. She went peacefully on my lap.
This was written about Lorelei a few years ago.
There are very few people who will deny that a Greyhound is a beautiful animal. They have been the dog of royalty and the chosen subject of art for centuries. Their regal, stylized form has become synonymous with the image of status and elegance. Even if the sighthound build isn't your preference, there is nothing quite like watching them run and I think most any dog lover will admit to that. Truly, they are the supermodels of the dog world: tall, leggy, graceful, low percentage of body fat...well, if that supermodel also sidelined as an Olympic sprinter.
I have never shared my home with a Greyhound, though I've been an admirer since I first became aware of them. I am an online stalker of my many Greyhound friends, mulling over their photos of their beautiful dogs and I read the bios of the adoptable dogs from the many adoption groups and sigh. Someday, there will be a Greyhound (or two) on my couch, but at this time in my life they would not fit into my lifestyle, or my pack of very high energy dogs.
Taking that into consideration, I leaped at the chance to spend a weekend with The Hounds of East Fairhaven, a group that promotes Greyhound education and adoption at Renaissance Festivals. I was able to spend the weekend playing dress up in good company, surrounded by wonderful dogs! These dogs were amazing ambassadors in every way. They were friendly and relaxed even in the middle of extreme chaos: huge crowds, camels, horses, loud music, people wearing masks and wild clothes, gun shots...they weren't phased.
Which brings me to Lorelei, a young "racing school drop out" who preferred to sniff the roses rather than race. Lorelei belongs to my friend, Shannon, and she was "loaned" to me for the festival. Lorelei is a very beautiful, sweet girl who I've loved from afar for years; she is simply adorable from her sweet little tipped ears to the tiny curl in her tail. It is rumored that she may not be the very brightest of Greyhounds, as her head is filled with cotton candy clouds and sparkly stars, but she is simply brilliant in terms of empathic connection with people. Simply put, she loves everyone unreservedly. She enthusiastically approached every new person all weekend long, untiringly offering herself for pets and leans and winning new admirers, big and small.
At one point, while walking through the milling crowds with hands reaching for her every few steps, we were stopped by a family with a small girl who wanted to see her and her "sister", Delilah. The mother warned that the child had a sensory issue that made it difficult to perceive the strength of her grip. For the next few moments, she hugged Lorelei a little too tight, patted her a little too hard, and Lorelei stood quietly and enjoyed every second of it. The child was delighted!
However, later in the day, Lorelei did something that was truly touching. A very elderly woman came to visit the Hound Barn, being pushed in a wheelchair by her very elderly daughter. The mother was very fragile and infirm, and not all together there, but the sight of the dogs lying quietly in the barn made her sit up a little straighter. Lorelei, who had been lying half-asleep taking a break from her long day, spotted this woman immediately and leaped to her feet instantly and went to greet her. Her steps slowed the closer she came, her head lowered and her whole demeanor softened. By the time she reached the woman, she was moving very gently and carefully. She stopped by her side and lowered her head into the woman's lap and stood very still while the woman took Lorelei's head between her hands and pet her somewhat awkwardly. The woman's whole face just lit up in the most beautiful smile and she began saying, "Oh, you are so pretty! Look at you!" They stayed like that together for quite some time, with the daughter standing by looking on. The daughter was so thrilled, and I could tell that it made the day better for both of them.
Lorelei, to me, is a wonderful example of what is truly beautiful about Greyhounds: their empathetic, loving personalities. The elegant, sleek form is just the pretty wrapping paper on the true gift!