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Greylover

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    Linda

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  1. Hello. I have not posted on this forum for a long time. Our first greyhound Molly raced until she blew out her knee and she had a host of health issues that I would post questions almost every month- everyone was always so helpful and gracious w/ their advice and support. We lost her ten years ago. Fortissimo came to our family when he was two and my kids were 3 and 5. He was the complete opposite of Miss Molly. He was a flunky who never raced and would rather play with his jolly ball. Fort was a leaner and would stick his nose in your side or in between your legs just to make sure you knew he was there. He was the opposite of Molly – incredibly friendly to everyone from humans to dogs, goofy, loved to play, never growled at anyone and just the sweetest boy (Molly was sweet in her own way) and completely healthy, until he turned 11. This past year, we noticed he was avoiding putting his left hind leg on the ground and had arthritis in his back, was coughing when he stood up and drinking more water. We had a dreaded feeling that his time with us was limited. He definitely slowed down on our walks but he always perked up when he would hear us getting ready to go. We lost Fort a few wks ago, he would have been 13 in May, I am beyond heart broken. As most of you know, when you lose a pet there is such a big hole, bigger than you can even imagine and the loss is palpable. When you lose a greyhound…no words. Perhaps it’s because you grow so much with them as you teach them to navigate a new life. Or because they have the larger heart, they sense more what humans are feeling and are covertly actually looking after you. Or maybe because they are more partial to humans than other dogs you forget they are dogs. Or because they communicate with you with those big eyes and before you know it, they have actually taught you patience, compassion and the language of greyhound. Three wks ago my spouse was walking Fort and our other non-grey (on-leash) when an off leash Great Dane came and charged them. He tried to get our other dog, who is six and quicker but could not so he went for poor Fort. Knocked him down and bit him in the flank. 4 stitches. It took Fort days before he could sit down without shaking and a wk before we started walking him again. He got his stitches back on 1/20 and was so happy. The morning of 1/21, the Great Dane was off leash again and came through someone’s backyard. My spouse was walking the dogs and had stopped to talk to a neighbor when he was attacked again. This time he just went for Fort knocking him down and getting him by the neck, breaking his jaw and puncturing his throat. I am not writing this to ask why people let their dogs off leash or why these irresponsible owners could not keep this dog on leash after they were asked the first time. Fort would have never fought back – even if he was two and healthy. Molly would have snapped – but not Fort. I suppose in my human heart and mind I can not fathom why an animal would go after a weaker, aging one – and know cerebrally that this is the reality of the animal kingdom. I know greyhounds are not like other dogs – do other dogs sense this? Perhaps Fort had some other underlying health issues that we did not know about that the other dog sensed. The last attack made it clear that his legs were worse than we had thought. The owners of the Great Dane had rescued him this past year, he was only 2 and they put him down. I was devastated about this as well. Life has become so unpredictable the past 11 months, and it has shown us how quickly things can change. A consolation to me is that there are so many of you who have welcomed a greyhound into your homes. For those new to this breed, be patient and kind - they will teach you their language of love. We have been so honored to share our life, family and home with greyhounds and they have showed us compassion, patience and love. Hug your greys, they embody so much of what is good in life.
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