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  1. My young man has received his wings. The newest, brightest star tonight belongs to the kindest, most intuitive boy ever It is just so fitting that tonight we are forecast for thunder. The Mayhem at the Bridge Reunion will be deafening. So many campers, most especially Paddy, and your dear friend Ginny have been waiting for you Aiden's story Paddy Mayhem was already reserved to become a camper, but something nudged me take another look and there was Aiden - newly retired and not yet spoken for. He was a plain red brindle hound but the *face* and his bloodlines are what sealed it for me: Kiowa Sweet Trey and Oswald Cobblepot on top, P’s Raising Cain on the bottom. It just doesn’t get any better and I told Kelly, “I want him too.” Aiden was my collateral hound The boys rode the hauler on a three-day journey from St. Louis to Connecticut with 38 LWFs! There are an equal number of stories that describe Aiden the comedian, who possessed a unique and humble sense of humor, as there are stories about kind and intuitive Aiden, who earned his CGC and was a devoted Pet Partner, sharing his joy and gifts to all he met along that path. I still laff recalling the silly boy who was a Rock and Bush Pooper who once sat on a stick, yielding himself a new one; Aiden’s first Christmas as a camper when he thought “The Best Day of Mai Life” was when he spread four cups of Graham crackers throughout the living room; the Evil Paintbrush incident; mistaking mom’s glasses for chikken; diving into the Indoor Pool to save Bea’s flying crab, without regard for his own safety Kindhearted, intuitive Aiden had that distinctive genius for knowing who needed him and when. He aced his CGC and Pet Partner exams - would he sit? All Day Long! Whether working as a therapy dog (where he often greeted his friends with a soft Rooo) or with mom, in a signature move Aiden would side-step into someone, carefully placing one foot at a time closer and closer until he was comfortably leaning into them and they into him for hugs. At home, he was considerate and careful with the senior campers yet in the next moment he could wrassle with Paddy and hold his own. [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mpmYdc][/url] Aiden had the most beautiful strong feet and they carried him through a successful career of 94 races, unbeatable in 15 of them including his Maiden at Wheeling Downs, moving steadily up from D/C to B/A and finishing at Sarasota. After sustaining an injury, his owners decided that he had done enough, and Aiden was retired and became a camper the day after his fourth birthday. Those beautiful feet would prove problematic, however; the tales of his amputated toes and “Aiden 1-5” and then “Aiden 1-4” are epic. No matter how many times he had to go to clinic he went in dipping his head, turning it slightly and smoothing his ears, and smiling! The sweet boy also sprung a toe on a hind foot and as he aged that challenge would plague him as his LS progressed. Recently, Aiden had begun laying down in two spots in the living room, always in one of two positions. At the same time, he had uncharacteristically started an outdoor projekt. His advanced kidney disease was rapidly progressing. Aiden and I had a talk and I prayed for a sign, which came very soon. Our bestest vet, who has known Aiden since the day he arrived eight years ago, was unable to help us but another kind soul from a different clinic came to Camp to give Aiden his wings. Aiden put himself on his couch and tucked his head to his left side. As he left so very peacefully, he was held and loved and heard our little song over and over … Aiden My Friend, Aiden My Friend. He was wrapped in his Angel fleece and took the few items that made Aiden Aiden: his other appendage - that Buffalo Chikken stuffy; green Gumby and red doggo stuffies from his dear friend and patient; Nylabone; treats; and one from mom: his first (of three) Pet Partner tags. Annie and Punkin had enthusiastically greeted our guests and, when given the option, chose to go to their beds and stay with Aiden. Afterwards, Punkin went to Aiden and sniffed him all over; Annie looked at him and had clearly already said her goodbyes. There was nothing but respect from both of them for their friend. There are now only two, exactly as our Camp had been when Seamie and TPGIT were waiting for Paddy Mayhem and Aiden to arrive so very long ago. Or was it yesterday? I’ve said before that the campers have the best friends, and I cannot adequately express my sincere gratitude to those who carried us through this heartbreaking time, some of whom were and are dealing with their own sorrow and struggles. Godspeed young man. Aiden My Friend, Aiden My Friend. My collateral boy. Thank you for everything. There is no doubt the thunder last night was the Bridge Reunion Mayhem and I know the feast you all enjoyed was prepared with extraordinary love by our Soos Chef and his helpers. Until we meet again, sweet boy. [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mpqzPZ][/url]
  2. One day shy of her 13th birthday, but really, that counts, amirite? We celebrated all weekend, knowing that Bea was not going to see those 13 candles. When the spirit is strong but the body betrays … Five and a half years ago, we had lost (Foster)Sweet just a month before when the call came asking if we could emergency foster another broodie. At that point it was My Three Sons (Paddy Mayhem, Aiden, Andy) with whom I needed to consult …. arrangements were made … Miss Design ran all 73 of her recorded races, including A and AA, at Tri State. She was a good little runner until the devastating break of her right hind leg. The break was repaired, and Miss Design was retired to life as a brood mom. One litter of eight is recorded and all but one of her babies went on to either so-so or fabulous racing careers. More later about those babies. A local adoption group had received a request from a family looking for a very special dog. Mom, dad, and three small girls wanted a sweet, first dog they could love. The group did a thorough vetting and matched the family with Miss Design, who by now was 7.5 years old and had been languishing on the farm in West Virginia. The hauler brought the old girl to Connecticut and after her extreme makeover she was delivered to her new family who had promised to take care of her and love her forever. Ten days later they announced that they didn’t really want a dog after all and Miss Design had to leave that very day. It was January and Connecticut was in the midst of a nasty ice storm. I had agreed to foster but the roads were awful and we said lets wait until morning. The family was adamant that the dog had to go and they somehow got her to a veterinary clinic and dumped her. The next morning, the group’s rep picked up Miss Design from the clinic and we met to make the exchange. I was relieved that there was no immediate connection with the dog, just nothing really, she was so confused and shut down, as well as the fact that she was too young to apply for camp enrollment. I figured that foster failing wasn’t going to be an issue. https://forum.greytalk.com/topic/311699-looking-for-my-forever-home-no-srsly/?tab=comments#comment-5792294 Less than two hours after arriving at Camp Greyhound CT, the hound fka “Abbey” now “Bea” was in her element. It was as if she walked in, took stock, and said “Oh thank goodness, you have greyhounds here!” She worked her broodie magic on me and thanks to Sweet, who had been Broodie Baptism by Fire, I had some clue! But I did not want another dog and talked up Bea at every possible opportunity. Meanwhile, she was quietly doing a number on me and two months after our initial “Gotcha” I was toast we made it official and welcomed home Broodie #2/Camper #13. https://forum.greytalk.com/topic/312741-oh-fish-ually-toast-and-jam/#entry5816307 Bea was lame on that repaired leg and x-rays showed the impressive hardware in her hock. There was also a nasty corn on that foot. She would often blast around the yard on three legs and I remember commenting that she was either not in real pain or extremely stoic. As we would later learn, Bea was one incredibly stoic old brood. We started her on a medical cocktail that would continue throughout her life, as well as periodic x-rays to monitor the hardware. The corn continued to harass her up until the last two or so months of her life when it stopped growing; we suspect that may have been due to her altered gait as she grew older and other parts of her body began to compensate. Our vet still cannot get over how stoic Bea has been. Was it just Bea herself, or having been a brood? One of our most memorable accounts is the time Bea ran from the far end of the front yard up to the front door where I was standing. And broke her toe. A sound I will never forget. Bea! Barely a limp, never a gasp nor the GSOD, nothing. If I hadn’t been standing there to witness it, I wouldn’t have known. The x-ray, however, was remarkable. Bea would have nothing to do with any idea of splinting, we made it worse by trying and gave up to let her deal with it. And she did. Stoic Bea. A few years ago, an email arrived from strangers who wondered if I was the owner of “Miss Design” because they had adopted one of her babies! Thus began a wonderful friendship between families when we reconnected momma Bea and daughter Polly. There didn’t seem to be much recognition between them, just two dogs who liked each other and were content in each other’s company. Polly, and then their second hound, Crunch, stayed with us a few times when the family traveled and we had the best times! Bea did like to yell sometimes, we can’t forget that Must have been that broodie thing. Some favorite Bea-isms are her talent with a water jug, her finesse with landskraping, and her Gold Medal “10” roach efforts: https://forum.greytalk.com/topic/313468-bea-is-on-it/ Bea was a ferocious nester: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFgznESztkU , and catcher of berds: https://forum.greytalk.com/topic/314758-not-really-c-f-but-the-door-was-open/?tab=comments#comment-5862039 But she may best be remembered from her favorite season: Autumn. Autumn meant apples (spoiler: just under 4 minutes to destroy all evidence) … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIvOTyzLWJY and pumpkins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGXM8baHZ-Y Oh how she loved both decorating with and eating a mini-jack! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJslnmYiFpE Our dear friend Bea . Her passing was quick, without fuss, stoic right to the end. Five years and six months. No matter the amount of time with which we are blessed, it is never enough. We just want them to stay forever. Momma Bea, broodie #2, camper #13, born 07/07/07. How lucky were we to have been your caregiver, thank you for that. Godspeed sweet girl.
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