Jump to content

3 Years Ago Today We Walked Vinnie To The Bridge

Guest Vinnie

Recommended Posts

Guest Vinnie

Let me preface this with an apology for it being so long and a thank you for letting me tell you the story of a very special boy, Vinnie.


I cannot believe that it was 3 years ago today that we chose to walk our Sweet Angel Vinnie to The Bridge! It seems as if it was just yesterday. Osteo is an aggressive, evil invader that shows no mercy in its quest for victims and their families. With every limp, lump, swelling, possible diagnosis, diagnosis and loss it repeats its pattern of breaking apart your heart and soul.


With that said, we cannot thank GT enough for being there for so many. For providing a sounding board, answers (even when they are not what we want to hear), support and a never ending extension of friends and family – as that is what many of you have become to us – family.


We came into the world of greyhounds quite by accident. I went for a job interview in December of 2004 and my world changed forever. During my second interview I met Higgins – Higgins is a big, beautiful brindle boy with eyes that just draw you in. Here I was, in the middle of the interview with my back to the rest of the room when I felt a cold nose on my cheek! I turned and looked into those eyes and was lost forever! Needless to say, I got the job (I still think it was Higgins that hired me, lol!). My boss (and friend) introduced us to this wonderful, graceful, elegant and at times, very goofy (as most of you know, Goofy Gus) breed. He was on the list to get another grey puppy from Higgins’ breeder but decided that we should take his place on the list, if we wanted to. We jumped at the chance and met the breeder at one of the shows after her newest litter was born. We went back to her house and I got into my very first puppy pile! I was in heaven. I know that is when Vinnie picked me.


When we got word in July of 2005 that we could come pick up Vinnie, we rushed up to her place (about 5 hours away) to bring our beautiful new boy home. This was my dh’s first ever puppy. Vinnie immediately took possession of all of our hearts. He came to work with me every day (I am very blessed to be able to bring our greys to work, even now). Time went on, he was a happy, goofy boy who loved to play, loved his family and had some very unusual habits. Vinnie loved to pull the scrunchy from my head – he did this every chance he got – it is how we started and ended each day. He was a big hugger and would put his paws on either side of your shoulders to give you a big hug and a smooch!


It was in March of 2006, when Vinnie had just turned 11 months old that Osteo raised it’s ugly head. Until then, I never knew that this evil existed in dogs, let alone a puppy. Vinnie and dh were out playing in the backyard when Vinnie let out a yelp and started limping. He brought him back into the house and we kept him quiet for the rest of the day, thinking he had just pulled a muscle or sprained his paw. The next morning, we noticed the swelling around his front right wrist area and decided to take him to the vets. It was not our normal vet but his associate, and she said, oh it’s just a sprain, gave us some meds, said keep him quiet for a couple weeks and sent us on our way. No x-rays, no blood tests, nothing. We went back and saw our normal vet about a week later as he was not getting better and the swelling was still there. He took x-rays and blood work and sent it out. Upon seeing the x-rays, he called us and suggested we see a specialist.


Vinnie in his protective cast before amputation:




We took Vinnie over to the oncology center where we learned that it was indeed Osteo. They had never seen it in a pup so young. And that is how we found GT. We got lots of answers, help, advice and support. We decided that amputation and chemo was his best chance. We contacted OSU and Dr. Cuoto, who provided guidance and chemo for our sweet boy. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Before his 3rd chemo, I noticed him coughing and favoring his remaining front leg. We asked for another x-ray before the chemo treatment even though he was scheduled for one before the next session. And our greatest fear came true – it had spread to his lungs – completely on the left side and over half on the right side and it was attacking his remaining front paw. We chose not to continue the chemo and to say goodbye for now. We spent the rest of the week and weekend letting him be a puppy – spoiled him with treats and his favorite foods – let him see his friends and family and then on his 14 month birthday, we walked him to The Bridge.



This is the picture that we have on his urn on our mantle – he was a happy boy with a big smile and even bigger heart:




Our sweet Vinnie had joined all the other pups in a place of no pain, a place with endless hills of grass and creeks to play in, to wait until we meet again (or at least, this is how I see it in my mind). I know he watches over us and so many others. He sent me a blue dragonfly the day after he left to let me know he was ok (blue dragonfly’s used to love him, they would flit about and then land on his sparkling white fur whenever he was laying in the grass). And then, he gave us another blessing – he sent us his sister, Gracie. Gracie had her forever homes fall through and she was still available. We were not going to get another grey anytime soon – but he definitely had other ideas – he knew we needed each other. After a day of crying and whimpering (the whimpering was mostly coming from Higgins – which was Vinnie’s Uncle as well) we decided that we needed another grey. The breeder said to come up and we could have Gracie, Vinnie’s beautiful red fawn sister. He must have known even when they were little that he needed to protect her, as you can see from the picture of the sleeping puppies, he is curled around her.


Vinnie and Gracie as puppies (always protective of her):



We brought Gracie home about 3 weeks after and she continues to heal our hearts as does her brother Gus. We love all of our pups, but Vinnie will always be my heart and soul puppy. While we lost him physically, he will live on for so many reasons. He was entered into two studies on Osteo, and since he was so young we were able to get the blood of many members in his blood line to give the researchers more to learn from. Vinnie is the only one in his family to have had this evil disease, but I hope that someday, his sacrifice will help many others so that they do not have the same pain.


Thank you for letting me tell you our Angel Vinnie’s story, for sharing in his life and his memories. For those that have lost, are going through it or who will in the future – are hearts are with you. Be strong and choose the best solution for you and yours. We will beat this at some point – I just hope that it is sooner rather than later.


Vinnie, we miss and love you so much.


Mama, Dad and your boy, Steven along with sister Gracie and cousin Gus xoxoxo…


Vinnie’s sister Gracie and her brother (Vinnie and Gracie’s cousin), Gus:





Some additional photos to show you our sweet and handsome Angel Vinnie:


Vinnie showing off his beautiful heart shaped coloring on his neck (Billie painted this pose for his to hang on our wall, thanks Billie):



Vinnie says, see, being a tripod can be sexy!



Vinnie and Puppy love (given by gt’er Beth):



Vinnie and his Uncle Higgins:



Vinnie the twist-o-flex puppy (I swear, he was most comfortable in this position, lol):



Vinnie as a puppy:



Puppy Vinnie – I’m innocent:



Just look at those beautiful eyes!:



Vinnie showing some love to his boy, Steven:



Our last family picture the day we walked Vinnie to The Bridge:


Edited by Vinnie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stargirl

What a sad story, so young and handsome. You didn't have enough time with him, but the quality of that time looks like it was wonderful. He was a lucky boy you picked him out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Annie

Oh Cat... reading Vinnie's story still brings me to tears. He was such a precious pup.


Thank you so much for sharing him with us again. He will never be forgotten.


Gentle hugs to you. :grouphug

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everytime I read his story, I cry like a child. It breaks my heart and I know it does yours. Thanks so much for sharing and know one day you will meet again.... A beautiful Tribute. :grouphug :grouphug

Darlene Mom to: Aladdin, Sophie ,Pongo, Jasmine, Relic Forever in our Hearts Champ at the Rainbow Bridge.

Let a greyhound race into your heart Adopt

Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions INC. Naples/ Fort Myers Chapter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest redreed

I came to GT after Vinnie had passed away and yet I feel like he was a boy I knew. Cathy, thank you for sharing his story today, not just a sad day (which it most certainly is) but also as a celebration of a sweet boy who lived and loved and spread joy to all he came across and even to those who never even met him.


You guys are all in my heart today and in my prayers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vinnie's story has stayed with me since the first time I read it, because it's so very poignant :grouphug.

I think Vinnie had the most wonderfully happy face I've ever seen on a greyhound :brokenheart.




When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This just breaks my heart all over again.





ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think about Vinnie often... you lost him just after I lost my Crooke. I was going to get my puppy, Elphie, just a few days after Vinnie went to the bridge and his passing was very rough. He was sooooo young, sooooo handsome and sooooo full of life. He will live forever in all of our memories.

Elphie, Kulee, Amanda, Harmony, Alex (hound mix), Phantom, Norbet, Willis (dsh), Autumn (Siamese) & Max (OSH) & mama rat, LaLa & baby Poppy! My bridge kids: Crooke & Mouse (always in my heart), Flake, Buzz, Snake, Prince (GSD), Justin & Gentry (Siamese), Belle (Aussie/Dalmatian mix), Rupert (amstaff) and Fred, Sirius, Severus, Albus, George, Hagrid, Hermione, Minerva, Marilyn, Wren, Molly, Luna, Tonks, Fleur, Ginny, Neville, Bill, Percy, Rose & Charlie (rats)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest zoolaine

Thanks for sharing Vinnie's story with us. What a handsome/sweet boy!!!! I am sorry you didn't get more time with him, but I know he is waiting patiently for you at the bridge. And how wonderful that he sent Gracie and then Gus to you.

Edited by zoolaine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest greytful4

Cat, I just betcha he met my Kylie at the bridge when she crossed over and has shown her the ropes !! He was an absolutely stunning boy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cannot believe that it's three years :omg


Vinnie was the most beautiful boy and will always be remembered :beatheart



Deerhounds Darcy, Duffy, Grace & Wellington, Mutts Sprout & Buddy, Lurchers Ned & Jake plus Ella the Westie + cats. Remembering Del, Jessie, Maddison, Flo, Sally, Stanley, Wallace, Radar, Mokka, Oki cat, Tetley, Poppy & Striker.


Please visit our web store at http://www.dogsndubs.com for our own range of Greyhound related clothing for humans!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cat, I remember Vinnie and his story like it just happened yesterday. He was so young and should have had a long, happy life with you and your family. I remember the collective GT heartbreak when he had to leave you, and leave us, also. I think of him often. :grouphug

Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BoogieDown

Oh, my gosh - thank YOU for sharing Vinnie's story! What a handsome boy he was. While his story is sad, it is so wonderful to be able to share a bond like that with a dog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...