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Thunder La La (Tally)


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The full version of this post is very long, so I've done also done a short version. There are several photos after the text.


The Short Story


Tally raced until she was almost 7. She was adopted fairly quickly and spent about a year in another home. She joined us in late January '08, when she was 8. She settled in quickly, and enjoyed her time here. In early December, we found osteosarcoma in her left rear leg. We were able to manage the pain quite well for almost four months. When she suddenly started limping badly, I said goodbye.


The Full Version


Thunder La La (Lala) raced until July '06. In September '06 she was 7, and she was available for adoption through GRA Canada. She waited only a couple of months for her home. After a year or so, she was returned to GRA.


In early January '08, I arrived home to a message about her. If I recall correctly, the message was from Lala--Bill of GRA sometimes lets a grey use the phone to call a prospective adopter. But I had added three greys in 6 months, bringing the total number of dogs to 7 (5 greys plus 2 standard poodles). The house was full and we were all still adjusting. I said no.


However, that didn't stop me from thinking about her. Or admiring her photos when they went up on the GRA web site. Or asking a volunteer about her (she'd been a favourite during her first stay at GRA). Or wondering if she were as special as the other girls that Bill had chosen for me. Or realizing that I could add her to the smaller walking group. Or trying to figure out if I could cram one more crate into my living/dining room.


It happened that GTer hannahmom (Tena) was in town on business. When she visited, I told her about Lala. We both knew I was in trouble when I showed her where the crate could fit.


Tena's plans for the next weekend fell through, and she was available to keep me company on the long drive, and to help with the introductions when we got back. So I called and left a message for Lala: if she hadn't found a home and wanted to join us, I'd drive to GRA and collect her. She hadn't, she did, I would.


On Saturday January 26/08, Tena and I went to GRA. Lala danced in front of Bill (like most of his hounds, she adored him), and clearly liked Tena. She didn't really respond to me. And, when I looked in her mouth, I saw tartar where there should have been gums: she probably would soon need a dental during which she would lose teeth. Perhaps the lack of response and the teeth should have put me off. I winced, signed the papers, and loaded her in the car.


She was tense on the way home--demonstrating what Tena called "major ear action"--but good. During the drive, Tena perused one of my Christmas gifts: a book of pet names. The name Tally appealed to both of us, in part because of our backgrounds (accounting for her, finance for me). It also seemed to fit with the names of my other girls. It even quickly morphed into a couple of nicknames: Tally Ho (years ago I rode in a few fox hunts (scent trails, not live fox)), and--since I couldn't possibly cram in another grey--The Final Tally.


When we arrived, I brought out the other members of her new walking group, soon to be labelled The Four More: Piper, Cora, and Jessie. She growled briefly and then we all went for a walk. I put the first group away and brought out the others, The Core Four. Again a little growl, followed by a companionable walk. Then we all spent some time together in the house. Tena was careful to withdraw a bit so that Tally would focus on me.


Tally was home.


She was a little girl. Although the same height, length, and weight as Jessie, she somehow seemed smaller. She didn't have the prettiest face: her eyes were a bit small and she had a nasty muzzle rub mark below one eye. She didn't have much hair on her belly or butt.


But she was incredibly sweet and very happy. She really enjoyed life. She was also fairly smart and willing. She learned to offer sits for treats by watching Cora and Piper. Recently she learned to bow on command; soon she was offering bows for treats.


And she was all athlete. She often reminded me of a fast-growing and still self conscious teenage athlete--one involved in a sport requiring speed or strength rather than grace--with her rolling shoulders and powerful hindquarters. She was also a bit of a bull in a china shop: when she was moving, she seemed to take up more room than her size would warrant, and wasn't always careful about where she was.


Ironically, she was a bit sensitive about her own space. That showed up occasionally with the other dogs, but most often with me. If I sat beside her, she would sometimes suddenly get worried and leave. Then she'd turn around and lie down exactly where she'd been. She enjoyed cuddling; she loved attention.


She had a lot of other minor quirks. When she was excited, she often danced: standing in front of me with front feet stepping rapidly up and down. She chattered, sometimes so loudly that she sounded like a jackhammer a few floors away in a concrete building. She gave kisses. She bowed--a lot--sometimes flexing her front feet alternately, reminding me of a kneading cat. She had a thin tail that she waved with abandon; occasionally she moved it so fast that it was like a whip. She sometimes whined from her crate as if she'd been alone for days; usually she was lying--even roaching--quietly, so that the only sign of distress was the whine. She was a roaching fool: in her crate, on the dog beds, on the chesterfield; I think she spent as much time upside down as right-side up. She was a sun worshipper who liked to be in my office on sunny mornings. If we were in different rooms, she would find me every hour or so just to check in. She seemed to have trouble lining up her bathroom schedule with our walks, but we soon figured out a supplemental schedule that suited her better, and she learned how to come and get me for special trips out. She would also come and tell me when she thought it was time for dinner; often she was right on time.


Some of her quirks resulted in more nicknames: for the roaching, Pineapple-upside-down-dog; for the dancing, Tiny Dancer--I would sing the chorus of the Elton John song to her. Her most frequent nickname, though, was International Star Miss Tally Berry, usually shortened to Tally Berry, and often mispronounced as Tallah Berrah.


She was the first of my six grey girls who really wanted to play with other dogs. When she arrived, she tried play bowing to each of the others, including the poodles. She didn't have any luck. But eventually she had the chance to bow to Cora, who had been confined with a hip injury: she found her buddy. I'm not keen on inter-dog play inside the house--it's too small--but sometimes Tally would give a gentle chomp, and Cora would just stand and accept the attention. When they were let out together to the bathroom area, they'd have a lovely time bouncing around and rearing up at each other. At first I'd tell them to stop because they weren't muzzled, but gradually I realized that it was a brief and fairly safe playtime, and I stopped interfering. When they were in the yard (muzzled) they had a fine time: running, rearing, bumping, wrestling. For a long time, Cora was the only one who could play with Tally, who liked to mix it up. But eventually, with Cora's help, Tally toned down her style a bit. Which was fortunate, because after Cora broke her leg in March '09, she could no longer run. But by that time, Jess, with Cora's help, had rediscovered the joy of playing with other greys, and she and Tally became good friends and play buddies.


Somewhat surprisingly given her long career, Tally seemed to be far less prone to post-play lameness than any of the other girls. No sore shoulders for her!


So her lameness on Monday December 7/09 was a shock. I arrived home after being out much of the morning, and let her out of her crate so we could go for a walk. When she joined us in the front hall, she was limping badly on her left rear leg. She had slipped in the yard the previous afternoon, but she'd been fine right after that, and had been on two subsequent walks with no sign of soreness. I hadn't heard her injure herself on her way to the door. I wondered if she had hurt herself in her crate, but I doubted it.


The lameness didn't ease on our walk. If we went too fast, she stopped using the leg. She had trouble with the three steps back into the house.


The sudden inexplicable lameness was too similar to what had happened with Cora, whom I'd lost to osteosarcoma just a month and a half earlier. Plus I'd had two other limping greys examined that morning (one had arthritis in her shoulder, the other a stiff neck). I called the clinic.


My vet didn't say much except that she thought that x-rays should be taken. She told me later that she hadn't liked the way the bone felt; that she'd had a bad feeling when she walked Tally down to the x-ray room.


Sadly, our concern was justified: there were signs of osteosarcoma at the top of Tally's tibia (the bottom half of the knee joint). We'd caught it early enough that the senior vet suggested a course of antibiotics in case it was an infection instead. Repeat x-rays two weeks later confirmed the worst.


We were able to manage her pain quite well for a long time. She limped only occasionally. Lately she'd actually been more sore on the right front, but x-rays didn't reveal anything but a bit of arthritis in her shoulder; the tibia was still holding up. Less than a week before the end, she'd had a great--albeit brief--run in the yard with Jess. They'd also had a wee romp during a potty trip Saturday night. On Sunday night, she was a bit lame at the trot, but fine when walking.


The last day of her OS fight was eerily like the first: on Monday March 29, 16 weeks to the day after the diagnosis, I'd been out much of the morning. When I let her out of her crate for her walk, she was limping badly on her left rear leg. She didn't really want to go down the stairs to the front hall. The limp did not resolve on our walk. She had trouble with the three stairs back into the house.


I took her to the clinic. My vet examined the leg and assured me that it wasn't cracked. But she had nothing more to offer: Tally was already receiving the maximum dosages of two different pain medications; increasing them further would just leave her dopey. I had to decide how much longer to wait. She hadn't told me that she was ready, but I didn't want her to suffer the pain that Cora had endured. I had to let her go. The clinic was quiet, so my vet was willing to proceed then instead of waiting until the usual early evening time period. I thought about how hard Tally had been shaking in the waiting room--she'd been in so often for x-rays--and realized that any benefit of taking her home for a few more hours would be erased by the stress of returning. We went ahead.


Tally was a sweet happy little munchkin. I miss her. Tally Ho. The Final Tally. Pineapple-upside-down-dog. Tiny Dancer. Miss Tally Berry.


And though it might never have happened quite this way, this is the mental picture I'll always have of her:


She comes from elsewhere in the house to find me, all rolling shoulders and swinging tail. A dance. Some chatter. A kiss. A bow. And a long hug.


Hold me closer Tiny Dancer.


The Photographs


The first few photos are of some of her favourite activities.


She loved to roach. Often she was wrapped around the arm of the chesterfield. Here she is demonstrating that even a little grey can take up all of the room (June 08):



She enjoyed napping, and was quite happy sharing the dog beds.


Here she is a few days after she arrived, with two of the other members of The Four More (Piper, Tally, and Cora) (January 08). Now all three are gone. All within about 5 months. All just age 10:



Recently, with the new boy (from left, Edie, Jessie, Tally, and Graham) (February 10):



She also loved to play.


Here she is racing through the yard with Cora in hot pursuit (September 08):



With Jessie (Tally, green muzzle, and Jessie, red muzzle) (November 08):



A few silly pics.


She'd been home for just 5 months when I looked up from where I was sitting on the floor, saw her roaching on the chesterfield (the pic was taken from under the coffee table), and was forced to admit that I'd already broken her--note the ETS, glazed eyes, and dripping nose (June 08):



One day I saw a fearsome beast slithering into my kitchen. I quickly realized that it was a Tally Monster (November 08):



Of course, she also loved treats. Even while roaching (July 09):



Her 10th birthday (September 09). Sometimes she lost track of her tongue:



And some portraits.


She was remarkably hard to photograph, because if she was awake and alert, her head was moving. I missed so many great shots by a fraction of a second. Here are a few that worked.


With a couple of the Nylabones that she loved to chomp on while waiting for meals (September 08):



Contemplating her 9th birthday (September 08):



Her sweet senior face (December 08):



In the yard (September 09):



On the dog beds in the living room (January 10):



Teaching Graham how to sit for a treat before a walk (Graham and Tally). I think this is the last photo I have of her (March 10):



Thunder La La


Racer. Return. Retiree.

09/03/99 - 03/29/10


Godspeed Tally

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21), Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10-12/22), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08-4/23). Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09-4/24)

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Guest Greyglo

I'm so very sorry. Your tribute to Tally is beautiful.




I hope she's roaching on the softest cloud, and checking on you every hour.

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What a beauty Tally was. And how I hate osteo. I am so sorry. :(

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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Guest BlackandBrindle

I feel each loss of your sweet girls as a physical blow. I am so sorry that Tally had to leave, but I am very thankful that she had you to love her. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. :grouphug

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Guest tricolorhounds

Oh Dear... Not another, not so soon :cry1 My heart sunk when I saw Tally's name.


I am so very, very sorry, I know your heart must be broken into a million pieces :grouphug



... run free Tally, go find your sisters.

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Oh no, another loss. Too many have left you during the past year. I'm so very sorry flowers_red.gif

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.

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What a lovely tribute to your tiny Tally-dancer.


Godspeed, sweet pretty girl.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Tally you had so much love to give, and got back so much more in return. You will be missed but never forgotten. :paw:heart


Freshy (Droopys Fresh), NoAh the podenco orito, Rita the podenco maneta, Howie the portuguese podengo maneto
Angels:  Lila, the podenco, Mr X aka Denali, Lulu the podenco andaluz, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella),  Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Tally. It's so unfair that you've had to endure so many losses in the last few months.

Run pain free at the Bridge, sweet Tally.



Rita, mom to Dakota (Dakotas Dream) & Wish (Kiowa Wish Wish) and my angels

Toby (Sol Marcus) and Robin (Greys Robin Hood)

Forever missing our beloved Robin and Toby

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France

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I am so sorry for your loss. I do hate cancer. It is the thief who robs us, everyday, of those we love.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin and Mama Mia in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
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