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Remembering Dusty: June 19, 2001-May 25, 2011


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I wasn't on Greytalk when we lost Dusty, but I wanted to post a memorial for her anyway, since she's been gone two years and I miss her. I hope it's okay...

 

When we lost Regis, my parents resisted adopting another grey for two years - they both said that they weren't ready yet. I filled the void by volunteering at the local shelter, but I still had a little place in my heart that needed to be filled with a greyhound. I found one - named Wally - at the rescue about 40 minutes away and begged and begged to go meet him. My parents finally caved. He was a little standoffish at the rescue, but we were told that his daddyman was in the military and that his daddyman's wife couldn't handle him anymore in daddyman's absence, so we figured that he was just missing his daddyman and would adjust. On our way out of the adoption area, I glanced to my left and saw a little dark brindle girl perched in the sphynx position, staring at me, wagging frantically with just the tip of her tail. Everyone else was barking, but she was silent. I watched her for a while through the door to her crate, then we left. We adopted Wally and had him for three days. On the third day, I offered him a treat and he refused the treat and bit my arm instead. We called the rescue - they took him back and put him in a foster home where he could spend some time adjusting to a life without his daddyman (he wasn't handling it well, poor guy :(). Then they offered to let us adopted a different grey.

 

We went back later with a list of qualities we were looking for and they introduced us to 4 dogs - 2 males, 2 females. They were all lovely, but my parents absolutely LOVED a girl named Vegas. They were all set to adopt her, but I insisted on at least meeting the 5 year old dark brindle girl I'd seen when we adopted Wally. The volunteer brought her out, released her collar, and off she went! She ran laps around the pen like a crazydog, whizzing past us, coming closer and closer each time. When she finally stopped, we took her into a different pen where she hopped up onto the picnic table. I was in love. We went home to talk about it and I found greyhound-data and discovered her history. Her racing name was Dust Devil and she'd been in 172 races and won quite a few of them. I even found

of some of her races and it was amazing to watch her go. I was impressed and pushed that we adopt her. We went back to visit both Dusty and Vegas and my parents finally agreed that Dusty was the one. We brought her home on a "trial basis" but knew that she'd never go back.

 

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She fit in from the start, almost like she had always belonged in our lives. A couple weeks in, she made the statement that she'd fully accepted us by stealing the blanket that my dad used on his recliner - she curled up on it and it was too cute we just couldn't take it away from her. Of course, she required a bit of a learning curve. Regis had never been very prey-driven; he was best friends with the neighbor's cat (the kitty, who's still with us over 13 years later, would follow Regis around) and would calmly go nose-to-nose with any horse he saw. We knew she was KNOT cat safe or trainable, but we didn't really realize what that meant until she busted through our screen door to chase a cat that wandered by. One vet visit and a few staples later, we'd learned our lesson!

 

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A few weeks later, on my birthday, we went to a fun-run at the rescue. Everyone was running and having fun and all of a sudden we realized we didn't see Dusty anymore. Someone yelled, "Someone's over the fence!" and we realized that it was OUR dog over the fence. We ran across the field and saw her, hot on the heels of a none-too-happy horse. She had nearly caught up to it before it realized that it was a lot bigger than her and turned around to chase our girl. She turned and booked it back towards the fence, but Dad and another greyhound parent were already over the fence and in the paddock. The other man caught Dusty and handed her off to Dad and everyone cheered. It was shortly after that that the rescue stopped holding fun-runs in that field!

 

She lived up to her name and was most definitely a

. She also LOVED to
and would get revved up at the drop of a hat - when we said "Hellooooo!" or pretended to howl or even when we just laughed. Especially when we laughed. We could be in an entirely different room, laughing at something, and we'd hear her "ahhhROOOOO" from wherever she was. We called her our hair-trigger-howler :lol

 

Dusty was absolutely willing to do almost anything, as long as it didn't involve snow or a camera or a thunderstorm (she was absolutely thunderphobic, the poor girl). She hiked with us, travelled with us, and made us laugh every day. But while she was happy to be with us wherever we went, her absolute favorite place to go was the beach. She came even more alive when her toesies touched the sand, and I think it's because the sand reminded her of her other absolute favorite thing - racing. I ran with her down the beach as much as I could, but I couldn't go nearly fast enough!

 

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This is my favorite picture of me and her, and one I didn't even know my dad was taking:

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She loved the beach so much, she rooed with joy!

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When she was just 9 years old, she started to suffer a series of strokes. They started small and gave her wobbly legs for a few hours. We thought that she'd just been sleeping funny and her leg was asleep - they were that small. But they got progressively worse and worse. The last one happened at night - she lost control and messed in her favorite place. We thought she just had to potty and didn't let us know, but when we all got up the next morning, she wasn't able to walk and couldn't hold down any food or water. We rushed her to the vet and they kept her the whole day. Her Auntie (the woman who watched her when we couldn't take her on trips with us) went to visit her and spent some time out in the sun with her. We were called and told that she was improving slightly and that we could pick her up. I was ecstatic; I'd been worried the whole day that we'd lose her. But when we got there and they brought her in, it was clear that she no longer wanted to fight. She tried to walk, but only barely, and the first chance she got she slumped against my dad's legs. She was exhausted, in pain, and looked at us without any real recognition. We asked the vet as many questions as we could think of, but he didn't give us many answers. Finally, we asked if she'd continue to have these episodes and if they'd continue to get worse. He said that, yes, they would probably continue and that because they'd already been getting worse, they'd probably continue to get worse. We took some time with her, loving on her as much as we could and trying to listen to what she wanted, and it was clear to us, however heartbreaking it was, that she didn't want to fight anymore. We made the decision.

 

I miss her like crazy and I still cry when I think about her. But most often, I think about the good times. The beach trips, the hiking. Other times, I think about the crazy things she did, like chase that pesky cat and hop the fence to tear off after a horse. When it thunders, I think of her. And whenever I'm at the beach, I picture her running across the sand with the happiest look on her little face.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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:grouphug What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful girl. It made me smile to read that even tho you still cry, that you are able to remember the good times and *smile*. Dusty would want that for you. :grouphug

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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What a fine character she was :wub: . Hugs to you as you remember your girl.

 

Rest well, Dusty.

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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Guest undergreysspell

That was a beautiful tribute. I wish you peace in your heart especially when you are thinking of Dusty.

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Guest sireltonsmom

That was a loving tribute to an outstanding girl. So glad for the time you had with her - she gave you lots of love and fun in her day! It's good to honor her still. She mattered.

 

:gh_runner

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It's those spitfires that leave a huge hole in your heart. She was truly special.

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

:candle ....for all those hounds that are sick, hurt, lost or waiting for their forever homes. SENIORS ROCK :rivethead

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