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The Last Walk


aomagrat
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Two years ago tonight, the best dog I've ever had, Wink, passed away.

 

He raced under the name of RV Caramel Chip, and won 11 of 105 races. He was retired at the age of 4.5 years after an on track injury that left him with a skull fracture that gave him a Klingon-like ridge between his ears, and a hip injury that left him with a horseshoe shaped scar on his left hip.

 

He was my best friend for 9 years. Shortly after he passed away I wrote the following remembrance.

 

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The Last Walk

 

Its 2:30 AM Sunday morning and I have just been awakened by a gently whining greyhound standing beside my bed. I figure he wants to go outside. After all he's 13 years old, old for a greyhound, and like me he usually can't hold his water all night. So I get out of bed and walk to the back door, however Wink doesnt follow me. He goes to the front door instead. He looks at me and wags his tail furiously. It looks like he wants to go for a walk.

 

I sense something special is going on here. It was just this past Monday I took him to the Vet because he was limping badly and having a difficult time walking. He has a history of arthritis and has been limping some for the past two years. And he was retired from racing after an on track injury, not a good combination in an old dog. During the examination the vet was using sinister sounding words like muscular atrophy and nerve damage. "Nothing really we can do for him but try some additional pain medicine," the vet said. She prescribed some medicine in addition to what he was already taking and told me no walks for a week. Its been almost a week, I think to myself. He looks so happy standing there that despite the hour, I give in. I go put on some shoes and grab the leash.

 

As we go walking across the front lawn towards the street I notice that he is walking better than he has in weeks. The new meds must be kicking in I think. As usual, I let Wink set the pace. I've been letting Wink lead the way for years. He knows the neighborhood and usually takes the same route each walk. Out the door to the street, turn right, down the street about 2 blocks to the dead end. Walk around in the fringe of the woods for a while then return home. Only this time he wants to go down the dirt road that leads into the woods to the water company pump station.

 

We haven't been to the pump station in weeks. The past few weeks he has been turning around at the end of the pavement. Tonight he wants to go to the pump station. It's dark down the dirt road leading into the woods that surround the pump station. There may be critters about. But he wants to go. If fact he is pulling hard. So I give in again. We go down the dark dirt road through the woods and enter the lighted clearing around the pump station. Wink walks up to the gate and starts sniffing around. He sniffs the lock and chain, he sniffs the fence.

 

As he is doing his thing I look around at the dark woods surrounding the lighted clearing. We've been coming here for nine years. Nine years ago the woods were deep and thick. We've explored all through them over the years. The memories come flowing back. In spring the trails are turned into pungent purple tunnels, the trees festooned with wisteria vines, the purple flowers filling the air with their scent. In summer the trails are green cathedrals, shady and cool. In autumn the trees are a rainbow of colors. And in winter the trails are carpeted with autumn's leaves. I remember when we discovered a planter of marijuana plants hidden in these woods. Darn right I called the cops! Not in my neighborhood!

 

We've come across a lot of critters in these woods; snakes, turtles, rabbits, foxes, lizards, possums, raccoons, even a coyote once. There was the time Wink almost jumped out of his skin as a great blue heron unexpectedly rose from the creek beside the trail and flew right over us. More than once Wink has almost torn my arm off lunging after a rabbit that jumped from the bushes in front of us. One day a rabbit leaped out of the bushes in front of us and ran right past us, almost between Wink's legs. Before he could get over his surprise he found himself nose to nose with the fox that had been chasing the rabbit. Luckily the fox chose discretion over honor and retreated back into the bushes. Over the years the animal contacts became less often as we have seen these woods shrink as suburbia encroached. The woods we once walked have become other peoples back yards. I can see lights from the new subdivisions flickering through the once dense trees.

 

I look at Wink and notice that he too is staring through the trees. I wonder if he is having the same thought that I am. And I notice how grey his once fawn coat looks in the harsh security lights of the pump station. And how white his face is. We stand there for a few minutes, each of us lost in his own thoughts. Finally he turns around and heads for home. When we get into the house, he walks over to the air conditioning vent in the living room and lies down in front of it. There he would stay for the next two weeks, except for visits to his food and water bowls and calls of nature.

 

When I took Wink to the vet that previous Monday, I knew he was old and in pain. I ask the vet if she could tell how much longer Wink had. She looked me in the eye and said "You will know when the time comes." During the next two weeks Wink's condition deteriorated rapidly. The new medication was not working. He struggled to get to his feet and once on his feet he staggered instead of walked. Soon he needed help just to get up and get out into the yard. I knew the time was near. It wasn't long until I had to bring his food and water to him. Two weeks and two days after out last walk, Winks time came.

 

I miss Wink dearly. I thank God that I decided to go with him on his early Sunday morning walk. Wink summoned all the strength left in his body to give me a wonderful gift. For I didnt take him for a walk that dark Sunday morning, Wink took me for a walk, one last time.

 

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Tonight I will raise a toast to, and shed a tear for the greatest dog I ever knew.

 

winkoncouch.jpg

 

Wink (RV Caramel Chip) 1998-2011

 

Rest in peace boy. I'll see you on the other side.

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What a touching story. And yes, thank goodness you listened to Wink and went with him for that precious last walk - a wonderful gift indeed.

SunnySophiePegsdon.jpg

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

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That was beautiful. Dang allergies already this early in the morning.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Hugs as you remember your incredible boy.

 

Rest well, Wink.

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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To the greatest dog you ever knew and do a great tribute to a wonderful pup. The years may pass but the memories never fade.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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You and Wink both shared something incredibly amazing, and your flowing, beautiful tribute showed that. :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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"Wink summoned all the strength left in his body to give me a wonderful gift."

Yes he did-because he knew. Such love-such love just makes me crumble in the face of it. It is so humbling to see such an incredible lesson on love from Wink. What a noble and brave fellow. He will be with you always as he has surely left a piece of his soul right next to yours.

Thank you for sharing 'the last walk' and the legacy of such an extraordinary hound. :grouphug:f_white

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What a beautiful story. I really enjoyed it, even though I am in tears now. :weep

Angel Wink :heart

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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:cry1 Just beautiful.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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...

 

I miss Wink dearly. I thank God that I decided to go with him on his early Sunday morning walk. Wink summoned all the strength left in his body to give me a wonderful gift. For I didnt take him for a walk that dark Sunday morning, Wink took me for a walk, one last time.

 

------------

 

Tonight I will raise a toast to, and shed a tear for the greatest dog I ever knew.

 

winkoncouch.jpg

 

Wink (RV Caramel Chip) 1998-2011

 

Rest in peace boy. I'll see you on the other side.

I am in tears reading this. Your words paint such a beautiful picture of that last walk with him. I too will raise a toast tonight to your boy and the special relationship you shared.

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