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Holly (Oaks Holly)


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~Grief shows up where love has always been.~


Holly (Oaks Holly) came to us in November, 2011. We had just lost our greyhound Bee Wiseman to osteosarcoma the month before. We were so heartbroken by that loss, but we felt that Murray needed a new dog companion. We did not want a young greyhound. We did not want a right-off-the-racetrack greyhound. We did not want a white and red brindle greyhound. We searched for an old brood mom who would be a good match with quirky Murray. That dog was nowhere to be found, so we ended up back in Northeast Philadelphia at NGAP looking for any greyhound who could get along with Murray. We walked Holly at the insistence of kennel workers. Holly, who was called Belle at the kennel, was young, right off the racetrack in Florida , and white and red brindle. Three strikes against her. And then when we turned back to the kennel after walking her for a while, she stuck her nose in Burke’s pocket and put on the brakes. She liked him very much, and she did not want to go back into that crate. We took her home the following week. This was not the dog we went looking for. 

Murray and Holly 20128106511887_cbca3885bb_c_d.jpg

Holly was bred at Black Oak Kennel in Georgia. I wrote to her owner to get her Bertillon Card. She’d only had 28 races in Florida before she was retired. Holly was only three years old when we adopted her. We knew we’d have many happy years ahead with her. 

Holly 2013


Holly got along well with finicky Murray. She got along with every dog. Every breed. Every size. She was not afraid of any other dogs. She was shy but not scared. She was a pacifist. She valued peace among all creatures. She never made a peep in the eight years we had together. She befriended Murray, River, Hopper, and our newest girl, Kaia. She would have gotten along with any dog we brought home. She was so easy that way. This was no small thing for us.

Holly and River 2016


Holly came to us with the darkest fur on her face. She had a beautiful fleur-de-lis on her forehead. We watched her bunny soft fur turn whiter and whiter each year until she was almost completely white on her head. That special mark on her forehead had almost disappeared, but we could always see it. In these last months of her life, that beautiful faded fleur-de-lis reminded us of the three year old girl we had adopted many years before.

Holly 2016


Holly never asked us for anything except for a few more minutes on her walks. She was always stubborn about turning for home. As long as we walked on soft grass or on sandy beaches (evil corns made walking tough on cement sidewalks and streets), Holly could walk forever. She would pull like a pit bull if she thought you’d turned back towards home whether that home was our house, a rented cabin, or a hotel room on one of our many adventures with her. In Dewey Beach last month, with metastatic cancer in her lungs, we spent our last beach day on Sunday walking with Holly. We walked for two hours with her, stopping along the way to take pictures, to talk with friends, to play near the warm water. After two hours, we turned toward home and she pulled and pulled to keep on going. That was a heartbreaking moment I will never forget. We had to head home. She wanted to keep going on the beach.

Holly 2019


Holly was a blood donor to the University of Pennsylvania Bloodmobile. She donated blood regularly for six years. She saved the lives of many other dogs. She never complained or fussed. She did this important work because we asked her to. She was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer a few years ago in a story about the canine blood donor program at Penn.  We were so proud of our girl that Sunday when we saw the article and the big photo of our girl in the newspaper.  So proud.

Philadelphia Inquirer 2014


Holly happily and easily went along on all of our greyhound adventures. She enjoyed seeing other hounds in Gettysburg, in Dewey Beach, at Grapehounds. She was a wonderful traveler who was fine to tag along or stay behind in a hotel room. As she got older, as those awful corns showed up more often, she preferred to stay behind and rest. We let her do so, but I always felt bad that her mobility had declined even with Therapaws and the constant hulling of those corns. We missed having her along, but we were convinced that she preferred soft beds, quiet, and (when appropriate)air conditioning. 

Holly 2018


Holly helped us through our agonizing losses of Bee Wiseman, Murray, and River. I will always remember how Holly stayed up night after night with Murray during the last week of his life. Instead of sleeping in the bedroom, she stayed out in the living room with Murray. She knew what we did not. She watched over him from the sofa. Ever vigilant. She was a constant, peaceful force in our house. She helped us absorb each loss and reminded us that we’d need to keep going even as grief tried to paralyze us. 

Holly 2014


Holly was the healthiest hound we knew. She was never sick, never had an upset stomach, never rejected anything we fed her. She’d live a long life, we thought. Her eleventh birthday was on Friday, November 1st. We knew she didn’t have too much time left, though. In July, just a month after River’s sudden passing, we learned that Holly had bladder cancer. We managed this illness all summer and fall.  Each day was a tiny bit worse than the one before. We let her go on Monday, November 4th, a day too early perhaps, but under her own power. She enjoyed a  beautiful walk in the woods near our house on Monday afternoon. We were lucky to have such a warm, sunny day in November. No coats, no chill in the air. Just walking on a beloved trail in the woods sniffing all of her favorite spots as the sun began to set. I took this photo of her knowing it would be one of the last. I’m glad I brought my camera along.

Holly 11.4.19


As our appointment time drew closer I made the turn for home. Holly pulled with all her might to continue on our path along the trail. If only that walk could have continued....

You asked us for nothing and gave us everything we ever asked of you, Holly. Befriend picky Murray, donate blood, hop in the car and go on a road trip, get used to a terrier in the house, wait for us in the hotel room, let daddy hull that corn, get used to the hyper schnauzer-mix while dealing with cancer,  and finally, make the turn for home one last time.

We were so lucky to have had you for eight years, Holly. You weren’t the girl we were looking for eight years ago, but we thanked God everyday that you found us. You were the perfect fit for our little family. We will see you again one day, sweet girl. We are missing you, missing you, missing you. Wait for us. One day we will make our last turn for home. Wait for us there, sweet Holly.


Tricia with Hopper the terrier mix and Kaia the wolfhound-schnauzer mix
Always missing Murray MaldivesBee Wiseman, River, and Holly
 Oaks Holly 
“You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.“ -Bob Dylan

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Tricia and Burke, 

I am so sorry to see this. Holly was beautiful and I am so glad that I got to meet her and spend some time on the beach with her in past years. Your tribute to her was beautiful.  This was another case of getting the hound that you need instead of finding the hound you are looking for.  Holly was pure proof of that every single day.

Run-free, sweet Holly.  :f_red


Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 


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Holly showed us once again that we don't always get the hound we want, rather we are chosen by the hound we need. Your beautiful fleur-de-lis girl.  Tricia and Burke, I am so sorry for your loss. :grouphug

Godspeed Holly :f_pink

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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I’m so sorry.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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I am so sorry for the loss of your special girlie.

You have so many wonderful memories of Holly. Remember them and smile.....


Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge




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Tricia, your tribute is beautifully written and captures your girl so perfectly. Your sweet, gentle Holly will be so missed. I am so sad and sorry you didn't have more time together, but you gave her a life full of adventures and so much love. Cherish those memories and all the wonderful photos you took along the way.

Rest well, Holly, and hugs to your mom and dad.  


Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and

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A beautiful tribute for a beautiful girl.  I’m so sorry for your loss. 

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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Godspeed Holly. Your tribute was beautiful just like Holly. So sorry for your loss of this very special girl.

Mom to Ranger (PB's Long Ranger), Esso (Kiowa Stay Over) and Cookie the rattie mix

Missing Kahn (Gil's Khan) 10-29-03 - 11-7-16  Belle (Regall Belooow) 8-9-07 - 3-12-17  Star (Greyt Star) 1-19-07 - 3-13-2020  Pitch (Emerald Pitch) 4-1-08 - 6-3-2020

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Perfect tribute for your perfect girl.  I am so very sorry that her walk with you could not go on forever, except in your hearts.  



Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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We've been thinking of you all constantly.  Thank you for letting us say our "see you later!" to her this weekend. It was so wonderful to hug her soft soft soft bunny fur, kiss her on her fleur de lis face, and join on her long walkie.  We love her, and we love you.  We're so very sorry.:weep  :f_pink


Jackie with Tangerine and Chimes

Always missing Gracie, Steely, Annie, Payne, Twilite, Janey Bug, Bindi, Sophie, and Dazzle

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Tricia and Burke, we are so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Holly.  I do hate cancer.  It is the thief who robs us, every day, of those we love.  Take comfort in knowing that your sweet girl is at peace, pain free and running once again with the wind.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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What a blessing she was to you and all of your other dogs.

It was meant to be, she was the girl you needed.

I know she had a full and fabulous life at your home.

What a special girl. I know her loss will hurt your heart bad. May all the beautiful photos and memories give you some comfort at this sad time.

Run free sweet girl and know that people all over the world are sad to hear you had to leave your family.

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Oh, Tricia, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your precious Holly. Your tribute is to her beautiful. Sending condolences to you and Burke and wishing I had better words to wrap them in.

Kendra, devoted walker of Lucia (Larking About x Anastasia) and her son Henry (Tom Jones: Great Son x Lucia), plus Grandpa Grey the Galgo/Greyhound cross.

Missing Badger (Vf Get R Done: Quicksand Slip x Ll Tee el See), 5/7/04 - 2/20/14, who opened our hearts and our home to greyhounds,
    Kenzie (Slatex Kenzie: Randy Handy x Slatex Chrisy), 4/16/03 - 10/29/14, who really knew what a good dog she was,
    and Falcon (Atascocita Sabat: Dodgem by Design x Atascocita Barb), 9/13/10 - 1/31/20, who was grumpy and snarky but eventually a little bit cuddly, too.

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