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Garry Anderson


krissn333
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It has taken me 15 days just to think about writing this, so please bear with me...

 

The Bridge welcomed a greyhound angel on February 1, 2005. Garry was an inspiration to all of us and devoted the later part of his life to greyhound adoption.

 

Garry is the man I have spoken of so often here on this board. I posted here several times asking for prayers for him as he battled congestive heart failure. In the early morning hours of February 1st, Garry's heart just couldn't keep going anymore. He was only 62 years old.

 

Garry is the most wonderful man I've ever had the privilege of knowing. On a volunteer level, he was every volunteer coordinator's DREAM - willing to do ANYTHING to get a greyhound safe and into a new home.

 

His motto has always been "Have Jeep, will travel" because he drove a red Jeep Wrangler with greyhound stickers plastered on the windows. Any time a call on a broken leg dog came in, Garry was headed for Dubuque as soon as he'd hang up the phone (the Dubuque, IA track is about an hour from where we are). Later his Jeep earned him the nickname "Red Leader" after a silly walkie-talkie conversation that ensued during a caravan up to Dubuque.

 

Garry was always willing to shuttle dogs back and forth to the vet, at a moment's notice. He happily appeared repeatedly on our local noon news segment which features adoptable pets when the rest of us were almost too chicken to be on tv. I remember appearing with him once when we had a little broken leg puppy who was looking for a home.

 

At our 2003 reunion, Garry was given the volunteer of the year award, which he proudly displayed in his home and his wife made sure the award was displayed proudly at his funeral.

 

Our group has suffered a huge loss simply based on all that he did for us and our hounds.

 

 

Yet, the personal loss that we're all feeling is what hurts the most. Garry always had a quick comment to make you smile, the interesting insight, the funny voice impersonation to make you giggle. He was a sounding board for many of us when we were having a bad day...he always had good advice and real-life stories to put things in perspective. His commitment to these dogs is one of the driving forces that has kept us going even when times have been rough.

 

I've done tons of meet and greets and been on many GUR runs to Pennsylvania with Garry and have so many funny and wonderful stories I could fill pages and pages with all of the laughter we've all shared together, but I'd just like to share one.

 

We had a little girl bounce from a home because her family decided to move and didn't want to put up a fence at the new house. Garry came in one Saturday to meet up with me for a meet and greet and said, "I'm going to get this dog adopted today." Off to Petco we went. Sure enough, 30 minutes after arriving, Sweetie's new family wandered over. Instantly, there was a connection and Garry did an EXCELLENT job of telling the family about the joys of the greyhound. A few days later, Sweetie had her new home and her momma now makes beautiful collars and other goodies as a home business because she is SOOO in love with this dog. Garry always believed that the perfect home for every dog was out there, we just had to find it.

 

Garry reminded me of my grandfather, who passed away in 1992, which is probably part of what drew me to him, but there was so much more than that, I'll never be able to explain it. No matter how old you were, Garry could relate to you, understand you.

 

He always volunteered to take us all in his RV to different outdoor events, he and his wife spent lots of time on the road, seeing the country and singing together on the way. One time I took Ace along in the RV and on the way home from an event we stopped to have a quick bite to eat...we left Ace and her half-sister Desire in the RV...but we had some plastic cartons of lemon pound cake and a bag of Chex mix...when we came back all of the food was gone, there was pound cake hanging off of their muzzles, and there were crumbs up in the loft of the RV! The girls had a party while we were gone, and all Garry could do was laugh as we all cleaned up the mess.

 

He and his wife shared a love that I really hope that I have someday when I'm married. He always made sure to say "love you, babe" before hanging up his cell phone when she'd call and it wasn't hard to see that they loved each other very much. His son and his daughter-in-law are expecting twins in about 7 months, his first (and only) grandchildren. He also left behind his 3 dogs: Chester and Princess, the greyhounds; and Diamond, his 9 year old Shar Pei who traveled with him everywhere as his co-pilot.

 

So, to those of you whose babies have gone to the Bridge, don't worry, Garry is there taking care of them for you until you can join them again.

 

Rest in peace, Red Leader, not a day will pass that we don't think of you...

:gh_run

Edited by krissn333

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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What a touching and heartwarming tribute you wrote about Garry. I'm sure he was welcomed to the Bridge with exuberant rooing, and is beaming down his loving support to you and your whole adoption group. Thank you for sharing about this extraordinary greyhound angel. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife and family, and all that knew and loved him. :grouphug:beatheart

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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Guest ohgreyt

Oh that when we retire, we can all aspire to be like your friend Garry. This is so sad but yet how wonderful that the greyhound community had such an advocate. Prayers for his wife and children as they go on without him. :f_red:f_red

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Guest PhillyPups

As I read this, BarbieJade came and stood at my side, I was reading your most beautiful tribute to a greyt man, scritching BarbieJade's ears, and know their lives have touched. Without you, Kristin and Garry, possibly my Queen would not be here. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Garry. Please accept my deepest sympathies, and extend them to his family and your group.

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I have to added to Kristin's Garry stories. We called this "Operation Snowman!!"

I got a call from the Kennel on my day off. They needed me to "hide" a greyhound for a little while. I couldn't make it up to the kennel that day so Janet got on the phone to Garry. She called me back and said that Garry would meet me half way. We set up a time and and I got there first. Then in pulled Garry, his "Co-pilot" and Frosty. Garry told me that he told Janet "I have a full tank of gas, treats, food and Frosty. The doors are locked and if the cops wanted to stop him they would just have to follow him to Hardee's."

 

When Janet called me and told me what happen. I had to think about Sara and her baby Hank. I just thought about Sara being upset about Hank being alone at the Bridge and that she didn't have to worry about Hank any more.

 

I hear people say that "they are doing this for the greyhound." When you Garry said this you knew it was true.

 

God Bless Garry and his family f_yellow:bighug:brokenheart:cry1

waiting at the bridge Connie Van Teddy & Jojo, Cobra

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You've talked of Garry before, and I know from your stories that many people and many pups will miss him. It must be that his warmth and caring nature were needed somewhere on the other side. Condolences to all his loved ones, two-legged and four.

 

Godspeed, Garry.

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 DeweytheGreyt

Kristin, your words to describe Gary only go to prove what a wonderful man he was and how many lives he touched. I am so sorry for your loss.

 

:f_white

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