Dearly missed by Lynda, Carolyn & Laura And by: Roger, Lynn, Brodie & Zeus
No one knows for sure, why Dad decided to call her Lisa. Her name was Flash when we picked her up in Anacortes on a sunny morning in early 2003. Mom had been gone for two years and Dad had been grieving ever since. He was melancholy and depressed, sad and unfocused. When Kathy and I met some rescue greyhounds at a Pet show, and spoke to their companions with respect to their compatibility with a guy like Dad¦ well the road unfolded before us and, with some urging at first, we carried Dad across the border and down to Anacortes to meet what would become the new spark in his life.
We didn’t meet Lisa on our first visit. No… due to a slight indiscretion on her part (more likely on the part of those in charge of her trip across the US and for keeping the girls safe from the boys) she had become “˜with puppies” and was languishing in a private home awaiting their arrival and subsequent weaning. This was a good thing though, as it meant she would be introduced to new things such as negotiating stairs and not helping oneself to the kitchen counters but remaining floor bound and waiting politely for meals, etc. As it turned out, we did get to meet one of her puppies and what an adorable “clone” of Lisa he was. He was one small, gangly, springy, beautiful puppy. Lisa [then Flash] and her puppies became quite famous and were the subject of a short photo piece on the Greyhound website.
Dad did get to meet a few other greyhounds on our first visit, but he opted to wait for Flash and so we returned a little while later to meet and collect the girl who was thereafter known as Lisa. Our car was small, and Lisa was not. Her thigh muscles, toned from months of racing, were huge and she wasn’t really used to squishing into small places. In fact, we learned later, that she had unceremoniously plunked herself on top of Dad (not a big man) in the back seat and stayed there most of the way home¦ We’re not even sure if the Border guard actually knew there was a man under all that dog in the back seat.
Once home in Richmond Lisa began her new, domestic life. She still had lots to learn and Dad began the process of introducing her to all those intricate domestic niceties that we all need to respect when sharing homes and yards. One of Lisa’s biggest challenges was getting into Dad’s car. Her thighs were so massive she couldn’t sit down properly, and she was afraid to jump into the back seat. It wasn’t that she couldn’t jump; she was very athletic. But it seemed she was pretty sure they wouldn’t fit through the car door. He spent weeks experimenting with ramps, stools, begging, and coercing with food, trying to get her comfortable in his car. She finally acquiesced and the only thing she never really understood was that it wasn’t appropriate to climb from the back seat to the front seat whenever she pleased¦and particularly when Dad was driving.
Lisa was very curious about the neighbourhood. She delighted in slipping out the front door when Dad wasn’t paying close attention¦ and taking a walk through the neighbouring yards with Dad in hot pursuit. And Lisa could run. she was very fast. She also delighted in spinning in wild circles in the backyard. It was quite a sight to see. We often wondered if spinning in circles may have resulted in her early retirement from racing, particularly if she engaged in this practice just after the gates opened.
Lisa was never particularly comfortable with stairs. It didn’t matter if they were hardwood, linoleum or carpet. She preferred to make verbal comment (those quiet little yelps that often turned into shrieks if no one was listening) as to her frustration at not being able to follow Dad up the staircase to bed at night. No doubt there were many times when the two of them would have pushed and pulled each other up and down the stairs at bedtime. Dad had built a very special bed for Lisa at the foot of his bed. It was her very own sleigh bed, complete with blankets and pillow. She was very happy to hop into it once she realized she wouldn’t be sleeping on the “˜big bed”.
Lisa really enjoyed meeting up with her cousins at the local Greyhound gatherings and, with the help of another greyhound couple, she and Dad travelled to the weekly events which they enjoyed very much.
Life with Dad wasn’t perfect. He was an aging fellow who wasn’t particularly social. Having Lisa in his life became his main focus and she gave to him so much more than anyone else could have. Lisa was someone he could love and care for and she adored him. She was someone to watch TV with and to go for walks with. And she was someone to worry about (he liked to worry) and someone who challenged him from time to time. Lisa gave him someone to love and to be loved by.
Towards the end of his time, Dad became less able to care for himself and less able to care for Lisa. But someone on high was watching over this wonderful companion, and Roger and Lynn Smith entered into her life. They welcomed Lisa into their home and into their own pack and they gave Lisa the loving and caring home she so richly deserved; a place of solace and sanctuary and a home she was delighted to share with several other greyhound cousins.
Lisa was loved by us all and we were honoured to become part of her pack. We will miss her and we will always be so very grateful for her love and her life she shared with our Dad.
Lovingly remembered by Lynda, Carolyn & Laura
And by: Roger, Lynn, Brodie & Zeus