I adopted Maggie (formerly Patty)–my first greyhound–from GPI in 2002. She’d been adopted a few times and was returned, and had lived in several different foster homes. She was wearing a pink feather boa at the PetSmart meet-and-greet and looked just gorgeous. I was hesitant to adopt a special-needs dog (she had allergies that gave her red welts all over), but that face and those eyes hooked me.
Maggie’s allergies ended soon after I brought her home. We lived in Seattle for a year and a half and then moved to North Carolina to be close to my family. Maggie adapted very well and found friends at the Sunday morning greyhound playgroup. For years she ran with the best of them. As she got older she ran less often but always loved going to see her buddies–human and greyhound–at the dog park. We had several greyhounds in our neighborhood too, and a big yard, so she was quite the social hound.
She loved her new home in NC except for the thunderstorms, which seem to happen every few hours here and terrified her. Other than that, she had a happy life and was always interested in going out and having adventures (we went to Dewey Beach and Myrtle Beach for their annual greyhound gatherings).
Maggie was as mellow as they come, and loved lying around and having her belly rubbed. My nephew would often lie with his head on Maggie, reading a book and rubbing her belly; she was in heaven. She always looked so elegant, even when wearing reindeer antlers at Christmas. I took her to a local doggie day camp once or twice a week so she could run around outside with other dogs, dig holes, and lie in the dog pool.
Over the years Maggie had lots of “limping” injuries, aggravating an old racing injury in her front foot, but she always recovered and went back to walking the neighborhood and running with her buddies. This past Christmas she started limping worse than usual, which the orthopedic vet thought was a biceps tendon injury. After two weeks with no improvement, we went back to the vet, who took one look at her and did an x-ray, which showed a bone tumor in her shoulder. Maggie was still happy and was gamely trying to get around, and still loved food, but was in terrible pain. Two days after her diagnosis, the mobile vet came to the house. Maggie got lots of chicken and yogurt, and then the vet gave her the sedative and she passed over the bridge.
For the longest time I couldn’t find Maggie’s old pink boa. I searched the house many times but it never turned up. One day I was cleaning out the basement and came across a weird fuzzy string. It was, alas, the pink boa, which mice had apparently found and used to make a nest someplace. I still have that little fuzzy string, and all my wonderful memories of the lovely Maggie.