Pets. We make a place for them in our home, and they immediately move into our hearts. This is, of course, about a dog recently passed, but the same can be said of any pet. In our case, our pets have typically found us (don’t kid yourself- you looked in all the cages, but they found you and made sure they were noticed) through the local Humane Society. Most recently our dogs, Trooper and Suerte, have been Greyhounds rescued through Greyhound Adoption of Ohio. Both dogs were adopted together, but Trooper was a few years older and passed away two years ago. Suerte pressed on happily for a couple more years before passing quietly last week. Though both dogs pushed the boundaries of their life expectancy (good living, lots of love, I guess!), the hollow emptiness felt when they’re gone is still a constant reminder.
We’ve had many dogs (and cats) in our families, with the earliest I remember being my Grandpa’s collie, Poco. I can still fondly remember curling up under their dining room window with Poco, enveloped in her warmth and the softness of her fur. I may have been two or three at the time. Since then, many pets have become family, and, as pets do, passed through their much shorter lifetimes and left us behind. Each time one passes, it’s a reminder of just how much our pets add to our lives while asking so little in return. They are last to watch us leave, and the first greeting as we return each day, always thrilled to see us.
Please just scratch my ears, pat my head, say anything to me.
They have nothing to say, no argument to make.
Dinner time yet?
If your day has been less than stellar, they will listen attentively and, with no words, offer their devotion in the form of a fuzzy body or a wet tongue and pure, unbridled love.
Pet me, rub my belly, scratch my ears- it’s like magic!
Pets help keep us healthy mentally and physically.
A walk? You and me? Outside? Around the neighborhood? Again today? AWESOME- you are my greatest friend!
Food, affection, and exercise (and maybe keeping the yard free of dog bombs!), is enough to have a Best Friend for (their) life. Suerte was all this and more, and her story might even be a bit more interesting than most.
Suerte was actually a Galgo, or Spanish Greyhound, found dumpster-diving in Spain. Linda, from Greyhound Adoption of Ohio was volunteering with a Spanish rescue group when she saw Suerte, and added her to the group of dogs she was bringing home. When we met Suerte (luck or lucky in Spanish) at GAO, she had only been in the US for a few months. She had been affectionately given the name “Shut-up-Suerte” because she never stopped “talking”- a trait that continued through her life with us. She even taught Trooper to bark, something greyhounds are not known for. It was also such fun to get them both to roo (sing) together with me! Mostly off-white, she was a rough looking former hunter and stray, with bare spots and scars, and half an ear where her registration tag had been sliced off when “released” by the owner (the Galgo story in Spain is quite horrific). Despite the hardcore ruffian look, she was still beautiful- and we took her and the big, gray brindle, Trooper, into our home. Suerte was a wonderful pup, always gentle, always playful, and always there for whoever might be home. If left on her own for too long, she DID have a bit of a devilish streak and would lay waste to something near and dear- at least one pricey boogie board and several PlayStation controllers slid through her digestive system- but those moments were few, and very far between. When her buddy Trooper died, Suerte embraced (literally, in many instances) the new kittens introduced to her home and quickly made them her kin. If you were in her house, you were her familia!
Suerte had a rough beginning in Spain, full of cuts, scrapes, scars and pain, but she was touched by the suerte in her name. I firmly believe she knew she had won life’s lottery when she moved from a Spanish dumpster to a comfy couch in Painesville, OH- and she always appreciated that gift. As the perfect example of all that is magical in sharing life with a pet, Suerte will be fondly remembered and sorely missed- and her place on our couch will never be filled the same way again.
Run on, my TurboPup, go catch up with Trooper- 09 January 2017.
Thanks for reading,