My wild sighthound Colleen is gone.
We’ve had Molly for ten years. A beauty and a force of nature. In all that time the only signs of aging were increasing gray on her face and the usual problems with greyhound teeth.
Until yesterday evening, she was as she has always been. Lively, eager, perpetually happy about dinnertime, still at near perfect racing weight, and suitably irreverent about his highness Raebert.
The change was sudden. After a dinner she ate with gusto she retired to her couch and then, oddly, had trouble standing up.
My wife knew the signs, as did I. We both dreaded the alarm this morning but we agreed to go down together. She was barely breathing. An hour later she was dead.
She was thirteen, which is very old for a greyhound, so we’ve known we were living on borrowed time. But the stunning quickness with which she left us was a shock. As if in her typically spontaneous style, she just decided, “I’m outa here.” No real chance to say goodbye.
I’m not going to wax sentimental here. Maybe later. We’re both still breathless at the, well, speed of greyhound departures. They don’t linger. They just go. The way they always go, with unbelievable acceleration and velocity.
But when they go for good it leaves a huge hole behind. Raebert is devastated. The cats are clingy and in need of comfort. But Molly’s life is marvelously free of tragedy. She was a rotten racer, who got out early, with only the obligatory ear tattoo to attest to her youthful servitude. The rest of her life was amazingly joyful. She loved her couch, her stuffed toys, her pug, her cats, and even her two Scottish deerhounds. Life on her own terms to an astonishing degree.
If you’ve a mind to, here are two links that kind of frame the day. The first describes the last trip to the vet Molly had with Raebert. Pure comedy.
The second describes the phenomenon of loving greyhounds and having to watch them go away. Just the price you pay for so much fun, laughter, and love.
But there will be no requiem here. Even on this “worst day since yesterday,” my memories are of insouciant vitality, never dimmed by all the vain attempts to restrain her exuberant nature. In fact, this seems like the perfect song for today.
Good golly. She was every bit of that. Perfectly black & white.
But I can’t resist this, either.
Yeah. It’s a psalm. Sorry. Love you, Molly.
P.S. The open question is just how hard the Scot will take it. He loved her like we did. He’s a conscious being. Hard to take, I know, but when he’s in your face, what are you supposed to do? Worse. He knew about Molly. Tried to tell us for two days. He’s not happy.
P.P.S. If you can stand reality, here’s how greyhounds usually die. The ones who aren’t rescued. Don’t look if you have a weak stomach. But consider getting one. You won’t regret it.