It started yesterday.

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.

Molly. The girls always know how to pose for the camera.

Molly. The girls always know how to pose for pics.

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.

Lord of the Jeep

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.

Losing Greyhounds

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.

Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast.

Or this.

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.

  1. Tim’s avatar

    Really sorry to hear this, RL.


  2. Barbara’s avatar

    I’m sad for you and Lady Laird, RL and the pain you’re going through, but not so much for Molly who lived long and departed like a champ. Blessings on you for your many rescues and the life and love you give these beautiful companions. RIP, dear Molly.


  3. Peregrine John’s avatar

    It’s a sadness people who don’t have/love dogs don’t seem to understand. Dogs being love with fur on it, and the big ones even more than that, their departure always leaves a hole. The wording came to me even before I’d got to the bit where you used the exact same terms. Still, she left with the sleek grace they’re known for after a live of love and exuberance that they are, unfortunately, not known for being able to enjoy. Bless you and the Lady for giving her – and the others – that gift.

    I’ve never had a greyhound, but a motley collection of other rescued, exuberant, deeply loving critters that gave so much more than I could reasonably ask. They make me wonder why being called a dog should be an insult.


  4. Instapunk’s avatar

    Thanks for all your kind thoughts, including the ones that came via email.



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