Sunday, September 28, 2014
Amy was just a kid when she saw her first greyhound. At the baseball field near her home, someone would bring theirs to run free on the enclosed field. Amy wanted to know more, but her mom wouldn't let her talk to strangers (fair enough). So Amy enjoyed the dog from a distance, and vowed to someday adopt one of her own.
Someday turned into one day in 2006. She was living far from her Pennsylvania friends and family in North Carolina. Gainfully employed and in her own house, she realized now would be the perfect time to look into greyhound adoption!
A little research turned up the group Greyhound Crossroads, based in South Carolina. Amy drove to meet a representative and her three greyhounds, and it solidified her desire to adopt a greyhound for herself.
She filled out the application and read "Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies" to help her get ready. Once she was approved she began to check their website for available animals.
I have mentioned this before on the blog, but one of the greatest things about adopting through a rescue is that they foster the animals first, which allows them to test each animal for things like suitability for cats, other dogs, and kids. They can also check for potty manners!
Anyway, fostering is especially important for greyhounds because for them, the process of living in a home at all is completely new. Mostly they are raised on farms and used to the track. They may have never even seen a small dog or child!
While on the site Amy saw a three year old male brindle whose description said something like "would do best in a home with no younger children," and Amy, not having any, decided to take a chance on Rush, racing name "Rushing on Home." That was July of 2006.
Rush was a great dog and Amy considered him *almost* perfect, except for one issue, separation anxiety. As Amy consulted the rescue organization, they suggested greyhounds are often most at ease with another greyhound in the house, since that is what they are used to. As Amy was pondering what to do, in September of 2006 the rescue asked her to foster a female who needed to be rehomed.
Amy lived closest to where she was, so she agreed to foster her and bring her to an adoption event later in the month.
This pretty girl's racing name was Pat C Tour, but she was better known as Bijou. With Bijou, Rush's separation anxiety improved greatly, and although Amy did wind up taking Bijou to the adoption event later in the month, she just couldn't part with her, and that's how she came to have two greyhounds.
Finally, in 2007 Amy went to a Saint Patrick's Day parade in North Myrtle Beach to participate with the greyhound adoption group. She met Stardust Rambo(racing name), Rammy Boy, and she couldn't get him off her mind. What's three greyhounds when you already have two?
Well for starters it meant finding a bigger car than her Dodge Neon! She took all three with her while car-shopping, and came away with a Jeep Patriot for her new pack.
Now readers, I have things to tell you about Rush and Rammy, about Amy's life, and many pictures to share. But I have to digress for just a moment. As you know, I like to deal with happy stories on the Rescue Dog Blog, so I'll give you a headsup here: the rest of today's story will feature a dog crossing the Rainbow Bridge. It's sad but bittersweet. If you don't want to read on I understand. You can check back in for part two about Rush and Rammy, and you'll be glad you did.
However, I want to honor Bijou's memory and all her mom has gone on to do for her, so I would be remiss if I didn't talk about her. Her story isn't one of pain or suffering, because Amy is a caring and strong person who prevented that.
One day in May of 2013, she dropped Bijou off for a routine dental appointment. The blood work done before the cleaning showed kidney failure. Amy was caught off guard and devastated. Bijou showed no symptoms.
The vet encouraged Amy to switch to easier food to digest, monitor her blood monthly to watch for progression, and watch carefully for symptoms.
In the meantime Amy spent as much time as possible bonding with Bijou, taking her on rides and making sure she knew she was loved.
Amy got about 8 more months with Bijou before the symptoms became apparent, and she knew it was time to do the right thing for Bijou.
They went on their last ride together, and as she waited with Bijou at the vet's she promised that when her broken heart was ready, she would foster more greyhounds to help as many find homes as possible.
It took a few months, but in July she met her first foster, WW's Workman, better known as Nathan, and kept him for a month.
She took him to meet and greets and socialized him with her boys until he found his furever home in August.
Her next foster was Maggie, racing name WW Managemepleaz, and she was with Amy and her pack for just a few weeks until she got adopted!
Can you imagine how pleased Bijou must be? Amy has kept Bijou's collar, which is worth sharing. BOL!
She also ordered this beautiful memory box for her, which one of the foster dogs is checking out here.
In addition, she added a purple star for Bijou to this greyhound tattoo she already had.
I have to imagine Bijou is having the greatest time on the other side of the bridge. All these dogs finding homes, all the ways she knows she is in Amy's heart. . .
Amy, thank you so much for sharing Bijou's story. We know it wasn't easy, but what you are doing for her is inspiring and should be shared with all the dog lovers we have here on the blog.
We'll share Rush and Rammy in their own spotlight, as they deserve, and let Bijou have her own star.
If you have a rescue story you'd like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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