This page is dedicated to those that have already gone on to the Rainbow Bridge. I met Hope and Zantz, but never got a chance to meet my other "brother and sister," Duke and Star. Here they all are and a little bit about each of them.
Hope died on November 29, 2006. She was only 9 years old. She came to our family as a puppy. She was meant to race but never did due to an injury. She was 4 months old when we drove to the Montgomery, Alabama area to pick her up. She was always full of life! She was quite smart, too. She could figure things out (like how to open the refrigerator, for example). In June of 2006, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She lived happily and pain-free for about 5 more months. When Gracie came home in August of 2006, Hope was quite pleased! Hope always loved puppies and she viewed Gracie as a playmate. Gracie kept Hope young for the remaining time she had with us. Hope is, and will always be, deeply missed.
Zantz was a blue and white boy. This picture was taken on Jeanie's 8th birthday. Apparently, Zantz had had a little too much birthday fun and he was exhausted! Zantz was about 2 years old when he came to us. Zantz was never a big bundle of energy! He was a typical, couch-potato greyhound. He'd get bursts of energy, but was then quite happy to hop back up on "his" couch to go to sleep. Zantz crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge on April 4, 2007. He had been diagnosed with a cancerous nasal tumor a week prior. He was started on pain medication and that helped temporarily, but by April 4, he was clearly uncomfortable despite the pain meds. We chose to do the kindest thing for Zantz and free him of his pain.
This is Duke. Duke is the greyhound that started it all. He was our first. We adopted him in October of 1996. He was about 5 years old at that time and had been a returned dog. He wasn't returned for behavioral reasons. Duke was always the perfect gentleman. He took to Hope the minute we brought her home, a year after Duke came home. Duke died September 4, 2000 of liver failure.
On September 4, 2000 at 4:05am, Duke was assisted to the Rainbow Bridge. His family was there with him in his final moments. Duke had been diagnosed with liver failure in April. He fought his disease until September and then started to get very sick. Duke was my friend....he still is. I may not be able to see him and touch him, but I know that he is still with me.
"Be comforted little dog. Thou too at the resurrection shall have a golden tail." Martin Luther
As the vet slipped the lethal syringe into Duke's vein, it took every ounce of self-restraint I had to allow her to continue. I wanted to shout, "No! Stop!" but knew that it would be wrong. Duke was suffering and it was time to end that suffering. It was beyone time, actually. I knew we were making the right decision, but that knowledge didn't make that any easier. Euthanasia was, however, the final act of love and compassion. As I watched my beautiful boy slip from this world to the next, I thought back to the time we had spent together.
I remembered Duke racing into my life a mere four years ago. He was five years old when I adopted him from our local greyhound adoption group. He had been returned to the group because his family was moving and could no longer care for him. My husband and I had been told that he had a lot of scarring and that his ears looked odd because of surgery. The adoption representative wanted to know if we were still interested in adopting him. We certainly were! We were adopting a friend, not a showpiece. We took one look into his chocolate colored eyes and fell instantly in love! In his eyes, you could see the love and intelligence. How could we not love this fawn colored gentleman? We didn't even notice the scars or the odd looking ears. We never did. All we saw was our Duke, our regal, loving Duke. Four years - how quickly they pass!
I saw, in my mind, Duke following me from room to room. Wherever I went, Duke was right there with me. He followed me to the bathroom and into our computer room. He kept me company while I read e-mail and research on the internet. Duke helped me do laundry, too. I would fold it and he would trip me while I was turning around to put it away. We were a great team! I was never alone after we adopted Duke. The house would be eerily quiet without him.
I pictured Duke sprinting around the baseball diamond. He was a sight to behold! To watch him run was to watch poetry in motion. I envisioned the beauty and grace of Duke's lean, muscled body as he did what he loved to do the most - run. As I stroked the face of my dying boy, I looked down at his disease riddled, emaciated body. He hadn't raced around any ball diamonds in a long time.
The vet removed the deadly needle from Duke's tired and broken body. Our time together was almost over. I held him and told him that I loved him. With one final sigh, a sigh that said he understood, Duke slipped out of my life. Duke died the same way that he had lived. He died with grace and dignity. When I close my eyes, I see Duke. I don't see the sick dog that he had become in his final days. I see the healthy boy he was before liver failure grasped him in its deadly grip. When I close my eyes I see Duke in Heaven. He's healthy again and he can run again. I see Duke racing with the other dogs that are waiting for their human families to join them. Run like the wind, my boy! Until we meet again.............