Today finds a certain little black dog in our house turning five years old, and it’s hard for me to believe. When we adopted Bunny, I recognized that she had an old soul. There was always a bearing of calmness and maturity to her. With Flattery, we have the opposite. I think she will be an eternal puppy, and as much as I love being able to rely on Bunny’s unflappable demeanor, I also adore Flattery’s view on the world.
If you are a newer reader to the blog, we adopted Flattery not long after losing “The Best Dog Ever” (according to Mr. Taleteller), Blueberry, to osteosarcoma. In many ways, Flattery is the perfect successor to Blue’s throne. Blueberry was our resident class clown and one of the most intuitive dogs I’ve ever met. If I came home after a bad day, the other dogs would retreat and leave me to lick my wounds in private, but Blueberry would be the one to approach and I cried a lot of tears into that incredibly soft fur, especially after our first Greyhound died. The day we took Blueberry to the vet, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that we might get bad news, but I was in no way prepared for the fact that we would be going home without her that day.
There were sad weeks that followed and we all felt her loss deeply. When we found out that a prize we’d won for our adoption kennel had arrived, we decided to take a road trip and go visit the kennel where we could get a few pictures for the blog and just take a break from our sadness by visiting with a few of the kennel dogs. We weren’t actively looking to adopt again yet, but I admit that I was starting to feel pangs. I was ready to start thinking about looking again, but Mr. Taleteller wasn’t quite there.
We met several lovely dogs there. I took pictures of them to add to Bunny’s blog post. There were a few that Bunny definitely didn’t like and a couple she did. In my mind, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to find a new hound that everyone would fall in love with. I wanted a photogenic Greyhound that would help us in our mission to make everyone who reads the blog want a Greyhound of their own.
Our first meeting with Flattery didn’t give me the impression that she was an up and coming blog star. She was very sick when she first came to the kennel and she was still too thin. The end of her tail was kinked. I’d read over the years about how difficult it is to photograph black dogs, too. Here stood this creature who looked like she might be a cross between a giraffe and a monkey with too big ears and scar on her butt. And yet, she was incredibly friendly and sweet, not running around the room like a crazy thing and Bunny wasn’t overwhelmed by her.
A little later, I looked at the camera to see the pictures I’d taken and I was struck by a picture I’d taken of Flattery. Her eyes were incredible. She’d also really charmed us and Bunny. There was a lot of talking on the way home and two days later, we drove the two and a half hours back to pick her up and make her ours.
The day we came back, one of the kennel volunteers let her out, planning to do turn out with her since she had a long drive in the car. Instead of going to the back door to be let out, she came to the Dutch door in the front, stood up and stuck her nose over to greet us. That sweet gesture sealed the deal in my heart. On the way home, Flattery’s personality shone through from the beginning. She stood between the van seats, excitedly watching the world go by as we took her to her new life. We made a stop in Galena, a historic little tourist stop of a town, and she immediately went to work on behalf of Greyhounds still waiting for a home. You would never have guessed that she hadn’t even been to our house yet. She greeted everyone and flinched at nothing.
I can’t lie to you, Flattery makes me laugh every day. She has filled Blueberry’s spot in our house like she was born for it. I had no idea at the kennel what a funny little dog she would turn out to be, but I am not sorry that we took a chance on her. She marches to the beat of her own drummer and she frustrates the daylights out of me sometimes, but she can turn around and totally endear herself to me a few seconds later. Without a doubt, she’s one of the most overtly affectionate Greyhounds you’ll ever meet. As much as she wants her own way, she also really wants us to be happy with her. She’s full of sugar and spice, plus a little piss and vinegar, and we are incredibly lucky that she’s our own funny little valentine.
No dog is perfect, but there is a perfect dog out there for almost everyone. Flattery is that perfect dog for us. I had no idea she’d bring along so many funny stories to share as well as smiles for people at the nursing home and a deep love that she graces us with. She’s a reminder to me that the outside is just window dressing and that it’s what’s at heart that counts. And one of the funniest things is that after she became ours, she became incredibly beautiful. Happy Birthday, Flattery!