Eleven years ago, we began a journey that ended yesterday. That was when we met a tall, beautiful blue brindle Greyhound with two mismatched eyes and a penchant for mischief. She stole our hearts from the very first moment she stepped into our house. We didn’t think she was going to live here with us, we were just watching her until the woman she lived with recovered from having surgery. However, Fate had other plans and it turned out that Blueberry stayed with us and her mother, Lilac, along with our other Greyhounds.
Being funny was always her nature. Whatever Blueberry did, she did it with a sparkle in her eye that told you that she was in on her own joke and that she planned on making sure you laughed with her. Whether she was stealing hamburger buns off plates while Mr. Taleteller was going outside to get the burgers off the grill or pawing her ear to let you know that you were not dismissed from petting duty or just sneaking up behind someone with her cold nose, Blue was ever the prankster.
She was also the comforter in our house. When we lost Treat, she was the one who would come to me and let me cry tears into her velvet fur. On many of my bad days, she always had an intuition that I needed a quiet shoulder and quietly appeared by my side. I’ve always wondered if her great empathy was what made her fur so soft. I’ve met hundreds of Greyhounds, and there was never one as soft as Blue. Her fur felt like velvet that had been made with silk.
Blueberry was infamous for hating the great outdoors. She wasn’t overly fond of the dog park, although she did enjoy some great squirrel pursuits there. Walking with her was like going to a public shaming as she would walk as far behind me on the leash as she could on the way home so that the whole town would talk about how I beat my poor dog. She would begin whining out in the dog pen as soon as her business was done so she could get back inside. If it was a ride in the car, she was all about being included, even though she didn’t enjoy car rides themselves. She always felt that it was worth enduring to get to whatever fun was on the other end.
Early on, she began doing nursing home visits. Hawk had a bad reaction to some vaccinations, and she began filling in for him. She loved the attention and he did not, so she took over his spot. She excelled at dog obedience and was famous for doing the world’s slowest recall, much to the disappointment of the other people in the class who thought she’d be fast. At the nursing home, she had quiet patience for everyone, and she even took a few humans under her wing and taught them how visits are supposed to go so that they could bring their own dogs. She had an innate patience and gentleness to her.
She was known by a lot of names. She raced, very briefly, as Reward Terry. After that, she became Blueberry and there was never a more perfect name. She was also known as Boo Boo, Baby Blue, and Fluffernutter. My husband’s moniker for her for many years has been “The Best Dog Ever” and she was.
Sadly, her days with us came to an end yesterday. It began with an intermittent limp two weeks ago. I told myself that if I didn’t make a big deal about it, that it would turn out to be nothing. I knew several other bloggers and friends were dealing with serious health issues with their dogs, and I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, at least until I knew what were were dealing with. Yesterday, we had our appointment in the morning and learned the devastating news that not only did she have osteosarcoma in her left rear femur bone, but there was already a stress fracture. Our stoic girl was in a lot of pain and it wasn’t going to get better. We were very afraid that if we did bring her home that the leg would shatter and it would be very soon. That would mean a much more traumatic ending for our girl, and it wasn’t what we wanted for her.
I could say a lot of things. I could say that we miss her terribly, and we do. I could say that life won’t be the same without her, and it won’t. I could say that we were lucky to have known her, and we were. I could say that osteosarcoma is a horrible disease, and it is. I could say that Blueberry was deeply loved, and she was. I could also say that life will go on, and it will. None of that changes the fact that she’s gone, though.
And yet, one of the other things that I know is that Blueberry would not want us to be sad. Her sensitive soul could never stand that. She would want us to live life to the fullest, to seize every minute for fun the way she did and smile every time we laugh and think of her. There was nothing she loved more than to see us laugh. When we did, she could never contain her own grin and her tail.
We’re also lucky that she has been immortalized, however briefly. She has graced the cover of a book as the main character, Lacey Blue. She will be on the cover of the sequel, too. She also had a cameo appearance in Leanna Renee Heiber’s book as an actual character in the story. A couple of artists have painted her, too.
We will never stop missing her, and she will always be in our hearts. Every day we had with her was a gift that we will treasure. It was also a great gift that we were able to share her with people around the world who loved her antics and personality. To everyone who has loved her, we thank you for sharing the journey with us. Safe travels, Blue! I’m sure you already have all the beds fluffed in Heaven. We will always love you, Baby Blue!