Today is a big day for a certain black Greyhound at our house. Flattery has a birthday today and she says that eight is great. I think I might be one of the rare people on the face of the planet who has an eight year old puppy. I know that eight years old is considered the transition to being a senior Greyhound, but Flattery shredded that memo along with our old bank receipts a couple of weeks ago.
I think back to when we met her in the kennel. She just sparkled with that certain something. We went home and by the time we’d made the two hour trip back, we’d committed ourselves to going back to get her and two days later we did. I still laugh about the kennel volunteer who knew we’d arrived to pick her up and tried to be nice by letting her out so she could have a leg stretch and a potty break before the long drive home. Instead of going to the back door, Flattery, who had heard us talking as we started filling out her paperwork, came to the front Dutch door to greet us instead.
When we got in the van, she stood between us, watching everything. She was so happy and so excited, and she was determined not to miss one single thing out in the world for another second. She has that same spirit today, although she does prefer to lay comfortably in the back seat and watch out the window now.
For those who don’t know her story, Flattery had a rough start in life before she came to us. She went to the track to race and got very sick. I’ve still never heard an explanation or diagnosis as to what she had. She wasn’t eating, she lost all of her fur and a lot of weight. In a last ditch effort, they brought her to the adoption kennel because they couldn’t figure out how to help her at the track.
I suspect that the adoption kennel wasn’t sure if they could save her. They took care of her for six months before they considered placing her for adoption. By then, she’d gained sixteen pounds and still looked like she needed to put on more and she’d grown most of her fur back. There’s one spot on her hip that must have had some sort of scrape, because the fur never has grown there and the end of her tail is kinked where it was broken, probably by getting closed in a door or possibly from her wagging it too hard in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Those hardships never set her back, though. Of all the dogs we’ve had, she has the most zest for life and she has a way of savoring every moment that makes me think that she can almost taste the goodness of life on her tongue. Given the opportunity, she would greet the entire world with a wagging tail and a happy heart. It has never occurred to her that someone wouldn’t want to be graced with her presence.
We took her out this weekend for some special birthday shopping and extra attention. I got her a birthday cake from the dog bakery along with a couple of toys, one that I think will really rock her world when we get it out and we picked up some special raw bones for both her and Küster to enjoy. She’s never met a treat that she didn’t love, so I know she’ll like that, but I think the best gift for her was going into the bakery with us. There were three girls who work there along with three or four other customers who all noticed her and made a big fuss over her. She was in heaven. I think she would have stood there all day if it were possible and let them gush over her.
I am incredibly happy that we took a chance on this goofy, mischievous little hound six years ago. She has enriched our lives in ways we never expected and while she also challenges us, we are so blessed to have her in our lives. We wish her littermates, including Karma living up closer to the adoption kennel, a very happy birthday and many happy returns. She may very well be a puppy until her very last breath, many years from now, and that would be perfectly okay with me.