I have known about Nigel Buggers for years. He was a greyhound that made me laugh and he pulled off capers that only he could do. He’s quite famous in greyhound world. A few months ago, he made his final journey to the rainbow bridge. I don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere. We all cried for Nigel and for his dad Neil. Although many of us understood his grief, grief is a personal journey that we all must take.
Several weeks ago, Neil asked for a photos of our own dogs in a laying down position. I submitted Skirvee (third from the right) and then forgot all about it. That is until the day Neil posted this on Facebook.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart Neil. This is beautiful and I know Skirvee was honored to be on couch with Nigel.
Shortly after Nigel passed away, it became apparent that the hardest part of the healing process was not going to be dealing with my own grief – instead, I was heartbroken for his pack mates as I witnessed the confusion and depression that set in after he was gone. It was our first time losing a dog in the context of a large pack, and in an attempt to make them (and myself) feel better, I tried to explain.
I told them that Nigel was in a better place – a place where everyone is friendly and happy. A place where the treat jar is never empty, and the sofa goes on forever.
Did they understand? Probably not. Was I deluding myself? Perhaps. But I would like to believe that each and every one of our dearly departed hounds do find their way to that great big sofa in the sky. After all, what would Greyhound heaven be without a couch?
There were just under one thousand pictures submitted for this project, each of them with heartfelt sentiments that resonated strongly with each of us. I would like to express sincere gratitude to all who shared – please know that I would have fit all of your dogs in to this if I could. Thank you for opening your hearts and sharing their stories with all of us.
Skirvee was always our goofy greyhound. He knew how to make me laugh. And today, an unexpected smile crossed my face.
Skirvee always took great pleasure in nosing his way in between our legs. Most of the time he would catch me off guard, come in from behind and throw me off balance because I would instantly become high-centered, he was just tall enough to do that. He loved getting his scratches that way and he did it often.
We really don’t have any other greyhounds that do that. Until today.
I was running the dogs for their noon time run and giving them loves as they came in when all of a sudden a greyhound appeared between my legs. I was shocked. But what surprised me even more was that it was Jillian, Skirvee’s litter mate. She has never offered to do anything like that, she is more of a side swiper kinda girl. And even more, she stayed while I scratched her ears.
An animal communicator once told me to watch for signs of things that only Talley did after we lost her. We would know that she had come back home.
At that very instant when Jillian came up between my legs, I knew that Skirvee was back home, safe and sound.
This is the hardest post I have ever done. I’m still not sure I can follow through and do it. I have been MIA to our dog blog for two weeks.
Skirvee is gone, we lost him two weeks ago and my heart is shattered in a million pieces.
I met Karen when she adopted her first two greyhounds. From the beginning we were fast friends. Over time, the friendship developed and I eventually moved in with her. Day after day, we would sit and talk over a cup of coffee surrounded by our blended family of greyhounds. It was pretty clear that the sun rose and set for the greyhounds.
One day over coffee, we talked about how fun it would be to have a greyhound puppy.
So of course, I threw it out to the universe “We want a puppy!” And sure enough, through our greyhound connections a 5 1/2 month greyhound puppy appeared. He had a crippled paw, so racing would never be part of his world and he didn’t have a name.
My youngest daughter Holly named him after the skull and cross bone Paul Frank character Scurvy.
We met up with the adoption group president in a parking lot. In the back of our minds, we thought he would be a cuddly little puppy. Not. He was huge. He was our baby.
Over the years he earned a million nick names, but the one that stuck was “Screechin’ Skirvee Kaddiddlehopper.” He was our biggest dog and our biggest weanie.
He was a total love bug, not a mean bone in his body. He loved toys and treats and cuddles and running around. Skirvee was the picture of joy.
When he turned 8 years old, his two twin sisters came to join him at Greyhound Gardens. I was thrilled. I always wanted litter mates and now I had three of the most beautiful fawn dogs in the world.
In my heart, Skirvee would live forever, he should have lived forever. He was our goof ball.
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, he was just a little off, he really didn’t have an appetite which was unusual for him. I almost took him in, but I couldn’t really come up with anything concrete to tell the Dr. On Thanksgiving, he threw up a couple of worms and Karen and I were ecstatic. We knew why his appetite was off and it was a pretty easy fix. Friday morning he chose not to eat again and we were off to the vet clinic for x rays and bloodwork.
X rays were clean and the blood test results would be back the next morning. At midnight he was weak, on Saturday morning he couldn’t get up. We were waiting at the door when the vet got there about 7:15 am.
The blood tests were back and they really didn’t say much except that the platelets were a little low. We had gone through auto immune hemolytic anemia with Adam and although it was rough for awhile, he survived five years after diagnosis. We were confident that we could get Skirvee through this too.
We made an appointment for an ultrasound in Portland at 1 pm and so we left Skirvee at the vet clinic on fluids. At 10 am, a bruise appeared on Skirvee’s belly. His Dr. was worried that he might have DIC, a coagulation disease. We were gone for two hours doorstep-to-doorstop for the ultrasound. The ultrasound was clean and the plan was that we would start treatment for the auto immune disease. We took him back to our clinic to start treatment and get him hooked back up to the fluids.
He was tired, but he wasn’t in distress. We kissed and told him how much we loved him and said we would be back shortly after we ran the dogs at home.
It was our last kiss. Ever so peacefully, Skirvee left us for greener racetracks.
Our hearts were shattered. He was our baby, our Screechin’ Skirvee Kaddidlehopper. The house has been so empty and so not the same. It was DIC, there was nothing we could do. Sometimes all of the love in our hearts and all of the money in the bank and even the smartest, most savvy veterinarians are thwarted by an ailing body that says “I’m done.”
That boy had a firm grip on our hearts and we will miss him forever. The bunny’s are yours now Skirvee. Go get ’em boy. We love you.
When ever we come home from doing a photo session with other dogs, we always get the sniff down. I really don’t know how they feel about other dog and cat smells. Sometimes, I think they enjoy the guessing game about who we have been with. At least, they all spend so much time doing the vigorous sniff down, that I have to believe they find it somewhat entertaining.
When they entered the secret room, it was nose to the ground.
They checked every nook and cranny of the room leaving not one stray dog hair unsniffed.
Sometimes it took more than one nose to figure out who had been in the secret room
First a quick update on Talley. She’s home resting peacefully by my desk as I type.
We really don’t know what happened. It was mild whatever it was. They x-rayed her leg again and there were changes once again in the shadow. At one point we considered just having the head of the femur removed, but now, I think we will just concentrate on keeping her comfortable.
Her blood pressure was quite high, but she works herself up into such a stew at the vet, that it possible that her blood pressure is related to stress.