It was New Years Day, 2002. We made the two hour drive to the adoption kennel so that we could adopt our first greyhound. I was nervous and excited and I really no idea how that day would change the rest of my life.
We met 5 or 6 greyhounds that day, each one as beautiful as the next. The whole family was there. We walked this greyhound and that greyhound, how would we ever pick one? While we loved on each dog, my youngest daughter Holly had nearly crawled into the kennel of a petite little girl that was frightened of her own shadow. The little girl, Blender huddled to the back of kennel, hoping beyond hope that no one would notice her, but Holly only had eyes for her.
Blender didn’t go home with us that day and Holly was crushed. A few weeks later I got a call from adoption group president. She was so impressed with Holly, that she asked if we would be willing to foster Blender. She hoped that Blender would come out of her shell a little and gain a some confidence if she were placed in a home environment.
I didn’t have to ask Holly twice, she was almost 16, and she was more than happy to help Blender meet the big world.
Blender joined our family as a foster, she left our world nearly 12 years later as a beloved family member.
It took her a few months, but Blender learned to trust her new family. In the beginning, Holly left the door open on her security kennel and every night Holly would sit beside her kennel and read her homework to Blender. Blender knew more about history and algebra and composition than any other greyhound in North America. She also quickly learned that kennel doors didn’t belong closed. I don’t think I can count the number of doors that Blender destroyed until we finally figured out that she deserved the run of the house.
I’ll never forget the night when Holly left Blender’s side to come watch TV with us. Within minutes, her beautiful face peered around the entry into the living room. She gave one shrill bark and ran for the comforts of the bedroom. It wasn’t long after that and Blender decided she had better find a cushion in the living room.
A few months later I met Karen and the dogs and I would pile into the car to go over to the acre for a play date. Blender was impossible to catch, so she would stay home. She was not happy, not happy at all.
So, I reasoned with her. I told her that if she wanted to play with the other dogs, when it was time to come home, she had to let me catch her and put the leash on her.
Ya know what? It worked. She never ran from me again.
And then, on the 4th of July that year, my ex-husband had left the gate open. Blender got loose. I feared the worse as I rallied the troops in hopes of finding Blender.
We had no idea which way she had gone, she was still shy and it was the flippin’ 4th of July.
By car, by foot, we took off in every direction. An hour and half into the search, there was no sign of Blender, but we kept looking. I was still relatively new to greyhound adoption and I had no idea what to do but keep looking.
We rounded a corner and saw her crossing a street. I was still wearing my Birkenstocks, but I raced through a field diagonally hoping to cut her off, she ran faster. I flagged a car down and hopped into a perfect stranger’s car asking him to get me to the next intersection. She ran into a field and my only hope was to beat her to the busy street that was on the other side of the field.
I got to the other side of the stream and walked into field, Blender was nowhere in site. The busy street was only a few feet away and I called her name. Her head popped up out of the weeds and she almost looked relieved to see me. So scared she would run toward the street, I talked to her through my tears and she headed down into the stream.
I slid down the embankment and followed her in. It was a murky, muddy gross stream. My Birkenstocks got stuck in the mud and came off, but I wasn’t about to give up. She let me catch her and it was up to me to carry her to safety. Barefooted, I carried her up the embankment and started walking down the sidewalk. At this point, we were probably two miles from home and a few hours since she escaped. I don’t think I carried a cell phone then.
Fortunately for us, Megan was driving Holly and Karen around when they saw us. Blender and I rode in style the rest of the way home.
From that day forward, I was always on the extreme side of paranoia when it came to keeping the dogs safe.
Blender was every dogs friend. Over the years, Karen and I adopted many greyhounds and we fostered even more. I could always count on Blender to teach them the ropes and assure that everything would be OK.
Blender loved the acre and the freedom it gave her. She treasured her time her and learned to trust us.
She made us laugh and we loved her with all of our hearts. She was a true testament to all of the right reasons for adopting a shy dog.
Blender was just a few months shy of 15 years old. She was tired and her body was beginning to hurt her from arthritis.
She was weak and tired and we knew it was time to say good-bye.
Honey girl, you were such a good dog. It has taken me far to long to say good-bye to you, but it hasn’t been easy. We miss you so much.
Fabled Blender — June 25, 1999 to January 29, 2014