If you thumb backward into the August-September timeframe, you can read that we had gone to a Greyhound rescue organization to see about rescuing a Greyhound.
Our lives are richer because of the magnificent animal that we had in our home. Zuri had a lot to give, and she was incredibly loving and appreciative of the new home she had. Consequently, she was phenomenal in her learning, and we thought we’d found a friend for life. However, that didn’t work out, because of the small dogs in our lives. She could not tell ‘prey’ from ‘play’ and we knew that was bred into her. So we were incredibly saddened to have to give her back; but I want to put in a word here:
If you have room in your lives and your living situation for a Greyhound, I urge you to consider the rescue of one of these magnificent creatures. I use the word ‘magnificent’ a lot, because of the grace and elegance of these dogs. They have an elegant presence about them, yet they can be goofier and more laid-back than any dog you’ve seen. For a big dog, they don’t act like it. They have a marvelous sense of the space around them, and respond intuitively to you.
We are not daunted by having to give Zuri back. Instead we are checking with Golden Bond rescue to see if we can rescue a Golden Retriever. We’ve passed all of the tests so far, and now are waiting to see if there is a good match for us.
We are waiting on God to bring us the right dog.
And our story continues:
Yesterday, When Raffy (short for Raphael) came here for a home visit with the Golden Bond folks, Pepper was initially a little curious, but then very reserved as their dog energetically thundered up and down the hallway, blasted from room to room with his sniffer going, zooming back and forth, checking everything out. Pepper kind of stuck to his ‘safe spot’ behind a chair and I thought that he was going to just hide. So I did what we’ve done in the past – we put the dogs out and stood by, letting them get to know each other. Raffy ran and ran (and ran and ran), to one end of the meadow and then to the other. After he’d burned off some energy, he settled down to get to know Pepper a bit and to let Pepper get to know him. There was the usual amount of quick movements and a bit of growling as each let the other know where they stood.
Raffy started to try to engage Pepper in play activity. He play-bowed toward Pepper, and Pepper was baffled by Raffy’s quick movements. Pepper didn’t seem to understand what was going on. But he kept watching Raffy…
And then I saw a miracle.
Pepper play-bowed back to Raffy, and they started to run together. This is the first time I’ve seen this since July: Pepper, our quiet, withdrawn, grieving Pepper, was playing with another dog! Through tear-filled eyes, I watched as he ran with Raffy up to the fence to ‘play bark-bark,’ something that I haven’t seen him do in so very, very long. Then they ran most of the length of the meadow, before coming in with us.
Pepper ‘got his Sheltie on’ and was himself again, for the first time in seven months. And while I was outside for reading that evening, as proof that he had found that spark of Shetland Sheepdog within himself, he was lying at the edge of the deck, surveying the meadow, watching over all that was happening. And he even went back up to the fence on a couple of occasions to play bark-bark at the deer.
Later that night, Pepper lay down next to me on the floor, to hide his head under the end table and snooze. I couldn’t help but feel my heart soften again as I discovered him there, and as I reached down to ruffle his fur, hearing him give a soft grumble of sheepdog happiness.