Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bury the Big Galoot in Africa.

Sadly, our greyhound CodyBill had to be put to sleep last week. :-(

He was no spring chicken, although we thought he had a couple of good years left in him. He had a failing heart that was unfortunately causing liver problems that in turn gave him massive seizures. We thought we had the seizures pretty much under control, but last Monday he kind of turned the corner as far as severity goes, and after three bad seizures in about 10 minutes he just never bounced back. We felt like he had given up, and frankly didn't blame him- they were hard on him and I'm sure they were, at best, puzzling for him. Thankfully, he spent the week we were on vacation in the home of a good friend who loved him and spoiled him and gave him the best second to last week of life any guy could wish for. Thank you Anna!

He was a true sweetie, and we can prove that just by the number of Ghanaians who loved him and are devastated by his loss- remember when we got here he was just BIG and FULL OF TEETH and the people who ended up loving him are the ones who were jumping fences and shutting doors just to avoid him at first. ;-)

Stephen and Duke both cried at the news, and poor Mark, who had to help get him through the last of the seizures because he was unfortunately (for Mark) handy when they started, carefully washed and dried the beach towel that we used to cool CodyBill down and cushion his head a little. He brought it to us the next day, clean and dry, and told us in his extra-shy Mark way, that he was sorry about the big dog (who has been known to shelter with Mark in the Boys' Quarters during rainstorms), and wished he didn't die. After almost a year of living with us, Mark still couldn't wrap his limited English around CodyB's name, but that wasn't necessary between friends- they shared meals, shelter, and relaxed in the heat of the day together.

Anyway, we have buried a piece of our hearts in Africa.

If you ever have room in your life for a dog, please consider rescuing a retired greyhound. Check the 'net for adoption places- there are dozens, in America, Europe, Africa, Australia- everywhere they race them. Greyhounds are incredibly zen and low maintenance- and the retired racers are eternally grateful for the new life you give them off the track. You don't have to have a big yard- they are sprinters, so can be kept very happy with nothing more than a nice walk before they collapse for a looooong nap. Every greyhound that gets adopted lowers the number of racers that die each year because homes can't be found (currently numbering in the tens of thousands).

And spare a thought for our little mutt Elliot who lost his best friend and mentor. Elliot is a little confused, and very lonely right now- he doesn't understand where the big dog is or why he gets to go out the door first now.

Here they are in happier days...