Champ was the slowest greyhound we’d ever met. Almost the last of our pack to arrive, he claimed our bed, but in getting there, he’d wander into the bedroom and stand at the foot of the bed for a while thinking about it. Then he’d raise one front foot and another would follow before he scritched up far enough (he was a loooong dog) to get one rear foot up there, then, finally, the other before he turned around a few times to slowly lay down. The entire process could take five minutes. Champ was never in a hurry for anything.
A year and a half ago, friends with Michigan Greyhound Connection called me to say one of their dogs had been picked up in Oregon in dire straits, asking if we could help. He had been taken to the vet for wound treatment, but serious as they were, the wounds weren’t the main problem: Champ’s teeth were so bad that he couldn’t eat. The first weighing at the vets office showed him at 43 pounds.
GPA/Northwest picked up all four greyhounds which Animal Control refused to return to the same owner. A true greyhound angel, Carol Vinnacombe patiently fed the boy cottage cheese and pasta (outside- it was a messy ordeal) which Champ would pick up, toss to the back of his throat and swallow in huge chunks. By the time Jerry and I arrived in Portland to pick him up, Champ weighed 56 pounds. We brought him home and delivered two of the others to Greyhound Friends for Life on the way.
Once he’d gained enough weight to endure anesthesia for the removal of all those nasty teeth, Champ was a happy and hungry character and he moved up to a normal 73 pounds.
Champ followed us everywhere and kept me company when Jerry took all the other dogs for walkies. He was loyal and unassuming, docile and accepting, greytful and loving. He required beds and couches and pillows and we were happy to comply. We had a lot of painful years to make up for. Our Champ could do no wrong.
18 months or 18 years makes no difference at all- Champ was one of our family and our loss is felt as deeply as if he were our very first greyhound. We adored this special boy and though we are suffering now, he is not.