^ Zinnia (6/7/97 - 7/19/11)
I would never have suspected. Throughout 15 years of adopting greyhounds and being in touch with so many other greyhound owners through Northcoast Greyhounds, I just figured that one's "Heart Dog" was almost always their first greyhound.
But then, I met Iruska Zinnia. She ran right up to the end of her run at Riggins Farm in Kansas and flashed that enormous grin at me when I was there for the Abilene Gathering in 2003. Enchanted with her "Pick ME!" approach, and favoring broodies in any case, I asked if we could adopt her. The answer was yes. when she was finished breeding. 43 pups later, I was given the nod. Following Dewey, 2005, I flew in to Kansas and rented a car so Zinnia and I could drive home to California together.
Zinnia is 12 now, and from the moment I picked her up, she was my special girl- heart of my hearts. Exhibiting an unusual sort of intelligence, Zinnia visibly decides which days she will go for walkies with her, there's no Pavlovian reaction every time the van door opens in the garage. She'll play with only one toy: Carla the Raccoon (or one of Carla's many clones!), presented to her by Carla Myers in Solvang one year. She barely reacts to new or visiting dogs, large or small, with one exception: Fabian, our Greyt Dane, was her closet friend. Her focus is more upon human friends and companions.
We've been told by her racing owners that Zinnia's pups all have similar personalities. They've asked us to, one day, provide a home for Iruska Cream Pie, AA racer and Wheeling stakes winner, Zinnia's daughter. Did they think we could say no? Cream Pie is only six, and still breeding. So we wait.
Of our 23 greyhounds at the bridge and five others in our home, each one adored by Jerry and me for their own unique personalities, Zinnia is my own special Princess. My Heart dog for sure.