The Free Motion Quilting Project: Time to Find a New Friend

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time to Find a New Friend

You may remember that last year, right around this time, we went through a very hard time when we lost our greyhound Jinjo at nearly 11 years.

She'd been with Josh and me for more than 5 years (we got her the summer after we got married), and in so many ways she completed our little family in our little apartment.

When James came along, life got busier, but Jinjo was always there, happy just to get a pet on the head and then snooze all day in the sun. Greyhounds have got to be the absolute perfect dogs for quilters - they're clean, they don't smell, they have very short hair, they don't slobber or drool, and they sleep all day curled up like a cat!

When we lost her last year...it's hard to describe...it's like I suddenly realized just how much I loved her and would miss her and how much it was hurting to lose her.

Jinjo taught me that you never know how much time you have, so you should be loving and kind EVERY day. It's easy to assume you will have years and years, but sometimes you don't, and you never know when it will be the last time you get to say, "I love you."

I'm bringing this whole story back up again because Josh has been hinting all summer that he was ready to get a new greyhound. He'd occasionally mention it to James and the two have been bringing it up regularly for several months.

For me, the pain of losing Jinjo always overshadowed the desire to get a new hound. Finally last weekend Josh and I attended Renaissance Festival and spent some time with the greys in the rescue tent. It was quickly obvious that both Josh and I were missing having a dog and it was time to look into getting a new grey.

So why do I only want a greyhound?

Quite simply, they are the perfect dogs. Once you have one, I don't think you can go back for just any ole' dog.

Greyhounds are unusual because they're pretty big dogs, but very skinny. They also have lots of energy, but in spurts of around 10 to 20 minutes. After a good walk or run, they're ready for a long nap, and generally happy to stay put curled up in the corner of whatever room you're in.

The thing that makes greys really different is their racing life. From how I understand it, all greyhounds are bred to race, and puppies are trained for racing from the time they're born. If they don't race well, they leave the track at 2 years old. The dogs that race well continue racing until they turn 5 (or are hurt) when they are automatically retired.

For a long time, greyhounds didn't have much of a life after the race track. People didn't realize that these were excellent dogs that could make terrific pets, so for a very long time, the dogs that didn't work out on the track simply didn't live very long.

Now we have wonderful organizations like Greyhound Friends of NC which collect dogs of all ages from the track and set up a system for them to be adopted. Most states now have one or more organizations to rescue greyhounds, so if you're interested make sure to google your area to see what's available.

Recently we contacted GFNC and began looking through their lists of greyhounds available for adoption. After being approved for adoption, we headed up to Greensboro, NC today to visit with the hounds and hopefully find one that would fit with our family.

We met many dogs today, but this little girl is the "one:"

This is Kiki, a beautiful 2 year old girl with lots of spunk, but a sweet temperament.

I had to keep reminding myself that I was not going to get a carbon copy of Jinjo. Being younger, she's going to need a bit more exercise and attention, but after an hour playing around, I think she's going to be a great fit for our family.

We spent a lot of time testing her with James. I just wanted to be sure that even if James ran around, made sudden moves, yelled or fell down that it wouldn't scare or startle the greyhound. While it will take time for both the dog and our son to get used to one another, this particular greyhound seemed totally uninterested in chasing James, which is a great sign.

As we did last time, Josh and I began auditioning different names for our pretty girl. Finally we all settled on Kally. In two weeks, Kally will be spayed, have her teeth cleaned, nails trimmed, and be ready to come home.

I think I speak for all of us when I say "I can't wait!"

Cheers,

Leah

37 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new addition to the family. We have 4 Labs that we rescued, so we know how it feels when you lose one, and seem to want another.

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  2. welcome, kally! i'm so sorry you lost your jinjo. losing a pet is the same as losing a member of the family.

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  3. She's a pretty one! Bless you for taking part in the rescue for this breed. Happy times to you and your new friend.

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  4. Congratulations on finding your new baby! I understand both the feelings involved with loosing a furry child and the need to wait until your heart is ready to look for another. 16 years ago I lost Tokfia to cancer. She was only sick for a week, thank God. It was about 14 months before I got Shoeshine, and for the last 14 1/2 years he was the light of my life. As Australian Shepherds can be he would force me to live on days that just didn't seem livable. He left us in July and I still ache for his company, but the last 4 months were very hard for him, and he didn't want to let go of life. In ways it was very much a relief for me when he finally decided he was too tired to go on.
    My first dog was a black and white greyhound. I was less than 3 when he came to live with us. He was a misfit racer, lol, and a rescue, way before the word rescue was used. Unfortunately due to a case of mistaken identity he was taken away when I was 5. I had a friend who started a greyhound rescue several years ago. It is often said that black and whites are the hardest to socialize around children. We use to try to ride ours, and he never ever acted like he wanted to hurt us for it. He would just sit down and we would slide off. He did give my dad a serious bite once when he thought dad was going to hit my brother. Dad was starting a go-cart that had to be started by wrapping a rope around the top of the engine (your most likely too young to remember those old lawnmower engines) When the rope released Toodles thought dad was swinging it to hit my brother. He broke his chain and ran across the yard and bit dad on the upper thigh, just below the butt! The bite left scars.
    Enough dog tales. Enjoy your new baby when she comes. Blessings

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  5. I'm pleased for you, having a pet is so good for everyone in the family.

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  6. So pleased you have found a new dog. I enjoyed the story - thanks for taking the time to write it out.

    Get the camera out as I am sure there will be James and Kally kodak moments.....

    do peeps say "Kodak moments" these days?

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  7. Congrats! I know what you mean about short haired dogs and quilting! We have a pointer, a really similar dog, and he's great!

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  8. What a great addition to your family!

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  9. Wonderful. I'm so happy for you and Kally!

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  10. Congratulations on your new friend. We had a greyhound, also young when we got her. Indeed they are good pets. :-)

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  11. I have spent my life with dogs, namely greater Swiss mountain dogs and Basset hounds one. But have. EEG involved with rescue for the last 25 years. And a dog trainer for 35,

    So I completely understand the need!

    Good lick with Kallie!

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  12. Congratulations! Fur children are a very important part of life and not to be missed!

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  13. Leah, this is wonderful news! I also was the proud owner of a greyhound who sadly left us about 4years ago. Waffel, (originally Warfel) was a beautiful brown greyhound that we adopted when he was two and had of pleasure of owning until he left us at the age of 11. I can still remember the day we brought him home.....he came into the house and layed down in the middle of the kitchen floor like he had lived there for years. Such sweet,loving dogs. I recommend them whenever I hear that anyone is looking for a dog. Good luck with her, I am sure she will bring you years of happiness.

    -debby
    Chester, NY

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  14. I am so happy for you that you are ready to have a new pet. It took me two years after losing my dog, to be ready to have one again.
    Yes, greyhounds do make wonderful pets. I think everyone has THE breed of dog that is perfect for them. For me, it's the miniature schnauzer. My Neeka is almost 2 yrs old now, but true to her breed, she still has that puppy spunk, and she THINKS she's a big dog, so we just don't tell her she isn't. :)

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  15. Good for you and your family and congratulations on the new addition. I have three Irish Setters. The last two we adopted from rescue and they are members of our family.

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  16. Congrats on finding your new friend. My in-laws have three greys in their household. I always enjoy visiting with them when we go over for dinner. :)

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  17. Yeah, I had a friend who rescued greyhounds and they are the absolutely best pets in the world!
    She always said as long as you don't dangle a rabbit at them, they love to be lazy! :-)

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  18. That is a great story!!! And Congratulations on your new family member!! She is beautiful!! I have never had a greyhound, but hear they do make wounderful pets and I think they are just a neat looking dog!
    It will be fun when she is finally with you. And I think you found the perfect one for you!!

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  19. How lovely that you've found each other! She looks like a bundle of fun :D

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  20. What a cutie pie! The yarn shop near our family's summer place has a nice basket of wool that their greyhound naps in. At first I thought it was a clever felted wool doggie - very lifelike! Then she stretched and really surprised me :D

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  21. Congratulations on the new addition to your family. We have two rescue dogs, one is 18 years and 7 months (we count the months now as we think that is important!) and one that is 11 years old. Saying goodbye is always the hardest.

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  23. What a cutie she is. My sister has gone the retired greyhound route, and since her first the only deviation from the breed she has had are lurchers (which in the UK are Greyhound crossed with another breed).
    Hope you have a long and happy life with her.

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  24. Congratulations on your new family member - it wasn't so long ago we were in the same boat - in fact just about 6 or 7 weeks ago but our boy is a German Shepherd - he's full of beans, we think about 2 yrs old and slowly being trained (we don't think he's previous owners did anything constructive with him, but we will get there)
    Enjoy your new family member

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  25. Oh, she's a pretty girl. You'll have her to love for a long time.

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  26. She's beautiful! She will be a wonderful addition to your family. Congratulations!

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  27. Hello kally!!!! She is just beautiful!

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  28. Oh how wonderful for you all, Leah. And specially for Kally to land in such a lovely new home. I know what fabulous dogs greyhounds are. My own lovely girl Troi (now 9) is simply the best. And yes, I couldn't agree more with you, they are great for quilters.

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  29. What a happy story! I know just what you mean about that sense of loss. I couldn't live without my dogs (despite the copious amounts of hair they shed all over everything). Congratulations - Kally is beautiful!

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  30. Sometimes it takes awhile for the pain to ease enough to open your life to another pet, but they bring immeasurable love. She's a beautiful girl and deserves a wonderful home with a great family.

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  31. Congrats on your new Grey - They are just the best! We're considering getting another some time... when the time is right. Best wishes for you and your new family member!

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  32. Aw, I'm so happy for you. I hope Kally is a perfect fit for your family, and I'm thankful that you found each other. So sorry about losing your pet, I can relate as I have gone through the same thing. They are just a part of the family, plain and simple.
    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Julie

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  33. Awwww, how wonderful!! Congrats to you and your family!!!

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  34. What a beauty she is and a wonderful addition to your family! Congrats:)
    Laura T

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  35. Congratulations - she's a beauty!

    Consider having your vet place an ID chip while she's asleep for her surgery. All my cats have one, but I've had it done at the same time as teeth cleaning, thus avoiding any distress for them.

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  36. Yay! I love my dogs. They add so much warmth and humor to life.

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