Story and photo submitted by Bruce
We adopted Lucky at age 4, right after he retired from racing. He is now 14. I knew the moment we met him that he had chosen to adopt us. His foster mom said he had been friendly but reserved with everyone else he met, but he greeted us with amazing enthusiasm and wouldn't stop kissing me.
We have had 6 Greyhounds over the years and never had one live past age 11. Lucky is the last one I would have expected to live this long because of a variety of chronic health issues. We almost lost him 2 years ago when his liver nearly failed, but he bounced back at the last minute and simply won’t give up on life.
Lucky would have been a spectacular therapy dog. I started training him with that goal in mind as soon as we adopted him. Sadly, he was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease about two months after we adopted him. I feared that the stress of the work would be too much to keep the condition under control. My therapy dog visits with a couple of our other dogs taught me more about patience, tolerance and appreciating the little things than I had learned my entire life to that point.
Lucky loves life. He loves everyone he meets and he's an amazing kisser. He particularly loves kids but I think that's because their little faces are right at kissing height (not to mention that there might be ice cream remnants that need a good lick on those faces).
I love and have loved all of the dogs I've had, and yet, I have never forgotten how Lucky chose us at our first meeting and the special bond he created in doing so. Now that he's in his golden years, we look for opportunities to take him on new adventures and see things he's never seen before. We recently took him to the beach for the first time. It was amazing to see his eyes light up as he pulled me toward the water and soaked in the sights and smells of the ocean. He absolutely loved it, but I don't think his joy came close to ours in watching him. Our Saturday mornings at Pike Place Market are the highlight of Lucky’s life now. Somehow he knows it’s Saturday and he lights up when the leashes come out.
Bruce Caplin is a board member of Greyhound Pets of America Greater Northwest, Inc. (www.gnwgreyhounds.org/).