Losing a Best Friend

By: Dave Johnson
By: Dave Johnson

It was July 16th and my greyhound was not doing well.  "Jacker" had been dealing with ailing hips and other various health issues.  Nothing out of the ordinary for a 13 year old dog.  But he had been getting much worse.  I got home that day and he couldn't even get up.  Needless to say it was not going to be a good day.  I will spare you the rest of the details...but after a vet visit we ended up having to say goodbye to my guy who I'd had for 10 years.

When I adopted Jacker from REGAP in Kansas City he had many health issues, but he fought through it and we were able to get him fully healthy after about 6 months of constant visits to the vet.  And Regap promises to provide you with a healthy dog so they stepped up and paid all along the way as we nursed him back to health.  This after he was saved (stolen) with other greyhounds from a vets office awaiting death.  Needless to say he was happy for a second chance.

When I got Jacker it was 1998 and he had never even seen stairs...or a good home.  I had to physically put his feet up on the stairs to teach him how they work.  It took a few lessons but he caught on fast.  It helped that food was at the top of the stairs.  He also never barked, that until he met his sister many years later, Gaby.  He learned many things from Gaby, not all good things.  But you could still have a plate of food sitting right near his face and all he would do is sniff, but not steal.  His sister cannot say the same.  She eats whatever and whenever. 

Many years after I got him, we both met this incredible woman who later became his mom.  While he loved the treats and affection from his new family member, he told me repeatedly that he wasn't really a fan of all those costumes he had to put on every Halloween and Christmas.  I told him sometimes you just have to play along!

My wife and I will both miss our big dog, but we will forever carry with us all the wonderful memories and joy he brought to our lives. 

I tell you this story because greyhounds are great pets.  They are loving, smart and loyal.  They are big but still like to cuddle.  If you're interested in learning more about adopting a greyhound go to kcregap.org .  They are a great organization with way too many dogs that need a home.  And those numbers will grow even higher as the Woodlands racetrack in KCK will be closing in late August.  Jobs lost and great dogs needing homes. 


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