Dusty arrived at the kennel at the end of July.  All of the greyhounds we receive are special, but some dogs have a way of barreling full blast right into the heart.  Dusty was one of these.  She was a brood bitch, her life having the single purpose of birthing and raising puppies for racing.  We were told that Dusty was an excellent mother.  Her affectionate disposition would support such a claim.  Dusty quickly became the kennel mascot, following Marilyn around the kennel as she went about her chores, and greeting kennel visitors with greyt enthusiasm.  When I did her photo shoot, she was beyond adorable, flirting shamelessly with those bright eyes and "at attention" ears.

The life of a brood bitch isn't easy.  The continual breeding takes a toll on the body, and sometimes the spirit.  Dusty came to us at 7 years of age with her spirit intact, a marvelous testament to her strong and loving nature.  She was a real survivor.  But she did have some problems.  Her gums were so infected and her teeth rotted, that she could not be spayed during her first trip to the vet.  Instead, the vet put her on a course of antibiotics for two weeks to control the infection, and told Marilyn that Dusty would require the extraction of 9 teeth.  During those two weeks, Dusty was a joy to us all.  When her course of antibiotics completed, she went to the vet for her spay and extractions.  She made it through both procedures fine.  During her first post-op walk, she simply collapsed and died.  The cause was a blood clot that took her life quickly.

The irony is maddening.  Dusty was finally given a chance to retire.  We had the highest hopes of finding her a person or family who would spoil her with love for the rest of her days.  Now Dusty will never know what it is like to sleep on the sofa curled up next to her person, to go for long lazy walks, to be spoiled with treats and squeaky toys.  Her profile page and photos never made it to the web site because she had not yet been ready for adoption.  Only a few of us had the pleasure of knowing her.  She brought us joy, if only for a short while.  Her spirit deserves our celebration; her death merits our grief.  She is a reminder of all that is good and noble in greyhounds.  I am glad to have known her.

Click here for information on The Dusty Fund.