Galgui is a male Spanish Greyhound (galgo) from Madrid, Spain. He was rented out to hunters and was never raced. What he is … is a Spanish lover.
Update: This afternoon, May 8, 2006, Basil was assisted across the bridge.
He was a gentle independent soul, who loved people (especially men and strong women). He loved young children, cats and other dogs. His “mission in life” was clear … to meet and greet everyone on our long walks. I knew he couldn’t possibly understand why that person didn’t want to meet him, or that cat ran away as soon as he stood up!
He was striking; a large male, 29″ to the shoulder … white with brown brindle and a very long tail until the day it got caught in a door.
I smile as I remember walking him past the window of a basement apartment. A toddler inside sees us and gets his mother’s attention pointing and saying “look, there’s a horse walking by!”. Mother and I exchange glances and get a good chuckle.
His worst fears were of getting tangled in a leash (too many leg cuts were gotten that way), getting nipped at by a tiny dog or being jumped on by a rambunctious puppy. Momma could protect him from those things.
He was a healthy dog who enjoyed multiple long walks several times a day, most of our years together. One of our daily walks was eight miles around Kensington Lake. This was a dog that pottied so well on lead, I once counted 20 piles of poop that I picked up!!! I called him my “poop making machine”.
The first six months, we lived in a condo and I drove a Saturn wagon. He would make those potty walks longer and longer knowing they would end as soon as he pottied. I taught him to run from one carport to the next when we walked in the rain. There were those times in the Winter, that I hoped he didn’t want to walk when I had two pairs of gloves on; but he didn’t care.
It took six months after his adoption before he found his voice and “came out”, my neighbor said. That was when he first showed his confidence in his new environment with this most beautiful deep bark announcing his presence.
We traded up to a ranch home with a fenced yard and a mini-van and I soon got a second dog. My sister gave me her eight year old mixed golden retriever. Training him to potty in the fenced yard took about a year after we moved into our “new used home”. Then, came the third dog, the second greyhound. Training him to use the pet door took two months.
Mostly we enjoyed long walks through the neighborhoods and city parks. Long walks in Michigan’s State Parks and Detroit’s MetroParks. We occasionally went camping in different parts of Michigan and twice camped in Indiana.
I once wondered if he REALLY enjoyed “tenting” so I set up the tent in the backyard on a 4th of July Holiday weekend. We were sleeping in the tent when it started to rain and I went into the house. he was soooo content with being inside the tent in spite of the fact that it was raining and that the tent had collapsed. We did upgrade to a pop-up camper, which he thought was wonderful! A little too much trouble for me, so we decided to rent cabins instead the last few years. Our last vacation was one week last October in a cabin in the Hocking Hills Region of Ohio. We hiked every day.
I had prepared myself for today, knowing the time was coming for some time. Arthritis had made it difficult for him to stand and walk and lay down. He also suffered from LP. Still, he wanted to join us on our walks. And, I do believe we should live our lives doing what we enjoy!!! 70 degree days were tough on him; I knew it would be a looong Summer. I replaced the air conditioner and ordered a deck with a ramp.
Today, I had thought a drive to my parents would give us all a much needed break from the construction that has been going on at my home. He was uncomfortable the entire trip (having trouble laying down and staying down and breathing even though I had the a/c running). I unloaded the van and was walking the dogs into my parent’s backyard. He was having so much trouble walking and was in such obvious discomfort that I knew it was time. My mother took control of my other dogs as I called a vet friend in the area and made the final arrangements.
Around 4:00 pm, he was able to enter the van one last time. It was in the van that he was assisted to the bridge …
Basil’s ears always perked up when I asked “who wants to go camping?”. To me, camping meant … tenting, pop-up, motel or cabin .. ahhh, just a road trip. Heck if I know what he thought it meant!!! But, he sure thought whatever is going to happen next was sure to be fun. He was always the first to figure out we were going somewhere and if given the chance would jump into the van and stay there as I tried to pack up around him.
I was glad that he passed in the van. If I parked either van in the garage, it was his favorite resting place.
This is my tribute to him. I am going to miss him. We have spent the last couple of years sleeping on the living room floor together. This is a dog who used to prefer sleeping alone. He was my first dog and my first greyhound.
I hope he was greeted by Tippy, that mixed golden retriever that he cried for upon her passing. Satin (Fast Impact) was a little anxious at dinner time wondering where he was. They used to play “musical bowls” at meal times. Galgui was a little anxious getting ready for our “after dinner” walk … pacing in circles while I tried to leash him up like he was trying to figure out where Basil was.
Thank you to REGAP of Michigan and Leslie Forys, his foster mom, for all those good years. Thank you to Dr Vicky Lamb of Cherry Hill Animal Clinic in Canton, MI who gave routine veterinary care to Basil all these years and to Dr Karen Michalski of Serenity Animal Hospital in Sterling Heights, MI who assisted us in the end.