Garrison October 18, 1999 - March 14, 2011
Race Name: "Ibelieveindreams"
Missed by Ann, Martin, Adam and Julia McKenna
Kelso's Witness March 28, 1999 - January 18, 2010
"A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks beside you on crisp autumn days, when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way."
The Life of Luath
(aka Pa’s Defence, Sweet Pea, Pumpkin, Luath-Belle, Luath-La-Bella-La-Bella-La-Bella)
Luath joined our family in the Spring of 2004 after retiring from a race track in Raynham, MA. Although she came from a famous line of greyhounds (her father was the prized stud Flying Train, and was purchased for $56,000 upon retirement), she won only two of her 58 races. The story we heard was that she was originally destined to become a breeding greyhound and was purchased for $6500. However, she was mistakenly placed in the adoption trailer and was spayed before anyone realized it.
We adopted our retiree from Jeanette Reynolds of Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada (GPAC). Fresh off the track, Pa’s Defence (her racing name) was a dominant female with a strong and often demanding personality. We immediately fell in love with this elegant red brindle and renamed her Luath (Gaelic for Speedy). Like many other greyhound owners we had to teach Luath how to climb stairs (whenever possible she preferred to bound upwards three at a time), introduced her to glass doors, and trained her to walk on a leash. We failed miserably at crate training – she literally ate her way out of two different crates – and keeping her off the furniture. And it seemed to take us forever to find a diet that wouldn’t give her a lot of gas. On several occasions she sent house guests packing due to her prolific (and noxious) production. All the while she made us laugh.
We became very involved with GPAC and Luath was an excellent spokesdog for the organization. We attended dozens of Meet and Greets within the Halifax community, several parades (everything from the Apple Blossom Parade in Annapolis Valley to the Gay Pride Parade, or as we liked to call it Grey Pride, in Halifax) and countless fundraisers. Luath was a Diva and loved to insert herself into groups of people to get attention. She seemed to know that her soft fur and gentle demeanour would win over even the non-dog people. She was excellent with children, who were always commenting on her tiger stripes. In response she would give face washes and wet-willies to anyone who was close enough. We were especially proud of our Luath when she became one of GPAC’s poster dogs, winning a photo contest to receive a spot on the organization’s new publicity banner. When she wanted to she could look very regal.
Luath travelled across much of Canada not once but twice, in the backseat of our small Saturn. She was an excellent passenger during our cross-country moves from Halifax to Calgary and then to Guelph – spending her time staring out the window in peaceful contemplation. As long as she had some comfy pillows to lie on she would follow us anywhere.
The phrase “stop and smell the roses” was made for Luath, although she was more interested in green grass. When we would go out walking on hot summer days, Luath would stop and lie down on any soft green patches she found. She loved to rub her face in the grass, bask in the sun and enjoy the moment. It would usually take several minutes before she was ready to continue on with the walk. We met several of our neighbours during Luath’s sunbathing episodes and she was often spoiled with dog treats and presents by her new friends.
She was extremely independent and fearless – for her the vacuum cleaner was a source of entertainment. She was up for playing with any animal she encountered including a skunk, racoon, horse, Taxi – the very docile cat next door – and a stuffed moose called Henrietta in front of the Wawa General Store. Fortunately the skunk and racoon were not threatened by her play bows and the horse seemed to be amused by her antics. As for Taxi, she was very tolerant of Luath gingerly nibbling on her back.
In the summer of 2008, Luath picked out Zapata, a five year old male greyhound, from a group of greys at the Greyhound Relocation and Adoption (GRA) Canada organization outside London, Ontario. Although both Luath and Zap mostly ignored each other they would often share the sofa, looking like book ends. They both loved to practice what retired greyhounds do best, being couch potatoes. They enjoyed their twice a day walks through Exhibition Park in Guelph and the off leash time they had in the tennis courts with local greyhounds Shalli and Dobber, as well as many other pups that would often come and play with them.
In his poem “The Twa Dogs: A Tale” Robbie Burns wrote of his dog Luath:
Then chance and fortune are sae guided,
They’re aye in less or mair provided:
An’ tho’ fatigued wi’ close employment,
A blink o’ rest’s sweet enjoyment.
Although she started her life as a working dog, our Luath took her retirement from the track seriously and enjoyed a renewed puppyhood as much as any greyhound could. We were lucky to have such a wonderful and sweet companion.
Thank you for everything, Luath, and may your journey over the Rainbow Bridge be peaceful with many squirrels, bunnies, and gophers to chase as well as many warm sunny spots to bask in.
Mia aka Mamma Mia, Misel Diesel
20 Feb 2006 - 20 Sept 2011
Race name: Eyes on Jupiter
Missed by: Ute, Roger, Lou-Philippe, Monia, Ziva, Quinn and Sookie
Tess aka Messy Tessy, Tex Mex
9 Dec 2004 - 26 May 2011
Race name: Cebell Bridget
Missed by: Ute, Roger, Lou-Philippe, Monia, Ziva, Mia and Quinn
Tessa September 14, 1997 - July 10, 2009
Parents - Allen & Karen Bailey-McNeil