A Lovely Spring Day

It has happened again. We have lost another special greyhound to the killer cancer. Since Girly Girl’s passing, I can’t read any story about a greyhound losing the fight to cancer without breaking down. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know the people or the hound involved. I feel connected through the fraternity of pain and loss. But this time I do happen to know the people and the very special girl we lost this week.

Miss Emma in her couture
 Dear friends Pat and Rick did the unthinkable. They bid goodbye to their sweet girl Emma. As goodbyes go, it was everything that anyone would hope to be able to give a beloved family member. They were able to let her go at home, with everyone who loved her best gathered around her to see her on to her next journey.

Emma’s cancer story sounds horribly familiar to any of us who have been through it ourselves. She developed an unexplained limp. It seemed to resolve. Then it came back. They had her examined and the vet felt it was orthopedic. She got pain relievers which seemed to help. But the limp came back. It always comes back. They had her x-rayed and it was a happy day when Pat sent us all an email letting us know that the vet saw no cancer. Finally, someone dodged that damned bullet. Except the limp came back. As it seemed to worsen with no explanation, the decision was made to do another x-ray.

This time there was no doubt as to the diagnosis. Emma was an older grand dame so the excruciating decision was made to keep her comfortable and let her run out the measure of her days as she might. Emma has always been daddy’s girl. As you can imagine, Rick struggled greatly with the situation, with the inevitable conclusion of the story. How do you watch someone you love so well begin to detach from this life? To decline in health? To suffer pain? All the while knowing that you
Emma in her Halloween hat
can’t do anything to change the outcome.

Emma was part of a family with her mum and dad and two other greyhounds, Vinnie and Jester. Emma had lost her brother Jim, a handsome blue brindle boy to stomach cancer not too long ago. The plan was not for her to see Jim again so soon. That is never ever the plan. Emma’s mum and dad did everything they could to make what time she had left comfortable and filled with love.

As you hope for just one more day and then one more day, you watch as the one you love has some bad days. But they rally and most days are good. Then there is a string of bad days. What do you do? Is it time? How will you know? A question with no good answer. So it was with Emma. She enjoyed her yard and flinging her stuffies. Her appetite remained good but the limp became more pronounced and the bad days came more often. Then after some particularly bad days, the vet was called.

On a lovely spring day Emma headed off to see Jim, and Girly Girl, and Indy, and Taylor, and Louie, and Dickie and Dutch and Nora and so many others I have been privileged to know. I’d like to say I can’t imagine how Pat and Rick are feeling now, but I can. There is another hole in our greater greyhound family. Someone said that as long as someone remembers you, you never really die. I and many others will remember you Emma. We remember and we miss you.


  1. I, too, sadly know how Pat and Rick are feeling. My sincerest sympathies to all of Emma's friends. Your post was beautifully stated.

  2. An incredibly beautiful tribute to Emma's incredibly beautiful life. You captured this perfectly. My deepest sympathy to all who loved Emma. Run and play on the other side, sweet Emma. Please say "hello" to my beautiful Paloma.

  3. For the first time in a long time..I am left speechless - I too remember Emma. :(

  4. Never long enough. RIP gorgeous. Lovely tribute to a beautiful girl.


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