Introducing my first greyhound – Painter
April is a National Adopt a Greyhound Month. However, the remaining 11 months are equally as good a time as ever to adopt a greyhound. April’s blogs will be devoted to greyhounds.
It was late summer 1998 in Southern California. I had become unemployed and was trying to be self- employed. I always wanted a dog but worked away from home for too many hours so now was my time. I’ll save the story how and why I chose the greyhound breed.
Painter stole my heart and soul and changed my life in ways I could never imagine. He was big at 75 pounds. He had a happy tail and would go wild like a rocking horse when I came home from anywhere. His frenzied tail left a blood bath on my walls.
We started walking around the neighborhood and not only did people come out of their houses to meet him but cars squealed to a halt with drivers pulling over and jumping out inquiring about what breed of dog. His color was distinctive – black and white like paint splatters – in greyhound lingo, he is called parti.
Painter quickly became the life of my party.
He loved people and knew how to work a room. He loved kids and babies and people in wheelchairs. I recall one time as we walked the neighborhood, Painter came to halt. He caught sight of an elderly man in a wheelchair and strained to meet him. We walked to the porch and I told the family that my dog wanted to meet the man in the wheelchair. He put his head in the man’s lap and the man’s shaky hand reached to pet Painter’s head. Finally, the man said, “dddooogggg.”
The family said the man suffered a stroke and this was the first word he uttered.
Painter was loved by everyone who met him. His presence brought me new friends and previously disengaged old friends. Many stories fill my head and heart when I think about my first greyhound. I adopted him at age 4 ½ and he passed at 12 ½ — eight glorious years of Painter-ism. He lives on loudly and sweetly in my memory.