"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes 2004

"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes  2004

21 July 2007

Healing a heart that aches

Upon the tragic death of his wife Clover, Henry Adams wrote to his publisher, "what a vast fraternity it is, - that of Hearts that Ache." With the passing of each greyhound I have known those words always come to mind. There is a part of me that will never get over Winston. There is a part of me that will never get over Marty. Yet unbeknownst to us, the heart coaxes a tiny bud to bloom and renew the bond that we thought was gone forever.

Marty's passing left a big hole in the heart of our family. I cannot put into words how much we miss his quiet (and not so quiet) woofs, his "Brighty of the Grand Canyon" ears and his gentle, loving soul. Marty was the old sage, knowing every greyhound who has passed through the house including the most recent foster Huey. You may recall that Huey has been "the greyhound who came to dinner" since November. There were no intentions to keep him. Yet a new family never materialized. The fit was never quite right. So Huey settled in, waiting for a forever home. I began to get worried as Huey quickly bonded with all of us and became my shadow. He would watch Scotty and try to mimic the things he saw. He'd see Bobo race around the yard and follow in hot pursuit. During the day Huey claimed the bed and matching pillows, made by my friend Elaine, and guarded my bookcase full of Russian and English history books. At night he'd snuggle in on one of the pillows at the foot of my bed. Every morning Huey would wait his turn as all the pups wished me good morning.

The bud was starting to open.

Huey was scheduled to have an "overnighter" with one of the adoption group volunteers who was going to take him to meet & greets on July 6 & 7. There were a few families who expressed interest and were coming to see Huey. I knew it had to be. Huey deserved a chance at a forever home.

And then Marty passed away.

It's funny how things are right in front of you all along. It seems that an average sized red brindle greyhound with a long, heart shaped white face and little tiny feet and funny looking ears and a skip-walk (due to an old injury to his back leg) had his life all figured out. After all, he already had Marty's approval. Huey just waited and let the rest of us catch up.

On July 2, 2007, I adopted my newest greyhound - Huey Lewis. Funny, I always thought if I had a rock star greyhound I'd name him after Bruce Springsteen who I have adored since I was 14. Oh well...maybe next time.

The bud was now in bloom.

I don't really think Huey has any clue to the change in his life although last Friday I did get him a brand new mallard blue collar. He continues to worship the ground I walk on and gets all wiggly when I come in the back door, whether I'm returning from a 3 hour shopping jaunt or just taking out the trash. He is still my shadow making sure he's at my side whenever I go into the yard. He enjoys sitting with his head in my lap as I draw. Huey has also enabled me to become a member of the "I Failed Fostering 101 Club". One the weather cools off, we'll start taking walks around the block and to the park and shops as he is very good on a leash.

I know my lovely Winston approves of the heir to his kingdom and that my lil' Martykins is happy to see the circle he started continue.

Please raise your water bowls and welcome Huey to his forever home. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you never expected.


08 July 2007

My week

It has been a difficult week. I can hardly believe Marty is gone, let alone for a full week. The house has been very quiet. No one has taken up Marty's job of starting a group roo. There are no thump-thumps of Marty's lopsided stride through the house. There is no woof to wake me up at 5am. Nor is there a woof to let me know I need to get breakfast ready. I have no one to give me stinky kisses on my cheek. There is no one to sit by my side for hours on end while I draw. But for all the things I miss, there are so many more wonderful things that I will always have in my heart, the best of which is simply having had Marty in my life.

The rest of the pups miss Marty as well. Some more obviously than others. The pack has begun to readjust and that's as it should be. They are proof that life must continue on. Maybe not exactly as before, but go on it must. There are others depending on me. And we will get through it together because we are a family and that's what families do.

There is a spot in the garden where I can think...about Marty...and Winston...and wonder what sort of adventures the 2 of them are having. I have been reminded that an "M" is just an upside down "W". And so on my heart I will carry my 2 special brindle boys.


01 July 2007


My little Martykins passed away today. Even tho we had only been together for a little over a year, he had touched my heart and had me wrapped around his paw. There is so much I could say but I think this photo, taken by Marty's friend Lauren, says it all.

Sweet dreams Marty. You and Moo-Cow have a wonderful adventure and meet up with lots of your old friends till we see you again.