GOODBYE TO BONNIE
By Glen Davis
Seven years ago, Pam and I made an eight hour drive from Lebanon, Missouri to Council Bluffs, Iowa to adopt a Greyhound. The adoption program affiliated with the Bluffs Run track was the closest adoption program we could find! We had been talking to Donna Lovely, who runs the Bluffs Run program, for the previous two or three months about adopting a Greyhound. She had told us early on about a female, Brownie, that she thought would fit our household. We had told her not to keep the girl from a suitable home, as it would be some time before we could get time to make the trip to Iowa.
When we got there, Brownie was still in residence along with about fifteen other greyhounds. We visited with Brownie, her sister Meg, and most of the other dogs. We had owned an Afghan hound for many years, but this was the first time we had been around Greyhounds. We were quite taken with their personalities, and physical presence.
We liked several of the dogs, but just seemed to "click" with Brownie. She was young (not yet two), small dog safe and good with small children. All these were important factors in our choice. We completed the paperwork and put Brownie in a crate for the long drive home.
Along the way, we resolved one problem. Brownie's name just didn't fit. She was mostly white with orange brindle spots and ticking, not a brown spot on her. We decided Bonnie would be her new name.
Our drive home was uneventful. We sped along with a big white dog smiling goofily in the back of the van. Her big smile is the most enduring image of our trip home.
Bonnie turned out to be a very special dog. She introduced us to the wonderful world of Greyhounds, to lure coursing and obedience training. She won the Waggiest Tail prize at our first Greyhound Gathering. She earned her Companion Dog title in AKC obedience, and Pam trained her through the Companion Dog Excellent exercises and most of the Utility exercises before an injury ended her competitive career. She also qualified for the ASFA International Invitational lure coursing trial in LaMarque, Texas. She wasn't a very good courser, but she loved it. We have a picture of her coursing at the I.I., wearing that big goofy smile out on the course. We were pleased she finished above last place. I don't think it mattered to her.
Despite her great talent for obedience work, she had a great knack for not hearing us call her to come. She would ignore us for a while, then charge up with the big grin and do a bunch of helicopter spins. Her greetings were so exuberant we forgot she didn't come when first called.
Earlier this year, Bonnie's leg started hurting. We took her to our vet and an x-ray revealed a large tumor in the bone. Our big girl was terminally ill. All we could do was try to manage her pain. We made the decision to euthanize her the following weekend.