It has taken me a while to write this post… some things need time before we can face them, and this one of them. Even now I am finding this difficult, but it needs to be shared before I can continue my blog in 2014.
Sadly, Banjo my greyhound, and yes the original Yogahound who inspired me to start this blog, passed away on the 24th of November 2013. He had been ill for a while with digestive problems that gradually worsened. The exact details of what happened remain unclear, what is clear however is that as horrible as it was to face the loss of him, having the privilege of sharing one’s life with a rescue Greyhound such as Banjo is 100% worth it.
2013 was a difficult year for me, made more difficult by the fact that after facing a divorce I had to come to terms that I could no longer share my day-today existence with my favourite non-human friend. Banjo was to stay with his “dad” – a heart-breaking decision but one that I do not regret. Although I was Banjo’s “mum” – I did not have the heart to take him away from his “dad” and from his home comforts. Instead I moved into a house share with two lovely ladies and visited Banjo weekdays on my lunch breaks from work, and on two occasions he stayed with me for a visit. It was hard.
What was harder yet was not being able to be there the day he fell so ill that it was time for him to leave his body. The only comfort to me is knowing he was with someone he loved and was gently released from this life.
I miss him. I miss his wiry tail with it’s black tip, the softest fur behind his ears, the way he looked up and blinked when food was near, his authoratative bark at ‘strange’ dogs on his territory, the way he nestled the top of his head into my lap when I was lucky enough to relax with him on the sofa or rug, I miss him doing his ‘statue’ pose when I tried to walk in a direction he didn’t want to walk in, the way he sometimes tripped me up with his lead because he found a smell that was off-course to where we were heading and the way he’d run up to me in the garden when he knew it was time for a treat.
What I have learnt from Banjo is this…
- A bit of attention is what we all we all crave and want. Pay attention to those around you, and when you do, don’t multitask (he use to whine if I tried to read or do anything else whilst fussing him) just pay attention to what is in front of you.
- Don’t judge from appearances – when I saw Banjo the very first time I thought “I did not sign up for such a big dog” – he was a pretty big 40kg male Greyhound and I had no idea they were that big, I was actually a bit scared of him to start with. Yet he turned out to be the most gentle dog who took up less room than most smaller dogs (unless he fell asleep on the bed, in which case he’d spread himself out).
- Don’t force things in life to happen, allow time for progress. I tried on numerous occassions to teach Banjo to climb stairs without much luck. Then one day after giving up on him coming upstairs he decided he was ready – the sounds of footsteps accompanied by the appearance of a long neck and nose beyond the upstairs banister… the hound decided to climb up by himself. Going back down took a bit longer but by the end he was a stair pro – anyone with a Greyhound will know how awkward stairs are for their long limbs. Give things time, if it’s right it will happen.
But here’s a message I cannot emphasise enough, if you think you have space in your life for a retired Greyhound in need of a home (they take up less room than you think), you will not regret sharing your life with one of these beauties . There are so many retired racers that urgently need homes. My yogahound boy brought so many happy times – and everyone who met him loved him so. For more information about adopting a Greyhound please read my Greyhounds page. For me it was a life changing decision, and a bit of my heart will always belong to the original Yogahound.