Saturday, February 5, 2011

You Never Forget Your First Love

I told myself that I was going to let today pass on the blog without mentioning this, but I find that I just can't do it.  Today was a special day in history.  I didn't know it at the time, but it's a date that I'll always remember now.  On February 5, 1997 a litter of Greyhound puppies was born.  They were average racers, not the worst, but not outstanding and most of them were done racing before they turned four years old. 

One of those dogs went by the racing name of Adios Treat.  She retired at three and a half years old.  It is astonishing to me that she waited in the adoption kennel as long as she did.  Not only was she adorable, she was friendly and cat safe.  When Mr. Taleteller and I went to the adoption kennel, she was one of only four cat safe dogs and the only of those who was a female.

We really had no choice in the matter.  Treat had decided from our first meeting that we were hers.  I can still remember how she looked back at us longingly when she was led back to her crate.  She was the only one of the dogs we met who gave us a backwards glance.  When we went back up to choose our dog after being approved, she made sure she was beside one of the two of us the entire time we sat there hemming and hawing and deluding ourselves that we had any choice in the matter.  When one of the other dogs, who were all considerably larger than she was, got too close to us, she wormed her way between that dog and the person who'd been getting attention.  An hour and a half later, we finally came to our senses and decided on Treat.  We picked out her first collar and coat and headed back home with her in my mom and stepdad's SUV that we'd borrowed to get up there in.  It had snowed like gangbusters the day before and we'd been worried we wouldn't make it in our car. 

I could tell a thousand funny stories about Treat.  She lived an extraordinary life.  One of the kennel volunteers used to joke to me that she always told her "You're no Treat" when she was at the kennel.  I used to grit my teeth when she'd tell that story.  I still don't think it's funny.  In my opinion, she could not have been more perfectly named.  She absolutely was a Treat every day that we shared with her.  She was our first Greyhound and I will never forget her.

As I sat thinking about her this week, I realized that she has left an impressive legacy.  After Treat's arrival, four more Greyhounds found their way into our home.  We went to a lot of Meet and Greets with her and Treat was an amazing ambassadog.  I know that there were several adoptions because people wanted to take her home and couldn't, so they went to the adoption kennel themselves to find a companion.  Without Treat, there wouldn't be a little blue fawn princess named Bunny curled up beside me on the couch as I write this.  Already we've heard from two people on Facebook who have adopted Greyhounds after reading about Bunny on our blog. 

So, while Treat is no longer with us, it seems that she lives on.  If I'd realized the heartache that we went through when we lost her would one day lead to this I don't think that it would have made it hurt less, but I do think that it would have made it more bearable.  I'm still so happy that we were lucky enough to spend our lives with her.  You never know where a small decision will lead you, but sometimes it turns out to be much larger than you expected.  Our lives have been enriched more than I can say by the decision we made to bring Treat home with us. 

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  1. Sounds like the luck ran both ways! What a beautiful lady.

  2. What a beautiful remembrance of Treat. She's a beauty! She knew you and Mr. Taleteller would be the perfect family. =)

    I certainly hope those two weren't visiting the Speedway on qualifications day or race day (noise) but seeing that both are wearing raincoats, my guess would be you were there in May. Give us a heads up the next time you're over this way.

  3. Sniff! What a lovely story of a beautiful relationship. Treat sounds like a treat to me ... and anyone who would say otherwise is ... well, ... not nice.

    Tucker's Mom

  4. What a very sweet story. I'm so glad she was so persistant and you finally caught on! BOL

    There really is something when I dog chooses you, like they were just waiting for you to come along and take them home. Like that was their own purpose in life, to find you.

    I so glad you had her and were able to share her life with her.

  5. Hard to forget your first love. What a blessing that Treat found you! She looks like Shine, my first Greyhound.

  6. Absolutely heartwarming story!

  7. May the gorgeous beauty rest in peace. Such a beautiful story. I have a Treat of my own in my past- my first dog, Aries. You never forget them and they really shape your whole world. I think about my girl everyday. *hugs*

  8. What a wonderful legacy she has left you. You've written a wonderful tribute.
    What a blessing she was in your life.

  9. In every story you write about Treat the love is evident. I have to say I would love to know the story of the picture of Treat with the bunny!

  10. I know for my humans that after they've loved their first dog so very much, that that dog has paved the way for all the future dogs in their lives. My family had twelve years with a rehomed golden retirever (who they got when he was 2 1/2) and because he showed them how life could be so much more wonderful with a dog living with them they got me.

    Treat has given that gift to your family, and also found a way for your love of Treat to continue when you look into your dogs eyes now.

    Sending you woofs,

  11. Treat and rabbit. What a simply wonderful photo ! Sums up the happiness int your post today.

  12. A lovely tribute! My first love Josh was just the same - love at first sight and he will always be the special one. And because of him many greyhounds have been rehomed - even to people who supposedly didn't like dogs. I don't even think of him as a dog actually - he had the most amazing soul. 3 years now since he WOTRB and I still think of him every day and can feel his breaths on the back of my neck as I sleep!

  13. Beautiful tribute, indeed. The co-existing bunny seems pretty amazing, too, considering that their prey drive is what makes greyhounds such incredible racers.

    Every dog you ever share your life with has a piece of your heart forever, but some seem to take a bigger chunk than others. And when a loved one passes on, although the pain is sharp, it dulls with time while the crisp, loving memory lasts as long as we live.

    Jed & Abby

  14. OMD, i'm so glad you wrote about her! i wanted to know more and see pix. she was so pretty! and special. it would take 2 big boys to hold me back from that kennel dude saying stupid stuff. i'd like to give him a knuckle sandwich!

    thanks for sharing! really.

  15. That's just a wonderful wonderful story and the Lady Of The House is all tear-y now.

    We've read about Treat a little bit since we started following your blog last summer - but that's the first time I've heard the full story. What a wonderful, beautiful, dignified persistent lady who absolutely knew what was best for her and for you.

    I love the picture of her with the bunny. What self-control. I'm afraid I couldn't get that close to one of those.

    And what a legacy of love she's left - and the ripples are spreading across the world because of your super blog. Don't ever doubt the impact you have with your sensitive, funny, heart-warming words and pictures.

    Oh blimey! The LOTH says she's going to have a proper cry now - but it's mainly happiness.

    Love and licks, Winnie xx

  16. I know eaxctly where you are coming from because Molly changed our lives in that way. It is amazing the difference one dog can make isn't it.

    With Love

  17. What a sweet story of a sweet girl- Yes along with the others you pulled at my heart strings too and the ole tears are a flowing..
    I dont know about the others - but I would love to hear more stories about Treat - we all have our heart dogs and we can relate...
    Thanks for sharing it brought back some great memories...

  18. What a terrific post. Amazing how it happens that a dog picks you - and then changes the direction of your life. In our case, it was Nikita - our first Siberian Husky. And, now, I can't imagine having any dog other than a Siberian.

    A terrific memorial post to Treat. Happy Birthday Treat.

  19. Your story brims with love, just like your stories about your current dogs do. Treat sounds like such a special dog who will forever live in your heart. You saved her and she changed you... Love flowed both ways.

    Our first dogs were a pair of chocolate labs who were research animals and needed a home when their jobs were done. We met them at work and never looked back. We never even questioned the decision to adopt them - and they changed our lives forever, like Treat did for you.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  20. That is a beautiful tribute to your special lady and we are so glad you didn't miss this important day. We love stories of Treat and think you should do a regular Treat post, maybe Tuesday's Treat, once a week or once a month. We just know she is smiling down at you and your family in pride for the wonderful home of love you all have.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  21. Treat sounds like she was a fantastic dog, and what a wonderful first greyhound to have! Of course all greyhounds are wonderful dogs in my biased opinion, but some are just more "ideal" as a first. :)

  22. A truly lovely tribute. We didn't know much about Treats but it seems we have known her so well after reading this post.
    Treat was such a sweet girl and she was so beautiful. How lucky that you were chosen by her!

  23. What a beautiful post. Now I know why Bunny ran so fast this morning - she was running in honor of Treat! I love that picture of her with the rabbit. We have a rabbit, but she HATES Pip. Maybe one day, they will get along like this.

    Your pal, Pip

  24. Every dog comes into our life for a reason, Treat was beautiful.

  25. You've inspired me to write a blog about how Kibeth, my first greyhound, came into my life. It's a similar story.

    Excellent tale!

  26. It's nice to look back sometimes, isn't it? Treat was a beautiful and wonderful dog! :D

  27. Your tribute is beautiful. Beacause of your blog we are considering a greyhound for our next pet, if we can find one that can handle Oskar.

    Oskar's mom person Pam

  28. RIP Treat.. You're family misses you tons. I am so glad that you chose treat. Although I do believe that she chose you. Sounds like the bond you don't see but once in a lifetime.. Hope your day is filled with blessings rather than sorrow.

  29. what a delightful girl!

  30. Isn't it amazing how dogs adopt us and not the other way around? Dogs (and other animals too) probably roll their eyes as we stand around hemming and hawing about adopting a pet who is CLEARLY the one for us. Let's face it, pets are smarter than we are in many ways!
    I loved reading how Treat looked back at you when you and your hubby walked away! What a dear tribute to your much loved Treat!

  31. Tears of joy, thanks for sharing!

  32. I love the title of this post! Before I even read what it was about, I thought of my Macy. She was our first greyhound, just like Treat was for you. Just think about how special we made our girls feel...going from just another dog in a crate at a track to one who completely changes your life and is loved so very much! It's amazing how one little decision can have such a huge impact! Treat was beautiful and will always be remembered by those who met her and those that didn't!


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