Day 197 | Friday, 2 October 2020
From the Church Mouse
Considering the human beings that I have been watching on the news this week, I thought I would like to tell you more about my dear greyhound, Jonah. Jonah spent the first two years of his life owned and trained by someone involved with his racing track in Massachusetts. During his racing career, he came in first twice and second twice. That was not good enough. Whether he was too slow or too playful, he never really knew. He tried his best, but no matter how hard he tried, it was never enough. So, at the age of two he was retired from racing.
Luckily for Jonah, the track had a relationship with a greyhound rescue group from Buffalo. One day they arrived at Massachusetts with a large van. Jonah was placed in his cage and with nine other greyhounds, they started out for a new life. At the same time, the group was investigating us as possible adoptive parents. We filled out a long application form and a case worker talked with our vet to see what kind of care we provided for our two cats.
After a home visit at the parsonage in Jamestown, and a six week stay for Jonah with a foster family, Jonah arrived at his new forever home. I can still see him walking in our front door, so shy and skinny. I thought that I could remedy the skinny part in short order and time would take care of the rest. We dropped his racing name right away and renamed him Jonah, which means gentle. We could not have chosen a better name for him. He was two years and seven months old.
Jonah got along well with our cats by simply allowing them to rule the roost. Everyone loved Jonah. At church, we would let him visit with the Adult Day Care clients. Their smiles when they saw him were a sight to behold. He loved to run around in our carpeted fellowship hall. I swear I saw him laugh with joy as he ran. Whenever we travelled, Jonah went with us. He would stick his needle-nose out the window in the back to enjoy smelling the breeze. Greyhound nose art was always on our car windows. When we walked him at the rest stops, he was a rock star. We were invisible to our fellow man, but everyone wanted to pat Jonah and to hear all about him. Jonah was a sweet and gentle soul.
Greyhounds usually live about twelve years. The day came when he was fourteen years and six months old. We knew it was time, and we were determined to keep suffering away from our old friend. As I held him in my arms, I softly repeated the wonderful quote from Sir Walter Scott’s The Talisman. “Recollect that the Almighty, who gave the dog to be companion of our pleasures and our toils, hath invested him with a nature noble and incapable of deceit.” I am glad in these days that the memories of his goodness surround me through this time in my life.