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Three years ago a tiny, just-arrived, red brindle and white princess popped onto my Facebook newsfeed. The picture was just a snapshot, not the posed sort the greys get for their profiles.
How many times I went back to that picture over the next few hours! I'd lurked on GAA's page for almost a year and seen gorgeous hounds come and go, some I even mused about for a moment or two.
But this girl! This WV's Minnie!
"Please," I asked my husband, "I need to meet this hound." Maybe he sensed our marriage would be on the line if he said no. Perhaps he just loves me THAT much, because the next day, we made the two-hour drive to Millville with my heart flipping and flopping the entire way. Lisa knew we were coming. Ira didn't. And Minnie was so new, seeing her wasn't part of normal protocol, so he brought out a boy named Truck, and my heart sank a little. Okay, a lot. Truck was a handsome, big hound man, polite and tolerant of us walking him, but he wasn't in love, either; that was clear. When we got back to Ira, he announced that he'd gotten the green light to bring Minnie out to me.
Oh, that shy, girlie hound. I was a goner before her leash slipped around my hand. As a lifelong dog owner, I knew better than to put my face into a strange dog's. Imagine my surprise when I realized I'd just pulled her in and planted a kiss on her forehead. But she wasn't a strange dog--my heart knew her. How could I bear to leave her for a week? The short answer: it was one of the longest of my life, almost as long as the drive back to Millville to retrieve her. When she saw me again, she trotted over and planted herself between my legs like a backwards horse. I was hers, and she was mine. She became my Pixel: a small part of our family that completes our whole picture.
That day, not only did I get a heart-healing hound, I became a real member of GAA and The Cult of Greyhound. I also became family with Crystle Lynn's Uncle Maximus (the rockstar), Jacqueline Snow Dornhoefer's Momma Tee (Pixel's mom), and various other hounds sired by Kiowa Sweet Trey. I gained another family too, the WV trainers who raise their dogs with love, care and honey buns-Sharla Gardiner Hays, Mike Taylor, and Dawson Snyder(the folks who kept Pixel's littermate brother Mudfork wild, crazy and spoiled until he was ready to come home to us).
For the cost of an adoption fee, I got a dog who makes me laugh and smile every single day and an extended family. In other words, I got a lot more than I ever dreamed.
- Kalinda Schreiber