About two years ago, Jeff and I were perusing through greyhound-data.com, looking at Dottie and Dexter's pages. Each registered dog has their own page with links to (somewhat comprehensive) race records and breeding information. We clicked through the links of their siblings, to find that Farisita, one of Dottie's many littermates, was available for adoption in Portland. We saw these adorable pictures of the precious girl:
We were amazed at how much she looked like Dottie; it was love at first sight. She had been racing at a Tucson, AZ track when it closed, and I think she wouldn't have wanted to retire if she had been able to continue racing. We made arrangements to adopt her then made the trek to Portland (we were living in Seattle at the time). Little did we know at the time, that "Noodle", the name we picked (because Farisita wasn't easy on the tongue) would be so fitting for her spunky, goofy, wild, bucking, puppy-like personality.
It was decided that we would meet one of the volunteers from GPA NW (Greyhound Pets of America - Northwest) at their annual picnic, where the foster family would drop her off. When we got there, we enjoyed the fun of the picnic while waiting for Noodle to arrive. Four or so hours went by with many unanswered calls to the foster family. We continued to wait patiently, when the volunteer finally got in touch with them. There was some miscommunication somewhere, but we ended up meeting them at a zoo parking lot a bit more northward. Upon meeting our precious little girl, we fell even deeper in love with our little Snicker-Doodle-Noodle.
We thought Dottie and Noodle would perhaps recognize each other, but their reunion turned out to be quite anticlimactic. If Dottie did recognize Noodle, she was probably thinking "OMG, not you again!!" We began what we thought would be an adjustment period with Noodle. She still thought she was a puppy, and still wanted to run her heart out. She had separation anxiety, and would chew the coffee table, dig holes in the backyard, chew up anything she could get her paws on, howl whenever we came home, jump all over everyone, would make Dottie let out the GSOD (Greyhound Scream Of Death) by stepping on her feet, etc etc... As time went on, we started to realize that what we were going through was NOT an adjustment period. She was always going to be a wild child. Even today, at 6 years old, she remains a puppy. Still, we loved her.
Moving to Utah has been especially difficult for Noodle. The combination of our smaller living space, Harper crawling all over the place, and many other little things.... it has been a recipe for trouble. She even knocked Harper down onto the floor last week. We always find ourselves scolding her, and know that the situation isn't fair at all. It is with a heavy heart that we contacted GPA Salt Lake so they could find her a new home. I have been crying for the last few days, but I knew in my heart that it was better for her, and better for us. She deserves a household where she can get the attention that she needs. We wouldn't do this unless we knew she was going somewhere that would be meticulous about finding her a new forever home.
We dropped her off this morning at Liberty Park in Salt Lake so she could be with a foster family. I cried the whole way home, and now feel a surprising amount of emptiness in my heart. Somehow, my mom has a sense for when I'm upset, because she called as we were driving home. I'm not sure how she knows when I need her, even from so many miles away. We talked for awhile, and it helped. But - I'm still left feeling lonely for my baby girl. We made a difficult decision, but know it was the right one. I'm just glad we were able to give a rescue a good home for a couple of years. Many greyhounds aren't so lucky.
Getting used to this is going to be harder than I thought it would be. Perhaps in some ways, getting used to being without her is going to be harder than it was getting used to being with her. Though a trying fit, she was a loving part of our family. We love her so so so much. But as I've realized before... sometimes, love just isn't enough.
Some of my favorite things/memories of Noodle:
*The way she sleeps with her legs up in the air like a dead horse
*The way her ears flop like they're in the wind, or pile on her head like an old fashioned hat (as seen in almost every picture of her!)
*How she loved to rile up the barkaholic neighbor dogs by running full speed (45 mph) to their side of the fence, stopping to sniff, then running away... only to do it all over again. She thought she was playing, they thought she was jerk
*The way she always runs up to you - so excited - like you're her favorite person in the world
*How she'd come up to the side of the bed to wake me up in the morning (well, that one is a fun and and annoying memory)
*the fact that she was there for our wedding in CA - I'm sure everyone who was there remembers Dottie and Noodle's Great Escape ;)
*She kept me good company during my time on bedrest at the end of my pregnancy - she was sure to be posted at my feet all day, every day
*cuddles - she was good at cuddling
*The way the three of them would stand together, looking like the gentle version of the three-headed dog in Harry Potter
*She almost always came when we called her name; she was so eager to please
*Our many long nicknames for her - Noodley-Boo, Snicker-Doodle-Noodle, Schnoodle, Schnood, Noodle-doodle-do, and many other variations
*She was so happy to see us come home; she always wanted to be near us
*How much she loved Dottie and Dexter, always following them around like an annoying younger sister
*How much we loved her, and how much she loved us.
I hope you hold those happy memories of us, Noodle... because we will always remember you fondly. We'll always love and miss you, my Noodley-boo. <3