November 1, 1996 - March 31, 2006
Almost eight years ago, during the fall of 1998, my mother took me to a small vet clinic just north of Gonzales, LA to meet Allie - a shy blonde beauty brought in from a Mobile track just days before. As I approached the lady at the counter, I was a little nervous. Never before had I had my own dog. I've owned animals in the past: hamsters, birds, fish, cats - but never a dog. What color would she be? What size? What personality? I wondered as I peeked down the hallway waiting for my girl. As the young vet student rounded the back corner, I could see this petite girl, very skinny (just under 40lbs) with patches of fur missing in some spots. My heart sank; I began wondering, "What have I signed up for?" this poor girl seemed to have been beaten up by life, slowed down by the everyday (In need of a lot of TLC). Will I have time for her? Can I give her the attention that she needs? As the lady handed me the leash, I bent down and took one look into her eyes and knew in an instant that she was going to be my best friend for life.
My greyhound experience began when my friend, Lorien, and I wanted to rescue two greyhounds. We moved into a small college house that allowed pets and we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to adopt a few companions. This is where our whole introduction to greyhounds began.
Once I got Allie home, she adapted to our routine very quickly. Every morning around 5AM Allie's ears would spring up to see if it was time to jump into "Gus" (a rusted old 70s station wagon that got me through college) and go to BREC (a huge fenced in horse boarding facility where I fed horses in the morning). Allie loved these mornings. She would run up and down the barn aisle chasing anything she could find, keeping a watchful eye on me. One morning she came running past me so fast I turned to see what was up. She had gotten between me and a person I didn't even know was there. She growled, barked and bared her teeth at this guy before I even knew what was happening, causing him to back up, until I calmed her down and the guy left. Though they say greyhounds aren't born to be guard dogs, Allie sure protected me that day. To be honest, some mornings she was why I dragged myself out of bed, not to earn money or spend more time with horses - my other passion, but to see Allie frolicking in the morning mist. This job was one of many that got me through college and I was glad Allie was there to help me get through it.
Throughout my college years Allie was my girl. Side by side we would de-stress on weekend walks around the LSU Campus lakes and hop in "Gus" to visit Mom and Dad for some good cooking. My Dad really loved Allie too. I'd always catch him out on the back porch giving her "snacks" under the table and asking her how I was doing while out of my hearing distance (so he thought). Allie had a way of bringing the family together in laughter. She would run around my parents' backyard at full speed as if it was her own personal track. Even today the yard bears the racetrack groove/path. Dad always kept her path clear of pots and flower beds so when she came over she could kick up her heels and run her loops.
Allie always adjusted well to life. From Track life, to college life, to long nights waiting for me to come home, to even me getting married and having to move away. She even put up with Terry - my husband - getting most of my attention when we were dating. She understood; she always did. She taught me in life, how even though things change, life goes on and the memories are always there no matter how far you move away.
Even now when I go home to Baton Rouge to visit my parents, I want to jump out of the car and start whistling for her, waiting to see Allie come bounding towards me, rooing with excitement. A tear comes to my eye and a pain fills my heart because never again will I see this blonde blur running to me - tail in the air, her voice rooing as loud as she could. But I do know that I was blessed with this kindred soul.
Allie has given me a passion for greyhounds and thanks to Allie's influence I am now one of GALT's foster moms. Allie was the one that kindled my need to help these hounds, and that is what one can call "Priceless!"
So to Allie I say - You have left a legacy for me, making me aware of how one person can make a difference in helping your brothers and sisters in this world.
Thanks Allie, we love and miss you!! (Allie, I think of you when I read The Retired Greyhound poem)
Goodbye to our beautiful blonde girl. Thank you so much for all of the memories you gave to us and our family of friends. Run free now with Roxy our other precious grey. We will never forget you.
In Loving Memory,
Angela Walling - Allie's Mom
Rich & Debby Phelps - Allie's Grandparents
Andrea & Patrick Oostenrijk - Allie's other family
Lorien & Issac Kuo, Alyssa Schupp & Noel Richard
Allie's Friends and MANY more!!!
You have blessed us all!!!