Dear Tony,

I am sitting here in complete disbelief. What happened? On Friday we all woke up and had a normal day, I gave you all treats and a scratch between the ears, and took off for work. Three days later, Monday evening, you are gone from my life. The pain is excruciating, physical and very real.

I try to get comfort from the fact that you were an old boy after all, 13.5 is a respectable age for a big boy like you. Considering the fact that Friday's issues were really the first health problem you have ever had, we have been blessed. I am sitting here smelling the towel you laid on after I brought you home from the Surgery Center, and I can close my eyes, and imagine you laying on digging my head into your soft fur around your neck. My favorite spot for cuddling with you! You never liked me kissing your head, but you put up with it. Tonight it was a bit much for you I think; you moved your head several times. Forgive me; I could not stop! I wanted to memorize your smell.... I never want to forget the way you were looking at me... I don't want to think about the moment, when the morphine was wearing off and you started to get antsy.... I could tell you were in discomfort. You wanted up, but your broken body wouldn't allow it. It broke my heart to not be able to do anything for you. I knew peace was very close, as Aunt Suzanne Burke and her friend John, the wonderful vet, came to help send you to the Bridge. Aunt Kristin was here too, and your sisters, Charlie and Judy, the Bassets. Erik, Elle and the boys had said their goodbye's. Elle was very clear, that Tony was going "night-night". She gave me several big hugs, knowing that mommy was upset. When it was time, we all held you, and you took your last breath. You looked like you were sleeping.... Your passing was like your entire life; quiet, regal, gentle and soft. My baby boy..... I love you so. My life will never be the same without you, and I feel lost. I don't know where to start. You never made much noise, yet the house is earth shatteringly quiet after your departure.

You came to me in mid March almost six years ago. Already then, you were a senior. That is what I wanted, an older, less adoptable dog. Suzanne Griggs knew you were my boy, I didn't need to meet anybody else - you were indeed the one. I remember thinking how huge you were, but so handsome and athletic. You spent your first few nights with us, panting, nose dripping and shredding a few throw pillows. Then, quickly you adjusted, and became my pride and joy. You introduced me to GALT and all the fantastic people who are part of that group. It is thanks to you, that I have made some of the best friends ever in my life. I have always felt so proud of you; everybody thought you were so beautiful. You were the perfect ambassador for your breed. You have welcomed foster dogs, big and small; you have gently allowed my daughter to sit on you, to play with you, to hug you – never a disapproving sound. You did enjoy when I fostered other greys, I think you missed not having one of you... I always felt a bit guilty over that fact. You touched a lot of lives with your soulful presence. We have had a wonderful life together. It is so difficult to accept that you are no longer here...

I only wish I had hugged you harder on your last night here, that I had spent more time with you, that I could have somehow know that your time was getting close. I was admittedly, becoming a little cocky, you were so healthy and never visibly showed me any signs of being tired... However, something was brewing - in your right rear leg, an evil disease was making the leg useless and apparently, unknown to us, very brittle. It would end your life, and not old age. We did get a good walk on Friday morning, your last normal day with us. It was cool, the way you loved it, made you so perky and energetic. You took a couple of your cute little "happiness jumps". Those jumps used to be so much bigger! You and the Bassets took off running, in the way that always made me smile. You were such an odd threesome. You were limping though, a concern for me. The pain in your right front had come back, we never really knew what was going on there, but we had been ok with Rimadyl so far, so I made a mental note to go to Dr. Ellis for a new batch of meds, praying that was all we needed. However, that was not going to be necessary....

You are no longer in pain – you are running free, with many of your buddies. Huston is there to greet you, and so is Bishop and many, many more. I for one, am grieving and selfishly, am very jealous of those that get to spend their time with you. I know that you are ok, keeping an eye on us down here.

Tony – my baby boy, thank you for all you gave me, for being such a wonderful friend, and loyal companion, for bringing me to GALT, for being such a gentleman with Elle, for welcoming everybody that came into our house. I will miss our car rides, our walks, our cuddle time, seeing you lay in your bed every night... everything, I will miss.

Thank you for coming into my life my sweet boy. I am grateful for what you gave me, but right now, my heart is empty and sad. The pain is so strong... However, I take solace in the fact that one day we will meet again. In the meantime, I hope to be an ambassador for the wonders of the aging Greyhound and other dogs.

I love you baby! Sweet dreams. Please visit mine as often as you want to. I miss you in the most terrible of ways. Gosh it hurts...

Your mommy,