Friday, January 15, 2016

Celebrating Chase

We adopted our retired racing greyhound, Chase, almost four years ago. On Wednesday of this week, he turned nine. Thankfully, greyhounds live up to fourteen years on average, which is a pretty good amount of time for big dogs.

Chase has changed our life. When we made the decision to adopt a retired racer, our beloved cat, Sam, had just died, and we had just miscarried yet another baby. After submitting an application, we were invited to an adopt-a-thon to meet a lot of different greyhounds and where we were given the opportunity to bring our little mutt, Tessa, to see which dogs would interact well with her.

We had our eye on a little brood mama named Calista. We really liked her sweet temperament (and the fact that she was slightly smaller than most of the greys), but a volunteer at the event suggested we weren’t the right home for her as she needed other greyhounds in the home with her. I was just about to get my panties in a bunch—how dare she say we weren’t the right home for her—when my husband called out to me. “Hey honey! what about this one?”

He pointed down to a white and brindle dog that was leaning against his legs and soaking up all of the love offered. At first I thought, wow, he’s really big. We were looking for a smaller greyhound. But as I approached, and saw his big, brown, soulful eyes and the affectionate way he leaned against my husband, I was sold. He came home with us that day.

His racing name was Starz Megabucks. We thought that was quite a mouthful, so we decided to name him Chase (although he still answers to “Megabucks”). In his day, Chase ran in seventy-nine races in Florida and West Virginia and retired at the mandatory retirement age of four and a half when he tore a hind muscle. He had lived with another family before us, but they’d had to give him up after five months due to some sort of hardship. The letter that came with his adoption papers said they had cried when they’d returned him.

Even at nine, Chase loves to run. He dashes around the back yard in circular patterns while carrying a toy in his mouth and squawking it loudly. In the winter, he loves running in the soft, powdery snow, and he’s a sucker for walks. When that leash rattles, he’s up and standing by the door.

In many ways, Chase is like a little kid. He readily understands an extensive list of vocabulary words, and he’s just about the most sensitive and emotional dog I’ve ever come across. But he’s also a klutz. Over the nearly four years we’ve had him, we’ve visited the vet for numerous foot injuries (usually occurring while running in our back yard).

So this, his ninth birthday week, has been a little rough for Chase. Something upset his tummy on Wednesday night (perhaps the birthday cookie?), and he threw up twice. And when Chase throws up, it’s akin to cleaning up after a human. Then yesterday, while running in the back yard, he tore his dew claw. Sigh. He had to be sedated and patched up for that, and we finally got him back around 7:30 last night in a zombified state. As I am a worry-wart mama, I hovered over him until finally collapsing with exhaustion.

A clown and a klutz, Chase (and all greyhounds, I might add) is the most wonderful, the most human-like dog I have ever owned. If my husband and I were not to have human children, then God gave us the greatest dog instead (at least we think he is).

Happy Birthday, Chase!




  1. Happy belated birthday Chase! You look like you are a well loved dog :)


  2. Happy birthday to Chase. Our dog turned 8 this week and we bought her a smaller version of the cookie you show up there. I kept thinking it probably tasted like one of those frosted cookies, but I know it didn't! She loved it anyway!

    1. I was tempted to try it! Ha! Happy Birthday to your doggie too!

  3. Aw, he sounds like a real sweetie, and just the right dog for you. (You had to know he was gonna be "yours" when he got attached to your husband.) Dogs (and cats... I've gotta say cats, too, because they're watching me...) have a magical way of mending all the sore spots in our hearts and filling emotional needs we didn't even know we had.

    Have a super weekend!

    1. They certainly do, Susan. There's simply no love on earth like it.