Sunday, February 27, 2011

Remembering Greta










In the weeks since our beloved 17 year old Dachshund, Greta, passed away, we have been recalling many poignant memories from our five years with her.

When we adopted Greta from Coast To Coast Dachshund Rescue in the fall of 2005, we had very little background information about the small senior hound who was joining our family. She had been in foster care for nearly six months after being rescued from a municipal animal shelter in rural Ohio, and details about her past were scarce. What we did know came by way of Greta's foster mom: She had a fondness for green beans, liked to snuggle, placed a premium on nap time, and was known to sneak under the covers to the bottom of the bed in order to provide free foot baths.

Once we met Greta in person for the first time, we were immediately charmed. She made our young family complete and enlivened my life in Buffalo during a time when we were far from family, and I was often lonely. She helped make graduate school bearable for my husband, Michael, as a steadfast companion during the long days (and nights) of studying, and she introduced us both to an unparalleled, deeply-felt, unconditional love.

Over time, Greta lost the use of her hind legs due to a spinal injury and grew blind as a result of cataracts. Although these setbacks presented challenges, it was surprisingly easy to adapt to Greta’s changing needs as she aged. A doggie stroller and a sling allowed her to cruise with us on walks and errands. Whatever we did – taking trips, visiting the beach, shopping, socializing, watching movies at the drive-in, going to work – Greta did it with us.

She was a very well traveled dog who got to see both coasts, visit nearly 20 states, and live in several cities including Buffalo, Seattle, and Oakland. Throughout it all, Greta was resilient and very Buddhist as she confronted each new moment as it came, seemingly without concern for the past or future.

Greta's presence in our lives was so essential and so thorough that the void is tremendous. To borrow Michael's words, "Without having known her, I would be much less of a lot of things: less compassionate, less patient, less understanding, less intuitive, less loved. Which is to say she made me feel much more human." Her precious spirit has made an impact that is sure to grace our lives forever.

4 comments:

lifeworthy said...

My condolences. Such a sweet face.

Vicki T said...

Love the photos, especially the one of Greta snuggled in the blankets. And I love what Michael wrote. What a moving story.

Spirit Jerry G. Dawg said...

Greta, your beautiful soul touched so many people. We are very sorry that you had to move on to your next assignment but trust me when I say that this world is a better place because you were here. I know your pawrents must miss you deeply, the look of love they share in these photos says it all.

Sweet girl, may your spirit shine on forever.

Anonymous said...

She looks just like our baby Mitzi who passed at 17, my heart goes out to you, they are such a big part of our lives. Thank you so much for posting this.