Our beloved Kara
We lost our first Greyhound, Barbie, to cancer in January 1999. At the time of her death, we promised her that we would give another retired greyhound a chance at a good life. I called Colorado Greyhound Companions to find out who was on the list. I was told that I should go check out a 2 year old female named Kara. She had flunked racing school (she was more interested in checking out the people in the stands than racing). When I first arrived at Kara’s foster home, I could not believe the condition she was in. She had just been returned from a home that had a small child. The child was afraid of big dogs and so they kept Kara in a crate day and night. The hair on her tail and back end was missing due to the crate being too small. She was underweight and her face was all scratched up from a run in she had with the foster mom’s cat (the cat won). I immediately put my hand over her heart and told my husband “She’s mine and I’m taking her home”. At first we didn’t think we were going to be able to keep Kara because she liked to chase our cats. But after a few days everyone settled in fine. She was lonely though for another companion so we started fostering greyhounds. In the years that we had Kara, we fostered 33 greyhounds and kept four of them for ourselves. She would always bond with the older or special needs greyhounds. Because of Kara, we adopted Emmaline a 9 year old greyhound, Cerberus a 7 year old greyhound who was deathly afraid of ducks and Tammy, a 6 year old greyhound with Pannus and seizure disorder, and of course Gypsy, our stray black lab who thinks she is a greyhound. Over the years, Kara saw her friends Emma, Cerberus, and Tammy become sick and cross over The Rainbow Bridge. I never thought my Kara would ever get old, after all, I always thought of her as the ‘teenager’. A few years back Colorado Greyhound Companions had a picnic for all the adopted greyhounds. During that picnic, we had use of an enclosed baseball field and had a greyhound race of our own. The greyounds had to race across the field to their owners. I knew for sure that we would win. Kara never took her keen eyes off of me and was focused on me the whole time while my husband was walking her across the field. When the whistle blew and he let go of her lead, she bolted right to me. Nothing was going to stop her from getting to her mom. She won a first place trophy for her efforts, but I know her real reward was coming back to me. Her and I had an awesome bond. She had to know where I was at all times and followed me around the house. My husband would feed her, pet her, love on her, but it was me she always looked for. Her amber eyes could look right into my soul. When Kara started limping a few months ago, we just thought she had hurt herself running around in the back yard. But after many courses of anti-inflammatories and pain killers, the Xray confirmed my deepest fear…osteosarcoma and a blood clot to her right back leg. For the past few weeks, she would drag her twisted leg and body to find me, needing to always be in my presence. She still liked her cookies and a squirrel running in the yard would make her eyes perk up, but her body just couldn’t chase anymore. It was the day that we received the call that it was cancer that we knew we couldn’t let her suffer anymore. I called Dr. Cooney to make arrangements for her to aid in ending Kara’s suffering. I decided to wait until the next morning so I could have one last night with her. I slept on the floor beside her and cuddled with her all night. Her companion Gypsy was at her side the whole time. On Friday, October 10th at approximately 8:30am Kara was relieved of her suffering. She had me holding her and telling her how much I loved her, Dennis who kept telling her what a good girl she was and Chris, our son who held Gypsy, all at her side when sighed her last peaceful sigh. We are still beside ourselves with grief and Gyspy is lost without her sister. There is a whole in our hearts that can never be filled. One of the last things I whispered in Kara’s ear is that “Next time I will be racing home to her” as she did to me in that baseball field. This inscription will be placed on her urn along with the picture of her smelling the roses. We have already been asked if we would adopt again. Right now the hurt is too raw and the wounds to fresh, but I know what Kara would want us to do and one day we will abide by those wishes.
Debbie, Dennis and Christopher Conroy