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Kirsten & Tiny

Tiny Puppy

On Wednesday, April 4, 2011, a very special Italian greyhound left this earth. 'Tiny Puppy', as he was called from day one and who my oldest grandchild called his 'hunting dog' from the time he could barely speak, was over 16 years old. Tiny was turned into us at NGAP, unwanted, as so many greyhounds and Italian greyhounds are. Most Italian greyhounds come to us because they cannot be housebroken and because people spend a lot of money on a dog that they then leave alone all day long. He was full of energy almost until the day he died. He would run with our galgo, Tye, in the backyard if they saw a squirrel, deer or bird.

Tiny went almost everywhere with us because he hated to be left behind. He was never a quiet puppy. Whenever he was at the kennel everyone was so happy when he was asleep because he was vocal every second he was awake! When we finally finished our new kennel we thought we could leave him in the senior room with our other dogs and he would be fine. But he barked so much while we were gone he was actually hoarse and it took him a while to recover!

For the last two years Tiny was on an appetite stimulant to help him eat. He was also being nurtured by my wife, Gerda, who would never let him go to sleep hungry. If it was necessary to force-feed him to keep him feeling well, she would. For the last few days, Tiny was unable to keep all of his food down and he no longer desired to be force fed. Normally, he would investigate any noise outside, but of late he would not. Last night when I got home, he was not at the door to greet me for the first time in 16 years. We knew it was time.

This last evening, I force-fed Tiny some of the food from his plate myself, because no dog will ever leave us with an empty stomach. We then retired for the evening to watch the news and Tiny curled up in his favorite place, under my left arm with our other IG, Bebe, under my right arm. This was a daily ritual for us. Normally I would fall asleep sometime before 7 and the dogs would never move a muscle. This particular night, while the three of us were resting in bed, Bebe got up and cleaned off the food from Tiny's dish which was still on the bed. She had never done this before. Was she sending us a signal that she knew?

A little later in the evening, while still tucked under my arm, Tiny got a little injection which made his sleep a little deeper. In his mind and mine, and the minds of all of my grandchildren who came to say goodbye, that is where we will always remember him being. Tiny was with us through thick and thin. My grandchildren, all six of them, knew Tiny for their entire lives. My granddaughter, Kirsten, loved him dearly. If I was not around for him to curl up under my arm, he would curl up under hers and we often debated which arm he would rather be under. It was so much fun.

Tiny was not in pain, he was not in distress, it was just his time to go so that none of these things would ever happen. This wonderful last gift that we gave him, that was so hard for us, made it so easy for Tiny and that is what it is really all about. He gave us so much love and we needed to give it back.

Tiny Puppy

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