Sunday, November 21, 2010

Streak is Gone

Streak - My Easy Street RE, JC, CGC, TDI
June 29th 20o2 - Nov 18th 2010

We lost Streak on Thursday, Nov 18th to Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) a little over a year since I lost my other greyhound JD to the same disease. Streak always limped a bit because of some arthritis in his toes and corns that just developed in the last year. We had been pretty sure about a year ago that he had Osteo in his shoulder but it didn't show up in X-rays. His limping got a little better this summer and he was able to run some but then gradually it got more pronounced. At the end of Sept during our beach trip he fell off the bed and landed on his sore shoulder. He has been on pain killers and mostly on just 3 legs since then. Even though there was no bruising or swelling we hoped it was just an injury that would get better with time but it got worse. When he started yelping in pain when laying down and couldn't get comfortable, we knew it was time for more X-rays. The cancer diagnosis came as no surprise. With the corns on his feet, it was painful for him to walk on 3 legs so he was not a good candidate for amputation. I am not sure that I would have put him through that to buy a few more months with him anyway. There is no cure for osteosarcoma and taking off the leg just buys some time until the cancer comes back in the lungs.

Streak earning his Rally Novice Title. He went on to complete his Rally Advanced and his Rally Excellent titles.

Playing with his favorite Christmas gift last Christmas

Streak was a role model for Miles and I can only hope that Miles will be close to as good as Streak was. I called Streak "Streaky the Good" because he never did anything wrong. Once he knew the rules he would never break them. I could leave a plate of food out on an end table and he wouldn't touch it - all day- even if I left the house. He was a Therapy Dog and did home visits and visited schools to educate children about dogs. He performed at the Georgia and Carolina Renaissance Festivals as a member of the Hounds of East Fairhaven for years. He was the most tolerant dog I know and could calm an aggressive dog down with his calm energy just like Cesar Millan's pitbull, Daddy, on the Dog Whisperer. He convince many people to adopt greyhounds at meet and greets and convinced their dogs that greyhounds meant no harm.

Streak herding sheep with me

Like Daddy, Streak was a gentle giant. He was the most muscular greyhound I have ever seen and the heaviest out of nearly 1000 greyhounds our adoption group, Greyhound Crossroads, has placed. He raced at 92lbs which is about 20lbs heavier than the average male greyhound. There have been a few taller but the one that weighed the closest raced at 85lbs I think.

One of my favorite photos. It shows what a gentle giant Streak really was. He was so tolerant of Miles and never did any more than growl at the pups when they got out of line.

Streak raced at Victoryland in Alabama then at Jefferson County Kennel Club in Monticello Florida. I saw Streak race in Florida when I was there to pick up a load of retired greyhounds and remembered him because I had never seen a greyhound that big before. Months later I met him when his trainer led out the bouncing, wagging, giant to meet me. She knew I had a soft spot for the big guys and wanted me to meet him in hopes our group would take him when he retired. She said he was a very special guy and one of her favorites. A few months later he retired and I got him as a foster, not long before his 3rd birthday.

Streak had no desire to be the leader of the pack. He was easy going and just went with the flow. The only thing that bothered him was someone yelling or if he though he had done something wrong. He just wanted to please and other than that was a happy go lucky guy that would whip you with his tail but didn't have an aggressive bone in his body. That was perfect for me because the greyhound male I had, JD, was a dominant guy that tended to be a little grouchy with other dogs. My second greyhound needed to be a more tolerant guy that wouldn't take offense at JD's grumpy outbursts.

Streak and JD promoting greyhound adoption at a Christmas event.

Streak with Miles at about 6 months

Little Miles trying to keep up with Streak at the Playday field.

We will miss Streak. He was the most amazingly perfect dog I have ever met. He loved to snuggle and had no personal body space at all. He loved to have you lay a leg or an arm over him and would snuggle closer. I even laid across him and sat on him sometimes. He tried his best to be a big lap dog when you were sitting on the couch. He would role over on his back at meet and greets and reach up with his paws to pull people down to visit with him. He never did the greyhound roach where they put all their legs in the air and sleep on their back. The only time he rolled on his back was when he was trying to get someone to snuggle with him.

Streak's self appointed task was to watch over me. He always followed me where ever I went but never had any sign of separation anxiety. He just followed me from room to room his entire life unless I told him not to. He even followed me into the walk in closet when I changed my clothes and laid at the bathroom door when I was in the shower. He would often walk in the shower himself in hopes he could have a shower. He wasn't fond of showers but figured out that showers meant that he was likely to get to go someplace fun. He loved to go for rides and in cool weather loved to wait for me in the van while I ran errands. I could leave him in the van with groceries because he knew they were mine and wouldn't dream of touching even the juiciest steak.
Streak and JD with me at the Beach

Miles is the only greyhound in our home now other than fosters. He just has Pinky the deaf Italian Greyhound for company. Miles is a busy pup and doesn't seem to miss Streak much. Pinky depended on Streak though and would lay near him so he felt the vibration of Streak getting up. Pinky didn't miss anything going on in the house that way, even being deaf. Pinky has been more clingy in the last few days. I am his ears now since Streak is gone I guess. Miles is still a big clumsy pup and Pinky stays out of his way most of the time for his own safety. I don't think Miles and Pinky will have a close relationship like Pinky and Streak did until Miles gets older and calmer.

Pinky and his big brother Streak. This photo was used on cards to raise money for a greyhound adoption.

I sure wish Streak could have stayed longer. He was just 8 and we only had him 5 and a half years. He had definitely earned his angel wings here long ago though and no dog deserves heaven more.


Carl said...

Run free big guy. His memorial was perfect..

Hiking Hounds said...

I'm so sorry for your loss of Streak. He sounds like a very special boy and he was a very beautiful big boy. Very cute picture of him letting Miles tug his tail. I'm sure he'll continue to be your and your family's guardian angel.

canine said...
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