(November 20, 1997 - March 30, 2006)
By Kathy Fowler
On 29 March 2006, my Oreo broke her leg in a freak accident in the living room. The break was a spiral fracture and required orthopedic surgery to implant pins. But after the surgery, on March 30, Oreo's heart rate became erratic. Her heart stopped and my darling died, aged 8 years, 4 months, and 10 days. The surgeon believes a blood clot broke loose from the site of the broken bone and traveled to her lungs.
Oreo had a short, dismal racing career in which she was beaten by nearly 80 percent of the dogs she raced against (including her sister). Oreo was adopted, but bounced to Adopt-a-Greyhound, where I found her on November 17, 2001, three days before her fourth birthday. She was the first dog I ever owned. She was such a wonderful dog, I wanted another greyhound, and adopted Stat K Sam from SEGA in October 2002. Oreo probably wished she'd been less "wonderful," as Sam pushed and tested her position as the household Alpha. But she never lost her temper with Sam - never harmed him - even though they were rivals for food, mom, and the sofa.
Oreo was a smiler - big smile, with all her teeth showing and her tail spinning like a propeller. And when she was interested in food or heard a funny noise, her ears swiveled forward over her forehead. I never got a picture of her doing either of those things; posing for pictures was something Oreo didn’t do well.
But she left an indelible impression on me. Early in our time together, when I heard of the death of another SEGA member’s dog, I thought of the time I’d inevitably lose Oreo and how much it would hurt. I promised myself --and Oreo--that I'd quickly bring another dog into my home, even if just as a foster dog: another dog to cuddle, to hold, to cry on. That may be Oreo’s best legacy: she made it impossible to consider living without as many greyhounds as I can manage in my life.
I kept that promise, and there's a new dog in the house now. But she's not Oreo, and not a day goes by that I don't think of my darling girl and all the happiness she brought me.