Folly died this evening, peacefully, I hope, in her sleep.
I took this photo with my phone a couple of months ago, two plus months after her cancer diagnosis, and while it’s far from the last photo I snapped, it speaks the most to her essence.
Bone cancer is extremely painful I hear, even when properly medicated. Greyhounds are a stoic lot, but Folly more than most. She never complained, she never gave the oscar-worthy melodramatic whining and baying episode that most greys are famous for; if she was hurt, she’d utter little whimpers but she’d struggle on… She was a warrior – on the track, as a brood mom, and as a cancer patient.
What always struck me about Folly was her face. No matter her mood, those big dark eyes of hers always expressed an intelligence and depth, a wisdom even, that transcended doggiedom. I spent a lot of time staring into those eyes in an attempt to ascertain her secrets, wondering what she would say to me if she could. (Probably “Hey Mom, stop messing around and get me a cookie, will ya?”) This was a dog whose gaze seemed to hold the answers to life’s great mysteries.
I’ll miss her unusually long ears.
I’ll miss the tawny spot on her back that I rubbed ‘for luck’.
I’ll miss the grunt of her ‘bobo’ (hedgehog) when she ‘killed’ it.
I’ll miss her little doggie snores behind me as I’m working on the computer.
I’ll miss the tell-tale thump of her three-legged jaunts to the kitchen (in her last months)
I’ll even miss her bitchiness – and believe me, she was a prime Alpha Bitch – because in the end, it’s what got her through. It’s how she was able to spare me from making the decision to end her life.
It’s also why, up until the very end, I would kiss her furry head and call her My Big Strong Brave Girl.
Thank you Folly, for every day. Run happy and free. We’ll see each other again.