Gina - April 2004

Gina - April 2004

Postby chelynnah » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:59 am

Gina - Whippet of the Month, April 2004

Sometimes it is necessary to make drastic changes in our lives, and the most surprising events can come from these changes. Usually it takes much thought and planning to make the changes happen, and sometimes when a problem comes up it can seem to be the last straw. Often the universe just has another plan for us, and it's up to us to learn from the experience.

A little over three years ago I placed a whippet named Gina. This is a fairly frequent occurrence for me, as I am an active rep for whippet rescue, but this one was different. She was one of my own whippets, a potential show dog that hadn't turned out to be show quality. I had held on to Gina thinking perhaps of breeding her, but there were too many physical conformation faults, so I spayed her and began to look for a home where she would be treasured and loved. This little whippet is possessed of a wonderful, giving temperament. She even used to go to schools with me as a demo dog for my dog care talks. I had a potential home contact me, and everything was great. She loves kids and there were kids in the home. She loves walks in the park and they were dedicated to walking her in the park. They visited me. I visited them. Everything seemed perfect.

About two months after she went to her new home I received a call one night from an emergency animal hospital. Gina had been hit by a car. Along with her owner's tag she still wore her rabies tag from my vet. The owner hadn't been reached so they called my vet who gave out my telephone number. After a visit to the clinic and a talk with the owner it was apparent that Gina accidently let out of the house.. I left the clinic with the owner's assurance that Gina would receive the surgery necessary to repair her broken pelvis, hip, and femur.

I called the animal hospital two days later, to check on Gina and was informed that they could not give any of her information to me as I was not the registered owner. I called the owner and was told everything was fine. Time goes by, reports are that she's fine. Wrapped up in my own problems I don't go to visit her, I'm in the process of divorcing my alcoholic husband. Eventually when I recover from the shock of being back on my own I call Gina's owner. The telephone number has been disconnected. I call the agency who rented the house, they have no forwarding information on the owner. I search the directories for the surrounding towns, and cannot find the owner. I am depressed that I cannot locate them, but believe that he's had a change of situation and over the last year he's just moved on. After all, he signed a contract, if there was a problem he'd have gotten in contact with me.

Life moves onward, and a couple of years later I am preparing to move cross-country. My six whippets and one Persian cat are going to drive from Mississippi to Oregon, and start a new life in a climate that hopefully won't be as difficult for my health as Mississippi. Five days before we are due to leave I get a telephone call asking if I am with whippet rescue. The caller has a whippet bitch she needs to rehome. Her ex-husband left the dog with her over a year ago and she's moving to Florida and cannot take the dog with her. Can I help? I explain to her that since I am moving I am not able to take a dog right now, but would she please tell me about the whippet so I might find foster care for her? She describes Gina perfectly. She knows that she had been hit by a car, and is partially crippled, but she's a very sweet dog. The lady just doesn't have the space for her. My roommate goes to pick Gina up right away, while I am at work.

I come home from work that evening, and in the mix of whippets greeting me at the door is a skinny, crippled little black brindle and white girl. Oh, she's so thin, and her leg is just hanging from her hip. There's no muscle on it, but she can put a little weight on it. I call her and Gina runs to me bouncing and crying to get into my lap. "I waited for you for so long, I was so good," she says. " I tried so hard, I knew you wouldn't forget me." I am overwhelmed at the welcome of a dog I've not seen in over three years, and crushed at the sight of an extremely lame whippet.

It was apparent that Gina had never received the medical attention she deserved. I was incredibly thankful (and lucky) that this lady contacted me. She had inherited Gina and tried to give her proper care, but Gina also did not fit into her lifestyle. I knew Gina was back in my life for a reason.

We hit the road… now seven whippets and one Persian cat. After much trial and even more error we finally made it to Oregon. We settled in and for the first time Gina could receive the care she really needed. Her diet was changed to help her gain weight. She had supplements added to help her bones and connective tissues and she started being taken for walks to help build up her bad leg. She was assessed by a whippet-savvy vet who thought it was too late for any kind of corrective surgery. In an amazingly short time this crippled little girl has blossomed, putting on a normal weight, and playing with her whippet companions. She runs on the beach now and chases the baggie in the backyard She catches flies who are dumb enough to buzz near her, and she sleeps soundly at night.

Gina is a testament to the indefinable that we know as Whippet. Their grace, their strength and their tough core lets them know no matter what happens in life they are going to survive. I don't know what the universe was thinking of, bringing her back to me, but I am blessed to have her back, where I know she will safe, happy, and loved for the rest of her life.

Jenny Howe, Rome Whippets
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chelynnah
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