If you are like me, there are instances when you feel lost.
Sometimes when we think we are about to head down a road we are not familiar with and may not necessarily want to be on in the first place, we end up someplace else.
Needa and I have been on the bittersweet path of memories and sadness after losing Jack. But one thing I know too well is after such a loss, we keep on living because we have to.
My mourning of Jack will never end. I tear up when thinking about him many times a day and I cannot talk about him to anyone without crying. Some of you know of my faithfulness to the breed. I will always have a greyhound.
So, here is the important story.
Not long after Jack left us, I sent a Facebook message to my friend Art, the President of GreyHeart Greyhound Adoption.
We call him “GreyHeart Art.” He and his wife Assi are so committed and knowledgeable, valuable to the organization and breed that I hope they never burn out because they have done so much for the organization.
Exactly one minute after I sent the message my phone rang. It was Art.
This is a paraphrased version of the conversation.
Art: “Hey Pete, its Art. You’re never going to guess where I am right now.”
I gave him a witty response that I cannot recall.
Art: “Assi and I are on our way home from West Virginia with two new greyhounds.”
Me: “What? Really?”
Art: “One of them is named St. Pete.”
At that moment there was silence in the conversation as I could not believe my ears.
Art: “I think his call name in the kennel was Petie.”
My eyes welled up with tears and I got the proverbial lump in my throat.
I can’t recall the rest of the conversation but immediately, I felt I had to have this dog and asked Art to hold him for me as I thought it over. Was it an impulse decision? Maybe. But it was also like one of those touching moments in a Hallmark movie that never quite happens in real life, but now it was happening to me.
Needa and I made the trip back home this past Thursday and met Petie on Friday. There were four dogs in the yard, all happily prancing about. Needa, the elder of the group at 12 and a half, joined right in.
During the course of about a half an hour as I was talking with everyone, I would check on Needa. I saw Petie and Needa together several times; both of them away from the others, possibly comparing notes. There was no doubt that these two were already getting along famously.
We drove home on Saturday morning. As we made our last turn for home onto M-28 descending on Newberry, the sun was bright and there was an eagle sitting majestically in a tree not more than 100 feet from our turn as if approving our arrival and welcoming Petie to his new life in the north.
Thinking back, I don’t exactly know what prompted me to send Art the message at the exact moment I did. I am simply calling this series of events, serendipity.
In the same way Needa helped Jack, Petie is now helping Needa as she enters the last phase of her beautiful life.
Petie is beautiful and his brown eyes shine like finely polished marbles. He looks a lot like Jack but he is not replacing Jack.
He was successful in his career as a professional racer. Greyhounds are pulled out of racing when they are injured or start losing. But St. Pete was victorious in perhaps the most important race of his life, which was finding his way into my heart.
Meanwhile. Needa and I will enjoy the riches of our once in a lifetime winning ticket.