When we moved to Potsdam, we looked for an apartment where we could have pets. I'd always wanted greyhounds. (My fantasy was to take them out with me when I went running. This, it turns out, was stupid. My sprint was but an uncomfortable trot for an adult greyhound.)
We drove out to Northern Greyhounds in St. Albans, VT with the intention of bringing home just one dog. We test drove a few in the parking lot and then met these two. Brooke and Brady had already been post-career adopted once. The family ran into hard times, though, and had to bring them back to the shelter. We couldn't resist and ended up driving home with twice the number of dogs we'd anticipated.
It was hard to find a place for these guys to run. We'd signed an agreement when we adopted them that said we wouldn't let them off leash unless they were fenced in. This didn't leave a lot of options. Eventually we found a couple options, but that didn't stop us from marveling at their running-machine legs!
Who knew that greyhounds came in such drastically different sizes?! Brooke is a pretty good sized dog, but Brady was like a small horse! We picked up a three-level flower-pot holder from Walmart and put their food and water bowls on it in front of the window to our driveway. Every time we came home there was always at least one dog looking expectantly out the window.
(Brady earned the nickname "Ghost Dog" doing just this. He looked super creepy at night: a narrow white specter lurking in the shadows and peering out the old window.)
Brady was born (according to greyhound-data.com
) on June 18, 2005. He was one of a litter of five pups. That's his dad, Belle's Darrell, up there on the left
and his mom, Nita's May West, on the right. You can see the resemblance!
Brady's racing name was C's Lucky Seven. Out of 27 races, he won 5 and came in second 3 times. He was a better racer than any of his siblings. His brother, C's One Red Cent, ran 28 but won only 4.
He slowed down a bit the last couple years, but watching this guy run at full speed was amazing. And terrifying! He would often run off and loop back around in a great circle. He'd head straight toward you and veer off at the last second. (Most of the time... He did run into me at full speed once and totally knocked me down!)
Brady's racing career might have been over by the time he came into our lives, but that didn't mean he got to take it easy all the time! We took him hiking all over the Adirondacks. Here he is on the way back down from a hike up to the fire tower on Goodnow Mountain.
We never did see Brady submerge himself fully in the water, but he did enjoy lowering his belly down into this cool mountain stream. (Not a lot of body fat on a greyhound... I don't blame him for never jumping in the deep end! Probably wouldn't have floated very well anyway...)
Here he is on another hike, this time a bit cooler.
Here's a cooler hike still! This time up to the fire tower on Mt. Azure. It got pretty steep toward some of the mountains Brady hiked, but he never complained. He'd look a bit nervous when the trail got boulder-y, but he always powered through to the top.
For the most part, however, Brady's life with us was one of lounging bliss.
Here's a picture of Brady that I posted on the photoblog back in May of 2012. And here's the caption I wrote:
"This dog is the size of a small horse. But for some reason, greyhounds love squeezing into tight spaces. They took over one of our chairs, so we covered it with a sheet and a blanket and declared it the dog chair. (We flip the cushions up on the other chairs when we're not around.) It's not a big chair, but both of the dogs love it. They don't fight over it, at least not in any way that we're able to detect. But I've noticed that they will sometimes trick the other dog by making interesting noises in the other room, then sneaking in and hopping on the chair once the sucker leaves. When Brady's on it, there's usually a bunch of sinewy limbs sticking out at weird angles."
...and resting with Brooke.
(This was a pretty rare sight, by the way. Brooke and Brady got along alright. But they had kind of an Odd Couple relationship. They tolerated one another, but unless they were running around outside they didn't interact very much.)
Lynne made them some smart looking coats for the winter!
Eventually we gave up on finding a fenced-in lot for the dogs to run in. We brought them instead to the field behind the church in West Stockholm. It was pretty far from the road so we figured it would be safe enough.
Brooke in hot pursuit! (Brooke could book it too, but most of the time she was no match for Brady.)
A pre-hike bounding session, somewhere near West Stockholm.
Lounging with Sarah's socks.
Different day (I can tell by Sarah's socks) and slightly loungier.
Waking up on a cold winter morning.
We were told that these dogs loved sleeping on beds. Our bedroom was always upstairs, though, and greyhounds don't do stairs. This trip to Mt. Macco was a real treat!
Don't let the white coat fool you! This snowy tundra was not a greyhound's natural habitat!
We used to put booties on the dogs. They had scarves too in addition to their jackets. Brady hated the boots even more than getting his feet all messed up by the salty/icy roads. He bit me once when I was trying to put his boots on. We didn't do it much longer after that.
(When we moved to our new house in Potsdam Village, we set up a tightrope in the back yard. We put a carabiner on Brady's leash and that was the end of winter walks for the white dog.)
In this photo, Brady has melted onto the floor of Sarah's parents' house in the Berkshires.
Brady lounging with good friends.
This was at Mt. Macco Christmas. I was messing around with my camera and had had a few too many beers to remember to chastise Brady for eating off the table.
(What a curse for a greyhound! To be at perfect table-grazing height but not be allowed to take advantage! Brady even had a whole I'm-just-coming-to-be-affectionate routine that he'd do. He'd slink up to you at the table, put his head in your lap, wait for you to let down your guard, and then raise his nose/tongue ever so slightly so as to see what kinds of things were waiting for him on your plate.)
We will miss you, majestic dog!