October 2007 - June 2020
Dear Liz, and NBRF family,
I am writing to let you know we lost our beloved Eddy last week, just four months shy of his 13th birthday. It was one of the saddest days of my life. Earlier this year I promised you I would send you Eddy's story - from my point of view. Yet each time I began to write, it felt premature - his story wasn't over yet. I realized also, there were not enough words to express how much love and joy Eddy brought to my life, and the incredible bond we shared. What I understand now is, his story continues, even after his passing.
"One Awesome Canine"
Where he spent the first four years of his life is speculative, but what we know is he was picked up as a stray/owner surrender, and this is where our story begins. My dogs, mostly rescues, have always seemed to find me. After losing my Aussie mix at 16 years of age, I knew it was time to seek out my first Borzoi, but I wanted another rescue. After inquiries made at a sighthound show in Lompoc, the first person I met with Borzois mentioned she had just started fostering a very large male the week before (thank you Gwen!). She told me I should contact Carol Backers, and then submit my application. I couldn't wait!
This giant dog and I met the following week. He was indeed a BIG boy. At 140 pounds, Gwen had already put him on a diet, and had also taken care of many of his other health issues. We made the arrangements and I picked him up a couple of weeks later. The first thing he did, upon meeting me for the second time, was walk over and lay his head on my lap. Gwen said it was the first time he had done this with anyone. This great hound and I both knew we had found each other. A few weeks later, when I made inquiries into his earlier stray status, I found out that the SPCA had picked him up on the day of my birthday, in my childhood hometown!. No present could have been better than that. Gwen had called him Eddy (as in Mr. Ed), but when he ran in circles, fur flowing and swirling like water, I knew the name fit him perfectly.
If there was ever a dog who was an ambassador for the breed, or for rescues in general, it was Eddy. I soon learned that we could no longer just go for a walk after chores, or a day of gardening. Rather, I found I needed to "dress" for our many walks, as inevitably we would be stopped multiple times for photographs, questions, and comments. Eddy became so popular in the historical district where we lived, that his photos began showing up on multiple Facebook pages. Once we (or I should say Eddy) were asked to pose for impromptu pictures with young couples preparing to leave for prom. Each couple wanted to pose for a photograph with Eddy. Meanwhile, I stood to the side, holding his leash, and wondered when all of the young men would notice the long, white hairs on their black tuxedos.
Eventually, I began to log the adjectives and comments from his daily admirers - woolly mammoth, Big Eddy, Fast Eddy, polar bear, the Malibu Barbie dog, "that's one awesome canine!"... One of the more humorous encounters happened late one evening, just before dark. A woman, walking her own two dogs, stopped across the street and asked, "What is that?!" I replied with the usual, "It's a Borzoi." She still looked puzzled, so I continued, "It's a Russian Wolfhound, a sighthound." She was silent a moment, and then asked, "But is it a dog?"
The true wonder of Eddy was his ability to bring smiles and joy to so many people. No matter where we went, he drew attention, admiration, and happiness. Children draped his neck with strings of beads at a Mardi Gras parade. A homeless man, remembering his own Borzois from years past, knelt to pet him and wept. Neighbor's small children ran to greet him on a daily basis. Cars stopped traffic to photograph him. Eddy adored tiny dogs (even after being chased by a pack of chihuahuas) and he even tolerated my two parrots. I have met some of my closest friends because of Eddy.
Yet with all of his celebrity, Eddy's heart was most content at home, by my side. We cherished our early morning and late evening walks, in quiet solitude He enjoyed doing downward dog by my side while I practiced yoga. Much more content in his later years to watch the squirrels and birds rather than chase them. And always, always loved his ears scratched and his belly rubbed. He shared my retirement, a move to the country, a wedding (and shared with my husband that life is more wonderful having loved a dog). We are truly blessed to have shared his heart and spirit for eight plus years. We sat together outside one last time, on a warm spring afternoon, before we said goodbye and he took his final breath. No words, no matter how many, can describe Eddy, except that he was indeed, one awesome canine.
As I mentioned earlier, Eddy's story continues. Two days after his passing, I was standing at the window, contemplating the words to best compose his story, and how to inform NBRF, when the telephone rang. It was Sharon, from NBRF. There was a Borzoi in need of a new home...
Thank you so very much - for all that you do, and for helping these amazing hounds who allow us to share their lives with them, even if it is never long enough.