In Memoriam: Zane Greyhound

We put our beloved greyhound Zane to sleep yesterday about 6PM. A veterinarian who does such things for a living came to our house and gently administered a lethal injection. She was followed immediately by a tall, muscular man from Pet Care who carted the inert eighty-pound dog to a pickup truck and then on to the crematorium.

Zane was an extraordinary dog. Of course, all dogs are extraordinary in a way. If I were a believer, I would say they were God’s gift to man. And the death of a dog makes you want to be a believer, to see him cavorting in some canine heaven off into eternity.

I did not have a dog much of my life until I married Sheryl -- a dog person -- and I cannot imagine not having one now. Dogs are a necessity of life to me, an expression of sanity and love. You take care of a dog and he or she will definitely take care of you, in a deeper way.

Zane was our second greyhound. We adopted him some eight years ago when he was two from one of those rescue programs for retired racers. Zane wasn’t much of a racer though, hence the early adoption. I would joke to friends in a whisper not to say that too loud lest we hurt his feelings.

Still, like all greyhounds, he could really run when in a healthy state, legs moving in tandem, like an antelope.

But largely Zane was the gentlest of pets, friend to man and beast, as the saying goes. In fact, he had a smile so broad when meeting new people, sometimes they would mistake it for a threatening scowl, though Zane was the Ferdinand the Bull of greyhounds.