Magic Priest came into our lives January 13, 2008, and proceeded to completely change everything. We had met a few greyhounds in Edmonton, but none had quite been the right fit for us. Since we’d first started looking at hounds on the Chinook Winds website, we’d been drawn to Priest, if only for his completely awesome name. So we talked it over with the adoption reps, and made arrangements to drive to Red Deer to meet two hounds, one of them being Priest, on that January weekend.
I don’t truly need to explain what happened. He was Priest. Everyone loved Priest the moment they met him, and we were no exception.
It took Priest some time to settle in with us, but once he figured out that it was permanent, he started to blossom. We knew he’d really settled in when he started to cockroach when we were nearby, instead of just when he thought we weren’t looking. He loved us both, but was definitely a Mama’s boy. It was only a short time before we couldn’t imagine life without him, and he gave us boundless love, snuggles, and kisses in return.
Priest loved everyone, and was one of the best greyhound ambassadors. We started doing meet and greets for Chinook Winds, and Priest enamoured everyone. If someone slowed down to look, he’d be right there asking for pets, and as soon as he’d suckered them into that, he’d be leaning right up against their legs asking for more. No one who met him forgot him, and his nature and personality convinced more than one person to consider making a greyhound their next pet. Priest exemplified the greyhound as a companion animal, and we were the lucky ones who got to take him home.
Priest was not a good racer. His statistics on the database show three races, where he didn’t perform too well. And while he wouldn’t run by himself, when there were other hounds about, he loved it. Fun runs were one of his favourite things, and when we discovered that he liked to chase Mike’s r/c truck, well… he slept a lot afterwards! Priest had speed, but he was a chaser, a follower, not a runner.
Priest was a social boy, and loved to hang out with other hounds, but he loved people more. Sitting next to him on the couch was just invitation for him to get closer to you (slowly, of course, just to make sure it was okay). He was always excited to travel places, because it usually meant there’d be people there to fawn all over him. He was a dog that loved going to the vet! He especially enjoyed going into the back room, and sometimes was hard pressed to leave there until he saw one of us waiting for him.
Priest wasn’t an angel, but even when he’d chewed up a hardwood stair, or had an accident in the house, or was stalking a cat outside on a walk, he was still just Priest. An loving, loveable, lazy, couch-hogging, routine-driven, walk-loving, squeaker-killing, slightly neurotic, all-leg hound with a heart of gold.
At the Chinook Winds picnic in 2010, an animal communicator donated her services. We were able to ask one question, and at the picnic get the answer for a donation to the rescue. We asked Priest: What do you want? His answer:
More peace around me. Less noise.
A softer bed. Some cereal for a snack.
I love you.
Priest spent his last few months with soft beds, Life cereal, as much peace and quiet as we could give him, and as much love as he gave to us returned. We had no idea they would be his last few months, and he deteriorated so quickly that we hardly had time to prepare, to say our goodbyes. But we knew that he loved us, and he knew that we loved him, so much so that when he came home from the vet in agony and afraid, we didn’t make him wait until morning. Letting him go was the hardest thing we ever did, but it was the only thing we could do, because we loved him so much.
We said goodbye to our sweet boy, but we will never forget him.