How it came about.
I think this project will become the single most important and enduring thing we have ever done. There are many things Jerry & I are incredibly proud of and this one is just getting started. But its importance has hit me like a ton of bricks.
There is a breakfront in our living room with an assortment of wooden boxes and ceramic urns. I’ve visited the homes of adopters and seen their collections, too. We tend to outlive our dogs. Years ago we would bury family dogs in the backyard and then my heart would break when we moved. We can’t bring ourselves to part with them and now we have this collection of what the industry calls “cremains” (cremation remains). I treasure them, but what will happen when we are gone? The kids are great about the live dogs but will our kids or grandkids really care about our babies’ urns? (Or our own for that matter) Our lifestyles are too fast and furious these days.
Jerry & I used to go to yard sales and that was part of how we got into this greyhound stuff. I can never forget finding people’s most precious things in boxes at estate sales being pawed through by strangers, haggling over the prices. Several times I bought up old, handwritten letters and family portraits just because you could see they were important to that person and someone had to treasure them. But I was only a temporary buffer as our space would grow short and I would have to give them a final disposal. I don’t want that for my dogs – a final ride in a garbage truck. And I worry so badly for all the other greyhounds out there. We’ve lived with and cared for over 1200 dogs and know them personally. Where will they all end up? I felt we were looking at a problem all greyhound owners are facing in one way or another. Our “pupulation” is aging and the clamor for a real answer is getting louder.
And the answer was under my nose – well if my nose could reach three and a half miles, Broward Pet Cemetery is one of the most beautiful places ever. It is green and placid and wonderful. It’s not just the landscaping, it’s the feel of the place. And it’s right here in beautiful South Florida. Everyone wants to retire to South Florida. We can let our dogs have that wish.
But burying a large dog is a costly business. Purchasing a perpetual care plan for a large plot is certainly beyond my means. And for multiple dogs, the cost is beyond my means. But I couldn’t let go of the idea and my fears for our “urn collection”. I visited and learned more and found out that the people who run the place are simply wonderful. They are caring and helpful and understand my concern for my dogs and all the other greyhounds. They’ve helped us find a truly permanent answer.
And so the Greyhound Memorial was born.