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The Silent Volunteer

I try to keep the blog upbeat and informative but occasionally you have to indulge me.  On Monday, July 16th, we lost a very important member of our FoG family and of the Deitch family.  She was the only holder of the title “Volunteer of the Year”, bestowed upon her at a volunteer thank you party in 2007.  Of course, I am referring to Cherokee, our long-haired, domestic cat.  It may seem wrong to honor a cat when we run a greyhound rescue but Cherokee was responsible for cat testing well over 1000 of our dogs over the years and was an integral part of our operation.

We knew early on that people who love animals often have both dogs and cats so we needed to be prepared for that.  After all, we have both ourselves.  We have tried to protect the innocent cats whose parents get the silly idea of adopting a race dog!  Cherokee was our first and best line of defense for the felines of the world and she did a wonderful job.

We brought her and DC home from the Broward Animal Control out by the airport (hence the names, DC & Cherokee – get it?  Airport?) In 1996.  We started FoG in 2001.  DC is a shy cat, not meant for dog testing.  We knew nothing about greyhound rescue and made a lot of mistakes.  On one occasion, the dogs got hold of Cherokee out in the yard and mauled her badly.  Dr. Burlone at Welleby put her back together and her documentation of the work won her a veterinary award.  Cherokee came out of it with the nickname “Franken-cat”.  But she recovered fully and cat tested until the end of her time with us.  She was a tough old bird whose body finally quit on her.

So if your dog lives successfully with your cat or cats, you may want to just say a little thank you towards the heavens that Cherokee was with us to help guide you to make the right choice.  She will be greatly missed and very hard to replace.  She will be the first of the non-greyhound residents of the Greyhound Memorial Project.   See ya on the other side, Cherokee!  Momma loves you.