“The Adventures of Runner.”

“We must always welcome the end of all things – for sometimes, knowing that nothing lasts forever, is the only way that we can learn to fall in love with all the moments and the all people that are meant to take our breath away!”

r.m. drake

My name is Runner, but you can call me “RunRun”. I’m a retired racing greyhound. You probably already “know” me from social media. My humans tend to post a lot of photos of me and, way back in the day, they even created my own hashtag:

#TheAdventuresOfRunner🐾

I was born on January 15, 2010, the largest in my litter. I was bred to run, but born to love. They named me “AMF One And Done” and started training me right away. I competed in 100 races during the first 3 years of my life, traveling all the way from St. Petersburg, Florida to Wheeling, West Virginia. I’ve won 10 of those races and placed “Top 3” in 46 of them. It was fun in the beginning but, after awhile, I had to make it clear – I’m a lover, not a runner.

I retired at the age of 4 and, by the time I was 5, I met Mary, (aka “the matchmaker”) at Going Home Greyhounds. She’s interviewed many applicants throughout the years but, this time, she knew exactly with whom I belonged.

I met my humans in April of 2015, and it was love at first sight! We moved in together immediately. Time really does fly by when you’re having fun – and we sure have had a lot of really good times throughout the years!

They’ve shown me what it’s like to be loved – and I mean, REALLY LOVED! Not because of how fast I can run or how many races I can win, but simply because I’m me – and who could not love ME?! They used to call me the “gentlest giant” and, weighing in at 98 lbs. when they adopted me, they really were not wrong. Most greyhounds don’t get that big. They just smiled and said there was more of me to love!

I am very patient, highly sensitive, and I avoid conflict as if it were the plague. We have several cats that live in our home, but I pay them no mind – so long as the fluffy one doesn’t bite my legs. A couple of years ago, we adopted my brother, Quint – he likes to play with toys, so I gave him all of mine. Sometimes he steals my favorite bed, but the humans have taught us both to share.

I’d like to think I’ve taught them a thing or two, as well. Like how to live in the moment, right here, right now – not worrying about the past or wondering about the future. Sometimes, I think that maybe I’ve done TOO GOOD of a job at teaching them this…because, sometimes, they seem to forget that nothing lasts forever. Not even me.

I’m 12 & 1/2 years old now, which is like – I don’t know, “really old” in human years. The fur on my face is almost completely white, but I still love it when they kiss me. Mama tells me that I have “almond eyes” and I can almost see, looking deeply into her’s, how they really do reflect back at me.

My back now hurts a little and I like to sleep a lot. Sometimes my joints will swell and I’ll struggle to get up. But I still love it when my people touch me, scratch my neck, or rub my ears. I like when they take naps with me, and throw pillows at the kitty who’s always sneaking up to attack.

My toes might drag when I walk, but I still prance when it’s time for treats. I’ve lost a lot of weight this year, despite how much I eat. My skin hangs off me now – like a well-worn, favorite T-shirt, stretched out so far that it no longer fits. I know that this saddens them, but they still tell me I’m beautiful and, as always, I believe them.

I gave them the biggest scare this past week and, I’m afraid, I may have taken it too far. It’s hard to watch them suffer, but now I am suffering too. I can not live forever. They’re going to miss me when I’m gone. When the time comes for me to be on my way, I need to know that they’ll be strong.

I need to know they’ll be okay – and ready to make the call. So I’ve stressed them hard, I’ve made them cry. I’ve pushed them to the brink of whispering goodbye. I had to be certain, and they need to understand, that sometimes the greatest love you will ever know can only be expressed by the grace of letting go.

We’re getting by on borrowed time now. Truth is, there’s not much left. Let’s be grateful for every day we spend together… even if hours are all we get.

#BeyondTheBoylstonLine

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