Our Shelby

Since my little blog is about "all things home," I wanted to share a recent and heartbreaking event that took place within our abode. 
We noticed our super sweet 10 year old greyhound, Shelby, began limping and not putting much weight on her front right leg.  Being a retired racer, it wasn't unusual through the years for her to come away with a minor sprain while running circles in our back lawn, so we weren't alarmed.  

She had just turned 10 in October ... we had adopted her from Greyhound Pets of America - Houston (GPA) in 2009 when she was only 3. 

She never yelped in pain but her limp didn't appear to be getting better, so we took her to our amazing vet, Dr. Helen Philips

What we suspected was a pulled muscle, torn ligament, or at the very worst a fracture, was far worse than we could have imagined. 

Shelby was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in her right shoulder.  

We were stunned and shocked even though we were fully aware of the high occurrence of osteosarcoma in greyhounds. In fact, we'd been extremely blessed that over the 20 years we have had greyhounds in our family, none were stricken with this horrible disease. 

Our good fortune had run out. 

There were various options ... chemo, amputation/chemo, etc. But hubby and I concurred that we wouldn't put our dear girl through all that just to delay the inevitable.  We chose to keep her home and pain-free and comfortable as long as possible. 

To not pursue treatment was our personal choice ... parent(s) of other pups in this unfortunate situation have every right to pursue any and all medical measures they feel are appropriate for their pup and their family.

As it turned out, we had three weeks to continue to spoil her and love her and shower her with attention before she became lethargic and had no interest in eating or drinking, even with her daily cocktail of pain meds. 

The look in her eyes told us it was time. That spark was no longer in her big brown eyes. 

We've now been without her one week and our home is far too quiet.   We miss our big goofy girl and her silly antics. 

Shelby's racing name is Sakkara Shelby and we were fortunate to locate several of her racing videos online.  When we adopted her we were surprised to also receive her actual racing collar with her brass nameplate affixed to it. We've adopted several retired racers over the past 20 years but had never received their collars.

Shelby was such a sweetheart ... she loved being petted and would stand perfectly still and not move until you stopped petting. We always felt she would have made an ideal therapy pup. 

She was patient and tolerant of having little ones tug and pull on her, or use her as a pillow. 
She was very curious which many times did not work out in her favor ... such as when she was snake bitten on her long nose, or sprayed by a skunk. 

She loved her bed in hubby's home office and spent each day being his office buddy. 

She was totally obsessed with paper shredding and that obsession came in quite handy each Christmas as she tore into her stocking stuffers.  

She loved to lay on her back in the grass on a sunny day.

She was our designated fence inspector ... each morning and evening she would walk our back lawn fence line, checking for the scent of any critters that may have violated the boundary. 

It was awesome to see her have a great time on our California road trip last year - she waded in the Pacific Ocean and enjoyed pup entrees at beach cafes along the Pacific Coast Highway.  

She was the leader of our pack ... Her fursiblings ... Mia (6 year old pit mix) and Baby (13 year old alpha cat) have not quite adapted to life without her but are slowly settling into a new routine.  

She loved zooming across the lawn with her sidekick, Mia, even if Mia couldn't quite keep up.

Shelby's ashes will be back home soon thanks to the kind and caring staff at Live Oak.   Hubby will affix her racing collar nameplate to the oak box containing her ashes. 

Each day we discover something new that we miss about her, and we'll be forever grateful she was in our lives and was such a wonderful member of our family.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I look forward to your thoughts and ideas!  I try to respond to comments via email as soon as I can. If your email address isn't available, I will comment here. Thanks so much for visiting!


  1. So sorry to read about the loss of Shelby, Carolyn. I know you must miss her so much. (((HUGS)))

    1. We sure do Bless. And our poor Mia is lost without her. It's so sad to see a pet grieve another. But her appetite is improving and we're giving her lots of attention. One day at a time. :-)

  2. I know the tears were streaming down your face while writing this very touching piece. They are our children. Sorry :(

    1. They sure were, Tee. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. So sweet of you!

  3. Oh Carolyn, I'm so sorry to hear this. What a wonderful pet Shelby was. I'm sending lots of hugs and prayers your way (and to your other sweet pets too) My brother and sis in law have adopted two greyhounds, one miniature and one full size, and they're great pets. Hugs to you, my friend! xoxo

  4. Thank you for your prayers, Lisa. Her ashes arrived today and it's good to have her back home again. Appreciate your well wishes!

  5. So sorry to hear that you lost your dear pet. Such times are heartbreaking, usually in proportion to how much joy they gave us. (((Hugs)))


    1. Thank you so much! We're slowly adapting to a much quieter home. And birds and backyard critters now know they're safe because Mia is not a very good substitute hunter. :). Thank you for stopping by!

  6. Carolyn, i am so very sorry to hear about your loss of Shelby. So very sad.. Proud you were able to have the 3 weeks with her .. I totally understand your decision.. Hugs my friend.