Mohican WW Park, affectionately known as Park, Park Abigail, The Parkster, The Parkmeister, Sparky Parkie, and Parkie, came into my life at the glorious age of 10½. She had a long and winning racing career, and at age five, she moved on to motherhood where she produced five litters resulting in 35 puppies.
I spent many Saturdays at the breeding farm where Parkie lived visiting my racing pups and always stopping to see Parkie and her babies. Unbeknownst to me Park placed the “gotcha” paw on my heart at our first meeting. When it was time for her to go to the adoption kennel that “gotcha” paw slapped me up side the head. Sparkie Parkie was coming home with me. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I was nervous about bringing a senior brood home. I was worried about the huge adjustment a 10½ year old would have to make from living outside in a run and dog house to living indoors. Well, Park took to soft beds, toys, walkies, car rides, her new greyhound roomies and all the love I could bestow on her without hesitation.
Park became the official Welcome Wagon representative for the pack. She welcomed new dogs with open paws and was the hostess to show them around to the toy baskets, feeding stands, beds and the treat cupboard.
Parkie and Song were roomies during the day while I was at work. Park loved the carefree, “throw caution to the wind” Songstress and the feeling was mutual. But there were days that Park had just had enough of her wild behavior and the look on Park’s face was one only another mother would appreciate. Mom Park would slow that Songstress down by taking hold of the back of her neck and Song knew she was busted.
Park and Megan, who had lived next door to each other on the breeding farm, were quick to rekindle their friendship and were often engaged in long conversations about their days on the farm, motherhood and their puppies. Park often asked Megan where she went wrong in bringing up Song, a Megan puppy.
Park’s bedtime partner was the brawny and handsome gentleman, Thaw. There was a sweet acceptance between the two as paws and legs intertwined as they slept together every night.
Parkie’s other job was inspector of pant legs for Reeves homeland security. She inspected each pant leg for any foreign body, i.e., scorpions, spiders, poisonous snakes, pipe bombs, etc. before a leg was inserted. She was not always gentle about this because she had to quickly move into the pant leg before a disaster happened. She was ready to act if there was any breach in security but was able to give the all clear sign every time.
Park’s very favorite time of day was chewie time. Chewie time was 20 minutes with a bully stick and it was an after dinner treat every night. Park would become lost in paradise with her bully stick and she was gently reluctant to give it up when it was “chewie pick up time.”
Park was a gift of sweetness and much, much more. She was always smiling and was a friend to every greyhound and human she met. She was a strong, sturdy girl until mid January of this year when all of sudden quality of life took an unfair turn for Parkie. Park slipped away quietly in my arms as I told her how much she was loved. She deserved so much more than two years of retirement.
Parkie showed me the real joys in life and how important it is to take time to smell each blade of grass to catch the essence of each and every dog that stopped at that spot and to savor every moment on a bully stick. These things are so small in the hustle and bustle of our world, but they are the cornerstones of life.