Comet’s Tale – How the dog I rescued saved my life
By Steven D. Wolf
I loved this book about a rescued greyhound that rescued her adopter who was in declining health.
The book is written in first person, not my favorite writing style. The author was an Omaha lawyer with a bad back. His wife suggested that he spend the winters in Sedona. One day he was walking through a grocery store parking lot and saw a crowd of people and went to check it out. It was a meet & greet for greyhounds. There he met Maggie McCurry.
I know Ms. McCurry so I was floored to read a book where I knew one of the characters. The greyhound world is small, a microcosm of people trying to make life better for these precious creatures. I once interviewed McCurry for a breed specific magazine for an article about making successful public service announcements. Her organization, Wings for Greyhounds, used to fly greyhounds from racetracks to adoption groups. The service is no longer available.
Like most people who meet greyhounds the first time, these dogs like magnets stick in your mind. Greyhounds are magical.
Eventually the author gets a dog who is was rescued fromTucson Greyhound Park. Fortunately, he has nothing good to say about greyhound racing throughout the entire book.
Comet is a brindle (tiger stripe) greyhound (who resembled Lily my second greyhound) and she is really good (Comet not Lily) and if she is not, he doesn’t mention it. My dogs shred paper and counter surf and occasionally rip things up but Comet is perfect. She can almost walk on water. I do know some greyhounds like that; my first greyhound Painter was 99% good boy.
The author says, “She grasped my needs quickly, almost intuitively, and readily accepted my instruction. She acknowledged my alpha role in our relationship and clearly took pride in helping me. Yet she was also stubbornly independent and didn’t hesitate to let me know when I was asking her to do something deemed beneath her station – like shake hands.”
“My friends in rescue groups often recited a familiar list of greyhound attributes – quizzical, shy, sensitive, gentle, superior intelligence, surprising independence, athletic, quiet, and lovingly loyal but these words fell short of describing Comet.”
He also provides a lot of history about the breed that even I didn’t know.
The book covers a period of years and Comet really does save his life and becomes famous along the way. She really asks for very little in return.
There were things that I didn’t like as he anthropomorphized her a lot. Really? As much I like to think I am in tune with my hounds, I don’t know what they’re thinking. I know when they’re apprehensive (tail between legs) and hungry and want a t.r.e.a.t. but that’s all I know. I don’t think they are deep thinkers.
I’m hoping after people read this book (it’s at the Pima County Library and was for sale at Costco around Christmas and on Amazon) they might consider adopting a greyhound or volunteering for a greyhound rescue group.
The pro racing people hate the word “rescue” because they don’t think greyhounds don’t need to be rescued. I wish I had a buck for every person who has ever asked me, “Are they rescues?” You bet. They are rescued from an industry where dogs die, where dogs are routinely injured with broken hocks and broken legs, where a 3 year old racing greyhound is found dead in her crate on a December morning and the vet thinks it’s natural causes and the regulating agency refers to the dog as an “it” and places “its carcass in the freezer.” HELL, YES, THEY ARE RESCUED – the lucky dogs, that is!
Thanks to Mr. Wolf for letting readers what wonderful pets greyhounds can be!