Murphy was 12 when I took this photo in 1996. That's baby Amy with him.
After Murphy died in 1997, I was so heartbroken that I couldn't even think of getting another dog. About a year and a half later, I could feel a change ... and I knew that it was time to bring another dog into our family. That was Emma.
Ancient, grainy digital photo ... taken shortly after we adopted Emma.
Emma was quite content to be an only dog. Greyhound adoption folks will tell you that greyhounds are happier in groups (and this is generally the case), but not with Emma. She was a very independent dog, very people oriented, and a superb Therapy Dog. I'm not sure she ever really forgave me for bringing Daniel into the family. After six years of being the lone dog, having a little brother must have been quite a shock for her.
Unlike Emma, Daniel has always really enjoyed the company of other dogs.
Look how brown he used to be!
Daniel was the dog who chose me. I wasn't looking to add another dog to the family, but I couldn't ignore how perfect he was for us. Emma would just have to understand and deal with it. We were a two-hound family, until Emma died in 2011.
This is Daniel and me in the fall of 2011. See the connection between us?
Now we have Ruby, too, adopting her in February 2012. She is a little black bundle of happiness ... probably half Labrador and half Border Collie, picked up as a stray in Abingdon, Virginia, and turned over to Border Collie Rescue. She is definitely not the greyhound personality that I am used to, but she fits into our family perfectly.
Sweet, smiling Ruby.
There you have it. As large a part as dogs have played in my adult life, I have only had four of them. This is because we have been blessed to have each of them in our family for a long, long time ... even though they were all adopted as adults. (Murphy was 5, Emma was 3, Daniel was 4 1/2, and Ruby was the baby at 1 1/2.) No matter how long we have them, it's never really long enough, is it.
One day, I will have to tell you about the cats in my life. That's a story for another time.