Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole: Mario the Italian Greyhound

My family always had dogs when I was growing up. Retired racing greyhounds from all over the country. Largeish female dogs that could outrun a car. But on the day before Valentine's Day 13 years ago, the dog officer brought us a tiny - by our typical dog standards - blue-grey Italian greyhound called Bailey. He was skittish, hungry, and had just survived two weeks on his own in a Massachusetts blizzard. The dog officer knew my Mom couldn't say no and thus he was ours. Quickly renamed after me and more befitting his Italian heritage, Mario Romeo Segala quickly became a part of the family. 

Mario was at the center of many events: holidays, vacations, and weekday breakfast. He went camping, which he liked since all his people were within easy reach. He went to the beach, which he wasn't always so fond of since his underbelly would get sunburned. 

Swimming was not a self-selected hobby

Mario liked meal time the best. Toast, cheese, and broccoli were favorites. He most liked being a part of family dinners.

Mario was very popular with the ladies, having several girlfriends along the way.

Gazing at Lucy

Though I like to imagine I was one of his favorites...

Mostly, he didn't like not knowing what was going on. Mario expected to be in the middle of the action.

Photo bombing Christmas pics

An active family member eternally interested in what was going on around him, Mario didn't hide his feelings. His face told you where you stood.


Unamused by your childish antics

Mario was a source of entertainment, comfort, and love. He made it clear what he thought of my first boyfriend - it was a clear 'no' - and loved my eventual wife as if I had brought her home for him. He always broke out his toys when no one was paying attention to him and growled  unexplicitly at Dad when he looked at him wrong. 

Mario was like another sibling; he showed up when I was just a freshman in high school and saw me through three graduations, a few break ups, and eventually a wedding. A few weeks ago, after so many memories we had to say good bye to Mario. It was time for him to go home and spend some more time with his old girlfriends. The hole left behind by this little dog is vast.

Dog's love without condition or limit, without requiring anything other than love in return. Love you Mar.

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