By Bob Rider
My story isn’t about a All American and most will think I’m nuts even telling it. Over the years I have either owned or trained at least 3,000 greyhounds and another 100 Field Trial dogs. The first house I bought I sold a young field trial dog for enough to buy a house so you could say dogs have always been good to me. This story is about the greatest greyhound I ever owned and most will never have heard of her unless you raced against me in the late 80’s.
Her name was Status Queen and she won her first race at Wheeling her first start ever. My wife and I drove 750 miles one way to pick her up and take her to Sodrac Greyhound Park in S.D. To open my first booking that I ever had before Queenie got her 2nd start. We schooled her in and the racing Sec, who was new to the job drew her in a grade A race. I had a fit and went to the state and they said if she looks bad we will drop her a grade her next start. She won by 9. I raced her at 4 tracks I had bookings at and she never fell out of grade A but the thing I could not believe is she would not sprint or leave my side except when I was schooling her or she was in a race. I took her to weigh in at Waterloo without a leash but the state judge said no more of that he wasn’t having me bringing her without wearing a leash. I used to truck walk her with my pickup because it was the only way I could keep her in shape. She would stay right beside my window and the only thing she worried about was me.
She broke a quarter bone in a race and was off for two months but came back her first start and won a grade A at The Wisconsin Dells.
I figured I would take her home and retired her early and raise some puppies from her but after one litter I knew I wanted her to be a pet and not a brood female so I never did bred her again. It took me over a year to talk my wife into bringing her in the house, she didn’t want “a house dog”, but she finally with the help of my grandson let us bring her in. She slept every night by the foot of my bed and if you came to visit and you petted her when you first saw her she was like a little kid wanting more until I would tell her to stop. I have a bunch of cats as anyone that has ever been to my farm will tell you because they are all over the yard. I would turn her out just like any well trained house dog and she never chased a cat or even a kitten. She never went out of my yard not even to the kennel building unless I was with her.
She liked my wife and kids and their kids but she still was only mine if I said her name.
Then my wife got breast cancer and had operations and had all kinds of medicine to take and got very sick and I lost my dog. It was like she could tell something was wrong and she became Luetta’s dog. She would check on her every few minutes she was in the house. Would fret all the time she was gone to the doctors. No longer slept at the foot of my bed but shared Lue’s.
She was coming 15 years old and could not get up to go outside without falling over. I carried her out and held her up to do her business and then did the hardest thing I have ever done. I have been married for over 50 years and I can count on one hand the times I have seen my wife cry, this was one of them. I took Queenie to my veterinary. He has treated dogs for us on the farm and at his office for over 40 years and I swear I never him show any emotion (he knew how much we loved Queenie) but he had tears in his eyes when he got his needle and medicine out of his cupboard.
My wife has never let me bring another greyhound into the house for a pet and says she won’t because that was 12 years ago and she is never going to get that attached to another dog again..