Who is Glenda?

Glenda is the beloved, deceased greyhound of Kelly and Joe. When they crossed paths with Glenda five years ago in Kansas, she had been discarded, left to wander the countryside, covered in fleas, ticks, and battle wounds. Glenda was traveling on a road to nowhere, with a little red puppy, but soon she would discover she was headed straight for Kelly and Joe's hearts. Kelly spotted them in the road, on a cold and rainy winter afternoon, on her way home from work. She pulled over her car and invited the two in for some warmth and safety. Upon learning that no one was looking for either of them, Glenda settled into her forever home and the little red puppy, Toby, was adopted to Kelly’s sister in Chicago, where he now resides with his companion dog Sasha, and human family of five.

Most people assumed that Glenda was a retired racer, but in rural Kansas, greyhounds are used to hunt coyotes, as they are fast enough to catch them. It is a brutal “sport” for both the greyhounds and the coyotes, where both animals end up losing in the end. Glenda appeared to be around 12 years old at the time of her rescue. She had a broken tail, missing teeth, scars from running through barbed wire, fences, fields, trees, etc. The vet told us, with her, it wasn't about her age, but the mileage that had been forced upon her. We thought she may have limited time with us and decided to treasure every minute of it.

Joe later found out that Glenda was, in fact, only 6 years old when we found her. While he was working as a vet tech, a man came into the clinic with a greyhound that looked just like Glenda. Joe commented that to the man, they got to talking, and the man ended up telling him that he had a greyhound wander off with a little red puppy. Toby had saved Glenda. The man said that she had been his best hunter, so he allowed her to “retire” on his brother's farm. To this man, “retire" meant, she was not shot and she was fed and given water. No medical care of any kind was offered to her. And, she was free to leave whenever she wanted.

Glenda lived with us in Kansas until 2012, when she made the move with us to SW Florida. In 2014, her health began to deteriorate quickly. One evening in March 2014, her mouth began to swell unexpectedly. We took some x-rays of her mouth and it was feared that she had bone cancer. Another alarming sight on the x-ray was her extremely enlarged heart. In fact, it was so enlarged that they didn’t want to put her under anesthesia without an EKG and a special protocol from the cardiologist. After doing the EKG, the cardiologist found that she had advanced stage heart disease, but believed she should still have the dental, as bone cancer would effect her quality of life more than the heart disease. We took Glenda to a dental specialist who sent her tissues out for a biopsy. When they came back negative, the vet was so surprised that he wanted to go back in and do another one…thinking he had gotten a false negative. After the second biopsy came back negative, we rested assured that in fact, she did not have cancer. Towards the end of October, she entered heart failure and began draining fluid from her abdomen. At that time, we decided it was best to help her over the rainbow bridge. It was absolutely heartbreaking. She had been our friend, companion, and giver of unconditional love.

Glenda taught us that all dogs matter. That love can be found when you least expect it and aren’t looking for it. That loving an old dog can be tremendously rewarding for both dog and human. And that you may have more time than you originally expected. She provided inspiration to start Glenda’s Gift and to pay it forward to more senior dogs who deserve a second, third, or fourth chance.