|My Mei Mei and Me at Gretna Green, May 2011|
The idea came to me while reading a wonderful article from the SF Gate about how greyhounds heal hearts. Click here to have a read, it's a good one. I will wait. You might need a tissue.
I got into the office today meaning to write about that, and found my entry for Daisy to win Beach Bound Hounds Queen this year (she didn't win, but to me she is more than a silly title anyway):
I pre-adopted Daisy when she was about a month or two old, via the Follow That Hound! Program (now sadly closed). I watched her race (badly) and then when she retired, she came home to me. Daisy has always been a light in my sometimes dark world, but I’m nominating her today because she made the difference between me giving up and trudging on during the two years we lived in England. Don’t get me wrong, I love England and the reason I moved there, my husband Simon. I moved there with Daisy and my two other precious GC dogs, Hunky and Jeany. They arrived a few days before I did and sadly Jeany took a bad fall down the stairs in the house. She waited until I got there with her little sister Daisy right by her side, literally. Daisy stuck by Jeany and gave her comfort through what must have been excruciating pain, which was amazing because Daisy was a little afraid of Jeany. To be fair, we were all a little afraid of her, bless her sweet Diva Princess heart! Sadly, Jeany did not make it through surgery on her shoulder. Hunky was devastated. Jeany was his world. Once again, my Daisy came through and even though she had never been close to either of them, she was Hunky’s shadow, generally making sure of him, to paraphrase Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Hunky gave up and went to be with Jeany about a month after we lost her, and Daisy found herself with a new charge: Mommy. Losing them so close together was awful. Going through that while 4,000 miles away from everything and everyone I knew was soul destroying, honestly. I didn’t want to do anything after that, but Daisy knew better. She would crawl up on the sofa with me and snuggle up for hours. She got in the bed with me in the mornings after Simon left for work and did everything she could think of to make me smile and laugh (hard work, that). She helped me remember what was good and happy and furry and loving in life. Daisy helped me get out into the world again, and was instrumental in making me more social because people always wanted to meet her and pet her (red fawns are apparently more rare in the UK than here, and especially so when they are as tall as Daisy is). She rode buses and trains like an absolute trooper, and I never had to start a single day while I was there without her bouncing on the bed and licking me from hairline to chin. We all say that our greyhounds saved us and not the other way around, but I truly believe it to be true for me and Daisy. She saved me even when I didn’t want saving, and for that (and the fact that she has traveled outside of the US!) I want to nominate her for BBH Queen 2012.
If you look up the meaning of Mei Mei you'll find a variety of answers. I call her that because, via being a Browncoat myself and learning all my Chinese phrases that I know from the Firefly 'verse, I heard Simon Tam call River that during one episode...and looked it up. I choose to call her that because one translation I saw was beautiful little girl. The title, "Xie-xie, Mei Mei," in the 'verse would translate to Thank you, Mei Mei. Dong-ma?
Daisy came to me at a very turbulent time in my life. My ex-husband and I had pre-adopted her when she was about a month old, and from that time until she was two I watched every one of her 5 attempts at breaking maiden at JAX and then watched for the results of her races at Sanford-Orlando. Babygirl got up to grade A there! In the late autumn/early winter of 2006 I got "the email" from Cathie Lambert, Daisy's "Mama Caffie," saying that my girl was ready to come home.
Profile was sick. The tumor on top of his skull was getting bigger and was impairing his vision and his ability to eat. I took him to the vet at Thanksgiving and found out that it was cancer. Hunky and Jeany weren't young by any means, and my old cat Franny was getting older and more frail with every passing day. Oh, and I was in the middle of a divorce which thankfully was amicable, and had moved to Montgomery, Alabama which might as well have been the other side of the world from all my greyhound support. When Cathie emailed me I freaked out and said it wasn't the right time. But she knew better. And she was right.
I picked up my Mei Mei in February of 2007 after losing Profile in January. My heart wasn't ready. But she knew better. Daisy came dancing into my life and always seems to know when I need a spin around her own personal dance floor, because I'm missing Profile or Hunky or Jeany or Franny or even Mills, her nemesis. She crawls up onto the sofa with me, inching ever closer until she is touching me and then she just stays there. Hours after hour after hour she stays there. That's what I was talking about in the entry for BBH Queen.
Now don't get me wrong, Daisy is 110% her Dah-dee's girl. My Mister is, without a doubt, the center of Daisy's universe. But she has a job to do, and that job is to make sure Mommy is okay, and she does it without fail nor complaint. She is my angel, my Mei Mei. Clown brings his own talents to our little family, but it is Daisy that keeps me off the ledge. Ta very much, Mei. Mommy loves you to absolute bits.