We always had pets when I was a kid. Some are just distant memories. Some are engraved on my heart. Sam the Siamese cat, my father got in the divorce and took away. He lived for 20 years. Prince, the wild Carolina Dog that my step father found abandoned as a pup and I raised. He was a true alpha dog. No one would dare to raise a hand against me if he was around. I saw him get hit by a car. He was knocked down and the car stopped. He got up and shook himself off and bit the car tire. Then he limped over to where I was crying and licked the tears from my face. Later on we had to move when my step father got a new job and couldn't take him. We left him with my grandfather and he returned to the wild.
I had no pets for 20 years while I was in the navy. When I retired I adopted a retired racing greyhound. Wink was the most mellow dog I ever had. A real couch potato. But he liked to run. He had a path around the fence line in the back yard. He was my best friend for 9 years. I cried like a baby when he passed.
A month later I adopted another retired racing greyhound, hoping for another Wink. What I got was Fernando, an exuberant ball of energy. Before I Nando proofed my house he destroyed 2 dog beds, the comforter on my bed and my jacket, carried the contents of the kitchen trashcan to my bedroom several times, got into the kitchen cabinet and ate a bag of dried egg noodles, took a bag of flour into the living room and ripped it open and took a bag of powdered sugar onto my bedroom and shook it like a chew toy until it exploded. He's getting old now and sleeps most of the time. I've had for 9 years now and I dread the future. He's 12.5 years old now, and that's about the life expectancy of a greyhound.