Archive for May, 2011


End of an era

May 26, 2011

Well, it’s the end of an era for Minnesota Greyhound Rescue today, and for the Komatsu family as well.  Today, we have a new van.  Due to our ever-growing family, we had to trade in Lola the Eurovan, our trusty Dogmobile, for a larger vehicle.  We purchased a 2005 Ford Econoline 12-seater.  We can get 4 car seats in there for human kiddos, plus take out some seats for furbabies.

While it was a necessary move, I am sad.  I loved Lola.  She has been a part of our lives since 2003.  While in Atlanta, we adopted our 4th greyhound (Tobey, still with us) and could no longer stuff everybody into my sweet little VW Beetle, Lulu.  We bought it new, shiny and beautiful, and then it lived, moved, changed with us as we added new dogs, packed up our lives and relocated to Minnesota, lost dogs, added new dogs, and added children to our lives.  We’ve had her in a million possible seating/storage configurations, stuffed her full of more things than one would have thought possible, driven with her to greyhound events in Iowa, Kansas, Jekyl Island in Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.  She has brought us hounds from all over the place.  Held up through their crazy shenanigans as just-off-the-track hounds.  Lola has been my gal.

Four hounds have died inside Lola.  When we said goodbye to Whitey and Palu (our very first greyhound), Dr M came out to sit in the van with them, and she let them go there, in a place where they were comfortable and unafraid.  My sweet and beautiful Sly stopped breathing in Lola as I frantically sped toward the vet, lost suddenly and unexpectedly to a pulmonary embolism.  A scene I still replay in my head, hoping constantly to arrive at a different ending somehow.  And Jazzy Jeff, a gorgeous fawn boy, left the world in our van after being with MNGR just two hours, never knowing a forever family.  His lungs were congested from something like canine influenza, and he could not cool his body down on the hot day.

Lola is tied up in so many memories.  She’s been a constant.  I’ve spent my first minutes with my newly adopted daughters in her, cried with a broken heart in her, sat with shaking hounds on seemingly endless middle-of-the-night rides to the emergency vet in her, welcomed new dogs in her, spent the early years of my marriage with her for the good and the difficult.  Hell, I’ve even made love in Lola.  I’m sure if you combed through her upholstery, you’d find dog hairs from my heart babies Crisco and Tanner, both gone now since 2009.  I had my last ride with Crisco the day before he died, to go pick up Apollo in Iowa.  Laid on Lola’s bed with him and tried to cajole him into eating just a little bit of peanut butter Blizzard.  What we’ve had to leave behind.

I hope her new family loves her as much as we have.  Yes, I know she’s a van.  Really, I do.  But she’s been there with us for a long time.

The new van’s name is Evangeline.  And we’re hoping to make a lot of good memories with her.