During the 2000/01 winter season my hubby Richard and I decided to check out Palm Beach, Florida. Boy, did we demystify that scene. He got a job at a posh boutique hotel and I talked my way into being a makeup artist at Donald Trump's Maralago Spa/Salon! But that's another story. I was missing my big bouncin' beautiful brown-eyed boy Jackpot, my greyhound. I was researching the Italian greyhound breed and was net-working with a woman who was involved with rescuing this breed. We agreed to meet at the Boynton Beach Mall because she would be there to represent SADSAC/Save a Dog Save a Cat. I'd just missed her, so I started chatting with a rep of the rescue organization. I was describing my Jackpot and she began to describe a greyhound/pointer mix - well I was off to her crate and every volunteer was gathered around her and as soon as I saw that one and 1/2 year old SADSAC girl it was love at first site. I immediately named her Gabrielle after my fave French author, Gabrielle Colette, paid the fee and as soon as she jumped in my car, she was my forever girl. When I got her back to our cottage Richard was in the shower getting ready for work. He heard her barking and yelled out the window, "Cyd, that's not your bark"!

When we returned to our home state of Maine, she adjusted to the snow so naturally that I believe somebody took her south and dumped her since we found out she was a stray in Miami. She was rescued several times and I think that because she seemed so docile that when folks realized she was a little hell-raiser, they simply returned her.

Gabri and Jackpot had a good year together and JP was 13 and 1/2 when he passed. We're not the kind of caretakers who have a problem with animals (we have cats also) jumping on our beds or the furniture. They're supposed to have fun and do their happy dance. We live in a beach town, so both dogs made many animal and human friends on our daily beach walks. JP was great at snogging (kissing), where Gabri was a great canoodler (nuzzling), but both fantastic at snuggling! My mate has always been a cat person and we were fortunate that our dogs and cats were best buds.

The week before Thanksgiving of 2009 we had to put Gabri to sleep, so she and Jackpot are together again playing in Doggie Dreamland. When it is time to decide to put your pet to sleep it must be a humane decision. So many people wait too long and they suffer. There is so much love and when they're a rescue, the love is returned tenfold. It's selfish to hang on when they have no more quality of life. All our animal-loving friends are encouraging us to go right out and rescue another 4-legged baby and give him/her the best front-row seat in the next act of our aging lives. We want to grow old together.

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