Three years and about six months ago my in-laws rescued a young greyhound, Babe.

Shortly after she moved in I took these photographs.

She was the nicest dog. So well behaved and gentle.

My *then five year old took quite a fondness to her.

As did Babe to her.

She stood beside her during timeouts dripping with attitude… almost like she was in timeout herself. And stood as her personal ottoman.

It seems like Babe’s been part of the family far longer than she has. I’ve never been a “dog person”. Growing up we had cats, and as an adult we still have cats. I never really understood the attachment that comes with dogs, but I found myself crying over the loss of this special friend. She was there for dinners and holidays, and she loved a good campfire. The photograph above was taken on my phone last month. It is the last photograph I took of Babe.

I wish I had images to show here that really showed just how special Babe was to MB and T. She was such a loving and loyal dog.   AND I wish so badly I had a photograph of my youngest kissing the top of Babe’s nose before going to bed.
When I was 19 I was given the incredible opportunity to meet and interview Arnold Newman. When I asked him which of his photographs were his favorite. He replied, the one’s I didn’t have film for. The one’s up here, and he tapped the side of his head. At the time that blew my mind. We were sitting in this room with 7/8/maybe even 9foot ceilings, and across the walls of that room were boxes. The boxes were stacked floor to ceiling.  They  contained  hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of negatives, and his favorites were ones that he never actually photographed?!

Tonight as I sit here (so not 19 anymore), recalling the glowing light from the fire out back outlining my three year old as she wrapped her arms around Babe, and kissed the top of her nose… I get it. It was only four nights ago that, that image planted itself in my brain, but it will stay with me always.

I found this poem today, and although it may be one of the cheesiest things I’ve ever read… it seems rather fitting, and if ever one could get away with a cheesy poem this would probably be the time.

Greyhounds Poem
I didn’t really want you, I wasn’t really sure
And I’ll admit I had my doubts when you first came through that door
Not small, or cute, or fluffy, with big soft puppy eyes,
But tall and thin and bony, with bald pink bulging thighs.
You weren’t the kind I had in mind, not in any way.
Perhaps it would be better, if I took you back today
Before we know each other, it really won’t be kind,
To keep you here for one more day and then to change my mind.
But against my better judgement, I decided you could stay
and quickly I discovered, you were kind in every way.
Your gentleness and patience really stole the show
“Why! These dogs are wonderful, I must let others know”
You’re my gentle giant, who just needed a chance,
To show us all what you could be, to wipe away that history.
Dispel our preconceptions, that put us all to shame
and so we come to know and love, what lies beneath that frame.
And now I’ve come to understand, what I missed right at the start,
That Greyhounds need that great deep chest…
To house their great big hearts.

Denise Dubarbier

2 thoughts on “Babe

  1. Sarah, thank you so much. That poem describes exactly what I felt when Thom wanted to bring her home. But I (we) all loved her soooo much. She was the sweetest, nicest dog. When she wasn’t running laps around and around the dining room table, she had her favorite cozy spots and just sacked out. It’s hard coming home from being out anywhere without her greeting us exuberantly at the door. She was so happy to see us, and we her. Regan was her favorite – Re was so gentle with her and talked so quietly to Babe, they had a bond. Thank you again dear daughter-in-law for this tribute.
    Much love, Mary Beth & Thom

  2. To Sarah:

    Dogs are Gods way of nurturing the broken hearts on those days that challenge our human hearts. They have no expectations and the needs are only to be loved. I witnessed the love that Babe gave and received for the few visits I had. Rest assured that she passed on with little regret and the knowledge that those she blessed loved her. RIP Babe

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