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We sent Triss to the Rainbow Bridge on January 6, and I've been putting off writing this for over two months. Trissa was one of the West Virginia rescues, and according to Carol she was the worst mentally. I'm quite sure that's true as I can't imagine a dog being much worse than she was. My husband and I drove to Carol's home to get her and I clearly remember Triss's reaction as I walked into the room, she jumped onto Carol's couch and pooped. And yes, that was a harbinger of our next couple of years together; every time something scared her, she would pee and poop wherever she was, and of course everything scared her. Triss came to us in June of 2000 at about 15 months of age. Someone had named her Prissy, but I could not have a dog named Prissy, and besides that she was about the un-prissiest dog I've ever met, so we called her Trissa, or Triss. Apparently the youngest West Virginia dogs had never been outside until they were seized by Animal Control. Think about that: a dog more than a year old that has never been outside. She was afraid of doors, wind, leaves, the dark, every noise you can think of, and life itself. It took her about four months to become comfortable enough with me to jump onto the bed when I was laid up for a week with my back. Once she trusted me, we forged a bond that I have never had with another dog, and I know I'll never have again. Triss was smart, and if she'd had a normal upbringing she'd have been unstoppable. As it was, she was the bravest, kindest dog I've ever known. She never met an animal she didn't like and got along with every dog and cat that ever came through our house. She was no pushover for bullies, though, and after Tasha, our brilliant Siberian Husky, died in 2007, Triss was our alpha. Triss broke her leg running in the yard soon after we got her, the result of brittle bones from malnutrition and very little muscle to support the bones, and although she eventually did develop a respectable amount of muscle, she never completely trusted the outdoors and didn't spend much time outside. Inside, however, she romped around the living room and played "Crush Your Head" with the whippets and IGs. She never learned to play quite normally, but she did love to play, and her life was proof that it's never too late to have a happy childhood. We've done greyhound rescue for 15 or so years and have adopted several spooks. People sometimes tell you how wonderful it is that you'll take special needs dogs and put all that time and work into them, but the truth is that the dogs do the hardest work. Trissa had to work extremely hard to overcome her fears and trust people. She eventually became pretty comfortable with new people in her own home, but she preferred not to leave the house. She loved me with every fiber of her being, and I loved her more than I've ever loved another dog. Losing her was like having an amputation. But what a dog; as damaged as she was, and as much work as she took at first, she made me want more Borzoi! As we get ready to bring home Nikita, one of the FL 14, I can feel Triss's approval. Goodbye and Godspeed, my baby, always my best girl.

Sally Hennessey

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