Monday, September 14, 2020

See Belle Run

Forever: It is with great sorrow that Abq Jew confirms that his beloved greyhound Belle Diana (The Huntress) has passed over to the Rainbow Bridge.

Belle Diana

Abq Jew wrote in 2011 (Welcome Home, Belle):

Miracles Do Happen!  We are enormously pleased to welcome our newest and youngest (20 months) Greyhound into our family!

Belle arrived yesterday by chauffeured minivan from Derby Lane in St Petersburg, Florida, the oldest track in the US. There was a kennel fire at Derby Lane a couple of months ago, and James Campbell, the kennel owner / trainer, rushed into the fire and saved all 46 of his dogs. Belle was one of them.

Belle was scheduled to be adopted out - she never raced - until a spider bite (!) almost got her put down. But the Naples / Fort Myers chapter of  Greyhound Pets of America stopped that. Belle was treated for the spider bite and recovered - then got an infected cuticle that, again, almost delayed her departure.

But we wanted to adopt Belle, and no one else. To us, she is one in a million. (To the Greyhound racing industry, she is one of a million.) 

So when Belle arrived and we saw how bad her toe actually looked - and that she was hopping around on three legs - we took her to our [then] local Greyhound vet, Dr George Abernathy of Sunrise Veterinary Clinic

Today he removed the infected nail - but, fortunately, did not have to remove the toe.  We'll change the dressing tomorrow, then , in two weeks, remove her sutures.  Then - watch out!  Belle is awfully fast on three legs - we can hardly wait to see her race Henry (her big brother) on all four!

Belle 2016

Mrs Abq Jew writes:

We had Belle longer than any of our other hounds. She came to us still a land shark, the survivor of a kennel fire and an untreated abscess that almost cost her her life. Thankfully the rescue group paid for treatment and she recovered, albeit with an untreated infection in a toe.

Belle’s first experience with us was going for surgery - which saved her toe, sans the nail. Her older brother Henry welcomed her home, and she became our little princess, beautiful, pesky and independent. She was so smart, letting Henry do the heavy lifting of following me around. Henry would chase Belle in the backyard just enough to get her to run back and forth 10 times and be exhausted.

When Henry passed (August 10, 2015; See Henry Run) we feared Belle might be upset as an only dog. She wasn’t. Instead, Belle decided she had to take over the job of supervising me; letting me know when it was time to wake up, serve meals, offer treats, go outside, or visit friends. She would get into bed with Mr Abq Jew before sunrise - and be ready to welcome the new day, and us, with jumps and whirlies.

Later (September 26, 2016), Belle welcomed May-May as her slightly older sister, eventually allowing May-May to play with the toys. May-May was afraid to be alone. and Belle reassured her that all was well if Mr & Mrs Abq Jew went out for a few hours.

After Belle was diagnosed with kidney disease, we knew the day might come when May-May could be alone. Belle did well on her new food and medication regimen, but we didn’t want May-May left alone.  

So we adopted (May 14, 2019; Ziggy's Home) Ziggy Bubba, a young and Very Large Borzoi / Greyhound / Je Ne Sais Quoi boy. 

Belle loved Ziggy from the start. She decided he was her son, and schooled him in backyard laps, the joy of toys, and lining up for treats and challah on Shabbat. She would leave him a little food in her bowl, as he liked to steal her food if she turned her back or walked away from her dish.

Belle fought her illness for 3½ years, still wanting to lead the pack, still watching over the other two. Our house seems to be empty without her. She is with Henry now. We all miss her.


Dear Friends in Placitas write:

So much love and mindfulness and her whole sweet and loving heart that Belle gave to you. 

This is what they do, our companions, living with us in our homes. It is so very hard to say goodbye  -which means God Be With Ye. We were so very sad to hear your news. 

We were happy to have met Belle. What I remember is when we were seated around your table for dinner that I would feel a nudge - and there, on my lap, would be Belle, with very large eyes looking up at me.

Here is a long-distance, social-distancing embrace for you both today. What a day this is. And, of course, her memory will be for a blessing in your lives for all times, as she crosses the Rainbow Bridge.


Belle At The Track

Although Belle was born and raised on the track, due to her persistent infections, she never raced. She probably had no racing name - she'd been known since forever as Belle. 

But Belle (like all track hounds) had tattoos. Left ear: 51093. Right ear: 79B (we think). Which, when Abq Jew looked it up on, showed that


Belle's parents appear to be State of the Art and Bohemian Rhea, and that Belle had a number of siblings, with names beginning with letters C, D, E, G, I, and J.

There's no B name (also no A or F or H). Abq Jew believes that Belle is the B, not listed because she has no track record - but has no proof.

Abq Jew looked Belle up on, without success - again, never registered to race, so no track record. But Abq Jew did find 

Bally's Indy

a nice photo of Indy, Belle's brother. who was transferred to Adopt a Greyhound Atlanta for adoption.

Abq Jew: Some Final Words

Belle lived with us, and we lived with Belle, for 9½ years. Of that time, Belle spent 4½ years with Henry - who taught her everything she needed to know. After Henry passed, Belle - for 13 months, until we adopted May-May - became an only dog.

And really came into her own. She showed us how smart she was - an attribute carefully hidden while Henry was around. When May-May arrived, Belle ditched her Baby Belle persona and started to become Mama Belle.

When Ziggy arrived, Belle immediately claimed him as her long-lost son - he had the same red-on-white markings. Although he was twice her size. 

Still - they adored each other. Ziggy added at least a year to Belle's life, and lovingly added life to her final months.

During her too-short time with us, Belle was always in charge. Even when she trembled and hid from thunderstorms and (even worse) firecrackers. 

She gave us kisses (our only greyhound who ever has) and chattered her teeth (as many as she had left) to show her happiness. And Belle would sleep in Abq Jew's bed - whether or not he was there.

Orange Line

Belle has joined our beloved greyhounds Henry Nahum and Samson Tigerdog at the Rainbow Bridge, where, Mr & Mrs Abq Jew are sure, they are running free and playing together.

In tribute to Belle (and Henry and Sammy, and all other sighthounds), Abq Jew can do no better than the new folk song Ashokan Farewell.

"Ashokan Farewell" is a piece of music composed by American folk musician Jay Ungar in 1982. 

For many years it served as a goodnight or farewell waltz at the annual Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps run by Ungar and his wife Molly Mason, who gave the tune its name, at the Ashokan Field Campus of SUNY New Paltz (now the Ashokan Center) in Upstate New York.

The tune was used as the title theme of the 1990 PBS television miniseries The Civil War. Despite its late date of composition, it was included in the 1991 compilation album Songs of the Civil War

The Civil War drew the greatest attention to the piece. It is played 25 times throughout the eleven-hour series, including during the emotional reading of Sullivan Ballou's letter to his wife in the first episode. 

The song underlies nearly an hour of film. Viewers of The Civil War frequently believe the melody is a traditional tune from the Civil War era; in fact, it is the only modern composition on the film's soundtrack, as all other music is authentic 19th-century music. 


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