Baylor is a nine-year-old, former racing greyhound.
He is the epitome of adaptability and flexibility. To go from chasing rabbits around a track to urban loft living, via suburban homes in Houston and Austin, is quite a twist in his dog life.
But style and grace are in-bred. I used to say that my goal in life was to be as flexible as Gumby. Now I want to grow up and be just like Baylor.
His role modeling for dealing with change equals any two-legged I’ve known. In a month’s time, his whole world shifted, including his people (one remains a constant), his place, his perspective and his pals.
Gone are the days when a door would be opened for him to romp in the backyard freely chasing squirrels. Today his purview is floor-to-ceiling windows, orthopedic dog-beds and four-a-day walks along our canal or beside Lake Carolyn.
His social life has improved significantly. Just this morning he went nose-to-nose with a little terrier, smaller than those rabbits he used to chase. The terrier was curious about running into a horse and Baylor quietly acknowledged the sniff of greeting. He accepts the hellos of small dogs, pit bulls, labs and even poodles with equanimity, a character trait this person aspires to.
I’ve had other similarly dispositioned dogs step through my life. I’ve also had other high-spirited dogs that rival my Jazzy. I love them all and am grateful for their paw prints on my heart.
Each of them has modeled behavior I wish to emulate. But the ones who imprint my soul are the ones whose eyes hold the history and mystery of great love.
Baylor is one of those dogs.