In the midst of a grisly weekend for news here in Manatee County, we received a joyous e-mail about a wonderful story. I want to share a bit of it here, hoping it will warm your hearts as it did ours.
Neena and Tim Derf wrote a couple gleeful notes of thanks for columnist Vin Mannix's front-page story last week. The story was a celebration of life -- the Derfs' greyhound was turning 20. That's right -- 20 (we figured that's at least 140 in people years). Genie was born May 5, 1988, according to her papers with the Greyhound Pets of America.
If you missed the coverage, here’s a link to it, Paul Videla's video and Tiffany Tompkins-Condie's photos.
Here's a snippet of the Derfs' notes to me and our publisher, another huge dog lover:
Well... we had to say a BIG THANKS! Exceptional story...and it made SO many people smile! ESPECIALLY THIS MOM & DAD!!! I actually had tears running down my cheeks... FRONT PAGE... FRONT PAGE!!! Woo HOO ! Too cool! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!
This is such a difficult time for adoption groups...so your decision to run such a BIG story about our girl will most certainly help other animals find good homes. Can't say thanks enough! WOW!! We love you Bradenton Herald and staff!!!
And this one:
Dear Mr. Fleet,
We were so thrilled when your columnist, Vin Mannix called to say he wanted to do a story about our exceptional 20 year old greyhound, Genie! He told me that his sister in Oregon was emailed a local TV news video about her, and sent it to him! We're honestly NOT surprised, as we have people as far as Australia, UK, France, Germany, England, Canada that have sent Birthday messages and presents to Genie in honor of her special day! People we've never met have sent donations to greyhound adoption groups in her honor!!! Genie's been a calendar girl for the past few years...and featured in magazine articles! But...even with that press... what means most to us... LOCAL PRESS THAT PROMOTES GREYHOUND ADOPTIONS!!!
The day of Vin's scheduled visit, we were more than surprised by the still camera photographer.. AND video journalist too! WE ARE THANKFUL that OUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER recognized the importance of spreading the good word about our special greyhound!
Greyhound racing is a fact of life...as are the thousands of retired greyhounds who desperately need good homes. The present economy makes adoptions increasingly difficult. I can't tell you how many joyous phone calls and emails we've received since Vin's piece! People wanting to bring greyhounds into their homes...and people THRILLED to see GOOD NEWS on your front page.
People who might not have considered taking home a senior dog, but now will. And those who called to say that they pray THEIR special dog will live as long and well as our Genie!
It was amazing for you to entertain putting our dog in such a spotlight. She's thought to be the oldest greyhound in the WORLD! Yes! And she's Manatee County's best ambassador for adoptions!
Please thank Vin and his crew for doing such an outstanding job! The whole piece was FUN! From the tease at the beginning of the article... to my comment about "No privacy" at the end of the video! FUN!!! The pictures were exceptional...and the video!!! WOW!!!
We want to thank you for promoting Greyhound Adoptions! They are exceptional dogs that make the BEST of PETS!!
Nina & Tim
Here's a link to at least one local adoption group. Or call Greyhound Pets of America/Tampa Bay at (727) 595-7852.