Picture of Odo staring at camera

Odo Lévrier

My Life as a Dog

Asleep at Any Speed

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog

Call me Odo. I was whelped in July, 1994 and raised at a racetrack in New Hampshire, where I went by the name Banker Beckam. But for reasons nobody ever explained to me, my personality wasn't well suited to racing, so in October, 1996 the track sent me (with a bunch of other greyhounds) to Greyhound Friends, an adoption agency in Massachusetts, where a few days later two humans named Deborah Peters and Stephen Bloch met me and decided to take me home.
 They led me into a very strange crate, big enough that they could sit in it too. Then the whole crate started moving, bumping and lurching! I was very scared, but the humans just petted me as though nothing were wrong. I tried to asphyxiate whatever was shaking the crate with a dose of Room-Clearing Greyhound Gas (tm), but it didn't work, it just made the humans make funny faces. So then I decided I'd have an easier time escaping if I didn't have breakfast weighing down my stomach, and that made the humans make even funnier faces. The crate kept shaking and lurching for hours and hours, but eventually it stopped and the humans let me out. We walked around for a while, then went through a door to a very steep hill, which they wanted me to climb. I was so scared I turned my nose to the wall and looked away, hoping the hill would go away, but it didn't, and they started moving my legs one by one (saying things like "only six more stairs") until we got to the top.

Picture of Odo curled up They had not one, but two nice soft beds where I could lie down and nobody would tell me not to. I slept on one for a while, then got up, stretched, and slept on the other one for a while to make a proper comparison, then decided I'd better check the first one again. That part was fun.
 Over the next two weeks I gradually stopped being scared of the stairs. There were some strange animals outside that smelled like greyhounds, but some of them were big, and some were little, some had long fur, and some (especially the ones my humans call Chihuahuas) yapped a lot (which was scary; I hid behind Steve's legs so it wouldn't see me). But they usually come along with other nice humans, and I like meeting humans. So eventually I started introducing myself to the other dogs, and occasionally even playing and running around with them. Some of them are fierce, and most of them are better at catching balls than I am, but none of them can run as fast as I can!

Picture of Odo sleeping on couch By the way, if it seems as though most of the pictures of me show me sleeping, you've got the right idea: that's what I, like most Greyhounds, spend most of my time doing (in between 40-MPH sprints).
Picture of Odo covered in bedspread except for his nose

On Friday, April 4, 1997, my humans did an especially silly thing. They went away for a few hours and came back with another greyhound! I can't imagine why, since I'm all the greyhound anyone could ever want, but they said something about keeping me company during the day (and it is more interesting during the day now). The new guy used to be named Beach Bum, but my humans call him Basbeaux. He was naughty and took away my squeaky penguin and made it stop squeaking.

Picture of Odo wearing Deborah's beret Picture of Odo wearing Deborah's sweatshirt My humans, Deborah and Steve, are very silly people, and sometimes they dress me up in human clothes (left). But they also made me a nice red wool coat (right, based on a pattern we found on the Web; there's also a hooded version) so I don't get cold. Steve kept saying something about "not much fur, and no subcutaneous fat at all". Yeah, but hip and thigh muscles to die for! Picture of Odo standing at the playground Picture of Odo lying
in the grass in a fenced field in Queens


Picture of Odo hiding face under squeaky-toy If you'd like, you can see more pictures of my housemate Basbeaux, or both of us together.

On October 9, 2003, while running on the beach, Odo screamed and collapsed in a heap, his hind legs twined around one another. It became apparent that he had abruptly lost motor control of his hind quarters. Over the next six days, there were a variety of medical procedures, in and out of the hospital. He returned home and started eating with reasonable enthusiasm, but remained frustrated at being unable to stand and walk, and appeared to be in pain much of the time. On October 15, we got the diagnosis of lymphoma, with "very poor prognosis", and the course was unavoidable. Our vet came to the house, and Odo Lévrier stopped breathing at about 10 PM.


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Stephen Bloch / sbloch@adelphi.edu