America’s Best Tails Contestant: Kathryn Lorusso and Nutmeg
Kathryn Lorusso helped nurse Nutmeg back to health after horrifying neglect. When it was time for Nutmeg to be adopted, Kathryn just couldn’t let go – another wonderful case of “foster failure.” This dynamic duo will appear on this week’s “For the Love of Dogs” along with Greyhound Adoption League of Texas representative Stephanie Lanoue.
A cold wet nose lands in my outstretched hand and I awake with a smile, as usual, because of Nutmeg. The petite lemon striped tiger greyhound came to live with us as a foster nearly a year ago when I randomly read the story of her plight on Facebook. I was up to my ears in projects and didn’t need another one but the desperation of her circumstances touched me.
She was one of eleven greyhounds found in an abandoned dog trailer in a 7-11 parking lot that had been sitting there, untouched and unnoticed, for 40 hours. Skinny as a rail, scared, and with big soulful brown eyes that looked right through me, “Nutty” stole my heart from the moment I saw her. She was a member of a not so illustrious pack that the media immediately called the “Thank Heaven 11” and was estimated to be about two years old. As her new human, I was determined to show her a better world. Little did I know, it was she who would teach me.
We went through five months of heartworm treatment, upper respiratory infections and finally, a spaying before she was ready to adopt. There were already three dogs at home (two greys and an elderly standard poodle) and I fully intended to give her up but when the day came to drive her to an interested adoptee, I balked. I am, by nature, a researcher and have my future written down on several legal pads just in case something random happens. I like to think of myself as extraordinarily focused but the paralysis I felt when I thought of giving her up truly surprised me. Apparently, she and I had written a new life story when I wasn’t paying attention.
Months of watching her struggle to get stronger and then finally zoom with long, muscular jackrabbit legs around the backyard left me breathless. She was a squirrel huntress extraordinaire, the warm wiggling bundle next to me on the couch at night, an unerring stuffed toy annihilator and the most loving alarm clock I’d ever imagined. She is also the only dog I’ve known to try to engage me in a conversation with yodels, howls and growly sounds. I will never understand how someone could have walked away from this amazing creature but their mistake was my life’s blessing.
We lost a greyhound a year ago to osteosarcoma and even though I could have sworn my heart had been run over by a semi tractor trailer afterwards, fate’s circuitous route sent this joyful yellow brindle girl to my door. She has shown me that life and love are unplanned, usually messy but completely worth the gamble. Thank you, Nutmeg, for the unconditional love and for continually helping me view my life with a more realistic perspective. I don’t need therapy… I have a greyhound!