Troy had got stuck in kennels at White Lodge and we were asked to give him a few days in a home. The result was going to be pretty obvious, so when I went to collect him I signed the adoption papers there and then; "a few days" ended up being 2,809 days (7 years 8 months 9 days).
Before joining The Beastly Beasts, Troy had four homes which for a variety of reasons, none of them his fault, resulted in him going back to rescue. Reasons included:
- standing up in the car (he did)
- getting out the house while they bought in the shopping (err – close the door when you go back to the car)
- grabbed back as he was reportedly beaten by an abusive husband who had reappeared on the scene
Consequently Troy had actually spent most of the time in kennels since his retirement and had been consistently overlooked by loads of people while at White Lodge; their loss.
Perhaps because of his unsettled life, Troy craved almost constant attention and reassurance and for a long time had nightmares (it's the only way I can describe his reactions when he woke from them) almost every time he fell asleep. He was always very unsure of himself and could get in a tizz over nothing and needed reassuring that he was OK. He would forget, usually daily, how to go up or down the stairs and the short (as in a few steps) passage from the kitchen to garden would become impassable for no reason even though he'd been through it loads of times before. Later in life Troy literally needed to be told to do everything; it was like having a voice controlled Greyhound.
Because of all this, I referred to Troy as my special needs dog – I genuinely believe that to all intents and purposes he was autistic. But, just like people with special needs, you could drop the word "needs"; Troy was very special.
If you ever met Troy you will know that he was a very loving Beast. He assumed that everyone has been put on this planet for him to lean against and be stroked by; everyone that is except me, I had another purpose – to provide a lap to lie on, which is where he spent most evenings. Even people that have known many Greyhounds commented that being with Troy – and that means being leant on – was therapeutic and restful, and that made him a brilliant Pets As Therapy dog; indeed, when everyhound did their assessments the assessor commented that he would make a brilliant PAT dog.
Troy also made a fantastic Blue Cross Education dog, the children loved the way he would lean on them.
He also, much to my surprise, was a great blood donor; I thought he would be a bit nervous about the process due to his uncertainty about life in general – I was wrong.
In 2013 Troy really started slowing down – he was over 13 and I put it down to old age. It turned out that it was due to his kidneys taking too much protein from his blood and so thinning it to the point it could leak from his blood vessels, plus he had a a slightly wonky heart. Once on treatment the difference was dramatic and he really perked up, but sadly it was to be short lived and in early May he seemed more distant than usual; on the 6th I made that awful decision. I had promised Troy that when his time came he would leave sitting on my lap and that is what happened. I thought I was ready for his going; he needed carrying up and down stairs, lifting into the Beast Bus, didn't always make it to the garden, …. I was so wrong.