I didn’t have enough time with him. I miss not seeing his face every day. I am still grieving his loss.
He was not my dog and I had never met him in person.
How can this be possible?
While this sounds like a conundrum, I am not alone in grieving for a remarkable greyhound who captured our hearts and, for the majority of people who fell in love with his adorable face, had never met him either.
We were introduced to Reny when Debbie Grosinski, Reny’s earthly guardian, posted a picture of the black greyhound with the slight overbite on a Facebook page devoted to greyhounds. People clamored for more and suggested a page just devoted to him. Debbie created Reny’s Facebook page which debuted in December 2014.
With over 1,000 followers, Debbie brought Reny to life with his almost daily musings of life with his furry companions, “dat Jackson dog”, his yellow Labrador brother and “Skidders” the cat. If “dat Momma” didn’t post a picture of Reny for a few days, posts calling for their daily dose of Reny and his most outstanding features, his “teefers” was requested. His fan base did not just reside in the United States but Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom just to name a few.
A few months ago I wrote “Greyhounds and the Rainbow Bridge” and addressed the impact social media had on bringing greyhound owners together no matter the geography. With Reny’s passing, this has become even more poignant. Debbie mentioned that after posting Reny had unexpectedly passed, she received more than 4000 posts and private messages within mere days from all over the world. Reny was loved from far and wide.
Greater forces were at work and their meaning became clear later. Debbie was scheduled to be home on vacation the week after but she switched it to a week earlier. She was home when she had to rush Reny to the Veterinarian the day before with a high fever. He was treated and released to go home with Debbie that evening. The next day, Reny was clearly not himself and passed on the way back to the Veterinarian.
Starz Renegade was born in June of 2007. He was adopted by the Grosinski family in July 2010 from Greyhound Friends of New Jersey after their first greyhound Bandit, a fawn brindle, succumbed to Osteosarcoma. Debbie’s son Bryan was looking for a black greyhound and was impressed by one that could sit. On the way home, Reny sat regally in the backseat. When Debbie looked back at him from the passenger seat, she noticed his now-famous overbite.
As many greyhound owners know, their given name begets many endearing nicknames and Reny had them from Debbie and also his followers. He was known as Reny McRenstein, Reny my Little Lucky Penny, Renster, Clam Ham, Hammy, and Hambone to name a few.
After reviewing nearly every post on Reny’s page when he passed, the grief was clearly palpable and the love that people had for him still radiates off the page. Dearly loved and truly one of a kind, his joyful impact on our lives will never be matched. He was truly adored and that kind of devotion never fades. As a testament to his impact, Reny still gets friend requests on his page. He has more friends than most people do. Followers have requested that Debbie keep Reny’s Facebook page up and she has graciously done so and continues to post about Reny.
Debbie mentioned that Jackson used to sleep on the floor while Reny slept on her bed. Since Reny has passed, Jackson has slept on the floor in Reny’s bed, no doubt, to be closer in spirit to his best furry friend. His loss is felt not only by his human admirers but his furry family as well.
At eight years old, Reny was taken from us far too young, but even though he is no longer with us on this Earth, we still feel him deep within our hearts. He leaves behind a legacy of joy and laughter.
Heaven has a new star that shines brightly and a new greeter at the Rainbow Bridge. Even though he was owned by the Grosinski family, I think they won’t mind if we consider him part of our extended family.
To Reny – thank you for the love and the laughter – 06/20/07 – 09/29/15.
I want to thank Debbie Grosinski for sharing Reny with us and for taking time out of her busy days to select pictures and to speak with me and reminisce about Reny. To say we got through this without tears would not be truthful but there were lots of laughs too.
With Debbie’s blessing, I will be donating the compensation for this article to Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, where Debbie and her son Bryan adopted Reny. This will allow another greyhound to find their forever home and I think Reny would approve.
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