In Memoriam China




Little China

Herewith the story of our little China.

Wherever she comes from will always be a mistery.

According to story nr. 1 she comes from the racetrack of Barcelona, according to the second story she comes from a breeding program, and story nr. 3 is that she is used as a hunting dog ( the least possible story, but you never know, she is not able to tell me). Fact is that this dog is an unbeleavable frustrated little one, and whatever has happened to her must have been bad, very bad.

gitana When large Galgo Espanol Gitana, our first adopted Scooby dog did very well after entering our household, we thought we needed to adopt another dog and after a conversation with the organisation (GINN) we adopted Gitana from, it was decided this would be China.

A dog, placed before, she had come to Holland from Spain in April 1999, she was one of the first dogs ever placed here in the Netherlands, but China was not happy there, so she was brought back to the organisation. They asked if we were interested in adopting her. Yes, of course, with the restriction that Gitana and new dog China should get along well together.

So, we took Gitana in our little Fiat Panda again, and started on January 19 2000 again on a 3 hour trip to Limburg (the very south part of the Netherlands).

We were told that China was absolutely not happy with all the other dogs in the shelter, not even with the other Greyhounds, and that she did whatever she had to do inside and outside so a mop would be very useful if we decided to adopt her, very honest from GINN, so we had doubts all over and we (daughter Aylin and I) traveled down to Limburg with mixed feelings.

As we arrived in Limburg, and we let Gitana loose to run at the field of the organisation, little China came walking towards us. And to our astonishment, from both the people of GINN (Greyhounds in Nood Nederland) and us these 2 Spanish ladies got very well along from the beginning. They greeted eachother as old friends, very strange. But anyway, we took Gitana and little China together in our Fiat Panda, the ladies had to fold up their long bodies, but this was absolutely no problem.

When arriving home China immediately started to pee inside, and this has never changed, not even after 10 years, but this is how it is, I had to accept this, and how much we tried, she still does everything she has to do, inside the house and outside.

After a couple of days it appeared that China was much more difficult to handle than Gitana, although we could have never ever have imagined this, because Gitana was, in the beginning also a very difficult dog to take care of. China absolutely refused every contact, she did not want to be touched. My reward was, every time I tried to reach out to her, I got bitten by her, so I stopped touching her, this was very obvious, a thing I should not do.

A visit to the vet was also an ordeal, and the vet told me that my beautiful little windchild was standing stiff with stress. But she also told me that this dog would eat of my hand after a year with me, I could not believe this, but oh boy how right she was.

China refused to even look at me, I could not get any contact with her. The only one she acccepted in her small world was Gitana.

After research from our side it was clear that both Gitana and China had been in the shelter in Spain at the same time, in 1999, during that time the shelter only consisted in a very small amount of abandonned and abused dogs, nowadays Scooby Spain is the home of hundreds of dogs.They had been friends there, and by some miracle they both ended up at my house, both came on different times to the Netherlands, at different transports, a true wonder. This is why China immediately accepted Gitana. I think this was meant to be, both ended up in our household in Amstelveen. If a movie was made about this story it would have been unbeleavable, but this is the truth.

Little by little things got better with this small frustrated Greyhound. I have often been on the brink of giving up, because she did not want to know anything anymore of us humans, she was just too far gone. Too much had happened with her.

I kept on trying with China, and eventually, strange but true, she and I developped a very very strong bond. It almost took 6 years, ups and downs, but it finally worked out, and how!!!!

She now is a part of my household 10 years already, and to be totally honest, she is my favorite,  she is the one I love the most, my little white one, the most abused one.

I cannot help it, I know I am supposed to love all my 3 Greyhounds in an even way, but sorry, I love China the most.

Wherever I am China is. She is, I must admit, fixated on me, no good, but it helps her to survive and then it does not matter, she loves her life, she can stay home alone for a couple of hours, together with my other 2 Greyhounds and is completely happy in her own little world.

She will never ever be a complete dog, I am totally aware of this, as Gitana at last, after her ordeal, has become. But from how far this dog has come and picked up live again, well, I have the deepest respect for it. She is my brave little one, lives her own life in a strange way maybe, but managed to get happy again.

She greets my mum when she visits in her own happy China way, even cuddles up with her on the couch, while all other visitors are left alone by her, she does not even bother to greet them, still not, after 10 years.

China will always be a very difficult dog, who lives her life on her own particular way, this I have to accept. There is no other way.

How and why this little dog creature has become the way she is will always be in the dark, but it does not matter, but is is very sure her past life must have been very very difficult.

She still does everything she needs to do inside and outside the house. The mop is still China's best friend, it is as it is, but I gladly clean the floor every day for her.

This dog has overcome so so many difficulties, I'm proud of her and so is my vet. She calls her Spekkie (Bacon), because she is a very skinny Greyhound, vet humour, I like it, and China is a very loved dog, by all of the people who know her.

China knows it and takes advantage of this, all the time, again and again, oh how I love this about her, she is a clever one.

My daughter sometimes complains that I love China more then her, of course this is not true, but oh boy how I love this strange Greyhound.

People had given up on China, there was nothing left for her in this world, but by only loving her, without any reservation, and doing this for so long, sometimes without believe things would change for the better, she now has developped into an almost normal dog.

She is now functioning great, she needs a users manual, but a lot of people also need this.

So, true love can overcome everything.

Little China worries me, for over 10 years now and this will always be so but she came from so so far and nowadays even greets people I meet when walking the dogs with a friendly wiggle of her tail, but mind you, these are people she has seen for over 10 years every day. She even allows these same people to touch her and loves it. Again a victory. She now loves it to touch me also, but sometimes finds it difficult to express her feelings, but she does, in her own strange China way! I love it.

kevin  After adopting China we have adopted a large Greyhoundboy Kevin. We never ever had any problems with him, but he is not from Spain but from Holland, so he never had to face the difficulties the Spanish ladies had to cope with. Kevin was only sweet, very sweet and very submissive to the ladies. He gave them both so much love, this guy deserves a throne in heaven. Of course his live before he entered my household was not easy also, but not comparable to the lives of Gitana and China, not in a million ways. From the moment he entered my life he was happy and joyful, without any frustrations and he gave so much love to both of my Greyhoundgirls, he helped them to overcome a lot of frustrations simply by being happy and for being there for them, he was so patient and understanding, unbeleavable.

Kevin immediately stole my heart and oh how it has hurt me that he also has gone to Greyhoundheaven in April 2010 at the age of 14, after being with me for almost 10 years. I will never ever forget his happy and joyful character, he was a great guy, had his own little spot in my heart, very quiet, very modest, never ever causing trouble. He was always in the shadow of the 2 Spanish ladies but accepted this with all the love he had within him, always happy, a wonderful and lovely dog, and he loved his beautiful ladies. He did not need as much attention as Gitana and China but knew I loved him no less. He was my gentle, beautiful guy, and I have enjoyed his uncomplicated company for almost 10 years.

alle drie mijn honden


Gitana has passed away in May 2009, in a very dignified way, as a true gipsyqueen, in my arms, at her beloved couch, with help of my vet, in the age of almost 18.

As I am writing this, China has passed away also, on December 11 2010, also at her beloved couch and also with help of the vet at the age of 16.

Little China simply could not go on anymore. She was also very old for a Greyhound and oh how it hurted me to let her go. She wanted to stay with me, but I did not want this for her. I have chosen for her and not for me. If I had chosen for myself I would not have let her go, but I could not do this to her, although she probably did not agree. After the death of Gitana in 2009, it looked like China gave up, she was devastated about the loss of Gitana, both the vet and I thought she would die also. So everybody who says that dogs do not mourn, well call me and I will tell you this is absolutely not true.

I had to let go little China, my little windchild, my little girl, the last few weeks it went up and down with her health, she stopped eating, started again, then stopped again, started again, and because of her age I decided that enough was enough. But oh how I miss her, it hurts, so so much. But I also am very very proud of her. She has crossed so many thresholds, she conquered so many things and in the end she lived her life as a true dog.

I am grateful and proud that I have been able to share the lives of Kevin, Gitana and above all China. Brave dogs, prepared to accept a new live, for the first time in their lives in a household and to become part of a family and in the end all 3 lucky and happy dogs. I will not ever forget each of them, but especially China, who made such a huge impression on me. So this is why this page of the website is dedicated to her.


Anjo Verburg


Herewith a poem from an unknown poet, in memory of all our deceased dogs to help cope with the loss of them:

 When God made the earth and sky, 
The flowers and the trees, 
He then made all the animals 
And all the birds and bees. 
And when His work was finished, 
Not one was quite the same,
He said, "I'll walk this earth of mine 
And give each one a name." 
And so He traveled land and sea, 
And everywhere He went, 
A little creature followed Him, 
Until its strength was spent. 
When all were named upon the earth, 
And in the sky and sea, 
The little creature said, "Dear Lord, 
There is not one left for me." 
The Father smiled and softly said, 
"I've left you to the end, 
I've turned my own name back to front, 
And call you DOG, my friend." 


Another poem to comfort all of you, again a beautiful one, this nails exactly what we hope for 
after the loss of a loved one:


I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea, you were thinking of the 
many times your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore. I longed to take your 
parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care. I want to reassure you, 
that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key. I gently put my paw 
on you, I smiled and said "it's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It's possible for me to be so near you every day.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew ... in the stillness of that 
evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "goodnight, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see. Be patient, live 
your journey out ... then come home to be with me.

Author Unknown



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