April 2005 - September 2011
Duval was a vessel of joy from the moment he arrived in our lives. The first thought I had was what an awkward nature this dog displayed when we first met. He already knew from the first minute he was dealing with a novice in the field of Greyhounds, and thus my education began. He taught me that when you sleep, find plentiful rest. He taught me that when you eat, treat every meal as a feast. He taught me that when you meet a stranger, share the warmth of friendship. Then he taught me to unlearn what I thought I knew of loyalty. Duval educated me on this most specifically. Loyalty didn't mean to fetch a toy and return it. It wasn't about being there the moment you call. It didn't involve making sure to follow all the rules as if walking a razor's edge.
"These things," he would say with his eyes, "are only the most trivial aspects of what loyalty means." What it really meant was that his love was unending, unstoppable, and inescapable. It was his warmth that brought strangers to us any time we went for a walk. His tail wagged at all times, and his smiles were constant. People would gravitate to him, to touch him or simply to get a closer look. Frequently I was asked if I was walking a horse, or a deer. Those that met him once recognized him immediately the next time. Without hesitation, he would eagerly saunter up to them as if to say, "Hello again, friend!"
Tipp Duval was a miracle in the shape of a hound. Constantly curious, he would study his world as Siddhartha studied his river. When disinterested in what was going on, an ear flick would suffice, as not to waste too much precious energy that could be spent sleeping. If an interloper overlooked the dismissal the first time, then both ears would spring into action, followed shortly with a half-opened single-eye stare suggesting he was really unimpressed with your tenacity. An agile athlete, he didn't miss a chance for a good run. A couple of laps would suffice, then looking over his shoulder at the trodden path to gauge his performance, he would assume a lazy gallop over to a comfortable place, lay down and soak in the excitement of the previous sprint. People couldn't help but smile when he was around. Like a silent guru he poured out his wisdom thru the principle of action. 1:Love, fully and foremost 2:Repeat. His mantra was this simple and complete. I look forward to seeing him again on Rainbow Bridge, even if I lose my place in the 'other' line, it can wait. If but one regret were to be found, it would be that I wish he had just been given more time to touch the lives of others as deeply as he touched my heart. He will always be loved, and never be forgotten.