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Tucson greyhound: Drama Queen to the Rainbow Bridge

Posted in Humor

Lily at 9 - Carmen-Miran-DOG

The Divine Miss Lily went to the Rainbow Bridge on Friday, August 6. She was 12 years 9 months.

She left planet earth lying on her dog bed with me curled up next to her at Sunrise Pet Clinic. Before they administered a shot to calm her down, she ate numerous cookies. We had time to say our goodbyes and she had a sly smile on her face probably thinking about all the cookies that lay ahead during her next adventure.

Lily will be met at the Rainbow Bridge by my beloved Painter and all the pet dogs that we remember who were our friends — Buddy, Bosco, Jazzmo, Frieda, Jan, Mikey, Lace and Whiskey, Poseidon, Missy, Chessy, Ferrari, Domino, Libby, Tula, Wolf, Daphne, Slim, Charlie, Bessie, Baxter, Zoola, Winna & Holly, Bitsy, Bob Dog and Micha, Cartier, Cairo, Sienna, Senorita, Dakota, Calypso, Jessie, Zowie, Bandit, Sega, Raisin, Quincy, Zeus, Rocket & Moose, Kelsey, Skip, Aimee, Toby, Dog and DogII, Sandy & Dexter, Sam and Chipper…and Chester the cat.

I used to say that Painter was 99.9 percent good boy and Lily was 75 percent good girl but it was the other 25 percent that was memorable. Lily had a penchant for shoes and since I’m a slob, she had her share of chewing shoes and purses. She also had more accessories than I have and really liked bling. On the rare occasions that I did pick up my shoes, she would overturn wastebaskets and tear up paper, once an entire bag of income tax receipts. She had this mischievous behavior her whole life.

Lily also was a counter surfer. She once ate an entire rotisserie chicken, bones and all, as well as raw salmon burgers on a Styrofoam plate. Fortunately, she only took two bites out of the Styrofoam.  She knocked the butter dish on the floor and ate half a stick of butter and a big piece of Roquefort cheese; Painter ate the wrapper.

After Painter died, Lily became the only dog which was a position she favored. Though not dog friendly, she loved people and was always loving and curious towards them. Before Jodi & Tom moved, they would sometimes invite my hounds to spend the night. Jodi said each and every time Lily walked in the house, she went directly into the bedroom, and pooped on their pink rug.

Lily celebrated birthday parties and would be the life of the party knowing that it was her special day.

Although she had many nicknames, she was best known as Drama Queen, hence, this blog.  She didn’t like those two words. When I said, “Who’s the Drama Queen?” she would talk back and stomp her feet.

Lily (and Painter) brought much joy into my life and into the lives of many people. When she was still able to jump on the bed, I’d wake up some mornings and her little head was on my pillow and her stinky breath in my face. Lily ate poop. Among her ailments, she was going blind. While she couldn’t see very well, there was nothing wrong with her hearing as she barked and barked when she heard something disturbing. Her racing name was “Impatient Roar.” It was a good fit. Mercifully, she only raced six times.

Painter was earnest and eager to please–Lily was not so much. We mostly did life on her terms. She was the boss, applesauce. Lily loved to play “find the cookie”. If I forgot to play this game after dinner, she reminded me. She drove me crazy until we played. When I said, “Do you want to play FIND THE COOKIE?” joy radiated across her sweet face.

Dogs hold a special place card in my heart especially greyhounds. They are survivors like none other. The lucky ones have the ability to survive their gruesome racing lives and move forward to find the softest spot in the room. I was blessed to be owned by Lily since she was 2 years 3 months old, nothing short of a miracle.

If you would like to honor Lily, please consider making a donation to your favorite greyhound rescue group or animal shelter. The day I adopted my first greyhound in 1998, I learned about the horrors of greyhound racing. I have never stopped hating its existence. In 2005-2006, more than 150+ greyhounds disappeared from the dog track here in Tucson  never to be found; and in 2008, there were 104 injuries involving 97 dogs, which includes 11 dogs euthanized at the track. These figures are according to the injury reports obtained through a public records request from Arizona Department of Racing.

Across the country, dog tracks are falling like dominoes. Let’s keep up that mission and vision.

Please remember your good times spent with Lily. Cherish each and every day spent with your dogs, cats, and horses.

Lily Greyhound Zoldan
(October 20, 1997 – August 6, 2010)
Adopted from (formerly) GPA/LA & OC now Fast Friends

Thank you for reading.  You can read more about Lily’s zany antics here.

Lily at 12 1/2 - Happy Bling Girl

Karyn Zoldan

‘Take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’
~ Elie Wiesel

(photos: Diana Hansen & Loren Dawn)


  1. susan


    Lily would be happy with that sweet and lovely tribute. My Rocket, Moose and Frieda are with her and all the other wonderful greys that have meant so much in our lives.

    Sending you big hugs and greyhound kisses from Rusty, Ginger & Dilly.

    August 8, 2010
  2. Jean Rettus
    Jean Rettus

    Karen, I am so very sorry. Your write-up is so heartfelt and understanding of all of us who have sent our greyts to the Bridge. Thank you for remembering them and Chester. And thank you for all the warm and funny thoughts about Lily and Painter. I roo for you.

    August 8, 2010
  3. Val Wolf
    Val Wolf

    Beautiful Tribute to a Bautiful Dog.

    August 8, 2010
  4. Jerry, Kathy, Annie and Mahalo
    Jerry, Kathy, Annie and Mahalo

    we are very sorry for your loss. When we read your blog, we cried, laughed and relived memories of Bessie, Baxter and Zoola. We know you will always cherish the memory every moment given to you by Painter and Lilly.

    August 8, 2010
  5. Kate K
    Kate K

    Karyn, we’ll all miss Lily and remember her fondly. Like at her birthday party where she chomped the cupcake in half with one bite. And how she stomped her feet when you called her a Drama Queen. So many Lily memories! So sorry for your loss. Lily will always be remembered – she was one-of-a-kind.

    August 8, 2010
  6. Glenda

    Karyn, beautiful write-up on Ms. Lily. As I was reading, I could see Ms. Lily in my head at her last birthday party with that mischievous grin on her sweet face. You brought her back to life one last time. Now she’s free to run off the leash any damned time she pleases without fear. A fabulous gift for a fabulous pooch.

    August 8, 2010
  7. Mary Jo
    Mary Jo

    KZ – I laughed & cried reading your tribute to the lovely Lily, Drama Queen. You gave her a great life for the time you were her human. She will always fill a place in my heart, as does Painter (and Dog, DogII, Sandy & Dexter). I know she will find treats, bling & playmates in doggie heaven.

    August 8, 2010
  8. libby

    Karyn, your tribute to Lily is terrific. Lily is with all our greys waiting at
    the bridge for us to join them.

    August 8, 2010
  9. Renee

    Hey Cuz, Lily sure was a one lucky doggie to have found you as her life long companion. I am sure it worked both ways, you were pretty lucky finding her. A match made in Heaven. Having had to put down a few dogs myself, it is one of the hardest things one has to do. I loved the Blog and know in my heart, Lily and Painter, will send you signs from across the sky that they are AOK and you were a great parent.

    Luv, Renee

    August 8, 2010
  10. Karyn, This is so well said. A tear in my eye, but a smile in my heart. Thank you for sharing yourself and Lily with us,

    August 9, 2010
  11. Hi Karyn – it’s never easy to lose our babies, but the ones with those BIG personalities, well, that’s especially hard.

    While I never met Lily, I loved reading your blog posts about her, and I feel lucky to have enjoyed her from afar. Wishing you peace and happy memories.

    August 9, 2010
  12. Mary Johnson
    Mary Johnson

    Karyn – the love you had for Lily shows in your writing. You are blessed.

    August 9, 2010
  13. Deni M.
    Deni M.

    One of my favorite Lily stories by “mama” Karyn is:
    “Drama Queen Chews Favorite Red Purse”.

    It’s on this blog at

    The photo of Lily is precious!



    August 9, 2010
  14. Anne Lucic
    Anne Lucic

    Ah, Lily. I didn’t know her well but your description is wonderful, fitting as you are such a good writer. Lily had a good, good life under your loving care. She knew she was well loved and well cared for. May all your memories be good ones and stay with you for a long, long time.

    August 9, 2010
  15. Eileen Pavia
    Eileen Pavia

    I feel so deeply for you as I myself lost my beautiful girl, Anna on Friday as well. My Anna Banana was a puppy in a 13 1/2 yr old’s body. As a brood I only had 4 years with her but they were filled with wonderful memories. Our lives are blessed the day these beauties enter into them. What a hole they leave in the heart once they go. But somehow the memories seem slowly to fill the space until that time when a new beauty comes to close it again. I pray we both find peace in our memories.

    August 11, 2010
  16. Caryn & Dave
    Caryn & Dave

    We are very sorry for your loss. We loved reading of sweet Lily’s antics – – and yours, too. May happy memories and the knowledge that Lily had the best of the best be comforting to you.

    August 14, 2010
  17. Christine

    HI Karyn,
    Just returned to LA, and found the time to read your tribute to Lilly. Keep your memories…… and…. they will make you strong in your work to defeat the race tracks.

    August 19, 2010

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