The Secret To Long Life
The System Lanelle (Lani) Story
by John Empson
UPDATE: March 10, 2012
We learned today that Lani is no longer with us. She made it within just a few days of 15 years and 9 months old and died on Monday, March 5th. She had stopped eating that weekend. A veterinary exam diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy.
Steve and Dana Kimmel say, "We miss her terribly, but know that she had a great, much loved life and really defied the odds as far as her longevity."
If you would like to express your condolences to Dana and Steve & Juliet, they may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you on the Bridge, Lani!
The origianl story is below:
System Lanelle, was born on June 14, 1996. Yes, that is over 15 ½ years old. She is still going strong!
Steve and Dana Kimmel adopted System Lanelle and gave her the name Lani. Lani was one of the very first greyhounds adopted by Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption. She first appeared on the cover of the NLGA Chasing Tails newsletter in November of 1998 and again January 1999 when she was fostered by Candace Larson and Marvin Johnson.
We asked the Kimmel’s to share a few stories, in their own words, about Lani and asked the secret of her long and healthy life.
What made you decide to adopt Lonnie?
We've only picked out one of our greygirls and that was our first, Tina (Two Timing Tina) back in 1993. Whenever we are in the need for a new greygirl, we always bring our current greygirls with us and let them figure out which one will fit with our family. Lani was picked out by Tina and Tara (Lone Tara) when we decided that (everyone experiences moments of insanity, right??) we needed a third greygirl. We had the room, the yard, and the love for another one - the rest, as they say, is history.
What are her favorite foods and toys?
Lani absolutely adores browned ground beef in her dinner. At her age, we pretty much cater to whatever will keep her eating well since it gets harder to keep her weight up. So she gets a rotation of ground beef, canned chicken, salmon, or tuna added to her kibble. She definitely prefers the ground beef - Costco loves us! She doesn't really have a favorite toy, but she still will munch a dental chew or a small rawhide bone on occasion.
Are there any quirky things about her now that she is older?
For some reason, she has developed a habit of panting. All the time. Rodger (Barr) assures us that nothing is wrong; it's just a habit. We always know where she is since we can hear her panting! She also likes to "check in" with us in the middle of the night - unless you are a VERY sound sleeper, it's impossible to sleep through the panting when it's right in your face!
She also snores now - for some reason when she snores, it's endearing and sweet. :-) Unlike us human counterparts.
Any funny stories to share?
We hadn't had her very long and were finishing up the family room in our last house. The guy putting tile around the fireplace had left a bag of grout sitting with his tools - normally the girls wouldn't have bothered a thing. For some reason though, Lani decided she needed an adventure. I got home from work that night to find our beautiful black greygirl turned to almost white head to toe, covered in grout dust, along with just about everything else in the family room. Tina and Tara wouldn't even go near the family room - almost as if they were letting us know they had nothing to do with Lani's hi-jinks. I can laugh about it now, but I sure wasn't very happy with her at the time!
Once, during a snowy winter, we were out in the back yard with Lani, enjoying a little sunny weather playtime. All of a sudden, Lani's ears went up, she stood statue still, and then dove snout first into the snow. When she pulled her head out of the snow, there in her mouth, hanging by it's tail, was a mouse! She has also brought us rabbits, squirrels, voles, and even a pheasant once. She always looks so proud, as if to say, "See, I could catch those darn lures!” She still trots out to the back fence to stare down deer stealing from our bird feeder.
What is the secret to her long life?
I wish I knew - we'd bottle it up and give it to greyhounds everywhere. All our other greygirls left us on or before the age of 10, so once Lani hit 10, we thought, "Oh boy, here we go again." She continues to amaze us, and Rodger, with her great health. She still has all her smarts about her and knows how to work the system! Some possibilities to a longer life are good genes, good food, lots of love, and listening to your vet. We are convinced that Dr. Barr (and his staff) are one of the reasons Lani has lived a long life. What Rodger suggests, we do.
We hope this gives everyone a snapshot of what Lani is like. She is an amazing companion; in fact, she is truly my heart dog. Another fun fact is that Lani has lived with every greyhound we have ever owned since she has had such a long life. She's a good teacher, too, helping us teach house rules to the new greygirls we've gotten.