Super Great (Norton)
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Norton was an absolutely incredible boy in every way imaginable. He was absolutely stunning with that beautiful long snout that was perfect for kissing every single day, soulful big brown eyes, and stunning stand up ears with the world’s longest tail. He had beautiful fur of gold, dappled with delicately painted stripes that were unimaginably soft to the touch. Everywhere we went he drew the attention of others and was always the first to say hello, multiple times. He was so friendly; you never had to worry about how he would react with children, adults, seniors, or people in wheelchairs, he loved absolutely everyone. No matter who you were you were greeted enthusiastically followed up with a world class lean, if you were really lucky he would pull his head up and back, perfectly tucking his elegant neck into your body in a gentle embrace. He was a meet and greet superstar – always managing to pull in multiple donations whenever he wore our donation vest. He knew how to work the room, greeting every single new patron in the store with bright eyes and a big smile. He was so social that most times I would have to have another volunteer watch him as I couldn’t stand still long enough to meet patrons as he was busy running back and forth making sure everyone was greeted in a proper way. He was so good at his job that one of my regular duties was informing people that he wasn’t available for adoption as he had a home with us and he always will in our hearts. We weren’t looking for a third dog when Norton entered our life in 2015. I (NCGL Alberta) was contacted by a very kind and loving family about the possibility of surrendering their greyhound to NCGL. He was a fabulous racer who raced at Wheeling until March 2011 under the name Super Great, at which time he was placed in Ontario by a greyhound adoption group at 3 years old. He spent 4 absolutely fabulous years with his family, running in fields, cuddling with kids and just loving life. Unfortunately his dad’s job required his family to frequently move around a lot which he really struggled with. Norton was always a boy who loved routine. When he lived with us he lived his life on a schedule, no matter what yours was, he had his day planner and god dammed, you were going to follow it. Breakfast was to be served promptly at 6:30 am, there were no weekends in Norton’s life – you got up, you let him out, you fed him and THEN you could continue with your day. He demanded a walk at 5:00 pm when mom got home and then an hour after we got back it was dinner time. 8:00 pm was time for a half cookie treat and we had the other half after a potty break at 10:00 pm – after that it was straight to bed whether everyone else in the house was staying up for a few hours or not. Norton would shuffle up the stairs; put himself in his bed in the closet and go to sleep. His family moving constantly did not work in Norton’s world. He needed a family that could work with his calendar and didn’t have any plans on moving around. It absolutely broke his family that they could not offer this to him, so they made the gut-wrenching decision to surrender him to an adoption agency that may be able to find a better fit for their beloved boy. By the time they had come to the conclusion that Norton needed more than the endless well of love that they had for him, they had moved to Alberta from Ontario and realized that surrendering him back to his original adoption agency would have been an issue, so they contacted us. NCGL agreed to take this absolutely beautiful 7 year old boy in and with the blessing of his original adoption agency he was welcomed into the NCGL family. While NCGL agreed to take this drop dead gorgeous man into our fold, we were doing so knowing that while Norton was the best of boys, he had some pretty serious issues that he needed help working through. Norton was really struggling with resource guarding. He had to be fed in the laundry room because if anyone disturbed him while he was eating he would bite you. He had bit his mom, his dad and their father in-law. He didn’t like being manipulated and had to be muzzled when he was asked to do things he didn’t want to do (like get on the scale at the vet) and was starting to get really grumpy about his space which is what led to a bite on their young son. It is important to note that when Norton was surrendered by his family it was never for his bites, they honestly loved him despite his issues and only reached out when they felt they couldn’t give him the structure he needed to be happy. I sent out the email to our foster list after committing to take in Norton, explaining his history and that he really needed to work on resource guarding, nobody was able to take him in so after discussing it with Kelly – we temporarily welcomed him into the William’s household. We started with hand feeding everything, slowly building trust – he did great! I didn’t “see” too many issues at the time until one day I pushed him too far and he bit me pretty hard. It was very shocking and scary and I felt terrible for him and myself. But we moved on! After a time we realized that Norton was family and was not going anywhere, he was a Williams now and we made it official. Norton was never a fan of Hannah, nor was she of him but they managed to share space begrudgingly. Dallas however was his best friend in the world. He adored this big pudgy moose and would routinely try to curl up on Dallas’s tiny pillows, lay his head on his bum, try to spoon him etc. Dallas hated it in the beginning but eventually they became the best of friends. They did everything together, walked side by side, enjoyed cookies and bully sticks in very close proximity (go Norton!) and would mimic each others behavior, they were the best of friends. Norton loved to snuggle with both me and Kelly, he would chatter when he saw us, would get snappy happy when he was excited (and would sometimes catch you with a pinch of those little teeth), his joy was infectious – you couldn’t help but laugh and smile when he was around. He loved playing with toys, tossing them in the air and sometimes getting a little too enthusiastic and catching you on a finger. He loved to bark when he played, bark at cats (but always left those spicy kitties (skunks) for Dallas). He is an incredible dog and we miss him so much. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to help Norton cross the bridge on October 17, 2020 when the bone cancer in his knee became too much to treat with pain meds. He crossed in the arms of his loving mom and dad with his brother Dallas at his side at home, we miss him so much. I lost my job in March of 2020 and while it was hard I was happy to spend his last months on earth with him every single day. I slept downstairs with him on the couch when the stairs became too difficult and spent every waking moment I could with him…. It was hard to lose my job of 10 years but it was a blessing in disguise as I had more time with my boy and that brings me joy. Norton is a great dog – he is beautiful, he is happy, he is loved. None of us are perfect but we are all so perfect in our own way. Norton overcame so much and tried so hard to be a good boy – not only did he succeed, he was the best. Hug your hounds…. It’s so hard to say goodbye and every time I do they take a piece of my heart with them, but I believe they leave a piece of their heart in mine…. We are so blessed to share the short time they have with us and when I finally do go, it will be because I have nothing left of my heart to give. At that point we will all finally be reunited with tail wags, kisses and a loud chatter at 6:30 am from my Norton. Happy Birthday handsome…we miss you so much, until we meet again <3 Thank you to the amazing friends and anonymous angels who helped make Norton’s last few months as comfortable as possible, love you all. And thank you Heidi Grace Pet Portraiture for the beautiful photos of my boys <3