Gracie & Bricks

The Italian Greyhound Rescue Foundation

Honor Our Men and Women in Uniform;
Past and Present

Story about a Veteran (One of Our American Heroes!) and 3 Dogs

A Love Story 

by Judy Longhouse

On occasion, IG Gracie Longhouse has displayed a few minor character flaws.  She is lazy,  vain and self centered.  She is also not warm and welcoming when it comes to other dogs.  However, one of the few exceptions to this rule is Bricks Sweeney.    Bricks is an American Staffordshire Terrier.  Most of you would call him a Pit Bull.   He is HUGE.  His head alone is bigger than Gracie's whole body.   I am usually leery of this breed.   When annoyed, they can inflict an awful lot of damage on what they may perceive as an offender.   It's because of the way their jaws are constructed. I am NOT leery of Bricks.    

By contrast with Gracie....Bricks is industrious, unimpressed with himself and he loves the world and everyone in it.  
I have never met a sweeter dog or a dog with higher character.   Bricks reminds me of his human Daddy, Jim Sweeney.   Jim passed away a few years ago, and he was one of the finest men I have ever known.   Jim was my neighbor and friend.   He is also an American hero....a combat veteran serving during the Vietnam War with distinction and courage.  When mentioning Jim's service, I always use present tense.   What our veterans have done for all of us IS present tense!   If Jim were a dog....he would even look like Bricks.  Jim's widow, Bernie Sweeney, is also my neighbor and friend.  Like her husband, Bernie is also a peach of a person!

George is always very protective of Gracie.  Should almost any dog approach when G & G are on a walk.....Georgie will nip Grace and force her to get behind him.  The hair on the back of his neck goes up; he assumes an aggressive stance and the warning snarls begin.    When by himself, Georgie is thrilled to meet another dog.   He is friendly and curious.    He loves all dogs except when Grace is with him.   Believe it or of the few dogs (and there are only two that George will voluntarily allow near Grace) is Bricks Sweeney.   Go figure.   When the three of them walk together...BOTH George and Bricks are on the alert for any other dog and the boys work in partnership to protect Gracie.  When Bricks is with us...George doesn't bother snarling and getting upset.  He just places his body very close to Gracie and watches Bricks handle the "intruder".   I've never seen anything like it.  

Occasionally, Bricks decides to leave home and take a walk by himself.   He will come to our front door and tap lightly.   When I open the door, he will wander into the dog room (actually my office) and plop down on the floor next to Gracie's crate.   Both George and Gracie are always happy to see Bricks.   

What has the little twerp done to deserve such adoring admiration, protection and love from her two adoring male canine protectors.   I can answer that.   NOTHING.   Admittedly she is beautiful, delicate and tiny.   She is also a thousand other things that have more to do with character flaws than beauty.    Ah well....when Alfred P. Doolittle counted himself among the "Undeserving Poor" ... I am inspired to refer to Gracie as part of the "Underserving Pampered".  

It's a good thing that life isn't always fair.   We all know that when it comes to character, most humans don't measure up to most dogs.   If life were fair, the dogs would have everything and we would have nothing.    Hmmm....perhaps the human condition of being "Undeserving" is a huge stroke of luck for us after all.


Mother to 2 IGs:  Deserving Gorgeous George & Undeserving Glamorous Gracie  and Godmother to Bricks Sweeney, a Delightful, Deserving Dog with Extraordinary Character

As a result of the above story, I received a phone call from Teddy Palmer of Halfway Home Greyhound Adoption.   As many of you know, Teddy also thinks she runs the OUTRAGEOUS Palmer Sighthound Hilton Hotel.  That hotel is actually a 2,000 square foot kennel that is attached to Teddy's house.   The hotel guests are over 20 assorted dogs living in the lap of luxury....most of them Greyhounds and almost all of them LARGE.   However, Teddy does NOT run that 2,000 square foot hotel.   It is actually run by a single tiny Italian Greyhound.   Teddy says that one Iggy is more trouble than any 22 Greyhounds that she has ever met.   The sad truth is.....she's right!!!  <VBG>   

After reading the love story, Teddy donated $200 to the Italian Greyhound Rescue Foundation and she has issued a challenge to ALL OF YOU!!!   In return for her donation she has asked that IGRF create a special website to honor America's heroes....our men and women in uniform.  This is the site she asked for!!!!  You'll find below is a donation button for IGRF.   Please make a donation of your choice to IGRF and we will list the name, rank and service affiliation of either a currently serving military member or a living or deceased veteran.    These will be the names of people you know, love and respect.    They will be remembered forever via this special site.  Once you've made your donation, please email the information you'd like posted to Bill Schilz and he will add your loved one to be honored.  

James Sweeney
Jim Sweeney (1951 - 2012) would be thrilled! He served in the United States Army from 1968 - 1971 with distinction. Last evening his widow showed me some of his medals.   There were MANY.   After his service in Viet Nam, Jim spent the rest of his life supporting organizations that help veterans.  His two favorites were:  
Wounded Warrior Logo Wounded Warrior Project provides free programs and services focused on the physical, mental, and long-term financial well-being of this generation of injured veterans, their families and caregivers

Honor Flight Logo Mission: To transport America’s Veterans to Washington, DC to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends.
Official IGRF Honor List of United States Military Past & Present Members
US Army
James A Sweeney, Sergeant, Vietnam
US Air Force
Russ Palmer, Captain, F-4 Phantom Fighter Pilot, Vietnam
US Navy
Thomas M. Grieb, Master Chief, Hospital Corpsman-Submariner
US Marine Corps
Warren M. Wheeler, Master Sergeant, World War II
US Navy
Glenn Lorenzo Longhouse, Chief Petty Officer,
World War I
US Army
Richard Glenn Longhouse, Specialist, Fort Dix Army Band
US Marine Corps
Robert A. Longhouse, Captain, Vietnam
US Army
Robert Phillip Waterman, Staff Sergeant, Iraq
US Army
Hillary Bender Waterman, Sergeant, currently serving
US Army
Stanley W. Schilz, Chief Warrant Officer, World War II
US Navy Logo   George Russell Waterman, Captain,Submarine Commander
US Army-Air Corp Logo Walter L. Kehs, 2nd Lieutenant, 766th Bomber Squadron (Liberators) World War II
 U.S. Army  Paul Reynolds, PFC, 101st Airborne
U.S. Army  Tom Reynolds, Captain, 25th Infantry Division; Manchu
US Navy Logo  James J. McNamee  AK2 (Aviation Storekeeper 2nd Class) July 1978 to August 1985
Gracie & Bricks