Rainbow Bridge Memorial

Chas "First Choice"

"First Choice"
August 23, 1997 - March 2, 2012

Dearly missed by Lee and Ted Reynolds


Chas was one of three puppies born in Delavan, Wisconsin, to Southview Cindy on August 23, 1997. His registered name was First Choice. He was raised and trained at the kennels attached to Geneva Lakes greyhound racetrack and raced only at that track.

Chas’ first race was on March 23, 1999, when he was 19 months old. He finished fifth. He came fifth in his next race three days later. In his third start he was second, and in his fourth and fifth starts he was third. Finally in his sixth race on April 20, 1999, he won for the first time. During his career, Chas won 16 of 65 races and placed second or third in another thirteen mostly grade A races. His fastest time over 5/16ths of a mile was 31.07 seconds which works out to 36.2 miles per hour in a race on May 19, 1999.

Chas raced every third to seventh day until May 2, 2000, when his record does not indicate a placing in that day’s race. His next race was not until June 13, 2000. He had two more races in June, 2000, in one of which he did not record a placing. He did not race again until September, 2000, when he went out four more times but finished in the top three only once. His last race was September 24, 2000. He was 37 months old.

Chas’ trainer turned him over to the greyhound adoption organization, Greyhound Pets Inc., based in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, on November 3, 2000. Ted and I met Chas in his foster home in Mt. Vernon, Washington, on December 1, 2000. He had been living with two retired greyhounds, six cats, an 18-month old baby and his foster parents. Chas was the first greyhound we had ever met and we were blown away by his beauty and his disposition.

Chas took to retirement with relish. He was quite content to lie around all day as long as either Ted or I was there. He loved going for walks and road trips. He would make a few laps of the yard at a mind-blowing speed but he would not fetch or chase anything. He was sweet with our little cat, Sweetpea, even though she was less than welcoming. He loved everyone he met and we could count on his good behaviour when we took him to the Extended Care Unit to visit my Dad and the other residents. He did not bark, lick, chew or smell. He was never aggressive with other dogs but he would wheel to defend us if another dog attacked. When the aggressor saw Chas’ imposing, fearless reaction, its attack always fizzled.

Brave as he was when we were around, Chas could not be left alone. We could not even leave him in the house while we worked in the yard. We had to take him everywhere. In October, 2001, Ted and I travelled with Chas to Monroe, Washington, where Greyhound Pets Inc. was holding a big rally. There were 300 people there and 500 greyhounds. Ted and I cruised by the dogs available for adoption although we were not planning to adopt another dog until the following spring. To make a long story short, we came home with a friend for Chas. Chas took to Rika and she to him and finally we could leave Chas at home.

Chas also needed us to follow a set schedule. Walk time, supper time, bedtime always had to be the same or he would become quite demanding. Like an old codger, he got worse as he got older. In his last couple of years, he was known to walk up to our company relaxing after dinner and bark once loudly. He was telling them it was time they left because it was his bedtime.

Chas was essentially a very obedient, mannerly fellow; however, he would always take his sweet time about obeying a command. As he got older and deafer, we were never sure if he had not heard us or if he was ignoring us. He could not care less about punishment so he pretty much did what he liked, when he liked, which for the most part suited us just fine.

Chas was a very healthy dog but starting quite soon after we got him he had episodes of severe back pain. We attributed this to injuries from his racing days which would have accounted for the gaps in his racing record. We tried acupuncture and chiropractics, and sometimes had to resort to narcotics to give him relief. Finally when he was thirteen he was on a daily prednisone which seemed to keep him fairly comfortable.

On March 1, 2012, Chas began not to be able to get up without my help. The next morning, things took a turn for the worse and he began to lose control of his front legs as well as his back end. The vet and her technician came to my home and helped me say farewell.

I will be eternally grateful to those who brought Chas into my life, those who helped me care for him, and those who helped him leave me so peacefully. I will be eternally grateful to Chas for the indescribable love, beauty and joy he brought to my life.