Who ever would have thought we'd have three large dogs as pets? Three greyhounds, no less.
When we moved into our current home, we had two little dogs: a neurotic miniature poodle who couldn't stand to be alone, and his companion, Josh. Josh, a Lhasa-poo, was as laid-back as Brandy was neurotic. Josh was my shadow, my ever-present companion. Unfortunately, when he was 12 years old, Josh began hemorrhaging. He had dozens of tiny, bleeding tumors in his abdomen, and there was nothing the vet could do except to help ease Josh over the Rainbow Bridge. We sadly agreed, and my sweet Josh breathed his last while snuggled in my arms.
We knew we had to get another dog to keep Brandy company; his separation anxiety made him very noisy and destructive when he was left alone. We started our search. A former co-worker asked if we were looking for another small dog. Not necessarily--but we wanted to wait till we found a dog with Josh's easy-going, laid-back personality. She then asked if we'd ever considered adopting a retired racing greyhound. I think I looked at her like she was totally nuts. A racer? As a pet? I'd never heard of such a thing!
I had to admit, I found the idea intriguing. My friend gave me the phone number for Betty Rosen, who founded the Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) chapter in Maryland. I thought about it, checked out any info I could find (not much then), and talked to my husband about it. I called Mrs. Rosen, and we talked for over an hour. I was getting more and more interested. She suggested that we come to her house and meet her two greyhounds.
A few days later, we met Betty and her wonderful greys, Jolly and Winston. In only a few minutes, we were hooked--hook, line and sinker. The dogs were everything our research had led us to expect--gentle, laid-back, and intelligent. Betty asked if we had any prior experience with sight hounds (dogs that pursue the prey they see rather than the prey they scent). She explained that, because they hunt by sight, greyhounds should never be allowed to run loose. If they were to go into pursuit mode, they'd not "see" anything but whatever they were pursuing. Being either leashed or within a fenced area is mandatory for their safety. We understood. She also explained about the chemical and anesthesia sensitivities of the breed, and the need to have a vet that knew about sight hounds. No problems on our part. We filled in our adoption application before we even left her house.
Betty assured us that they'd find a dog that would get along with our very dominant male miniature poodle. We felt that a small female would be best for our situation. Our reasoning? Females are generally smaller than the males, and that would help lessen the shock value of going from a Lhasa-poo-sized dog to a Greyhound! We agreed that an older (a 4 or 5-yr-old, versus a 1 or 2-yr-old) dog would be better for us because she'd probably be a bit more sedate. We knew that it would take a little while before our dog would arrive--there's no greyhound racing in Maryland, and all the greys placed by GPA/MD at that time were being shipped from New England.
About two weeks later, Betty called us to let us know that she felt she had the dog for us. Dinky Dee was her racing name (and we were absolutely certain that we were going to change it--quickly!!). A small (50 lb.) red fawn brindle beauty, she was 4.5 years old. She seemed to get along well with Brandy, who made it known under no uncertain terms that he might be half her size, but he was giving up no part of his doggy kingdom to her. We brought her home, and our greyhound journey had begun.
the Canine Line!
the Canine Line!