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Going Grey. Grey Opportunities. G


Kate is an affectionate, active four-year old female. She walks well on a short leash and enjoys taking drives. She is fine crated when home alone, but may not be cat safe. She gives little licks to show her love and zest for life.


Greyhounds are loving, low-maintenance, low-allergy, low-key dogs with hearts equal to their size. You’ll also save a life from an industry that euthanizes tens of thousands of dogs each year only because they fail to perform on the track. Greyhounds have a lot to offer as pets,


and come in a multitude of colors, shapes, sizes and personalities. Their variety stems from the fact that racing dogs are bred for a purpose and not conformity. As a result, this pedigreed breed provides an assortment to choose from, and unlike many purebred pooches, suffer fewer health issues except those resulting from a hazardous occupa- tion. So, if rescuing a retired race dog sounds like a wise choice to you, then you rank among a growing number of dog lovers who feel the same way. But with so much selection, how do you choose which grey is best for you? A little research (there are numerous


Roadie is a handsome, loving four-year-old boy. He adapted splendidly to home life in foster care and would be fine with other dogs or on his own as an only pet.Roadie is a quick study and walks well on a leash. He also loves toys and enjoys shredding them. He is an attractive pup with a tuxedo look and good manners appropriate for any situation.


Z


Racing Dog Rescue Project (RDRP) Rdrp-Greyhound.org


Fast Friends at Sarasota Track SarasotaKennelClub.com/contact/ sponsorships.php


Great-Greyhound.org 54 THE NEW BARKER


books available about greyhounds) and a greyhound adoption agency can be helpful; especially, considering the rehabilitation process for these dogs tends to be more complex than with other rescues. The tran- sition from kennel to house is a major adjustment for retired racers. Greyhounds hot off the track have no experience as pets. Since birth, they’ve been taught that only one thing matters—winning the race. Unlike most dogs familiar with a home since puppyhood, greys only know a life as livestock, one that too often involves injury, neglect and abuse. They live in a wire cage, crammed in a kennel with other whimper- ing dogs, permitted only a fraction of each day to stretch their long legs. The shift to domestic living can be a shock. Greyhounds have no concept of stairs, win- dows, swimming pools, furniture, or being part of a family. Essentially, race dogs are handicapped by their former life and start out as special needs animals. A few remain needy indefinitely, but with enough care, fostering and training, they mature into amazing pets. What these dogs require most is time, tolerance, and loads of love. Most rescue agencies understand this, and are


Why adopt a retired racing dog?by Cate Bronson


best informed to match a specific dog to a prospective adopter. They also understand matching a grey well to its new family is crucial for long-term success. If you decide to adopt a greyhound,


the best thing you can do is let the adop- tion agency assist you. Utilize their knowl- edge. Let them do the leg work. It may take a few weeks longer than anticipated, but will be worth the wait to welcome a loving animal into your home forever. Greys are a long-lived breed for large dogs (your five- year-old rescue could be with you ten years), so patience at the starting gate can transform an athlete into a love bug, couch potato that will live with you a long time and suit you in more ways than you can imagine. Most adoptions begin with the best of


intentions, but sometimes for the worst rea- sons—a gift for the kids, a cure for loneli- ness, a buffer against an abuser, a test-run for parenthood, or just too cute to resist. Whatever the reason, a rushed adoption can lead to disappointment, heartbreak, and even disaster. So, don’t let an impulsive choice or emotional reaction based on lim- ited information guide you. Like children, dogs are a big responsibility and a lifetime commitment (for their lifetime) that demand and deserve the best you can offer. If you are adopting a grey for the first


time, it’s important to do your pre-adop- tion homework and let the rescue agency help determine the right fit. You may or may not be thrilled with the outcome. You may even discover this isn’t a good time in your life to adopt. But you will learn more about greyhounds and about yourself. Whatever you do, don’t expect to walk away with a rescue dog minutes after seeing it or reading about it online. And don’t be offended by a time-consuming and com- prehensive adoption process. It exists for an important reason. I’d question any agency that fails to vet adopters thoroughly. Rescues want to place dogs quickly too, but they also want the relationship to work. If they seem picky it is a good sign, and will benefit you as much as the dog.


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