Monday, February 9, 2009

For The Love Of Retired Racing Greyhounds

Retired racing greyhounds are the most incredible creatures I have met. After spending years of their lives in crates, wearing muzzles, eating "mystery meat", being on a strict routine, many times having to race with injuries, and more not so good quality of life activities, they will come into your home and heart with such gentleness, trust, and love, it always makes me cry.

The 2 years I spent as a greyhound placement representative were the most rewarding of my life. During that time I met some of the most kind, loving, and memorable people and dogs. People who gravitate toward retired greyhounds seem to possess many of the gentle and loving qualities of the greyhounds. I had the honor and privilege of fostering and placing many wonderful dogs with loving and caring people.

And of course, I wound up with several of my own, as any "true" greyhound person will understand, you can't have just one! There's just something about those sweeties!!!!!

They are definitely not a dog for everyone, they do have their own special needs and traits, and as a placement rep, I visited, interviewed, and educated each prospective "parent". Each dog should be evaluated for things like getting along with children, cats, and other small critters. Being a site hound with a natural instinct to chase what they see, plus their added training to run literally for their life after the mechanical bunny at the track, they should never be allowed off leash unless they are in a fenced in area. They also have some health issues, many times as a result from injuries while racing. One of my beautiful "babies" was a Grade A racer named Cash that they were going to put down because he had broken his toes one too many times and wouldn't be making them anymore money.

Another very interesting and amusing trait they seem to have is, after living in a crate with shredded newspaper all of their life, they will immediately go to your couch and jump on it and lay down like they have been doing it every day of their life. We used to say that the spirits of dogs that had already been rescued would communicate with the racers telling them how wonderful life will be when they get adopted and all the great things they will be able to enjoy. You have to remember, these dogs have very little extra flesh for padding and need a soft place to rest. One of my fondest memories is of an older brindle female that I rescued from a shelter. The dog officer in that town picked her up after she was seen wandering around for several days. She was probably around 7 or 8 years old, was very stiff and thin, and looked like she had several litters of puppies during her life. When I brought her into my house, she didn't know what to do, but in no time found her way to the couch. I loved walking into the living room and finding her contentedly laying flat on her back with all four feet sticking up in the air and sound asleep. She so deserved and earned it. It was an experience watching her learn how life could be. I named her Duchess because she was so gentle and loving, and always trying to please.

I have many, many stories and experiences, but there is one more I would like to include here. It is about a most elegant and gentle creature that I named Bubba Bullets. The main placement rep got a call from a vet that he had a dog that the owner had shot with 2 bullets. The vet was amazed and said it was a miracle that both bullets had gone straight through his body, just under his spine, and did not hit anything major. He would, however, need TLC during his recuperation. I fostered him for several months and to this day will never understand how that person could have taken a gun and shot that exquisite being. Bubba was a very tall and elegant boy, when he moved he appeared to float on air. After all he had been through, when you looked into his eyes, all you could see was love and forgiveness. There was not a mean bone in that dog's body. My house was already full, so after Bubba was healed, we found a very lovely woman who adopted him and gave him a wonderful home.

As happens in life, my situation no longer allows me to work with these incredible dogs, but my passion and love for them remains. To express those feelings I have created some designs and placed them on various products in my Zazzle gallery. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy creating them. The jumping greyhound I made from a photo I had and through the magic of digital art, created a metallic grey generic greyhound to represent them all. Here are a few of my items.

Greyhounds Rock Embroidered Baseball Cap embroideredhatGreyhound Mom Embroidered Ladies Zip Hoodie embroideredshirtGreyhounds Rock Dog Coffee Mug mugGreyhound And Daisy Birthday Greeting Card cardI Love My Greyhound Bumper Sticker bumperstickerGreyhound And Heart Animal Profile Business Card profilecardGreyhound White Rose Animal Profile Business Card profilecardAdopt A Greyhound Rescue Customized Button buttonI Love My Greyhound Dog Cotton T-Shirt shirtAdopt A Greyhound Rescue Postage Stamp stampGreyhound Mom Dog Coffee Mug mugI Love My Greyhound Dog Travel Coffee Mug mugGreyhound The More The Merrier T-Shirt shirtGreyhound Mom Dog Cotton T-Shirt shirtGreyhound Lover Necktie tieGreyhound Lover One Is Never Enough Poster Print printI Love My Greyhound Dog Lover Mousepad mousepad

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests.
Smilin' Eyes Treasures At Zazzle
Smilin' Eyes Treasures At Greeting Card Universe