Friday, January 1, 2010

Is It Cheating on Your Dogs When You Enjoy the Company of a Couple of Different Ones? Also Known As "The Greyhound Encounter"

So, one thing I've always liked about our Bostons are their somewhat squished faces, stubby tails and short stature.  They are portable, don't take up much space and other than a few annoying habits (ahem, Sadie, licking-Panda, we are all too aware of your annoying habits!) they are "easy".

The Maven, Sammy and The Writer have been discussing the kind of dog they wish to own one day and for one reason or another the three of them settled on Greyhounds.  These dogs are the exact opposite of the two that reside in this household.  Long-legged, bony-bodied, whips-for-tails, trumpets-for muzzles.  What in the world were these people thinking?

Well, I've come to understand their reasoning.  Mr. Tennis has a tennis buddy who owns two Greyhounds.  He and his wife adopted them from a Greyhound Rescue years ago.  In addition to their permanent two, they will foster a rescued Greyhound, temporarily, for future placement with a family.  They have been doing this for over 5 years as well as becoming new parents (of a human) last June. Our friends were kind enough to bring their two "permanent" Greyhounds over for a visit so we could get to know the breed a little better and to answer questions.

Meet Jett

And Gator

When these two beautiful creatures arrived it was as if our yard was suddenly the home of two mythical creatures.  They were like a mixture of horse and gazelle with a little anteater thrown in for interest.  Where our two short-legged dogs skittered around the yard, these two leapt with grace and ease. (For the protection of all involved, Panda and Sadie were sequestered in an undisclosed location for the duration of the visit.)

The Writer and Sammy with Jett

This is what we learned about these unique dogs:  they learn their manners and discipline from their mothers who they live with for about 2 years. If they are deemed good enough to race, then they go to various racetracks around the country.  Florida is the biggest market for dog racing. Bigger than all of the other states combined.  Our friends are not anti-dog racing, interestingly enough.  They feel that the sport has come a long way in terms of how the dogs are treated.  Many of the kennels that breed Greyhounds are located in Oklahoma and Nebraska.  Most of the Greyhound Rescue organizations are located in Florida and California.  They would like to see more Greyhounds placed in homes in northern states, so that the appreciation of the breed will spread.


When they reach 2-3 years old they are mature enough to race.  They race for a short period of time, perhaps 2-3 years and then are ready for retirement.  The reason our friends are not against the dog-racing industry is that they feel that it has changed for the better over the years.  It used to be that the dogs would be destroyed after their "prime racing time", but through the action of rescue groups, the dogs now "retire", are fostered and placed in homes.

Gator and Jett's "parents" told us that they feel that the Greyhounds are the ultimate house dogs.  Because they don't have oil glands, they don't smell or need to be bathed very often.  They are "couch potatoes" and just need short bursts of exercise, which fits right into their racing lifestyle if you think about it.  Very good for working people who may need to leave their beloved pets for hours at a time while at work.

These two graceful beauties came into our very small home and were right at home.  They raided the Bostons toy chest and munched on their rawhides.  Good thing the two black and whites were stashed somewhere - they would have been insulted! Another interesting piece of trivia:  Greyhounds don't sit.  They either stand or lay.  Because of their long legs and bony structure it is uncomfortablte for them to sit.  So, when relaxing in our home, they immediately dropped into a a lying stature and munched on the Boston's rawhides.  Oh, their smiles were priceless!!

Sammy and Gator. Trying to relax in a "Boston Sized" bed.

So, The Boston Lady is still not a fan of dog racing, but I now have an appreciation of the Greyhound breed.  And an admiration for all of those individuals and families that are fostering these very special, graceful, elegant dogs.  Actually, I admire anyone who fosters a dog of any breed - they are giving a deserving creature a second chance.  Don't we all deserve that?


Orlando Grandma said...

I enjoyed learning what the grayhounds are all about, gracious, low mantinace, and good. They do need a big yard right? I can not have one.

Alan said...

Very interesting dogs. I liked the smoothness of their skin. Those long tails were quite intersting as well.

Sammy said...

Can't wait to have one!