Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Guest Column: Greyhounds are GREYT!!

Today, we have a special guest columnist: Jill's friend Amy R., a Greyhound rescue expert. Amy and her husband have opened their hearts and home to several former racing dogs. We thought it would be a good idea to present Amy's guide to rescuing retired racing Greyhounds -- a group of pooches who are always in need of a helping paw. Greyhounds are one of the many breeds subject to misguided preconceptions, which sadly prevent people from adopting these beautiful and graceful animals. Some people think that Greyhounds are high strung, high energy dogs who need to live on 30 acres in order to be happy. Not so! Thus, as part of our larger effort to help dogs in need and debunk old wives' tales, we give you Amy:

Greyhounds are wonderful dogs. Here's some basic information and corrections to some common myths about this breed.

1. Greyhounds are indoor dogs and are excellent pets for people in urban environments and/or yard-less environments. Since greyhounds have little body fat and thin/short fur, they are NOT meant to stay outdoors for any length of time. We live in a townhouse in a city neighborhood with no meaningful outdoor space and our dogs fit great. They are very graceful, body-aware dogs and rarely bump into anything. We walk them several times a day and occasionally take them to the dog park and they are healthy and fit.

2. Greyhounds are mellow, docile and very affectionate. They are not high-strung at all. On the contrary, they are low-key, and love nothing more than to hang with their people and snuggle up for an ear- or belly-rub.

3. With short coats that generate little oil - they rarely generate a "doggy" smell and they hardly shed. (Note from Billy: Use a rubber curry to bestow a relaxing massage and remove any dead coat before it falls off your Greyhound).

4. Greyhounds sleep most of the day, with only occasional bursts of energy. They are often called the "30 mile an hour couch potato." Ours have one or two 5-minute bursts of energy per day - after playing with their toys or running up and down the stairs - it's back to nap time.

5. Greyhounds are purebreds but rarely have the genetic problems common to many large dogs, such as hip dysplasia. Greyhound breeders keep rigorous records back several generations of each dog's genealogy so they can avoid in-breeding. Here's a link to the family tree of our newest grey, Patti (aka Looking Forward). The racing industry also maintains detailed records of each dog's career. Our 9-year-old boy Miller (aka Butch Miller) had an illustrious career before he retired 5 years ago. Click here to see what a racing resume looks like.

Here are a couple of sites where you can learn more about greyhounds. Click here and here. It's easy to adopt a retired racer even if you live in a state without racing. check it out - there may be one waiting for you!

Thanks Amy for sharing this important information! If you are looking for a new furry family member, be sure to consider a retired racer!

1 comment:

  1. I have 3 greyhounds that were ex racers. They are just the best dogs ever! Nice article on these gentle dogs!