Six Truths on Adopting a Greyhound
I’ve had a love affair with Greyhounds since I was a little girl. Usually the things we love today thread back to our childhood.
An old friend surfaced last Spring when my mom pulled out boxes of my childhood Barbies while purging out her attic. I was a die hard Barbie girl that meticulously organized all the dolls, clothes and housewares I adored. Barbie was the first to introduce me to the hound family through this shaggy Afghan Hound she had as a pet. Thanks Barbie!
Since then I wanted one too.
I came as close as possible with the sweet little hound mix my husband and I adopted while we were dating. Rusty graced our lives for 17 years. He would be in the dog Hall of Fame if there was one. He was gracious, sweet and kind, my best buddy and always my shadow. He sealed the deal that hounds were my breed.
When we knew the end was coming we felt getting another dog might help us ease the pain of loosing our beloved Rusty. In the Spring of 2013 we adopted our girl, Gigi, a purebred greyhound. She’s a young blonde beauty that has filled our home with a fun loving spirit. I’m pretty sure she even helped Rusty hang on a little longer with her strong shot of youthful banter.
Since it took me over 10 years to convince my husband that we NEEDED a greyhound I’m guessing you might have similar reservations. April Is National Adopt-A-Greyhound Month so I wanted to shatter a few misconceptions, shed light on some truth and hopefully open up more eyes to adopting what I consider to be the best pet!
6 Truths on Adopting A Greyhound:
1. But I don’t have enough room, they need space to run!
Two myths in one. So not true. You have room. Even if you live in an apartment. Yes, you will need to walk and exercise your dog, but hopefully you would do that with any breed you adopted! They are 110% couch potatoes…it is one of their top nicknames and for good reason.
We take Gigi out and chase her around the yard for about 5 to 10 minutes a day. Because that’s all she wants to do. Then girlfriend is back laid up on her couch, happy as a lark, sawin’ logs. If you have room for a dog bed (or a couch you are willing to forfeit) and a leash that you will use, you are good to go.
2. But wait, I have a cat
Now – not all greyhounds are cat friendly or even small dog friendly or kid friendly. The adoption process is very thorough if you go through a good agency. They test the waters on all dogs through foster homes before they adopt the dogs out into forever homes. You will have to bring in your entire family, including furry members, to meet potential adoption dogs. This meeting quickly shows who is going to get along and who is not.
We meet three dogs on our family visit. One couldn’t even look at the kids she was so scared…not gonna work. The next had Rusty looking away in fear…a no go. Then Gigi trotted in and everyone had twinkles in their eyes and the heavens opened and said, “Here’s your girl!” We didn’t get a cat till later, but only because we felt certain after knowing Gigi for years that she would be ok with the situation. And obviously she is good with a multitude of friends.
3. The adoption process is a process
We got Gigi from Greyhound Pets of America – Houston and would HIGHLY recommend them. The adoption process is outlined on their website, but this is a heads up it isn’t like a local shelter where you go in and come home with a dog. They are serious about forever homes and you will go through interviews, a home visit and a site visit or two to assure you are a match. The process works and you will gain a ton of knowledge and resources along the way. The process will clarify things so you know if this is the right breed for you or not!
4. On Leash
I have to say, one thing I wish was different is the fact Gigi, as do 99.9% greyhounds, has to be on a leash when not enclosed in our yard. They are sighthounds, born and bred to chase. They are curious and even if Gigi isn’t running she can cover more ground than me in a flash if she gets out.
This is 100% for their safety, even the best trained greyhound will not stop when it sets it’s sights on a target, like a squirrel, rabbit, cat or even another dog. It ‘s just who they are. She has gotten better about even wanting to get out and the last time she snuck out the front door she came back to the house on her own. Our old dog hardly ever wore a leash and just followed along. It’s something to be aware of and really just one more reason these sweet dogs need a caring owner like you!
5. Retired racer
Our girl actually never raced and we got her very young, which is not the norm. Most adoptable pets will be retired racers, aged 3 to 5 years. You get to skip some of the puppy years! This age means they were raised on a dog farm, retired and then put out for adoption. A dog farm is different than a regular home and many things like swimming pools and glass doors are new to them. They have to be introduced to their new surroundings.
When we had the home visit a representative from the agency brought her two hounds to our house to point out areas that may be hazardous to our new pet. Her dog ran straight into our pool. It has a net and it looked like a solid surface, which it isn’t, and he ran straight out and fell through. I thought our adoption chances might be tainted, but all was fine and we saw first hand that these pups are raised differently than most.
6. New Lingo
Gigi has brought more than fun and beauty to our home she has brought a whole new set of vocabulary. Some are terms that come with greyhounds, some we just invented because of her. Stuff like couch potato and needle nose. Cockroaching and our personal addition of chitter chattering because of the way she rattles her teeth.
They have goofy tongues that hang out and floppy ears that mind their own business. You’ll have to dive into the rich history of the breed to see all the fun new stuff this unique relationship can add to your world.
I could go on, but I won’t except to say check out a greyhound. You just might be surprised!
Here are a few more resources for you to check out:
10 Reasons to Adopt a Greyhound by Adopt-a-Greyhound.org
Please share this post so another hound can find a home! Thank you!
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