Sunday, November 3, 2013
Saving the World, One Greyhound at a Time
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others," as Mahatma Gandhi famously noted. This sentiment, as much as anything, helps explain why my husband David and I devote effort to rescuing retired racing greyhounds.
While we fully support all animal rescue organizations (adopt, don't buy!), it is greyhounds who have captured our hearts. In a previous post, I wrote of how we adopted our two now-seven-year-old greyhounds, Rowdy and Bella (she's the black dog in the photo above) through Greyhounds Only. We've attended a number of meet & greet events in the past couple of years, and David recently got the opportunity to host his own meet & greet for Greyhounds Only!
The first Saturday of the month finds us at PetSmart in Niles, where we and fellow Greyhounds Only dogs and owners hang out for a couple of hours - answering questions, inviting shoppers to meet our hounds, and hopefully garnering donations and interest from potential adoptors. I am always surprised - although I should be well used to it by now - at how much interest and curiosity greyhounds pique in people. Typically, people walk in, spot our group and stop to stare. If they don't approach us any further, we'll invite them to pet the dogs. Most everyone does - especially kids.
People often remark on how gentle and docile they are, how soft their fur is, how quiet they are (Rowdy has barked once since we've had him, when someone stepped on him). I occupy myself taking pictures, while David typically holds forth about the retired racing greyhound lifestyle. Our eight-year-old daughter is also not shy about sharing information about greys - thankfully, her facts are usually correct.
We bring mats and beds so the dogs can rest and, by the end, they're usually pretty tuckered out. (It's a misconception that retired racers have boundless energy and need to run a lot. Honestly, they sleep most of the day - their nickname, "45-mile-an-hour couch potato," is apt.). At our latest event last weekend, we made $106 in donations, which is amazing! David has attended other meet & greets, where the take averaged between $5.00 and $10.00. But the time he's put in is never wasted. He loves being out with his dogs, showing them off to the public, educating others about the breed and the need to find them loving homes when their racing days are over. "Spreading the greyhound gospel," as we say. For more information about greyhounds and where you can find local events, check out: www.greyhoundsonly.com