When I started to look for a companion for Raficki (my poodle), I thought about adopting a Greyhound after I rememberd seeing a documentary on Greyhound abuse. I thought it would be the right thing to do since my poodle was adopted from the Animal Welfare League. I knew little about greyhounds except for what I had been told about them by the Midwest Greyhound Assoc.. Midwest Greyhound comes to PetsMart every month to educate people about these wonderful animals. I applied to adopt a greyhound directly from the track. I was approved to take a greyhound home and after doing a lot of research about greyhounds, I headed up to the in Kenosha Wisconsin.
There were about 16 to 20 male and female greyhounds available for adoption. Bravo (Who's professional racing name was "Hey Jealousy") came right to me when he was let out of his kennel. His coat was really soft and I loved the fact that he looked like a tiger (Brindle). The kennel caretakers showed me each hound and told me some of their personality traits. The caretakers and I agreed that Bravo and I would be a perfect match. I filled out the paperwork, bought him a leash and collar and we were ready to go home. I was given a copy of his breeding papers with the names of his parents and grandparents. I was also given information on his diet and behavior. Bravo seemed anxious to go to his new home. Bravo was a bit nervous getting into the car. I had to take one paw at a time and place it on the seat. (Greyhounds have no concept of what stairs are or how to enter and exit a vehicle because they go from the kennel to the track and back). Bravo calmed down soon after we began our journey home. He did a lot of sight seeing.
When Bravo and I arrived home, he had a little trouble getting up the stairs. Again I put one paw at a time on each stair and he hopped up each step being very clumbsy. I was suprised at how well the first encounter of Bravo meeting Raficki (My Poodle) went. Raficki tends to be jealous. After yelling at Raficki a few times for growling at Bravo, the two became bored with each other. Now Bravo and Raficki have become great friends. I walk them both at the same time and they sometimes sleep next to each other. Sometimes Bravo will put his arm around Raficki and cuddle him. The only time the two have gotten into a dispute is when "75 lb." Bravo rolled over on "15 lb." Raficki when they were sleeping next to one another. A quick "Hey guys, knock it off!" got the two to stop immediately. Care has to be taken when scolding a greyhound. They take verbal correction very literally. If a greyhound is yelled at too harshly, he/she will go off and sulk somewhere. Physical correction is definitly not the way to train a greyhound. After Bravo has been told "No!" for sniffing the kitchen garbage can or trying to get something off of the kitchen counter, I wait a few minutes, ignor him, and then play with him and hug him and let him know that I love him very much. Since greyhounds have not been exposed to life outside the track, it has to be remembered that they are like little curious puppies. They're just doing what puppies do; Get into trouble.
I saw a beautiful collar on a greyhound while I was at PetsMart one day. I asked the owner where she got it. She told me she it came with her greyhound and could be purchased at a store that sold greyhound jewlery, T-shirts and some other greyhound items. I drove up to Wisconsin again a week after I brought Bravo home and bought a beautiful collar and a plush Brindle colored pillow for Bravo to sleep on. Even though Bravo still tries to sneak into bed in the middle of the night, he loves his big plush velvet pillow.
Now Bravo, Raficki and I get up every morning about 5:50 to go for the first walk of the day. All three of us walk 4 to 5 times a day for 20 to 30 minutes each walk. At least once a day I get asked if Bravo is a Greyhound or people just want to come and see Bravo and pet him. He is an amazing and gentle friend.
Life off the track for Bravo consisted of spending the day in a crate with only enough room to stand and turn. This caused a lack of hair on his hind legs. A result of "crate rubbing". Bravo was "turned out" at least four to five times a day to relieve himself, but the area was about as large as the average person's bedroom, and the Bravo had to share this area with the rest of the kennel, girls in one area and boys in another. Not all tracks and kennels are alike. The Kennel caretakers that I met seemed very affectionate towards the dogs and do what they can to ensure the dogs' health and happiness. The owners are often the final word in how their dogs are handled. Often owners will not allow their dogs to be adopted. This means that they will be "put down" when they have lost their racing edge or breeding potential. I think the dogs do enjoy the racing aspect or, at least, pleasing their caretakers. But at what cost? If you're looking for a companion that is melow, layed back and willing to give you all of their love, than a Greyhound should be taken into consideration when deciding on a new four legged family member.
I would like to help other racers, like mine, find a good home. I have included some links to Greyhound sites. These sites can help explain how wonderful Greyhounds are and provide information on adoption.
Should you have any questions or comments, feel free to
Some Greyhound Links! (Comming Soon)
Copyright 2002© [A-Souls] All rights reserved.
Last updated July 27, 2002.