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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Time to Consider the Greyhound

As many of those who live on the western shore with me know, I am an avid animal lover, and desperately want a home, not for my and my husband's sake, but so we can get a dog.  After a search that began when my beloved childhood pet Kelsey died in 2003, I've decided that the dog that would suit my husband and me best is a greyhound.  Since the last Wisconsin track is due to close next month, an influx of dogs will be coming Minnesota's way.  If you're considering adding a dog to your family, it's time to consider the greyhound.  

Let me explain why I desperately want a greyhound.  First, I've made a pledge to adopt the animals that come into my home, due to overpopulation and the risk that any dog or cat bought may be the victim of a puppy mill.  When narrowing my search down to shelter dogs, I realized that I could help out yet another population of victimized dogs: greyhounds.  By adopting a greyhound from a rescue group that does not support greyhound racing, I would help put an end to the cruel sport and be able to provide a home for a retired racer, who is often not more than two years old.  

Aside from my "political" motivations, however, there are several more important reasons a greyhound would be our ideal pet.  The dogs are MELLOW.  They've been racing their entire lives.  Why would they want to continue?  Most greyhound owners will mention the phrase "45-mile couch potato" when describing their dog.  Although my husband and I would like to think we're the "ran a half-marathon today" type, we'd rather just sit on the couch and watch a movie.  Many greyhounds also do well with cats, which is a major consideration for us as kitty lovers.  Fortunately, we have cats that will stand up for themselves, which usually throws a dog off upon meeting them, so, as long as the appropriate pooch is selected, we're confident that a greyhound, Quigley, and Aveh would get along just fine.  I also admire the greyhound for its rich history.  In ancient Egypt, the birth of a greyhound was only second to the birth of a son, and the breed was reserved only for aristocracy during the Middle Ages.  Racing is only the latest chapter in this animal's long biography (read this book by Cynthia Branigan to learn more).

I realize my love of greyhounds is quite bizarre, having never actually owned one, but I'm dedicated to ending the cruel sport of greyhound racing and opening my home to a retired racer.  If the trend in track closures continues,  retired racers may not be around much longer, and we may become more accustomed to seeing puppy greyhounds instead of only adults.  If you are thinking about adopting a dog, please consider the greyhound!     

Just in case you'd like a look at what happens after greyhounds are finished racing (HBO Real Sports report):        

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