We’re thrilled to welcome back guest blogger Carla Boucher to share her experiences fostering Greyhounds as we participate in Blog the Change for Animals.
“April is Adopt a Greyhound Month” How often do we see that type of headline, sign or internet meme? But, no…really…it IS Adopt a Greyhound Month! I look forward to seeing this each spring, as I HAVE adopted a greyhound and fostered 10 of them, to help them prepare for their forever homes.
(“Adopt a Greyhound” video courtesy of Friends of Retired Greyhounds)
I have loved the breed for years and was finally able to begin fostering in 2008. Our first foster, Boca, became a “foster failure”. So called because we failed at fostering and made him a member of our family.
I don’t know a lot about how foster parents of other breeds do, but it seems that greyhound foster families “fail” at it quite often. The group that I am involved with, Greyhound Options, sees this happen fairly frequently. The foster program is, in my opinion, the best way to learn about a dog’s personality and then match up the right greyhound with the right family. Our group encourages a home visit, for up to a month, in order for the adopter to see how the dog fits in to their lifestyle.
There is just something about this breed that makes even non-dog lovers fall in love with them. Is it the soulful eyes, the elegant demeanor, the legends (urban and otherwise), that make us so passionate about these dogs? We do crazy things with them like buy them special apparel, pose them in hats, use their photos on our Christmas cards, have reunions and cookouts, and countless web pages and Facebook groups.
I admit, I did not used to be a dog person. I was a cat person because cats are so cool and aloof. They aren’t needy like dogs and don’t really seem to know if we are around much at all. Then I met Amber. A friend asked me to dog sit and being between jobs, I thought, “why not? I can tolerate a dog for a week.” Amber was a beautiful, fawn-colored greyhound and the queen of her house. Like most greyhounds, she would spend 14 to 16 hours a day sleeping. She was not at all high maintenance. Sure, she needed 3 or 4 walks a day, but since we were dog sitting at the beach, it was not a chore at all. Amber loved her human and looked suspiciously at me for the first day or two. Once she warmed up she was a love. Most greyhounds “love the love” and will sit happily while they are petted, groomed and generally worshiped.
One of the wonderful perks of adopting a greyhound is that they are very used to their crate when they come into a home and are almost housebroken when they arrive. Their crate is their safe place and most are very happy to be in them. Greys are generally very healthy, having been raised as athletes, and can live 12 to 14 years.
Many greyhound groups, like Greyhound Options, host “meet and greets” nearly every weekend. As they are based in Ware, MA, there are more events in the western part of the state, but the eastern branch of the group also hosts meet and greets in the Boston area as well as around the Merrimack Valley. The annual Greyhound Options Annual Spring Fling is an eagerly anticipated event.
I can’t say enough good things about these dogs and would encourage anyone to “meet” a greyhound and “greet” him or her into your home. It was the best thing that I ever failed at.