My 20th Anniversary of Greyhound Adoption, Tucson
Twenty years ago today, I adopted my first greyhound. Little did I know how greyhound adoption would alter my life and define it as well.
At the time I was struggling to be self-employed in Southern California and decided I wanted a dog because with my former employment schedules, being a dog parent was not doable. This was 1998 and the Internet was not nearly as robust as it is today with rescue group information. I thought I wanted a poodle because during middle and high school my parents had a toy poodle named Sam.
It was just a fluke how I happened to discover greyhounds as up to that point my only reference was what was painted on the side of a bus.
On the day after Thanksgiving in 1998, a black and white greyhound was brought to my home. Painter and I were both tentative because my experience with dogs was limited and Painter probably thought – who is this crazy woman?
The greyhound adoption group had plied me with tons of information including a home visit. Painter was previously fostered so he already had house manners. At 75 pounds of muscle, I wondered if I made the right decision. After 30 minutes of Painter being in the house with me petting him, I wondered no more. Within an hour I was sobbing although I’m not sure why but Painter touched a part of my soul that nothing else had and that feeling of emotional greyhound saturation has not dissipated in 20 years.
A year later I foster failed with a 2-year-old female greyhound. What was I thinking? While Painter was 99% good boy, Lily hovered in the 60% good dog range. She was a wild child, liked to chew things and was puppy-like until she was 5.
In late 2000, we moved to Tucson where there was then a greyhound race track. I became a volunteer in the local rescue group and made many lifelong greyhound friends. Greyhound rescue is like a cult; we drank the greyt kool aid but didn’t die, instead went on to fund-raise, foster, do outreach and find homes for hundreds of beloved hounds. I also found my voice to speak out about the plight of racing greyhounds and I always will.