This was written by a woman in the greyhound adopters family and I thought it was something we should all read, so I decided to share it.. . Please enjoy this well written piece..
We all know that retired racing Greyhounds are special. They are calm, gentle and loving. They enjoy the simple pleasures of lounging about on their beds, playing with toys and being with people. What makes them so wonderful is that they come to us this way. They come from their racing kennel pre-trained and big of heart. We do not have to work very hard to get them to be the wonderful companions that they are. We simply have to introduce them to their new role as family member, learning the ropes of their new job of retirement and introducing them safely to their new environment.
How did this ease of transition from working athlete to loving family member happen? Simply put, their up-bringing and racing kennel life brought them to this point. It made them the ever so easy to love hound that we all know. Unlike other breeds of dogs, Greyhounds get to stay and grow with their mom and litter mates for a greater length of time. They are not separated from their "pack" at the age of twelve to sixteen weeks and sold off to a new home as a puppy, trained by their new owner whether it is done well, correctly or not. Greyhound pups learn to play, respond and react as a member of their own canine family. They are well socialized to and within their greyhound society with much more instruction by and learning from their siblings and mother. They are also introduced to, handled and loved by the humans that will make up a major part of their working pack. This is why our hounds are what they are.
As they grow and start training to become athletes, they are in a structured environment. It is said that children thrive on structure....and so do growing and learning hounds. They know what to expect and when to expect it. Regular meal times and play/turnout times, sprint track and training schedules, exercise and regular grooming along with the various other tasks involved with training an athlete, make up their busy days.
Throw in generous amounts of love and care from their trainer/coaches and you have the makings of what we, as adopters, are blessed with when we adopt one of these precious pups. As I have watched many hounds from puppy to retirement, it never fails to amaze me that these children of the Greyhound racing community are the best kept secret in the pet world. This is why our hounds are what they are.
We see the trainers/owners/kennel help on a regular basis at the adoption kennel. Some stop by to see the pups that they have given into our care and to find homes for. As Tony, an owner and trainer, went into the kennel one morning, I knew exactly which hounds had come from his racing kennel. Excitement reigned supreme as they gave him the best happy tail, face licking, jump into a hug and tell him all about it greeting. This is why our hounds are what they are.
To those of us in this small global Greyhound community, this is where our hounds have come from. This is why our hound is what he or she is. We are creatures of our upbringing and so it is with hounds. Yes, there is the occasional spook, the occasional timid pup, the silly not quite right one who may have a quirk. So it is with us too. But in the end, you have a hound who is what it is because of its upbringing. We did not raise these pups, the Greyhound racing community did. We trust the racing community to do a good job with the hounds during their upbringing and career. The racing community continues to work more and more with adoption groups across the country for the benefit of the hounds and to place as many in loving homes as possible. It also continues to better itself. This is why our hounds are what they are.
I have seen both the best and the worst of the Greyhound world over the last twenty years. I have seen the Greyhound racing community come together to better itself and change the face of Greyhound adoption in a partnership with the adoption groups. So very many people have had a hand in raising all these delightful Greyhounds that live in homes all over the country. The proverbial Greyhound racing village has its hand in raising the thousands of hounds that grace our homes and our lives.
As I sit here and think about all the hounds that have passed through the Miami Hound House, I am grateful. I am grateful to have had hounds in my life and the friends that have come along with that life. Through the hounds I have listened and learned. I have learned why my hounds are the way they are. Yes breeding and temperament are a part of it. But not all of it. My biggest thanks goes to the Greyhound racing community for raising the pups the way they have and, along with adoption groups, encouraging in me the privilege of adopting their wonderful children.
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