Having owned two IG’s (Italian Greyhounds) for the past 10 years, my husband has been asking on a quite frequent basis when we were going to get a “REAL” dog. IGs (or most small dogs for that matter!) are not considered “REAL” dogs to many people. A “REAL” dog is one that is larger, likes to play fetch, rolls around on the floor with toys, and “roaches”! I know, I had no idea what that meant either. Roaching simply means sleeping on their backs with their paws up in the air. Apparently our small dogs did none of these “REAL” dog things.
So when our second IG had to be put down due to illness, the quest began for a “REAL” dog. We had an affinity to the greyhound breed, having owned whippets and IGs in the past. So we decided to adopt a retired racer (or 2, as it turns out) so we could give a needy dog a good home. There were many things we learned before we jumped into it though.
Did you know that greyhounds do not know how to walk on tile floors? Or wood floors? Or cannot climb stairs (they never saw them before, so they are a big scary thing that is to be avoided at all cost!)? They also have no idea what toys are or what a treat is. So we really had to consider if we were up for the challenge. We knew they would have all medical records showing their shots up to date and they are all “fixed” as soon as they leave the track, but they could still have medical issues from racing.
The greyhound adoption agencies are the best in helping to decide what dog would be best in each home. Don’t tell them what color you want though, because if the dog doesn’t “fit” your household, then you won’t get it anyways, regardless of the color. Before you can adopt, you have to complete an application and go through an interview before they would even consider you for a “parent” to one of their beloved. We were game though. We read up on everything and felt we had a good handle on what it would mean to bring one of them into our home, or so we thought!
Our first rescue was WW’s Sunrise (a.k.a. Biscuit). Biscuit is generally afraid of… everything! She was very depressed because she went from being in a kennel of 72 dogs, to a foster home with 4 large dogs (three of them “greys”), to our home with just her. So, here comes rescue #2, Flying Marceille (a.k.a. Marcy). We thought that if we got another “grey” that was overly confident, that Biscuit would come out of her shell. Well, that did it! Marcy is a spitfire! Plus, as an added bonus, a “roacher” at its best! She loves to run, play with toys, cuddle, and mostly, be a “REAL” dog. We have a fenced yard, about ½ acre, and when the two of them run, it is just awesome. They run laps, nipping at each other and growling all the while. Their races were typically between 30-39 seconds, so after their 1-2 minute burst (with breaks) in the yard, they are usually done for the next 24 hours. The rest of the time, they are just fun-loving couch potatoes that give us hours of enjoyment.
So all in all, our adoption experience was a positive one. While it was rough the first couple of months, once we figured out all of Biscuit’s “issues”, a second dog was just what she needed. Doing a lot of homework upfront really paid off. Had we not looked into the breed ahead of time, we might have given up on Biscuit and given her back, never really enjoying just how much fun they can be!
Interested in adopting your own pet? Check out our Adoption Day on May 19th!