Whatever it is you think about racing, the adoption aspect needs to understand a very simple truth. Greyhounds are dogs, and dogs rely on routine. I’m HUGE about adoption, I want my dogs to go home, but the adoption faction really needs to recognize and utilize where the dogs have been and what they’ve known. What was safe for them, and what the routine was. It might make you cringe, and I don’t care about that. The only important thing is getting my dogs home.
It may not be what you want for your pets, and that’s ok. But life in the race kennel is structured for the safety of the dogs and for ease of handling so many at one time. If you, as an adopter, had to handle 62 dogs at once, it would be outside your ability. I’m not sneering at you, the work you do is immense, but this end is a little different from what you can do. What we have is a bunch of unmannerly brutes who want to chase the bunny…… 60 of ’em. We do it with one or two people in the kennel. We turn out and we feed and we weigh in and we school and we do it all with as much respect as we can give them. We love our dogs. We can tell you personalities all day long, because we LIVE them all day long. And any dog that goes into adoption has had us to care for them.
It was home. It was safe and it was familiar and it was a routine that he or she relied on to be happy.
I know that going home is a wonderful thing, and most of the adoption groups do a fine job. If you forget, for the merest moment, where they’re from… you fail. And going home through a group that fails that way is going to be tough on the dog.
I want my dogs to be the very best they can be… on the track and at home when they get there. I can’t teach them about stairs and mirrors and ceiling fans. We don’t have them and those are for you to do.
Celebrate the whole dog. He has a history and it’s important to him. It’s who he is. He was safe in his routine, and has to LEARN yours. The way you teach it is who you are, and frankly it matters to me.
Because they were mine, and they were home with me. Safe with me.