April is National Adopt a Greyhound Month, an observance that is close to my heart. When Dave and I decided we wanted a dog, we had some strict criteria: no drooling, no barking, no shedding, low energy level, low maintenance, rescue. At the time I thought that was so strict that the only thing it would possibly match was a pet rock.
But we did some research into all the different breeds and visited a local Blue Ridge Greyhound Adoption meet and greet and we learned that retired racing greyhounds actually met every one of our needs. We signed the papers and a couple weeks later Capri (racing name Get Ready Capi) was handed to us.
I knew that I would like any dog we adopted. I had no idea that I would flip so totally upside-down-inside-out in love with this dog that she almost became a religion to me. I started volunteering with Blue Ridge Greyhound Adoption and we adopted Ajax (racing name JJ Mix it Up) a year later. Since then I've researched everything I can learn about greyhound racing in the USA, the greyhound breed and even greyhounds in other countries, like the Galgo Espanol from Spain. They are truly special creatures, unique even in the dog world.
Here is some fascinating trivia about retired racing greyhounds:
- Despite the name, they are rarely grey. They come in all colors of the doggy color spectrum. Brindle is the most common color while blue (grey) and chocolate are the most rare.
- American and UK greyhounds are always short-haired. Their coat is also very silky, so almost everyone who pets my duo comments on how soft they are. They're truly a delight to touch. Most greyhounds have no undercoat, so their coat feels like satin. Some have a light undercoat which makes them plush like velvet. (Ajax is a velvet teddy bear dog.)
- Spanish greyhounds (galgo espanol) can be both smooth-coated and wire-haired. Wire-haired galgos are super-duper cute but do need a little more grooming than smooth-coated dogs.
- Greyhounds are deep-chested and tiny-waisted by design. Their hearts and lungs are almost as large as a human man's, huge so that they can pump a ton of air and blood when they run 45mph sprints.
- Greyhounds are a hunting breed. In America's past and today in Spain and other countries they're used for hunting rabbits and hare. Race training takes advantage of the dog's natural instinct to chase.
- Roughly about 1/3rd of retired racers have such a high prey drive that they're not safe around cats or small dogs. However, the majority are just fine. Our official cat product tester Sweetie Pie often plays with Ajax's and Capri's tails, and they don't mind a bit!
- Greyhounds are often considered the most cat-like breed of dog because they demonstrate many of the same stalking, pouncing, chasing play behaviors, as well as having independent natures. (I often start a game of chase by giving my crew a glimpse of my backside disappearing behind a corner. They always catch me! It's our favorite game in the world!)
And so much more! We’re very proud to help greyhound adoption organizations get the word out and get more dogs adopted. This month we are working directly with the following organizations for this promotion. Every family who adopts a greyhound or galgo from them this month will receive a 10% discount coupon for any dog products in our store along with a chance to win a free Mighty Dog toy. Additionally, over the coming month, I'll be blogging about each organization in more detail.
Please, do visit the website of the greyhound or galgo adoption organization nearest you, chat with them at their meet and greets or other public events, meet their foster dogs and totally lose your heart. Like we did! Greyhounds are totally Something Special!
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