Sunday, October 19, 2008


Below is a comment left on my blog last night. Jules, I am not sure if you will check back and read my response, but you bring up a good point. For every comment, there are 10 people thinking the same thing and I have worried that when I am putting it all out there some of it can be misunderstood. Here is the comment....


"I am not a fan of being dragged"
"Car sickness is not something I am willing to work on."
"So far I like what I see, but I will take a little more time before I decide."
Wow. I don't even know how to react to those statements. You claim to be a dog lover but you won't adopt a greyhound who isn't "just right" for you.

Unbelievable. There are so many beautiful, loving greyhounds who need homes but because of people like you they will never have a chance at a forever home because they may be flawed. It seems like you're more concerned about how well they perform in your little games than opening your heart and home to a dog who may really need you. Sad.


Regarding what I look for when I adopt a greyhound, I can understand how my statements appear picky and perfectionist in my quest to avoid a "flawed" dog, so let me explain. First, I think its important to not label certain traits as flaws. A particular trait for one person is an absolute treasure for another. For example, the perfect dog for me is one that has horrible leash manners, is not cat safe, lunges at small dogs, jumps on people, digs up the yard, chews up the house, and tries to get any food within reach. Such a greyhound, needs training, exercise, and a job to stay out of trouble. I have the time, energy, and the ability to work with difficult hounds and difficult hounds love the activity I am able to provide them. Therefore, when I am taking some time to decide whether a particular greyhound is right for me or not, I am trying to make sure I do not pick something that would be easy for my adoption group to place. It would be laughable for me to adopt a polite, sweet, lazy, car sick greyhound. It would be a misuse of what I have to offer and a missed opportunity to place a really nice dog with a nice family that stays home most of the time.

Jules said "There are so many beautiful, loving greyhounds who need homes but because of people like you they will never have a chance at a forever home because they may be flawed." That is simply not true. The sad thing is that a lot of adoption groups miss out on opportunities to place difficult, hard-to-place dogs. For example, someone who wants to adopt a greyhound to jog with is the perfect home for the occasional high energy greyhound. An adopter who enjoys training and competing is a great match for a greyhound who loves food and isn't cat safe. These are homes where high energy, high drive greyhounds are appreciated and their tendencies are put to good use. Its sad when adoption groups turn these people away due to the lack of understanding and incorrectly categorizing all greyhounds as couch potatoes.

I work with Southeastern Greyhound Adoption and we are big believers in matching the right greyhound with the right home. We want the greyhound to have a wonderful life with someone that enjoys the dog. To me, this is not asking an adopter to accept whatever greyhound we have available. There is nothing noble about someone adopting a greyhound that does not fit into their lifestyle. Occasionally, I suggest that people return their greyhounds. For example, I had someone with a handful of little dogs adopt a greyhound who did not settle in. She was shell shocked and she did not enjoy the activity or the company of the little dogs. It was very hard for these people to return her. They were dog people and they did not return dogs, but they finally were able to understand that their greyhound was not going to be happy. We placed this greyhound in a home with another greyhound. She came out of her shell and is happy as can be now. The people with the little dogs adopted another greyhound who is playful and enjoys the little dogs......... a happy ending for all involved.

I strongly encourage groups to really get to know their adoptables and to profile them. Get to know your adopters. Its silly to pass up on a person because they don't have a fenced yard. That person might walk 5 miles a day and I can guarantee that there are greyhounds who would sign up for that job. A greyhound with a chronic injury should go to a home that is easy to live in..... not one with a 10 acre fenced yard. A car sick greyhound should not be placed with someone like me who likes to drive with their greyhounds on a daily basis. In the same vein, I also believe in holding greyhounds with special traits for special homes. SEGA tries to adopt our cat safe greyhounds to people with cats.... to give our non-cat safe greyhounds a chance. If a greyhound is especially drawn to children, we save that greyhound for a family with small children. If a greyhound is obnoxious, unruly, and out of control.... where can I sign myself up?

Regarding this statement again "There are so many beautiful, loving greyhounds who need homes but because of people like you they will never have a chance at a forever home because they may be flawed." and also "You claim to be a dog lover but you won't adopt a greyhound who isn't "just right" for you."..... I am trying so hard to not be offended, but I admit that I am :-). I have adopted 10 greyhounds. Over time, I have become more knowledgeable and have developed the skills for managing and handling high energy, high prey drive, and extremely food motivated greyhounds and I love them. This is not your average greyhound. This type is a needle nose in the haystack. And yes, I may pass on many greyhounds before finding the right one, but it is because I want to provide a wonderful forever home to a greyhound who many not get that chance because of the high likelihood of training and behavior problems.

Travis is my best example of this. He was virtually unadoptable and I have yet to see a greyhound that could match his energy level or prey drive. He was a liability for Joe Average Adopter, so I decided I was the best person for managing his behavior and I did so without any competition aspirations. But I lucked out and for me his characteristics were wonderful and useful talents. Please go back and watch Travis' agility videos (there are a bunch at the end of 2007 and the half of 2008). His undesirable traits for a pet home made him a star in many other avenues and he loved every minute of the "little games". Jules, I so wish I could introduce you to Travis, so you could see how wrong and hurtful your statement is. The "little games" may seem trivial to you, but they were important to us. Travis got his chance because I passed on dogs that did not need what I could provide.

Well, I am sure that was a much longer response than it needed it to be. I am hoping the comment provided an opportunity to educate. I am so passionate about matching the right dog with the right person including myself. I could go on and on about it.