Monday, September 13, 2010


Here is something to fire all of your up on Monday morning. I have a pen pal friend in Belgium. We began corresponding because we both love greyhounds and agility. She rescued her hound from a puppy farm or what the USA refers to as a puppy mill. Initially, Fidgi was suppose to be a whippet, but it quickly became apparent that she was a greyhound. Since she did not come from an adoption group, my friend was not burdened with any greyhound stereotyping and proceeded to raise her greyhound puppy like a dog. She attended obedience and agility classes and eventually started competing. It appears that no one else in her country is training or competing greyhounds in obedience or agility so she reached out to me when she found my website.
Like most of us that adopt a greyhound, my friend would like another. Since she also loves agility, she would like to adopt a greyhound with characteristics that make training easy and the personality for enjoying the sport.
My friend reached out to a local adoption group and mentioned agility. Sometimes it is suggested not to mention what you plan to do with the greyhound if it is anything other than couch potato. The problem with that approach is that when you go to choose a dog, you appear strange and picky. It is much easier if you can be honest about the traits you are looking for. And heck! We should not have to hide agility. We are not doing anything wrong. In fact, agility should suggest that this person is going to spend a lot of time with their dog. Unfortunately, this is the response my friend received:

"Now I have received the reactions to your enquiry from my team, I will be more detailed:

Under no circumstances would EGS allow any dog to be adopted for the purpose you state. I think you will find that all rescue charities - starting with EGS - have clauses specifically forbidding the use of our dogs for competition.

I will add my own personal opinion: Galgos are free spirits, not subservient curs to be tortured in this way."

WOW! Understandably, my friend shot off a response in anger. I asked if I could reply to the email as well and she was happy to give me the email address.
I wrote:

Recently a friend of mine contacted you about adopting a greyhound, but was denied because of her interest in training and competing in agility. I am in the USA and we see more greyhounds participating in the sport than you do in Europe. I wanted to share some video clips with you so you could see how much fun the greyhounds are having. Agility is so much fun for both the person and the dog. Its great way to exercise and keep them busy. Hounds that are high energy and get into trouble find agility to be a fun way to get rid of excess energy. And treats! Lots of treats for the hounds!

And then I included numerous links of greyhounds of all ages and levels doing agility.

I did not receive any response and now weeks later, I doubt that I will. All we can do is try to educate.

Fidgi (below), we will find you a sibling! My friend has been in contact with another group that appears to be more savvy about these things.

All of the miserable, unhappy hounds forced to do agility in the pictures above belong to me.