Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Frankie arrives! (In search of a Window ~ Part 2)

Once the decision to adopt a greyhound had been made, and even managing to get my family on board, things progressed very quickly.
I contacted 3 adoption agencies by email. The first didn't return my email, the second and third said they didn't adopt to my area, that it was too far for their home visit.

I was becoming discouraged and thought maybe the gods of fate didn't want me to have a greyhound. Further encouragement from my greyhound owning friends Felicity and Cheryl led me to contact Needle-Nose Greyhound Adoption, who works out of Campbellville, Ontario. They were willing to travel to the great white north of Orillia to meet me.
Now we had to decide what kind of dog to get; male, female, age, colour, size, personality? With so many dogs needing to be adopted you could practically tailor them to your liking. We had always had female dogs, I'd heard that males were a bit "goofier" for lack of a better description. Our lives were a tad too quiet anyway so we decided on a male...the bigger the better. Of course he had to be tested safe with cats... and be fairly young, so we could have many years with him. Colour didn't really matter...but I loved the fawn/red dogs so I told them that would be my preference. I had heard black dogs, especially males were a little harder to adopt so we said black would be fine too.

So the wheels were in motion, we were approved to adopt a greyhound, and the next run to the states to pick up dogs would be Oct 17th, and OUR dog would be on that trailer! The dogs were to be shipped from a Daytona, Florida track and met by the adoption agency in Buffalo, where they crossed the border and went to their foster homes until their forever homes were ready for them.
Around the 24th of Sept we got a call from Brenda at Needle-Nose. She had a surprise for us. A male greyhound from a previous load of dogs from the states, who had been at his adoptive home for a week, was being returned through no fault of his own (this is called a "Bounce"). He just wasn't the right match for that family. Fortunately for us she thought he'd be a perfect match for ours. If we wanted him, we could have him within the next week. My husband, who took a bit of encouraging to get on board with this whole greyhound adoption plan, said "How soon can we get him!!?? ;o)

Our 75 lb, 3 year old, bouncing baby boy arrived on Sept 29th (the greyhound people call this their dog's "Gotcha Day"). His racing name was "Hold to Fashion" and you can see all his pedigree and racing stats here. He had been called "Frankie", and as we couldn't agree on a different name, Frankie he stayed. Greyhounds come in a wonderful array of colours and his is a very striking white with red and black brindle patches... or perhaps it's brindle with white patches... ;o)

We held Brenda and Jeff hostage for many hours while we grilled them on all things greyhound, not that I hadn't done my own research. I had already read 3 books on adopted greyhound care. spent countless hours perusing the Internet, lurked on several greyhound owner's forums, and visited people with greyhounds and had them visit my house with their dogs.
They left Frankie in our care that afternoon and as they drove away it ALMOST felt like the day we brought our first child home. Now the care of this special being was in our hands.

Frankie has moved into our house and our hearts, and there are many more stories to be told...another day, another blog.

Friday, October 02, 2009

In Search of a Window ~ Part One

You've heard of the saying "When a door closes in your life, somewhere a window will open" (yes I've taken the religious content out...). Brandy's passing was so hard for our family, that for a few weeks I had convinced myself that I could never, ever go through that again as it was just too painful. No one dared bring up getting another dog with me and rightly dog would ever take Brandy's place in my heart.

Then one day a thought occurred to me. What if I had said that after Dusty, or Galen, or Mojo, or any of the pets in my life who had died?

It was then I realized that I would rather go through the pain of losing a beloved pet again, than not to have one in my life. It was clear to me, as I could see the scales tipping slowly to the side of dog ownership again, that I was going to have to look for another dog. My family of course predicted this, and were sensible enough not to interfere.
What did I want? The only thing I knew for sure was that I had to rescue a dog that needed a home. I started with our local OSPCA . They seemed at the time to only have small dogs, poodle and beagle types. Ok now I knew I wanted to adopt a dog, and I wanted a medium to large dog...and with short to medium hair...and a female, who's good with cats and kids...and is no older than 2.

Sigh...would I ever find my perfect dog? I knew in the back of my mind I was really looking for a younger version of Brandy. I even found myself lurking around the Petfinder site. Then I started emailing the shelters about this dog and that (not surprisingly many of the dogs I looked at resembled Brandy.) Nothing really panned out as many of them required a fenced in yard for the hound type dogs. We have a huge yard, but not fenced in (it will be soon).

Now I honestly can't think why the idea came to me to look into greyhound adoption. They are so dissimilar from Brandy that it is a breed I never considered. But they are hounds, and largish, and shorthaired, and most are good with children and cats. Even though I had wanted a mutt, I found out there were thousands of greyhounds that needed adoptive homes after their time was up on the track. Was a greyhound the dog for me?
To be continued...