Some long time readers will know that I’m very active in retired racing greyhound rescue. In my time working with greyhounds, my family and I have adopted four, fostered several, met and fell in love with hundreds.
Retired racing greyhound rescue has been a major fixture in my life for about 10 years now, and I seriously don’t know where I’d be right now without them. My dad and I are the US account holders for an international rescue group based in the UK. I used to attend adoption clinics and show off my beautiful “children” and talk about how they make amazing pets, they’re great with kids, and how we affectionately call them “45 mile-per-hour couch potatoes”.
There have been times in my life where I’ve felt really low - we’ve all had moments like that. I’ve had several “major life changes” and honestly, the only time I’ve ever felt truly at peace, even for a moment, was when I was with animals of some kind. (For those of you unaware, I also used to be a zookeeper - which sort of took the place of my not being able to have greyhounds at that time.)
Some might say I have a stronger affinity for animals than most people in general. A connection, so to speak. That’s fine and dandy, but I don’t care who you are - looking at an animal like a retired racer, knowing the horrors it may have come from, and see it look you directly in the eye after it spent years too scared to do that with any other human being… damn, that feels good.
Greyhounds don’t look like they weigh all that much, but I’ve got an 85-pound boy lying next to me that begs to differ with you. Next to him is his 75-pound “sister”. Try sleeping in a full size bed with these two and tell me that you’re lonely… I dare you.
Sure - they don’t speak English, but their faces speak volumes. They don’t have opposable thumbs, but they love to put their heads down and nuzzle right into you. They’re not the greatest guard dogs in the world, but they love to snuggle which makes you feel pretty safe and warm.
Adopted animals almost seem to know more about our emotional states than even we do. Have you ever noticed, if you’re around a dog when you’re sad, that it seems to show concern for you? It may come up and sniff or lick your face, or shove it’s head under your hand somehow knowing that by petting it you’ll feel better? It might even just come and curl up on your lap, or next to you, and rest it’s head on you.
The best though, is when the animal doesn’t even have to know you’re in need of a silent confidante. It just goes about it’s day, only to act naturally to make you laugh…