Salem, Oregon—November 9, 2008 Joe the Greyhound turned over a remarkable milestone when the rain clouds parted.
Joey, a beautiful black greyhound started out in life as a shy dog.
It’s not a bad thing to be so shy, it only means that he is even more special and his expectations of his family are different than other greyhounds.
Joey came to Greyhound Gardens on Feb. 4, 2004. He was petrified. Petrified of his shadow, petrified of anything new and petrified of change. He wanted structure and consistency in his world. When he arrived at the gardens, his whole world changed. He had new friends, he had an acre and he had a new bed.
He loved the acre. He ran like the wind, and he loved to run. Coming in became his first challenge. He watched the other greyhounds and tried to imitate them, but crossing the threshold into the house was way too scary. Sometimes it took 60–90 minutes just to work up the courage.
Within a week of his arrival, the Joey kennel was established. A 16 x 8 foot enclosed kennel was stationed just outside the back door. For the mommas, it made a difficult event possible. He went to the Joey kennel when the mommas had to leave. Joey longed to be with his new friends and when time wasn’t an issue, he was playing and digging and running.
Getting Joey back in was coined “the Joey run.” The mommas would circle the backyard until Joey went to the spot in which he allowed them to catch him and take him inside.
During the winter of 2006, Joey made greyt strides and started to come in on his own. He would go to the back door and after the 5th, 10th or even 20th try, he’d cross the threshold all by himself. The Joey kennel soon became overgrown with grass.
Joey’s next big moment was when he discovered “outdoor momma food”. At the very moment he nibbled on his first Sunday morning donut, he knew there was more to be had and the bribes officially began.
Joey always hung close to the other greyhounds as they stood to get their ears scritched. His eyes said he wanted to get his ears scritched too, but the hand, no matter how slowly it moved toward him, was way too scary and he would quickly back away.
In the last few months, backing away became a game and Joey was a tease. He’d touch the fingers with his nose, only to bounce back into playbow, dance in a circle and come back for more.
But Sunday afternoon, Nov. 9, Joey stood still to have his ears scritched amongst the safety of the other greyhounds. A grand day, one worth celebrating.
Way to Go Joe!
My good friend Buddy is enjoying his 11th birthday today. We have shared our bouncing stories and agree, what lies ahead is better than what we left behind.
I’ll begin my report with a few definitions.
Bounce, a greyhound that has lived in a home for a week, a month, a year or even 10 years and has been returned to an adoption group. Usually to no fault of their own.
Bouncer, the once loving family that has returned a greyhound to an adoption group or worse, the pound.
Bouncee, the new loving family that has welcomed a previously homed greyhound into their home.
First and formost, the bouncee adopting a bounce has to remember one thing. We’re dogs. We live in the moment and when the end of our leash is handed off, we may not understand and we may be momentarily sad, but really, we live in the moment. Our first concerns are always the same. “Where is my new soft bed, what time is dinner, are the treats good, is the water bottled and how long are you going to scritch my ears ‘cause they really itch?”
I’m sure that my recent experience is not unique, but good grief, I challenge any of my fellow bounces to out do me.
The bouncers really hadn’t said much, but I knew something was up. I observed my bed, my bowls, my stuffies and a brown paper bag. It wasn’t like the boxes that the bouncers were using to pack their goodies. My brown paper bag and I loaded up in the car for a ride and I was scared. When the car stopped, I was greeted by two excentric ladies, I’ll call them the double s’s.
They acted as if they had known me forever and I as thinking holy dog crap, what is this all about?
And then, the end of my leash went to one of the s’s and I follwed her to the biggest yard ever and then, she took off my leash. The next thing I know, this hot chic named Foxy Roxy came running out to greet me. Everything started looking up.
I found myself following a million smells. I couldn’t even identify all of them. I was walking forever. I hardly had time to say good-bye to the bouncers, out of the corner of my eye I witnessed them leaving, they looked sad, but oh well!
After a bit more smelling, I was feeling a tad exhausted and ready for my bed. Into the house we went. I was quite pleased to see a ramp in place of the stairs. I’m not a youngster anymore and at this stage of the game everything helps.
Imagine my surprise when I walk into the bouncee’s house and I see millions of dog beds all over the place. I could lay anywhere I wanted.
But then I got an even bigger surprise, there were enough greyhounds to fill up all of those millions of beds! I was an only child before I came here, but in the “live in the moment” spirit, I greeted everyone with a cold nose up their butt and a wag of my tail. I am a Greyhound Garden Hound dog.
Everything else is either history or a mystery yet to be solved. My new job that lies ahead of me includes the day-to-day duties, keeping the cushion on the floor, making sure the meals are served on time and tasty, and training the s’s about my ever-ending need for ear scritches.
To all of you potential bouncees, I have three words for you, “Go for it.”
Please join me in sending my new friend Buddy a very happy birthday roo.
Gracie joined us when she was 11 years old, she’d been in a home for several years and yet because of her momma’s crazy hours, she didn’t seem happy. We loved her with all our hearts and she in turn loved us. 14 months later she left us after cancer sadly took her away.
Cleo came to us at 10 years old, just one week after Gracie left. Cleo had been in her home for many years and again, returned. Diagnosed with cancer, Cleo left us two years after joining us. She wasn’t to sure at first about having so many brothers and sisters, but she adapted and was such a sparkle in our lives.
Barbie had been left at the Humane Society when she was 10 years old. Again, she left her home of many years to become a Greyhound Garden hound. 14 months after her arrival, we lost her to cancer.
The three girls have so much in common. Their arrivals were greeted with excitement and happiness and a feeling that they had been with us from the very beginning and all three left us much sooner than what we hoped for. We also gave them a promise, that if another double-digit greyhound needed a home, we would open our hearts and our home. The reasons they lost their home really didn’t matter, it only matters that they a place with plenty of love to come to.
On Sunday, Nov. 2, Pasha became a Greyhound Garden dog. He’s 12 1/2 years old and he’s fabulous. His family was moving out of state and were afraid the move would be to hard on him. As I write this, he’s laying down on a cushion beside my desk and very content.