Kim and her young family were looking for a perfect dog for their family. They thought long and hard about it, and had some very specific criteria in mind – a rescue, a bigger dog, one that would be good with young children, one that didn’t need too much extra exercise so it would fit into their already full schedule, already house trained, and with an aversion to chewing shoes – good thing she didn’t impulsively get a Golden puppy!
After looking at local shelters, nothing matched her needs. Kim’s friend recommended that she consider a retired racing greyhound. Originally, Kim thought they were high-energy and way too skinny for her taste, but she soon learned that a greyhound would be a perfect match. Retired racers are low-energy dogs who have been crated 23 hours each day, and like to sleep in soft places. They need a fenced yard so they can run for short bursts, and only require 30 – 60 minutes of walking each day. Many of them do not bark. They are even tempered. Their skin does not produce oil, so they hardly smell. They eat a lot, and may shed a great deal. They can never be let off leash in an unenclosed area, as their drive to run is incredibly strong. In spite of these potential drawbacks, Kim was intrigued. Her vet told her that because they are so calm and even tempered, U of S veterinary students often work on retired racing greyhounds – he also told Kim that they’re very sweet dogs.
Kim found Garfield at the Northwest Canadian Greyhound League. This gorgeous blue fawn dog with incredible toffee coloured eyes had been up for adoption for over three months. He was already neutered, and had been temperament tested for kids, small dogs, and cats, and was found to be safe with all of them. Kim talked with his foster mom, and as a final check NCGL arranged for a home visit from a local family who already had greyhounds. Kim’s family drove to
Shortly after, Kim and her children looked into getting a second dog. They turned to NCGL again. The group was looking for a foster home for Dawson, who didn’t like jumping on furniture. This time Kim’s family drove to
Kim and her family did everything right. Dogs are long-term commitments and they didn’t pick one up on impulse. They did their homework to get a temperament that matched their lifestyle, and they rescued rather than going to a pet store.
When you’re considering bringing a new dog into your home and into your life, take your time and do your homework. If you don’t find one that matches your family’s needs at your local shelter, check into breed-specific rescue groups. There are lots of them out there with thousands of beautiful dogs who are waiting to find their perfect new families, families just like yours.
A special thank you to Kim for providing so much rich information for this post.- Louise