Our good friend Di knew we were grieving as a family after the loss of our beloved eight-year-old Great Dane/ Staghound cross breed to bone cancer. She also knew l didn't want to even consider another dog, but she'd picked up on Paul, my husband's, interest in greyhounds as a pet. He’d become interested in them while researching the heritage of our previous dog - Staghounds are similar to greyhounds, and he was very impressed with their history, and told anyone who would listen what beautiful creatures they are; always adding they would be a worthy replacement if we ever lost our Great Dane.
l had absolutely no intention of bringing another dog into our house, but when Di (rather unsubtly!) sent through a picture of a greyhound laying there with his sad eyes and coat saying 'PAWS to consider adopting me', he totally won me over! She’d found the picture on the Greyhounds as Pets page, but that dog was already adopted. I found I just couldn’t get those eyes out of my mind, and went back to the GAP site. I was drawn to a big black and white boy with sad eyes - with a hint of mischief there, and just knew l wanted to save him. His name then was Djay, named after his famous father, Djay’s Octane. But now of course, he goes by Earl.
The adoption process
Step one was to fill out an online application form – this covers a wide range of information that ensures greyhounds find a forever home that works for everyone involved. We provided information about our home, fence heights, how many hours a dog would need to spend alone per day, if we have other pets or children, and how old everyone in the house is. Finally, we were asked how we’d found GAP, and why we were interested in a greyhound as a pet.
Once our application had been approved, we were given a time to come down to their kennels at Wyee to meet him. At this first meeting, he snuggled right into me and l knew we had to adopt him.
Earl was bred for racing but never showed any interest in being a track dog, so never raced or went through the education phase, meaning he was luckily destined to be a pet from the start. He had been socialised around kids and other breeds of dog by his former trainer/owner, so he was with us as a foster (with a view to adopt) basis after just two weeks in GAP’s care. And of course, he has now been formally adopted to us!
A common misconception is greyhounds are busy, bounding dogs that need to be run constantly. The reality is they are gentle creatures that love a snuggle and just like to be near you. They require a 15 to 20 minute walk a day – just like any dog, and rather than pull away from you or try to power trot, they’ll walk quietly by your side.
I won't say bringing Earl into our home wasn't a challenge at first - he was only used to being in kennels and not house-trained at all, but he slowly adjusted to his new surroundings, and GAP was available to give advice at any time we called them. So, we now, only 11 weeks later, have a beautiful, well behaved, gentle boy who we love dearly. l would say bringing him into our home was one of the best things we have ever done.
Inspired by this tale and want to know more about adopting a greyhound? Greyhounds as Pets NSW are holding their greatest ever adoption day on Saturday 29th July in Wentworth Park (Wentworth Park Rd, Glebe) from 10am – 2pm. Check out their site for more information, and links to Greyhound rehoming organisations around Australia.