Monday, June 1, 2009
This month I've decided to post a series about the adventures of fostering Greyhounds. As a family, we've fostered dogs for several years now and it brings us great joy, a few bruises, and lots of life lessons - mostly in how to keep those long, clever noses away from people food.
To bring you up to speed: Most of our retired dogs come from a track in Florida by way of a driving team that takes the dogs from the track to adoption groups all along the east coast. It's an amazing service and takes tremendous dedication since it has to be a straight drive from Florida to New York, stopping only to drop dogs with the designated groups.
Usually, someone from the group brings whoever we'll foster to our house, but on Friday, we decided to go see the hauler and drop-off process first hand. We met at a truck stop just off the main highway. There's a target time, but since lots of things can cause delays, there's some quality socializing that usually goes on with the greyhound owners while we wait.
Then the hauler arrived - and it was SO cool! Think pop-up camper, but with doors in the side and stubby vents on top. There are two dogs in each compartment and seven or eight compartments per side (I think that's right - I was too excited to do a proper count). Anyway, we get the right dog out of the hauler (there's a detailed color coded system) and get the muzzle and leash on and then we try to maintain some appearance of control (in case innocent bystanders are watching). The dogs are so happy to get out and see each other they often tug and spin and do the obligatory sniffing thing.
The little girl we have this time isn't so little. About 65 pounds, very strong, very young, and very spotted. I'll call her Chip for the purpose of this series. She's a sweetie, and more than a little pushy - but only because she's never seen anything beyond track life before. She enjoyed the drive home with her head between the front seats, looking out at the night.
Tune in tomorrow for more about Chip's first encounter with a HOME.
PS: the pic above is Dizzy when our girl Boo finally gave in and let her share the couch.