Greyhound Breed: Canine Closer Look

Juliet Farmer

Photo by Sarah Regan Snavely (pictured l to r Winchester, Annie, Sage)
When I decided to get a dog, I did a lot of research on various breeds and read a lot, all in the hopes of finding the perfect match for my lifestyle. While Greta, my greyhound, wasn't quite what I expected, she's become a huge part of my life -- in a good way!

Every month, I'm going to spotlight a different canine breed, and get an inside peek at life with that breed of dog, courtesy of their human companion(s).

Since I adopted a greyhound, I thought I'd kick things off with a profile of them.

We paid $275 to adopt Greta, which covered her transportation fees (she came from a track in West Virginia by way of a "halfway home" in Oklahoma), vaccinations, deworming and her first dose of flea treatment and heartworm meds. Greyhound adoption fees generally run about $250-$300.

We had to pass a home inspection, too. The main thing they are looking for is a secure yard, because greyhounds, being in the sighthound family, are prone to spot something moving, take off after it, and ask questions later. Unfortunately, they know little about things like traffic, and are often killed in pursuit of whatever they spotted.

Greyhounds are often "cat tested" -- some, usually the more successful racers, have a prey drive that means they cannot be in homes with cats. Others, like Greta, have no interest in prey, which means our two cats and she co-exist nicely.

As for greyhounds and kids, Greta loves kids. Most greyhounds are gentle and want nothing more than a cozy bed to nap in, so for the most part, they are great with kids. However, I wouldn't advise leaving your child alone with a newly adopted greyhound until you figure out its temperament.

Rather than go on and on about Greta, I'm asking another greyhound pal, artist Sarah Regan Snavely, some questions.

Q: Why greyhounds?
A: I wanted a big, sleek dog. Thought seriously about a Doberman, but found an ad for Greyhound Pets of America in the back of a dog magazine and called the number. I've always admired sighthounds -- I had an Irish Wolfhound when I was growing up. Fell in love with the Greyhound's temperament.

Q: How many have you rescued/lived with to date?
A: Eight greyhounds so far -- Sterling was the first, then Striker a year later, then Apollo, Kelly, and Esther the 11-year-old senior. Now the current pack of three.

Q: When did you start?
A: I adopted Sterling in June of 1995. He died one month shy of our 10-year anniversary together on Friday the 13. Just dropped dead, probably heart defect. Never experienced the dreaded osteosarcoma (knock on wood).

Q: What are the names, ages and personalities of your current pack?
A: Currently live with Winchester (6-1/2-year-old) adopted from Greyhound Pets of America, Rocky Mountain Chapter in Montana. Also Annie and Sage (both 2-year-olds) whom I acquired as puppies. Wanted to see if the rumors about Greyhound puppies were true. (They aren't as bad as rumored, but a LOT of work!).

Winchester is a show off. He wants everybody looking and admiring him. He will resort to pushing his way to the front of the line to get the attention he deserves. Otherwise very much the typical couch potato. Always carries a stuffed animal around, which he often uses as a pillow. He's cockroaching on the couch as I write this. (For those who don't know what cockroaching is, check out my photo of Greta below.)

Photo by Juliet Farmer

Sage is laid back but has wicked sense of humor. One of his favorite things to do is to smack things with his front paw -- be it another dog or a human. Sage loves to play, run and chase things.

Annie is the queen bee of the group. She keeps the rest of the pack in line, especially Sage. She's bright and bouncy and figures out solutions to problems very quickly. Annie loves to fetch tennis balls, the second Greyhound I've had who enjoys this.

Q: Any other pets?
A: No other pets right now.

Thanks, Sarah!

Ok readers, your turn -- what canine breed do you want to see profiled next?

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