As Bunny was working on her post about why you should adopt a Greyhound, I started thinking back to when Mr. Taleteller and I adopted our first Greyhound. We did the required reading before we thought we knew a lot before we brought our first Greyhound home, but of course, we learned a lot along the way. No matter how prepared you think you are, you’re still in for a surprise.
Adopting a racing Greyhound is different from adopting other kinds of dogs in several ways. For one, most of them have only seen other Greyhounds, but they have always been in the company of other Greyhounds. They live their lives on a pretty strict routine regarding when they eat and go out for exercise and bathroom breaks. Most of them have never seen the inside of a house before, either.
The transition is usually pretty easy on some levels. Housebreaking is usually pretty easy if you start working from the schedule they are used to. That’s not to say that you will always have to get up at 5:30 in the morning, but it’s a good place to start, and then work your way to a more desirable time in fifteen minute increments. Initially, they might view other dogs as aliens, but they are usually very sociable and make fast friends with other dogs they meet on the way.
Discovering life in a house is a transformative experience with a Greyhound, though. At first, they may be uncertain about things, but with patience they learn how to go up and down stairs, where the toys are and what they’re for, what the rattle of the cookie jar means and when you’re likely to be going for a walk. Once they get used to their new surroundings and settle in, they show a devotion to their creature comforts that no other breed does. No dog appreciates a soft bed or couch like a Greyhound.
What they don’t tell you is how seeing your Greyhound discover these new luxuries in life will affect you. You have no idea how your heart will melt when your hound looks at you like you hung the moon and stars because you introduced him to the softness of the couch. The groan of contentment that she utters when you find that special spot to scratch behind the ear will make you warm and fuzzy inside. When they do that tail wagging happy dance just because you’re home again, it will put a smile on your face no matter how tired you are.
It’s no surprise that Greyhounds and their humans become so deeply attached to each other when you think about it. For Greyhounds, the adopter has literally taken them to a new world and a new life. Humans who adopt Greyhounds experience a level of love and devotion that is different from anything else. It’s a relationship that is like no other, and I consider myself lucky to have experienced it.