retired greyhounds

Kasidy, the contemplative dog walker (part 1)

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“I am an actor, formally, and I needed a nice job with flexibility.

I tried a lot of other jobs, like handing out fliers in Times Square in costume (I was John Lennon in a Sargent Pepper outfit, a sailor in a pink outfit to advertise La Cage Au Folles when it was on Broadway), receptionist at a gym, and then I found dog walking.

It is a lot less emotionally degrading.

I like lots of things about the dogs.

I like that other’s no ego or persona.

The dogs just are who they are.

They are always living in the moment.”

 

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 4)

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“I filed for separation from my husband a few months after Nutmeg died.

I realized that both Nutmeg and Diego were my guardian angels.

Throughout the stress of divorce and daily life, my dogs have been a grounding force.

They’ve been angelic.

They have wisdom.

Having dogs has centered my focus.

No matter what I am going through, I always have a reason to get up, walk, and feed Diego.

I always have a grounding responsibility that is a privilege.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 3)

“Nutmeg died in front of Diego and me.  It was painful to watch.

I thought Diego was going to die, too.

He literally shut down.  He stopped eating, going to the bathroom and he wouldn’t move.

It took weeks for him to recover.

I started to feed him home cooked meat and let him lay down anywhere.  The furniture that had been forbidden for the dogs was now welcome for Diego to lay on.

I was willing to do whatever it took to get him back to the living.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 2)

“Nutmeg went from being malnourished and frightened to learning that she was safe and healthy.

She became a vivacious diva.

She was both regal and goofy.

She had a giant overbite which made her look like a dork.

But, she also looked regal, like something out of European aristocracy (as the greyhounds often look).

I adopted Diego while I still had Nutmeg.

I wanted a baby and my husband (at the time) wasn’t right for the job.  He was neither willing nor capable.

I had more love to give and I rescued another greyhound; Diego.

At first, Nutmeg couldn’t be bothered with Diego, but he has this sweet genuine quality and eventually she gave in.

Diego would stand by Nutmeg, guarding her.

She was his queen.  It was phenomenal to watch.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 1)

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“I started working with greyhound rescue 2o years ago.

Through that process, I learned about racing and abuse and the rescue efforts that were going on around the country.

That’s when I met my first greyhound, Nutmeg.

I got her in February, 2001.  She had been severely beaten and abused.

She was physically beaten and was afraid of everything, from different noises to her own fur coat.  She had been malnourished and her coat was patchy and thin.  Her skin was really dry.  Dogs’s skin and coat is a sign of their health and Nutmeg was in bad shape.

I worked with her to bring her back to optimal health.”

Wendy and her rescues (part 3)

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“Now I have Belle (an angel) and Macey (my soulmate).

After Gracie died, a vet tech asked me if I was looking for another dog.  She knew I was fond of Greyhounds, but said she had just rescued this little fox-like dog, who had been abandoned in the Bronx.

I said I would meet him.

They had shaved him, leaving a lion-like mane around his neck.  He had the most beautiful face I had ever seen.

I took him for the weekend as a trial, but didn’t even walk half a block before I knew not only would I keep him, but that he was my soulmate.

I wanted a companion for Macy and knew it was going to be a Greyhound.

They had ended the Greyhound rescue program at the AMC, so I found a rescue group in New Jersey.  I took Macy to meet his potential companion.

She was the smallest Greyhound I’d ever seen.  She weighed around 50 lbs .(the bigger Greyhounds can way up to 80).

If she were a woman, she would shop in the petite dept.

They got along from the beginning.  they don’t actively interact much, but occasionally I see Macy grooming Belle.

I feel their spirit.  Belle is not the old soul that Gracie was, but she’s sweet and without any malice.

Macy stares at me wherever I go, even if it’s just the bathroom.  He is connected to me all the time.

I don’t feel that I’ve had a human family, but my dogs are my family of choice.”

Wendy and her rescues (part 2)

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“I learned about the horrible things being done to Greyhounds after they were retired.

They were shooting them, putting them in hot trucks leaving them to die,  and abandoning them after cutting off their ears to remove their identifiable tattoos.

One day in 1993 while I was waiting to cross a street corner, a dog was leaning on me.  I asked the owner if it was a Whippet, but she answered no, it was a rescued Greyhound.   I said, I want one, I want to rescue a Greyhound.  She told me about the program at AMC (Animal Medical Center), where they used them as blood donors and then adopted them out.

2 days later I got Gracie.  She was the first of 3 Greyhounds.  I knew she was a Bodhisattva (enlightened one).  She had a gentle spirit and was an old soul–maybe it was the way she looked at me. She had a peaceful knowing way about her.  When they brought her in the adoption room she approached me, making eye contact immediately without fear.

She knew we were supposed to be together.

I can’t think of any moment that stands out, but all my time with her was extraordinary.         Everyone seemed to think so too.

We had each other for 8 years.”

Wendy and her rescues (part 1)

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“When I was 12 my parents finally let me get a dog.  She was a fox terrier mix.

It was wintertime and nobody in my family helped. I was totally on my own with the dog.

My mother insisted she stay in the bathroom which was very small.  I would take her out with a little sweater, but she would still shiver.

About a month later, I came home from school and she was gone.

My mother got rid of her.  I can only hope she lived a happy life.

I was heartbroken.

2o years later, I married a man with a dog, Xanthi.  I loved her. She was a nut who barked incessantly for no  reason.  We loved her, but she wasn’t everyone’s favorite because of her barking.

One of my memories of Xanthi that is a standout, is when I used to let her in the bed when she wasn’t supposed to be. My husband would come to bed and say, is there a dog in the bed?  I would say, no, and then she would let out a bark.  She couldn’t help herself.

I am a dog in the bed kind of person and he wasn’t.

We were intellectually but not emotionally compatible.

After our marriage broke up, I found out she died through my father.  He never called to tell me.  After all, she was my dog too.