Working to overturn the travesty that is Florida Amendment 13
Please visit our main site www.supportworkinganimals.org
The Greyhound Educational site www.keepgreyhoundsracing.org
This is an open letter to anyone who has ever adopted a retired athlete from my farm or my kennel.
Please know that the sweet, or sassy, or mischievous, perfect furry (or bald-butted) being that sits lovingly at your side or on your couch or in your bed at night has known nothing but love and compassion by my hands.
I have loved that retiree (or pup) with every fiber of my being. I have spoiled that precious soul with snacks and attention and my time.
He or she has gotten treats from me when I couldn’t afford more than ramen noodles for myself. I have likely spoiled your greyhound with animal cookies, marshmallows, fig cookies, milk bones, marrow bones, shank bones, vanilla sandwich cookies, whatever breakfast sandwich I was able to grab between sprinting or schooling or turnouts. Whatever I was eating for lunch. Whatever I had for dinner.
Please know that I have also spoiled your new family member with copious amounts of my time. More than 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I have spent countless hours with them outside in the turnout pens. Or the puppy runs.
I have given your greyhound a dozen little nicknames. I have stroked their ears and scritched their butts while I told them how much I love them and how proud I am of them. Even if they came in last.
I have rubbed your dog down dozens of times. I know where they may have hurt and what could have caused it. I know where they loved to be massaged. I know who loves toe massages and who would rather just be scratched behind the ears.
I know who their favorite playmates were in the kennel. And I knew what kind of sweet or mischievous behavior they had when together with their friends. I know where their favorite ‘potty’ spots are. I know who didn’t mind the rain and who would stand under the awning waiting for it to let up so they could ‘go’.
I know exactly the passion and drive they had when I was being dragged by them up to weigh-in before their race. I know how excited they were for that 30 seconds of pure ecstasy of chasing that squeaky lure as it was whirling around the bend. I heard them howling with excitement as they heard ‘Swifty’ getting closer. I would watch them, holding my breath, for the 30 seconds around that track. Saying a small prayer that your new pet would win that race. I’d replay and watch the races. Over and over again sometimes. Making adjustments to exercise and diet to best suit their needs.
I have stayed up all night with brood moms who were having puppies. I have stayed up all night with puppies that weren’t feeling well. I have nursed sickness and injuries. I have pushed the boundaries of my own physical and mental wellness to make sure that dog you have at your side has had the best possible chance with health and happiness in their life.
I have shed tears when your dog was loaded onto the hauler to head to your adoption group. I have prayed for safe passage for them. And mostly I have prayed that you will cherish them and show them the love and care that I have.
Please know when your dog left me, they took a piece of my heart with them. And I will always love them. Always.