Friday, May 6, 2011

Adopting Retired Racing Greyhounds

George and Grace in Motion
 My husband was the first to say that he would be interested in adopting retired racing dogs, but I didn't think much about it until I took my two young sons to the Chetco Community Library and met a woman who had adopted three and dreamed of having a six pack.

The dog at the library, was polite and regal, and named Jamie.  She looked like she had stepped out of an Egyptian mural from the age of the Pharaohs.  I talked to her owner and began to do research, falling more in love with the regal breed even though there was something almost deformed looking to me in the narrow waist and needle nosed look.  The strange dog could walk right out of an ordinary collar because her head and neck kept getting narrower as you moved up from the shoulders.
Grace used to race as "Enchanted Dream"

We finally found two dogs from a track in Arizona and they were due to be flown up to our local airport on September 15, 2001

Then the World Trade Towers were attacked and flights by small planes without navigational computers were halted for quite a while and That fell through.  I still hope those hounds found homes, instead of the early death that many racers face.
In October of the same year, a race track adoption group, called "Homes For Hounds" agreed to bring us down two from the Willamette Race Track near Portland, Oregon  and they brought several others to try to place in this area as well.

So we got a 2 year old, red Brindled female named "Enchanted Dream" and a 5 year old, red male named "Hard Drive Kid"   Since I wanted friendlier names and had adored George Burns and Gracie Allen, We re-named them George and Grace.  They came, hard muscled, bone thin, used to all kinds of noise and chaos, but unsure how to live in a house, stairs and glass windows and snuggling were alien to them.  They would lie there unafraid as we vacuumed around them but stare at the flight of stairs with fear.  They had no sense of where home was and could run far and fast and be lost quickly.  We had a few close calls when they slipped under the fence or out of a collar.

We thought that racing dogs would be hyper, but they were so mellow in the house we called them our speed bumps.  They were not the best for bonding with children, instead they focused on the adults and followed us loyally.  They even had been cat tested, to see if they reacted aggressively and these two barely ever glanced at out two feline family members.

playing with neighbor dog

George was getting older but still all heart

"Hard Drive Kid" on the tracks, George at home
A racing hound is bred to be strong and any puppy with any weakness has been ruthlessly culled.  The one advantage of this is that the breed has no disposition to weakness and ailments like many specific breeds do.

Our hounds lived long and happy lives right up until the week they died.  George two years ago, and Grace this week.  They were such a delight and will live forever in our hearts.

"Say Good-Night Gracie"


  1. Thanks for sharing about your dog children, Dixie!

  2. Such beautiful dogs! and such a lovely story. I am so sorry to hear about your loss (((hug))).