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Go Greyhound


I’m a cat person.

I’m married to a dog person, and have been for almost 30 years, so there’s your proof that the two can co-exist. We also have both in our house, and for the most part, they co-exist too, albeit sometimes begrudgingly But I don’t like dogs.

I will, however, admit to liking one dog… ever. A few days ago, we were out riding bikes and we came across a lady walking a pair of greyhounds. If you’ve ever walked a greyhound, you’ll know that sometimes it’s more like they are walking you. But these two were pretty chill.

Seeing them reminded me of the greyhound I brought home from work back when I worked at Southland. It’s Southland Casino & Hotel these days, and the establishment has been through some name changes over the past decade or so, but back then it was (and had been for 40-plus years) simply Southland Greyhound Park.

I worked there for almost 10 years, working directly with the dogs in various ways, so I speak on somewhat of an authoritative level when I say some greyhounds are, admittedly, not pet material. They can be aggressive and loud and too rambunctious to keep around the house, but a lot of them, including the one I took home, was not.

Her name was Kelly (her racing name was PA’s Kelly Girl), and she was this cool yellow color that’s identified as “fawn” in the greyhound world.

Anyway, after her racing career was over and the decision was made not to breed her (she was a solid “B” dog, if

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you are at all familiar with the greyhound racing grading scale). She won plenty of races, but she was never in that elite “Grade A” level of dogs for much of her career that would have seen her set up for breeding after her racing days had ended.

So, instead, she was put up for adoption and I had already called “dibs” so I brought her home. This was around 2002. She quickly adapted from kennel life to home life, although she never did quite get the hang of moving quickly on laminate or tile flooring. She ran circles around our backyard (out of habit), loved going out to my in-laws’ farm to run around and even “ran” in her sleep sometimes. She got along great with the kids and other dogs.

We had her for about three years, until New Year’s Eve of 2005. Sadly, she got spooked by some fireworks and climbed our (six foot) fence and shot off into the night. We scoured the neighborhood. Every so often, we’d run into some folks whe happened to be outside… at midnight… on New Year’s Eve… probably the same folks whe had been shooting the fireworks. Despite our search, we never saw her again. I hope she found a good home. She had identifying ear tattoos, so whoever found her could have made an effort to get her back where she belonged, so they must have decided to keep her, at least that’s what I tell myself.

So, anyway, I said all that to say this… with greyhound racing ending forever at Southland in just a few months, there are going to be a lot of greyhounds in search of retirement homes. Some will go on to race at one of the few greyhound tracks left operating in the U.S. (there are only three left in business in the whole country, two in West Virginia and one in Alabama — there were once more than 50). But most will be put up for adoption. That’s a lot of dogs!

So, if you’re looking for a fun and somewhat unique pet and you’ve got room in your heart (and in your home), I would strongly recommend adopting one.

You can get in touch with Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option at (870) 735-7317 and go pick one out today!

Just keep them inside on fireworks nights…

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