Friday, April 16, 2010

Traveling on the Greyhound Underground Railroad

I'm taking a break from our usual Friday Flowers feature this week, to tell you about a trip my husband and I took on Wednesday afternoon.  We had the pleasure of sharing our vehicle with six very polite retired racing greyhounds as they traveled from Winter Park, Florida, to their new homes in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

This is called the Greyhound Underground Railroad, "GUR" for short, a term coined in the 1990's by some ladies in the midwest.  We have a network of volunteers who take the dogs from Point A to Point B, handing them off to the next vehicle along the route a lot like the old Pony Express. 

We picked up these dogs at Cracker Barrel in Ashland, Virginia, from Phyllis who started her portion of the trip in Benson, NC.  I'd like to show you photos of us taking them out of Phyllis's van, but it's requires all hands to safely unload six dogs.  No hands were available for photos.  The dogs got a quick walk for a potty break and a drink of water, and we loaded them into our Expedition for our portion of the trip.

The dogs are a little uneasy in the car at first ...

But they quickly settle down.

All of the dogs wear muzzles for their protection.  By the time we get them, they've already been on the road for 12 hours in close quarters.  The muzzles are there to make sure that anyone who may be tired and cranky doesn't do any damage if they snap at one of the other dogs.  We had none of that on this trip.

Let me introduce you.





Oxford - the only boy on this trip

and Zoie.

The dogs spend most of their time with us sleeping ... just like greyhounds do at home.

Sometimes, they sit and look around.

and, sometimes, they try to want to drive 'shotgun'.  Jackie and Hailey took turns on this trip.

Six big dogs are not as cramped as you think they should be in the back of an Expedition.  No matter how many dogs we transport, there always seems to be room for one more.  (We have hauled seven on more than one occasion)  We lay old comforters and blankets down to pad the floor so everyone is as comfy as possible.

It was about 7:30pm when we pulled into the commuter parking lot in Warrenton, Virginia, to hand the dogs to the next set of volunteers for the final leg of their journey.  

We made our first GUR run in the fall of 2002, and more then 300 lucky greyhounds have traveled with us since then.  If your group would like to know more about the Greyhound Underground Railroad, send me an email.  I have a PowerPoint presentation that I give, with details, tips, and lots (and lots) of photos.

Friday Flowers will return next week.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog


  1. Hallo, Sweden here....

    I must tell you, that I love your virtual & image blog!! Amazing mix of pic's & so much inspiration!

    Regards from Agneta

    Ps. I love love love your greyhounds. My first dog was an afghandog. Ds

  2. There will be a special place in heaven for people like you. Lucky Oxford.

  3. Thank you so much for all that you do for the wonderful greyhounds.

    I'm going to put a link to this post at the top of my blog for others to read.

    Charm, my "Gardening Greyhound" thanks you, too! :-)

  4. I so admire you and the work you do to help save the Greyhounds! They are such loving dogs and deserve a loving and caring family to live with..and the work you do will never be done in vain. Thank you!!

  5. You know how I love seeing your flowers, but oh these precious pups...they are truly majestic! You give so much to this wonderful breed and you should be very proud of the work you do!

    Kat :)

  6. What a wonderful organization. Great photos of the greyhounds.

  7. I think I'm in love with Zoie. She has gentle, soulful eyes......

  8. When we moved from NY to Georgia, we had 6 cats in 2 cages in the back of our Explorer. We still have 3 of them. That was an adventure for 17 hours. The dogs are beautiful. Bless you Connie!

  9. This is wonderful work that you do. I've always GOd bless your work.

  10. I would like information on the Greyhound underground railroad. I have a Dodge Caravan and could help I believe. Can you please send me the information? Thank you.


  11. They're all so beautiful. It's so kind of you to do this, it must be very rewarding. Poor racing greyhounds have such horrible lives--I'm glad people like you help them to get loving homes.

  12. Connie

    Great on you and Steve to help bring these woberful dogs to their new homes.


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