Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Snapshot ... The Greyhound Underground Railroad

Yesterday morning, while most other folks were trying hard to avoid the traffic that comes with Labor Day weekend, The Husband and I were willingly diving into it ... helping to transport four newly retired racing greyhounds to their adoption group.


At 7:00 am, we met the hauler ... who left the kennel in central Florida 12 hours earlier. 

He was carrying 20 dogs on this trip, and was met by four sets of volunteers who were transporting the dogs to four adoption groups in four different states ... Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. 


With the back seat of my Jeep folded down, and the floor padded with comforters, there is plenty of room for four greyhounds to ride comfortably. It didn't take them long to settle down.
Our passengers on this trip were:
Olive (race name, Barts Comin Home)
Okra (race name, WWK Fried Okra)
Cooper (race name, JW's Cooper)
and Nichole (don't know Nichole's race name)
As with all trips like this, we are dealing with all sorts of different personalities among the dogs.  Olive (the black one) just wanted to lay down and go to sleep.  Okra (the brindle) was a happy boy who thought Olive was adorable, and wanted to sniff her ... Olive didn't care for that and told him so on at least two occasions.
This is why the dogs wear muzzles while they are traveling ... for their safety.  If one of them gets cranky and snappy, no one (dogs or humans) gets hurt.
Nichole (white with black patches) was a snuggler, and she tried multiple times to climb into the front seat to get into my lap.  I spent quite a bit of the trip with my hand on the side of the driver's seat, holding her back.
Nichole wants to help drive.
Cooper (the white with brindle) stood up for a while, but quickly settled in and went to sleep.  The only time we heard anything out of him was when Nichole sat on his head.  (again, muzzles made sure that barking didn't turn to snapping or injuries.)
blurry photo of the head-sitting incident
We have had our Jeep for two years now, and this was the maiden voyage with four dogs in it.  (I have hauled two or three, but had yet to go for four.)  We figured it would hold four ... but we knew we couldn't be sure until we stuffed them in to test it out.  It was a bit tight, but each dog had enough room to lay down, stretch out, and get comfortable.
Yesterday's trip was a short one.  We picked up the dogs in Fredericksburg, and met the next set of drivers at the Maryland Welcome Center, just south of Baltimore.  We walked the dogs so they could potty and stretch their legs ... then we loaded them into the next vehicle to continue their journey ... to their new forever homes in New York.
Ferrying the dogs like this is my very favorite part of volunteering with greyhound adoption.  The Husband and I have done this since 2000 (or is it 2001) and I stopped counting years ago at 300 dogs that we have transported.  We love to meet them, enjoy them for a few hours, and send them on their way.  
As far as the holiday traffic was concerned, we had a pretty easy time of it.  We did the speed limit almost the whole way north along I-95 ... and we took an alternate route to get home, since we had seen back ups building in places on the southbound side. 
When we got home, we were subjected to a thorough inspection ... as Daniel and Ruby snuffled us all over.  We had been cheating on them with other dogs, you know.
Happy Sunday, Everyone!


  1. Connie, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm afraid I just don't understand the use 'em and lose 'em, mentality. That these wonderful animals are raced and then when they no longer race, they're placed. It just doesn't seem fair. Sure glad there are people like you, to help them!

  2. The whole world of greyhound racing is a very complicated one. There are owners who treat their dogs well while they are training and racing, and place every one of them into adoption or breeding whenever they retire. There are others who distrust adoption and don’t understand, so their dogs are usually destroyed … this is very rare now, thank Heaven. There will always be a supply and demand disparity, with more dogs available than there are homes to take them. Fortunately, this is being improved upon on both ends of the chain … breeders are breeding fewer dogs as greyhound racing wanes in popularity, and more people are realizing that greyhounds make awesome pets, so more homes are available. We can't save all of them, but I am proud to be part of the process that saves as many as we can.

  3. You are such good souls...both of you. I applaud all that you do. I have a friend, that moved, that was a greyhound rescuer, too. I always admired her for that- xo Diana

  4. What a complete and utter blessing you are to those greyhounds, Connie. Wish there were more people like you in the world!! :) I can imagine that each trip you take is a new adventure, never knowing what the personalities of the dogs will be. lol!

    xoxo laurie

  5. This was a cute story. Thanks for posting. Have a great weekend! Carol

  6. You go--keep those greyhounds moving :)

  7. What a rewarding thing to do! Helping these sweet dogs on their way to new homes. I love the 'cheating' part....I get that when I come home after being around other cats! I get a complete sniffing from Charlie! Hugs, Linda

  8. Heartwarming. I love, rare use the word, the concept of a forever home. Ours are rescue dogs too. You are to be commended. Happy Labor Day weekend, Connie.

  9. I'm proud of you, not only for this good deed, but because you didn't return home with another dog! :)


  10. it's always fun and cool to meet newly-retired greyhounds. gayle helped out on a dog haul in 2004 and we ended up bringing one home (although that was not the intention when the day started).

  11. Love what you're doing, have been doing!... and isn't it SO FREAK'N HARD not to take them home?... it's probably the hardest thing about dog rescue for me. I'll take Cooper... and Olive.. and Nicole!.. See???....

  12. I so admire you and everything you and hubby are doing! Happy dogs!!!!!

  13. You make me very proud to be your are truly awesome! And I am surprised you didn't bring another greyhound into the mix... have a great week! donna :)

  14. You and your hubby are the best!such big hearts. I had to tell hubby the story of Cooper getting sat on. Poor boy. And speaking of boys happy to hear Daniel is doing better. He'll be back to his full weight soon I'm sure.


  15. I have to agree with Ms. A, I am afraid it makes me sick that once the humans who exploited them are no longer making money from them, they are essentially dumped!
    I think it is absolutely brilliant what you are doing, I know I couldn't do it, because they would all end up with us!!


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