How Many Of These Doggies In The Window Would You Like?


When you apply to a Greyhound rescue organization plan on being next to your phone. Because unless you’ve really screwed up your application, unless you tell them that the reason you want to adopt a Greyhound is because the other inmates thought it would be a good idea, you should get a call within 15 to 20 seconds after pressing the send button.  There are hundreds of dogs that these organizations have access to. They could get you five dogs by next weekend if you’d like. There’s no shortage. And they need you. They need adopters to save lives.

When they call—and they will call–be prepared to listen. And listen. And listen. And have a second phone available because the battery on your first will die. 

They actually do ask some questions.  Mostly they ask about fences. Do you have a fence and how high is it? How big is your yard?  And what about that fence? Are there any holes in it, any places the dog could get out?  What’s the fence made out of?  Are you willing to put up a higher fence?  Fence, fence, fence, fence, fence. Enough already!

But Greyhounds can run like the wind and if you don’t have a fence, fence, fence, fence, fence that’s properly secured they can get out, run 10 miles in a few minutes and when they finally look up they’re as lost as a four year old who’s wandered off in Macy’s alone.

The other issue is cats. They will ask about cats. “You said here you have a cat.”

Yes. Llewis. He’s a five year old grey tabby.

This is the other huge issue. I needed to get a Greyhound that had passed the cat test. This means that your Greyhound did not kill any cats that were presented to it while it was in a foster home or wherever it came from before you received him. Unlike any other breed of dog, the Greyhound is the only one that can actually out run your cat. These guys are the second fastest accelerating land mammal on the planet next to the cheetah so if it’s furry and moves, it could be very dead very quickly. I was assured that the dog I get would be 100% cat safe.

I asked if I could meet the dog I was getting. The short answer: no. This rescue organization, this one specific person running the group, knew best and he would choose.

Given my lack of experience and my nervousness around getting a dog to begin with, the fact that I could not meet the dog that I would spend the next 10 years living with gave me the hee bee jeebies. I wanted at least one date with the dog I was going to marry.

“No. You will get the dog we choose for you—that I choose for you. I know best.”

Already I was beginning to understand the concept of “alpha dog.”

Although no less obsessed than before the phone conversation, I drew the line: I could not agree to an arranged marriage. So I rescinded my application and said thanks but no thanks. 

Soon after I hung up I crawled into my bed and wondered: is this a message from the universe? Should I just let it go?  If I really wanted a dog should I just take what I am given? Aren’t four (very long) legs, a pointy nose and a guarantee the dog wouldn’t kill LLewis the instant he met him enough assurance?  Does wanting to meet my future dog husband make me a weaker candidate for marriage myself?

For a few brief moments, I wondered if my journey had ended before it had ever begun.


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