Greyhound rescue: Laura’s story

Photo by Jesse Schwarcz, Schwarcz Photography, www.jschwarczphotography.com

Before we adopted our seven-year-old greyhound, Laura, we didn’t know much about greyhounds. Sure, we did research, but we didn’t have much exposure to the dogs with the exception of our friend’s grey Houdini. He was a beautiful black boy with failing eyesight, but with a big heart and a quiet demeanor.

Our first stop on our journey to becoming greyhound parents was to visit the breed at a local meet and greet, which was led by Sue Sprague, an experienced greyhound owner (she and her husband Skip have six hounds plus an Italian Greyhound). Skip and Sue are demo leaders for the Maine Greyhound Placement Service, located at 231 Old Belgrade Road in Augusta.

Think of a meet and greet like a big love fest where humans and hounds come together.

Because that’s what it was.

We researched the breed, watched television shows on greyhounds, and finally made the call to MGPS’s Mary Towle to discuss what adopting meant and to tell them about us.

Boy were we green. We just wanted a chill, loving dog to welcome to our home. And we knew the adoption came with responsibilities.

But it didn’t matter. We were ready. Once Mary gave us the go, we set up the appointment for Dec. 27, the day before my birthday. We picked up the necessary supplies: a bed, a kennel, food, bowls, and even a toy or two. We were ready.

Any pet adopter will tell you that you just know when it’s the “the one.” Executive Director Scott Bruns started the matchmaking process with a parade of fawn colored hounds. They were sweet, but no real connection. My husband really loved the fawn color, which was part of why we looking at that color.

I told him that he didn’t have to show us just fawn-colored dogs. We would be happy with any color dog. We just wanted a loving family member.

Then came Laura.

Laura, who upon walking out into the meeting room made a beeline for me.

Laura, who walked poorly on leash while simultaneously staying close to us.

Laura, who when we said we really like her but wanted to look at just one more, gave me the sad eyes. And when another family was accidentally introduced to her, kept trying to come back to us.

That was the moment when I knew: She was the one. My husband wanted to look at “just one more” but I had made my mind up. As it turns out, we lucked out. Stan, a gorgeous fawn, was not cat safe and our Maine Coon kitty’s safety came before any dog.

We all but shouted it from the rafters: LAURA’S THE ONE! And after filling out some paperwork, she was ours.

Ours!

Since that day, the day before my 30th birthday, we’re been on an amazing journey. Laura’s not your typical greyhound, but she’s our greyhound.

Laura is one of the 4,000 greyhounds placed through MGPS since it started in 1993. The organization, which operates as a non-profit placing retired racers with loving retirement homes, has grown to accommodate upwards of 50 dogs at a time from its kennel at 231 Old Belgrade Road in Augusta. The kennel is flanked by the East Coast Greyhound Clinic, which not only provides basic medical care, dentals, and spay and neuter surgeries for MGPS’s greyhounds but also for local animal rescues.

And it’s run by passionate people. This isn’t a fly by night company. It’s an organization with one goal: to care for and place greyhounds that are no longer racing.

And they do it well.

MGPS provided us with a companion (who is a loveable troublemaker!) and they are continuing to do that for other prospective owners.

The organization will hold its annual Open House and Reunion on June 15-16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is $5 per car. No adoptions for new owners will be done during the open house, but veteran owners can inquire about bringing home another grey that weekend.

For more information, visit MGPS here.