Posts Tagged ‘GPAEC’
Russ is proving to be a good friend. I expected him to drop me like a hot potato after our date, but he has continued to call and ask how I’m doing. I admit that he hasn’t mentioned going anywhere in public with me, which makes me a little sad, (I mean friends have dinner together every now and then don’t they?) but really the fact that he didn’t completely run screaming for the hills never to be heard from again is a true testament to what a great guy he is.
In retrospect, sending Beth an email with the subject line “my four legged baby” was not terribly bright, before she opened the attachment and her eyes scanned the contents of the email she admitted that she thought I had an ultrasound and that there was something wrong with the baby. I must admit though that I was impressed that of all the emotions Beth conveyed in her email – fear for the baby, concern for how they would address such an odd medical issue, joy and excitement for me after my recent adoption, she never expressed doubt about wanting my baby – even if it did have four legs. Of course, she couldn’t have my four legged baby – he was all mine!
This past weekend, I went to my very first Greyhound Pets of America Meet and Greet. I had been emailing with my local chapter quite a bit, doing the recommended reading, asking questions, and basically just trying to decide if I really wanted a Greyhound or not. Part of the problem was that I had never seen one, except for on TV in commercials for the dog track (Well, and on the Simpsons if you count Santa’s Little Helper.) Through my research I had learned that Greyhounds were not what I expected them to be – high energy dogs that needed space to run and cut loose, so while I learned that their couch potato lifestyle should fit with mine, I still wasn’t entirely sold.
However, on Thursday I opened the newspaper and was looking in the animal/pets section of the classified and I saw an ad that had been placed by the GPA – it had a profile shot of a handsome brindle dog smiling, it said his name was Ben and he was looking for a home. I studied that profile carefully – I liked that smile, and so I asked for the next Meet and Greet date and learned that it was Saturday Morning.
I got up on Saturday and put on my best overalls (a fashion statement I had avoided before pregnancy but now I found that it was comfortable and left most people unsure whether I was pregnant or not) and drove to the vet clinic where the Meet and Greet was being held. Before I even got out of my car I saw a rainbow assortment of tall and skinny dogs standing comfortably with people who were milling about and doing a little meeting and greeting themselves. I didn’t expect for there to be so many dogs, but there were at least a dozen and they were faun, reddish faun, black, and a color that people call brindle but it looked almost like tiger striping! The dogs all looked like lean athletes and I had a hard time believing that they would morph into laid back and companionable pets.
I was quickly approached by one of the GPA volunteers and when I gave her my name, she quickly took me to meet her TWO foster dogs! They were beautiful, a small black female and a tall brindle male. She told me they were small animal tested, both passed with flying colors. However though I was more drawn to the friendly smile of Ted, the tall male, when she told me the stories about him liberating a loaf of bread from the kitchen and “passing it out” to all the other dogs. (Gleefully shredding it so that pieces went EVERYWHERE!) I thought he might be too much dog for my apartment.
Every volunteer that I met was very exuberant when I introduced myself, they introduced their fosters, encouraged me to take their dog for a walk (they had a small yard where you could walk with the dog to interact a little bit). I walked one or two of the dogs, and I must say they were the most laid back dogs ever to walk – they never seemed to pull at the leash or exhibit any bad behavior at all. However, of all the dogs I walked, while many were beautiful I just didn’t get that tug that told me that my dog was there.
Then just as I was trying to decide what to do, a van pulled up, and a woman hurried out apologizing for being late. Marie, the president of the local GPA chapter, who I was talking to when this mysterious stranger pulled up waved at the woman and called out to her -
“Ann, this is Joy!” she said excitedly.
Ann, the woman from the van, had the back of the van open and was bringing out her foster dog, Ben. She brought him right to me and put his leash in my hand and encouraged me to take him for a walk. Ben was a tall brindle male, but his stripes were more brown and black, than the orangey brown and black of the other brindles, and his fur was exceptionally soft. He walked right next to me, in a perfect heel though I hadn’t uttered any kind of command. His eyes were beautiful, dark soulful eyes that seemed wise and a little sad.
When Ben and I came back to where Ann was now standing smiling broadly, she started to tell me his story. Ben was actually retired from racing years earlier and he had lived with a family for the past few years. However, he had killed a cockatiel that his family had brought home and kept on an open air stand (Sounds like bad people, not really a bad dog.) so they took him to the vet to be destroyed, saying he was a dangerous animal. The vet took the dog and called the GPA refusing to destroy a dog for doing what it was bred to do. Ben had been pining for him family, Ann was struggling with getting him to eat. I had been petting Ben while we were talking and he had leaned against my leg. I smiled down at him.
A young girl, probably around ten or eleven, came over and asked Ann if she could walk Ben, and I looked up to see the girl smiling at me and her mother (who had sent the girl over to ask) standing a few feet away. My heart skipped a beat, but Ann told the girl she would have to ask me. I was shocked when I heard myself say, “not right now.” (I am normally never one to tell a child no to such a reasonable request.) Ann looked at me grinning broadly.
“So do you want him?” She asked.
I knelt down in front of the dog, and I asked him “do you want to come home with me?”
Obviously he had no words to answer, but he put his head down and stepped up to me, burying his head against me. It was almost like he was saying, “I thought you would never ask.”
Within twenty minutes the paperwork was signed, I purchased a new leash and collar from the clinic where the Meet and Greet was being held, and Ben was mine. I was so happy that I even let the little girl take him for a walk, and my heart lifted a little when I saw that though Ben went with her, he looked back over his shoulder seeming to make sure I wasn’t going anywhere. Ann and I were talking, she was telling me what kind of food he was eating and what schedule he was on, etc. etc. I was so engrossed I almost didn’t notice that the girl and her Mother were standing near Marie with Ben, Marie was shaking her head.
The girl brought Ben back to me a few moments later and as she handed me the leash back she said “this was going to be my dog, but they said you got it first.”and then she walked away.
Ben was leaning against my leg, and I couldn’t help but think that he got me first.