Why am I interested in Adopting a Greyhound?
Is it for myself, for the kids, to replace a beloved dog that has died? Be sure that your reasons are sound, and not motivated by inpulse, whimsy, or unrealistic expectations. Ask yourself why you are interested in greyhounds specifically? "Saving" a greyhound is not a good reason to get a dog if you don't truly want a greyhound.
Does everyone in the family really want a greyhound?
Despite good intentions and promises, at least 75% of the work involved with a dog will inevitably fall on the domestic leader of household. To pick up the other 25%, make certain that all the other family members are willing to pitch in, and really want the dog. A dog that starts off being unwanted or resented by even one family member cannot be expected to adjust and lead a happy life.
Will a greyhound fit my family's lifestlye?
Dogs are creatures of habit, and greyhounds in particular thrive on routine. Are you going to be happy going straight home after work to walk the dog? Will anyone be home with the dog during the day, especially if you are gone for more than 8 hours? If no one is home, do you have a responsible and trustworthy neighbor willing to come in and walk the dog? Do you have enough free time and energy to put into the necessary care, training and companionship that a greyhound will require? Greyhounds are happiest in homes where they can be with their owners as much as possible.
Can my fastidious nature tolerate having an animal in the house?
If you are someone who keeps an immaculate house, be prepared to rethink the whole idea or to make big changes in your lifestyle. Greyhounds absolutely cannot be kept in an outdoor kennel. They are clean dogs by nature, but are still capable of tracking in mud, or having an occasional accident on the rug. Even the best mannered and most reliable housebroken dogs have accidents. What happens when your dog get sick, and can't help vomiting or defecating on your oriental rug? Or when he gets old, and his bladder control is not what it used to be? Will you still love your dog even if he destroys your carpet?
Am I prepared for the expense of dog onwership?
Food, licenses, routine veterinarly costs, emergency vet visits, all can quickly put the financial feasibility of dog ownership out of the question for many. Ask yourself what you will do if the dog becomes ill and requires a $1000 surgery? Or if he is attacked by another dog, and has to stay a week at the emergency vet to the tune of $2000? Dollar amounts like these can help you figure out whether the dog will truly be a member of the family.
Can I accept all the responsibilities that come with being a dog owner?
That includes willingness to provide good nutrition, grooming, vet care, companionship, and love. It also includes thigns like scooping the poop, cleaning up the vomit, patching up "owies," cutting nails, keeping poisonous plants out of the yard, and especially keeping the dog on-leash or in a fenced area at all times when outside.
Am I prepared to do the research?
For the sake of your family, and for the sake of the dog you adopt, you must make an informed decision about dog ownership. We require you to read either Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies by Lee Livingood, or Adopting the Racing Greyhound by Cynthia Branigan.
Will I commit to walking the dog at least once a day?
Including if the dog needs to go out at 2am on a workday? Sometimes it is hard to get off the couch after a long day, or out of bed when you know you have an early meeting.....
Do I have a plan for my dog's welfare if I should become unable to care for a dog, or have a change in lifestyle?
If you are renting your home, are you willing to make sure that your dog can join you? If you change residences (many apartment buildings do not allow large dogs)? if you someday have children, are you willing to make sure that the greyhound does not get forgotten in your life? If you should become ill or die unexpectedly, do you have a plan for the greyhound's care?
Do I understand that a greyhound is an 8-10 year commitment?
Am I commited to caring for this dog for the rest of its life, however long that may be? Understand that the dog will depend on you for everything: food, shelter, medical care, love, attention, happiness, security.
Am I willing to focus more on the dog's personality, health and characteristics and less on how cute it looks?
Greyhounds may have visual cosmetic scars due to racing, or hair loss on their back ends. If you are choosing a dog for looks, that is a good way to oick the wrong dog for you. You don't want to pick a dog for looks anymore than you want to pick a spouse for looks alone. We see so many people who come to us wanting "a small fawn female," but who end up falling in love with the goofy nature of a huge cow-spotted male. Keep your mind open, and let the dog pick you.
Are we all committed to taking the necessary time and having the patience to make a greyhound part of our family?
Any dog will take some time to adjust to your family. Be aware that there may be some unexpected behavioural issues that arise as the dog settles into your home. Are you prepared to deal with the issues, and do what you need to do to make the situation work? Know your limits, and know what you are and are not willing to work with.