April is Greyhound Adoption Month! So, we headed to Bonita Springs Dog Park to meet two rescued Greyhounds, Mac and Mikey, and their owner, Greg, to learn more about the breed and ways people can give these loving dogs forever homes.
Sitting on a bench underneath the warm sun at Bonita Springs Dog Park, I can’t help but admire Mac and Mikey as they burst into sprints and playfully interact with other dogs in the park. I exchange friendly conversation with Greg, who illustrates what it’s like to adopt a Greyhound. He tells the story of how these two found their way into his life. Here, he also shares important things to know if you’re looking to adopt this unique breed.
A meet-and-greet at a hardware store on Bonita Beach Road is where Greg discovered Mac. “Greyhounds sell themselves,” he said, “once you look into their eyes, they’ll tell you everything you need to know.”
Southwest Florida is an idyllic place to rescue a Greyhound. Currently, there are only 19 Greyhound dog tracks in the country, 12 of which are located in the state of Florida. Out of those 12 Florida-based tracks, three are located here in Southwest Florida, leaving many retirees in need of a home.
45 MPH Couch Potato Adoptions is a non-profit charitable organization that actively looks for homes for Greyhounds rescued from dog tracks. They service Bonita, Naples and Fort Myers. This is who Greg adopted his two dogs from and he explained how others can do the same. Unlike conventional dog adoption processes, 45 MPH Couch Potato requires extensive paperwork, background checks, and a home visit; to ensure the dog is going to a suitable home. Additionally, the organization takes care of all medical issues derived from racing, so the family doesn’t have to incur added costs.
Many people believe Greyhound tracks are unethical and keep Greyhounds in a cage when they’re not racing. However, according to Greg, the dogs are only in their crates during sleeping time. Greg tells us that racing Greyhounds spend the majority of their days on the track exercising, training and enjoying playtime. He says the Greyhound trainers also spend ample personal time with the dogs and grow very fond of them.
Once you take a Greyhound off the track, they morph from fast and furious to laid-back, playful and loyal. Greg explained that one of the bigger misconceptions surrounding Greyhound race retirees is that they need lots of room to run. In reality, they are perfectly content in a condo or apartment, and they sleep between 12-14 hours per day.
Greg compares Greyhounds to potato chips, “You cannot just have one.”
To make a fast friend of your own, visit 45 MPH Couch Potato on Facebook .