You may remember that last year, right around this time, we went through a very hard time when we lost our greyhound Jinjo at nearly 11 years.
She'd been with Josh and me for more than 5 years (we got her the summer after we got married), and in so many ways she completed our little family in our little apartment.
When James came along, life got busier, but Jinjo was always there, happy just to get a pet on the head and then snooze all day in the sun. Greyhounds have got to be the absolute perfect dogs for quilters - they're clean, they don't smell, they have very short hair, they don't slobber or drool, and they sleep all day curled up like a cat!
When we lost her last year...it's hard to describe...it's like I suddenly realized just how much I loved her and would miss her and how much it was hurting to lose her.
Jinjo taught me that you never know how much time you have, so you should be loving and kind EVERY day. It's easy to assume you will have years and years, but sometimes you don't, and you never know when it will be the last time you get to say, "I love you."
I'm bringing this whole story back up again because Josh has been hinting all summer that he was ready to get a new greyhound. He'd occasionally mention it to James and the two have been bringing it up regularly for several months.
For me, the pain of losing Jinjo always overshadowed the desire to get a new hound. Finally last weekend Josh and I attended Renaissance Festival and spent some time with the greys in the rescue tent. It was quickly obvious that both Josh and I were missing having a dog and it was time to look into getting a new grey.
So why do I only want a greyhound?
Quite simply, they are the perfect dogs. Once you have one, I don't think you can go back for just any ole' dog.
Greyhounds are unusual because they're pretty big dogs, but very skinny. They also have lots of energy, but in spurts of around 10 to 20 minutes. After a good walk or run, they're ready for a long nap, and generally happy to stay put curled up in the corner of whatever room you're in.
The thing that makes greys really different is their racing life. From how I understand it, all greyhounds are bred to race, and puppies are trained for racing from the time they're born. If they don't race well, they leave the track at 2 years old. The dogs that race well continue racing until they turn 5 (or are hurt) when they are automatically retired.
For a long time, greyhounds didn't have much of a life after the race track. People didn't realize that these were excellent dogs that could make terrific pets, so for a very long time, the dogs that didn't work out on the track simply didn't live very long.
Now we have wonderful organizations like Greyhound Friends of NC which collect dogs of all ages from the track and set up a system for them to be adopted. Most states now have one or more organizations to rescue greyhounds, so if you're interested make sure to google your area to see what's available.
Recently we contacted GFNC and began looking through their lists of greyhounds available for adoption. After being approved for adoption, we headed up to Greensboro, NC today to visit with the hounds and hopefully find one that would fit with our family.
We met many dogs today, but this little girl is the "one:"
I had to keep reminding myself that I was not going to get a carbon copy of Jinjo. Being younger, she's going to need a bit more exercise and attention, but after an hour playing around, I think she's going to be a great fit for our family.
We spent a lot of time testing her with James. I just wanted to be sure that even if James ran around, made sudden moves, yelled or fell down that it wouldn't scare or startle the greyhound. While it will take time for both the dog and our son to get used to one another, this particular greyhound seemed totally uninterested in chasing James, which is a great sign.
As we did last time, Josh and I began auditioning different names for our pretty girl. Finally we all settled on Kally. In two weeks, Kally will be spayed, have her teeth cleaned, nails trimmed, and be ready to come home.
I think I speak for all of us when I say "I can't wait!"