Greyhound Adopters are Crazy
By Nick Wise
That’s the only word for it. And anyone who likes animals can fall prey to the same sickness. The first time, the VERY first time, a Grey chooses you, he or she will walk up to you, generally from the side, and wrap his head around your leg. If you reach down and stroke the head, the hound will then lean into you, hard. That’s it! You’ve been had. You have never before had this experience, and as the animal that has picked you out loves up to you, you know that there will never again be another animal that will affect you this way.
So, you get out the checkbook. On your way home, you stop and shell out around five hundred dollars for a large dog bed, food and water bowls with an elevated stand, a new Martingale collar, a new leash, and several other essentials. When you arrive at your domicile, you take the dog inside. You spread out the new dog bed, and place a blanket over it. Then, you turn around to show the dog the new bed. The dog, however, has another idea. He looks at you with a look that says “YOU sit there, buster, I’m taking over the sofa.” With that, the dog goes to your new sofa, hops up, circles a couple of times, and lies down.” “Oh, look, Honey,” says your spouse, “wasn’t that cute?” The little lady then sits down next to the dog, and the dog scoots around until his head is in her lap. Okay, so the dog gets to sit on the sofa. It’s kinda alright, because there is little, if any hair to be shed, and you haven’t noticed any doggy odor.
Bed time. You take a shower, change, and head for the bedroom. CHANGE NUMBER TWO. The dog is on YOUR bed, in the place YOU want to sleep. “Oh no you don’t, old buddy,” you say, “that is MY bed, yours is in the other room.” The dog rolls his eyes up and again, the look says “YOU sleep there, this is much more comfortable.” You attempt to physically move the dog from the bed, but before you can get to him, he rolls over into the “Dying cockroach” position. In Greyhound lingo, this is known as “roaching.” The spouse laughs. Okay, the dog won’t move, so what do you do? If Mohammed won’t go to the mountain, then the mountain must go to Mohammed, right? You attempt to move the dog just far enough for you to lie down, albeit a little uncomfortably.
By the end of the next day, Rover has a look on his face that says he is pleased with the progress he’s making in training you.
By the end of the next week, you begin to get the feeling that Rover has adopted YOU, and is allowing you to live in HIS home.
By the end of the first month, if not sooner, the spouse is making little comments like “Wouldn’t it be nice if Rover had a nice little companion?” When this happens, you know in your heart that the spouse has been looking into those deep chestnut eyes, and Rover has her completely mesmerized and is channeling his thoughts through her. Then, on Friday, she tells you that she needs to go to the pet store on Saturday, and she will need your help to get the hundred pound bag of dog food into the car.
The next day, you pull into the parking lot at the mall. Lo and behold, there’s a Greyhound Adoption Meet ‘n Greet going on. Funny how that happened. You glance over at the spouse. Her eyes have glazed. As you walk across the parking lot, her arms begin to extend, palms up, and her walking begins to go stiff-legged, almost zombie-like. Nonsensical sounds start to come from deep in her throat. Then you hear something like “More, more, I must have more!” You’re suddenly glad that Friday was payday.
When you arrive home, you introduce Rover to Grover, and the two Greys exchange knowing glances. Sure enough, Grover immediately takes over the new sofa you just bought to replace the one Rover took over.
Before the year is up, Rover and Grover have been joined by Curly and Pearl. Since there is no room for a fourth sofa, the four take turns, with one of them on the doggy bed. You have resorted to sleeping in a sleeping bag on an air mattress on the floor in the bedroom, when you can entice Pearl off of it with a treat. You’ve learned not to zip the bag shut because it takes too much time to get out when the Greys demand to go outside one last time, which generally happens about twenty minutes after you’ve gone into a deep somnambulism.
The spouse has taken to cooking gourmet meals for the Greys, while feeding you frozen dinners from Marie Callender.
One day, you decide to fix yourself some venison tenderloin. You go to the freezer. The two deer you harvested last season are gone, having been ground up and prepared as “special treats” for the Greys. Do you complain? No, by this time, you believe that nothing is too good for the Greys, and besides, it’s just a few weeks until hunting season. Maybe you can harvest three this year, two for the Greys, and one for yourself.
Somewhere along the line, you are home one day when the spouse leaves the house. Within fifteen minutes, one of the Greys begins to whimper, and then bark. It is soon joined by the others in a cacophony of barking. You go to see if there is a problem. By the time you get there, all the snouts are turned heavenward and they begin to howl. Known as “rooing” in Greyhound speak, it will continue for maybe a minute, then they quit and retire to the sofas/doggy beds/beds/air mattress and you hear not another sound from them until the spouse returns, when again, whimpers and barks until she comes through the door.
And so it goes. The Greyhounds completely take over your house, your routines, your refrigerator and freezer, your whole life. Why? Because you allow it. Why? Because they have mesmerized you, too. But, more than that, because they love you, and they show it, and you have discovered that you love them, also.