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Greyhounds Race For Your Heart

The Greyhound is an extreme breed of dog. With its name derived questionably from either "Greek Hound" or the Saxon word "Greu", it is probably the oldest breed in the world. Its likeness appeared in Egyptian tombs dating back to 3000 B.C.

Physically, the Greyhound boasts attributes far exceeding most other breeds. At 50 to 100 pounds, it has one of the highest power to weight ratios of any dog, and is capable of speeds up to 45 mph. The Greyhound has incredible eyesight with 270-degree peripheral vision-making it one of the most acutely effective predators in the world.

Greyhound racing has only been around for about 100 years. Being the 6th most popular spectator sport in the U.S., controversy now surrounds this incredible dog. Due to injuries, lack of winning speed or the mandatory retirement age of five, over 20,000 of these dogs are taken off the track each year to be euthanized.

Meeting a Greyhound for the first time only reinforces the shame in killing these dogs. They are so warm, docile and gentle that one immediately falls in love. Greyhounds have a fantastic coat. It's soft like a fine fleece, and comes in all colors, with the tiger-striped brindles being the wildest. Greyhounds have almost no smell, and shed about as much as your refrigerator.

To an untrained eye, Greyhounds looks long and skinny. But to a Greyhound owner, they all look like Arnold Schwartzenegger. With their monstrous hind quarters, they will certainly steam up to their fabled top speed for you in a grassy, open field; but a typical day for a Greyhound is hours and hours of sleep and lounging. That's how they got the nickname, "The 50 mph couch potato."

Because Greyhounds make such terrific pets, adoption agencies are becoming more prevalent all the time. Once adopted from a track, a Greyhound can be about as much work as a puppy. The only thing he's ever known is a crate and a truck and a track; so ringing phones, screaming kids-even carpeting-are all confusing new concepts for him.

Once roughly adjusted to domestic living, a Greyhound gets better and better. He learns quickly, loves to play with toys, and a very silly personality starts to come out. A well-adjusted Greyhound is one of the silliest things you'll ever see. Playing fetch with a Greyhound is nothing short of amazing. One warning: some Greyhounds are slightly aggressive with small dogs and cats.

You can check out the amazing Greyhounds at Cottonwood High School on Sunday, September 24th at 10 a.m. An association of Utah Greyhound owners, in conjunction with the Second Chance Greyhound adoption agency, holds a Greyhound playgroup there (which is also something to see; 20 dogs, 40 mph, no format; Greyhounds ONLY!). For more information on local adoption, please call Second Chance at 801-571-2439.