Guest article by Catelyn Silapachai
Here in Austin, adoptable greyhounds come from local racing greyhound breeders, other states where greyhounds race and Gulf Greyhound Park near Houston. This was the last race track in Texas to feature live racing, which ended at the beginning of this year.
As many hounds retire every month, there has never been a better time to consider adopting a greyhound. I adopted mine from Greyhound Pets of America-Central Texas (GPA-Central Texas) when I lived in an apartment, and discovered five reasons why this breed is absolutely perfect for life in our town.
#1 Greyhounds Are Perfect for City Living
Greyhounds are used to being crated because of their time on the track, so they make the transition to a home or apartment quite easily. They don’t need much space and they just want to sleep most of the time. And since most retired racing greyhounds have outgrown the puppy stage, they can make it through a typical workday without a bathroom break just fine.
Also, since they’re bred for short bursts of speed, not endurance, most greyhounds don’t need more than a 30-minute walk a day as adequate exercise. Their gentle and calm nature makes them great pets.
All in all, greyhounds are consistently voted one of the best breeds for apartment living, because they’re laid back, are content in a small space and don’t bark very much.
#2 Greyhounds Enjoy Retirement
A typical greyhound’s racing career lasts from one to five years, so they have a long life ahead of them as a pet when they retire. You could witness an adopted greyhound discovering the simple luxuries of being a pet for the first time. You’d think the dogs would be set in their ways after a certain age, but they learn to enjoy the comforts of home life with relish. Seeing them plop onto a fluffy dog bed or try a treat for the first time is beyond adorable.
#3 You Can Take Greyhounds Anywhere
Since Austin is so dog-friendly, I take my greyhounds on errands and out to eat with me all the time. They love getting to see and smell new things. They are naturally so well-behaved that I am often complimented on their training (which is just disposition; I haven’t trained them much at all). They also attract a lot of attention for being elegant and beautiful. It’s an ego boost to receive so many compliments on a daily basis, even if those compliments are really for my dogs.
#4 Greyhounds Are Clean
Greyhounds like to stay tidy. They avoid puddles, don’t roll in mud and take pride in their appearance. This is probably why some people describe them as big cats. And while no dog is truly hypoallergenic, greyhounds come as close as any. Since their skin doesn’t produce oil, they don’t have that “dog” smell, and very rarely need to be bathed.
#5 Long Lifespan for a Large Breed
Greyhounds live to be, on average, 12-14 years old, and some live even longer. Many racing greyhounds have already retired by the age of one or two because they weren’t great at racing. But for the sake of argument, let’s say you adopt a “senior” seven-year-old greyhound. If he or she lives to be 13, you’ll have six years together. To put that into context, six years is the average lifespan of great danes, bulldogs and mastiffs.
Greyhound Adoption in Austin
In Austin, there are three greyhound adoption groups:
All of the groups host regular meet-and-greets at local pet stores and farmers’ markets, with schedules posted online. This is a great way to meet foster greyhounds and get a sense of their temperament and personality in a casual, public setting.
Available dogs are also listed online with short bios that includes their age, personality, whether they are cat safe or not (it’s about 50/50) and a photo. Volunteering has allowed me to see over 60 greyhounds get adopted over the past couple years, and has shown me there truly is a greyhound for every family and lifestyle.
On Friday, Feb. 5, GPA-Central Texas is hosting Greyt Gatsby, a 1920s costume gala to benefit the re-homing of adoptable greyhounds in the Austin. With the recent ruling to close the last greyhound race track in Texas, GPA-Central Texas is preparing for a dramatic increase in the number of adoptable greyhounds, fueling the need for more resources to successfully care for, train and eventually place each animal in a forever home.
The 1920s costume gala and fundraiser hosted at Brodie Homestead will feature the following:
- Greyhound runway show with models, styled in era-appropriate attire by Red Stella Salo
- Mini-movie focusing on dispelling misconceptions about the breed and the real joys of adopting a greyhound, produced by Austin-based digital agency Slice Media
- Luxury Greyt Gatsby-themed photobooth provided by Oh Happy Day Booth
- Period-themed lounge created by Birch + Brass Vintage Rentals
- Numerous raffle items with prizes totaling more than $5,000
Throughout the night, guests will sip on Greyhound and Salty Dog cocktails provided by Tito’s Vodka, and nibble on bites by Aviator Pizza and desserts from Baked by Amy’s. You can purchase tickets here.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Are you a greyhound owner in Austin? Are they the city’s perfect pet?
Catelyn Silapachai is the owner and curator of The Distillery, a collection of vintage, handmade and specialty goods. She is also a Board Member of Greyhound Pets of America – Central Texas.