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  1. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away." I had one of those moments when I first set eyes on Heisman. It was August 2008. His foster mom and dad, Ginny and Al, brought him over to introduce him to my husband and me, and to conduct a home visit for the adoption group. We were brand new to the breed, and simply wanted to adopt a dog that needed a home. I was not prepared for how much I would fall in love with this dog. Heisman's handsome looks had me at Hello! His soulful eyes, coupled with his air of quiet confidence and intelligence sealed the deal. Our first Greyhound was super cool. The next 7.5 years were measured by many more moments Heisman took my breath away and I am smiling through tears as I recall some of them now. The Grand-dog. My mother was always afraid of dogs, especially large dogs. But Heisman made the same first impression on her as he did with me and she was immediately comfortable with him. My parents live nearby, and Heisman enriched their lives as much as he did ours. They were always happy to see him and he developed special bonds with each of them. The Big Brother. Alex, also a Blue Brindle, joined our family in 2009. Only several weeks apart in age, Alex was always happy to have Heisman in the lead. Early on, I was in awe watching Heisman patiently teach Alex how to walk down stairs (their story was published in Celebrating Greyhounds magazine, Spring 2010) "Come on, Alex, don't be afraid. Let me show you how to walk down the stairs..." " It's easy, see? Follow me, Alex!" (Heisman wshhhttt down the stairs; Alex tried, but was still stuck at the top) "Okay, I'll come back up and we'll walk down together. Slowly. Step-by-step. You're doing great, Bro! I'll stay by your side." The Gentleman. Heisman was a joy to live with: he was good-natured, well-mannered, and he always carried himself well. On walks, curious drivers stopped their cars and got out just to meet him. He'd frequently lean on them, just like he did with this man at a community dog event. The Ex-Racer. One day, a man recognized Heisman from afar, and rushed over to us. It turned out that he was Heisman's caretaker from his old track days. He was on his knees, petting and kissing Heisman, and sharing heartwarming stories about Heisman's life as a racer. Heisman was a closer (slow to start, fast to finish) and ran best on longer tracks. He adored Heisman and I was delighted to learn that my dog was genuinely cared about in his former racing life. The Peacekeeper. One of the few times we took Heisman to a dog park, he diffused a dog fight. In the middle of a high-energy pack of dogs, a bully Lab started going after a Spaniel. Before any of us humans could do anything, Heisman came out of nowhere and thrust himself into the fight. He barked, attacked, and nipped at the Lab enough to distract him, allowing the Spaniel to get on her feet and run, then Heisman ran after and with her, fending off the Lab until the Lab lost interest. It was an amazing thing for all of us to witness and I get goose-bumps thinking about it. The Spaniel's owner happily thanked Heisman for intervening and we were all relieved no one had to go to the emergency vet. The Communicator. Heisman used a repertoire of sounds, pants, snorts, woofs, whines and gestures to communicate with us. He would tap his front paw against the wall, our legs, the refrigerator, etc, when he was trying to tell us something. Sometimes, he'd nip my butt. My mom taught him to play-bow on command - she called it "Happy Stretch" - and it morphed into as his way of answering "YES!" when we guessed correctly what he wanted. "What do you want, Heisman? Outside? (no reaction) Food? (no reaction) Treat? (Yes! Happy-Stretch!)" or whatever it was he was telling us. Watch his communication skills announcing to my husband that it is 5:30 and dinnertime. Yes, he could tell time, too! Turn on your speakers: View My Video The Greeter. Weekends and nice weather meant taking Heisman and Alex to community events (art shows, festivals, car shows), meet-and-greets, shopping (Home Depot, Petco, the mall) or dining at one of many dog-friendly restaurants in the area. We live in a touristy area, and many people approached us to say hello to the Boyz and to take their photos. So funny, both dogs would pose like Greek statues when the cameras came out. Often, we'd be surrounded by a crowd of picture-takers, and it's the closest we'll ever come to being the target of paparazzi! (smile) Along with the normal questions we all get from strangers, Heisman's demeanor, friendliness, unique coloring and bunny-soft fur were often subjects of conversation. Alex and Heisman anticipating their public relations duties Heisman enjoyed his life and our lives were better because of him. Then a few weeks ago... Another moment that took my breath away - an awful one - came when our happy and healthy Heisman suddenly fell in the house and broke his leg... in three places. It was the upper part of right rear leg. The orthopedic surgeon, who has fixed many Greyhound bones over the years, could not fix Heisman's. Healthy bones would not have broken that way, he told us. Further heroics were not good options. Our sweet boy was sure to have the Dreaded O. There was no hope. Devastated and heartbroken, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Heisman. We miss this special dog so much. My dad recently said that all of our lives are diminished because Heisman is not with us any longer. [Yes, a happy sad stretch to that one, Daddy Don!] As I look back over the seven-plus years, I treasure the memories of all those precious moments Heisman took my breath away. And someday when it is my turn to cross the Bridge, I know my boy Heisman will be waiting for me - ears up. I love you, Heisman.
  2. So I am meeting a potential greyhound to adopt on Thursday. I am so excited. And nervous. And scared. And happy......... What I know about him from his foster mom is this: He is 4 years old, born in October. He is 76lbs, male, light fawn with a black muzzle. His racing name is Mac's Frost, but goes by Frost. He is cat safe. She said he will walk up and sniff cats, but is not interested in them after that. She said he is a super laid back, relaxed dog. He is crated for 7 hours while she is at work and is good. She also said he is a leaner, which means I will probably never stand at the sink to do dishes alone again! She asked me that if the M&G went well on Thursday if I would be taking him home then. As much as I want to I can't as I have drill with my National Guard unit this weekend and my husband is working overtime. So I didn't feel that bringing him home and then abandoning him for the weekend was the wisest thing to do. Darn National Guard!!!!! Oh my goodness I'm so excited. I have got to get some stuff ordered on Amazon like right quick! A pet gate for the cats and possibly a crate since he is being crated at his foster home. Thank goodness we already have a dog bed and some toys and a neater feeder! My head is spinning! Not sure if we will keep his name. I feel bad thinking about changing it since he probably knows it, but my husband and I are not fans of his name. So we'll just see! But without further ado here is the required picture!
  3. Hello everyone! After the threads I posted asking questions, I'm finally adopting so I wanted to introduce myself. We are picking up our first greyhound, CTW First Degree, in the beginning of July. I'm beyond excited! If anyone has any tips, please let me know!
  4. We adopted my first Greyhound (my husband had them as a child), Itsy, a little over 1 week ago. She is very sweet and docile, but only when we can get her to come downstairs from our bedroom. Once we introduced her bed to her and placed it in our bedroom, she spends 99% of the day in there. I know that she probably feels safe up there, but she will only come downstairs when called to go outside or to eat. The first couple of days, she would come to us, but she was always shaking like a leaf. Now she at least wags her tailwhen she comes to us and when we pet her. So we know she's starting to get a little more comfortable around us. But she is ALWAYS upstairs in her bed and never comes down on her own, only when called. And after she comes downstairs, she will stay for a few seconds and then suddenly run back upstairs as if she's still scared of us. We also have a 6 year old son who is very good with her, but we know she is still pretty skittish around him. However, she will run back upstairs regardless of whether our son is with us or not, so it's not just him. We have tried blocking off the stairs so she has to stay on the main floor and spend time with us, but she becomes very nervous and shaky. Are we doing something wrong? Is there anything we should do differently? How long will it take for her to get used to us? We want her to stay with us on the main floor and have her become part of the family. Please help!
  5. After researching many breeds, I concluded that a greyhound seems like the perfect fit for my household. However, I've never owned one and would really like some advice and tips for bringing one home. I'll be going to pick up my new girl, a retired racer, in 5 days. Here's the only picture I managed to snag of her that wasn't too blurry whenever I went to visit: I have no other dogs. Thanks in advance!
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