The sight of dogs at play in a grassy field is a happy image. Humans watch their companions with delight and a desire to visually participate in the innocent play as the “pups” run freely and jump and bow and roll and collide in a carefree way.
And as we watch, we become intrigued when one dog tends to lead the pack, or another is involved in fending off or initiating rough-housing, or another has boundless energy to run, or another tends to jump higher than his or her doggy play pals.
Innocent dog play, however, is violated when self-centered, manipulative people turn a playful run into a wagered dog race, or rough-house play into a wagered dog fight.
I have to give all the credit to my husband, Bill, for adopting Tyler, our retired racing greyhound, seven years ago. We wanted to get a dog, but with both of us working, I was concerned about how much time we could devote to a pet. Greyhound Friends in Hopkinton was having their semi-annual Open House and before hand my husband visited their website (www.greyhound.org) and immediately fell for one red brindle greyhound named Tyler.
On May 8, 1983, Louise Coleman, a rehabilitation counselor for the United States Department of Labor, visited Wonderland Race Track in Revere, Massachusetts, at the urging of an acquaintance who knew that a discarded racer was due to be killed shortly. With no previous experience with greyhounds, Louise adopted Boston Boy, who received a new name Shadow and another chance. Shortly after the adoption of Shadow, Louise Coleman, with the help of several volunteers, started the work of Greyhound Friends, a small non-profit organization dedicated to saving racing greyhounds, The organization was incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts two years later, and since that time more than 7,000 retired racers have found good and caring homes. The dogs were originally housed in Louise’S home and at the Brookline Animal Hospital, but in 1987 the organization received funding from the Ahimsa Foundation to rent a kennel in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. This remains the main adoption center of Greyhound Friends, and it is here that the dogs are prepared for their new lives.When they are received, they are groomed, treated medically, nourished with high quality food, waled and reassured, and outfitted with as new collar an leash. They respond almost immediately to kind treatment and most dogs are readied for adoption in just a few days.Greyhound Friends has many volunteers who help with all aspects of the work.