I knew I could welcome a greyhound into my house and show them the love and care they so desperately needed and wanted, but could I ultimately let them go?
I can tell you the day my life changed. It was August 25, 2013. That’s the day I met a handsome black greyhound that was available for adoption through American Greyhound.
I’ve had greyhounds for over 20 years but adopting the greyhound I met that day has not only changed my life, it created a chain reaction that has affected so many other lives. You could say my greyhound boy, Iker, was the catalyst of this chain reaction.
In the past, I have always supported greyhound rescue through monetary donations. However, after adopting Iker in September 2013, I thought there is more that Iker and I could do than just making monetary donations.
Iker and I started out volunteering slowly with American Greyhound by helping at adoption events and other fundraisers. Iker is a great ambassador for American Greyhound and the greyhound breed in general. At events, Iker is always willing to greet everyone who passes by, show them a few tricks and patiently hopes for a good ear rub or treat from someone.
The next step in volunteering was fostering. I knew I could welcome a greyhound into my house and show them the love and care they so desperately needed and wanted but could I ultimately let them go? Iker and I finally took the jump into fostering in May 2014 and we haven’t looked back. There is no feeling like getting a new foster who is scared and unsure of what is going to happen to them and showing these greyhounds how wonderful the world and their life can be. Now that we have fostered several greyhounds, Iker is a master at showing the new fosters the ropes, especially which are the best pillows to sleep on, how to let me know it’s time for dinner and where the treat jar is kept.
With each foster, the time does come when they are adopted and move on to their forever home. When this time comes, I remind myself that having my foster go on to their forever home will open my home to another greyhound that is waiting for his or her first step towards their own forever. With my last foster’s adoption, I thought that there is a greyhound at a racetrack adoption center that has no idea that he or she will be coming to live at my house, learning to be a dog from Iker and start his or her next career – retirement!
I’ve read a saying that said saving one dog won’t change the world but the world has surely changed for that one dog. I feel that with my adopting Iker from American Greyhound, the lives of so many have changed for the better – mine, my greyhounds, my current and past foster greyhounds, the inmate handlers that worked with Iker in his prison training program and the families who have adopted my foster greyhounds.
Read more about fostering and how to apply to be a foster at americangreyhound.org.