Our Volunteer Spotlight!
Jody, along with her husband Joe live in New Lenox, IL. Her family consists of two adult sons, Jeff (wife Kellie) and Eric (fiancé Jen), as well as four grandchildren; Brett, Jackie, Cassie and Kaylee. They currently have three greyhounds named Chad, Silver, and Augustina. Jody has been a very active member of, and volunteer with American since July of 2014.
We had a chance to catch up with Jody and ask her some questions about her involvement with greyhounds and dogs in general, as well as her involvement with American Greyhound. This is what she had to say:
How did you first get interested or learn about greyhounds?
“I’ve been a sight-hound person for many years, beginning with afghan hounds in the early 70’s. I have been blessed to have had many afghans share their lives with me through the years, and proud that I’ve owned or co-bred several AKC champions. My husband Joe, and I were attending a festival many years ago, where a group was doing a meet and greet with retired racing greyhounds. I was drawn to them and admired the breed, with their gentle and low keyed demeanor. They were still a sight-hound, but with the added bonus of much less grooming than my afghans! At that point, it just wasn’t the right time for us to adopt as we already had a full house with our afghans and dobermans. But, year after year, we’d stop by that booth with the greyhounds, and every year, I’d say to myself, “I think I’d like to get one of those dogs someday” which we eventually did.”
When did you adopt your first greyhound?
“We adopted Chad from American Greyhound in July of 2014. After losing my Saddlebred horse B-Bop, our doberman Hope, and our afghan hound Faith all in three months time, a heart healer was needed, and suddenly the time was right to add a greyhound to our home. So began the search. I did research like most future adopters do, and looked online at all the different groups and their available hounds. There was a dog on the American Greyhound website named Chad, who I seemed drawn to, so I put in an application and was approved. I spoke with his foster mom Barb Coggins, and we set up a time to go meet him. On my part it was love at first sight! Although, my husband Joe on the other hand was still afraid of loving, then losing another, and he put up a tough front. However, Chad leaned in and won him over so Chad ended up going home with us that day, and so our greyhound journey began. Since coming into our lives, not only has he healed our hearts, he has obtained his CGC, CGCA, CGCU titles and become a certified therapy dog with Alliance of Therapy Dogs. We are so proud of him!”
What is it that you like about American Greyhound and keeps you associated with the group?
“I love the hounds! And, I appreciate the fact that AG welcomes not only greyhounds, but all sight-hounds that need a safe place to land. I’m especially proud to be part of an organization that recently worked with other groups, to help bring 39 Galgos from Spain to the United States. None of what American Greyhound does, could be done without the many dedicated volunteers working together for a common cause. It truly does take a village! I feel fortunate in that, because of American Greyhound, I’ve met so many people that I now call my friends.”
Tell us about what you do for, or within the American Greyhound group, as well as your American Greyhound experience and how you got started with the group.
I do several meet and greets in the South Suburban area, along with a a group of fellow volunteers. It all started when (President) Jeff Coggins contacted me, and asked if I would be interested in starting up a meet and greet at the Orland Park Pet Supplies Plus, further expanding American Greyhound into this area. I said “yes,”as at that time the group did not have a large physical presence in the south suburbs of Chicago. I enjoy getting out and promoting American Greyhound and greyhound adoption. It is for many people, their first introduction to the breed, along with lurchers and galgos, and a great way to educate people about them. It was, after all, how I first learned about retired racing greyhounds. It’s also a great way to get not only our dogs out, but us out for some socialization as well! Now, in addition to the Pet Supplies Plus store in Orland Park, we have added the Mokena Petsmart and the New Lenox Petco stores as well.
Joe and I have attempted to foster and failed, adopting Silver and Augustina in 2015. I admire those that can foster, and I hope to try again some day and be successful. For us, foster failing and adopting Silver and Augustina was a good thing, as they are much loved and we can’t imagine life without them. And, like Chad, they both have become certified therapy dogs and are wonderful ambassadogs for the breed.
I’ve also helped out with finalizing some adoptions, and it’s always fun to see the happiness of adopters when adding a new family member to their home. When a request for help was made to do a leg of a transport for five lurchers on their way to Canada, myself and two other friends/volunteers took the American Greyhound van and helped them get to the next leg of their journey. I’m also very proud, to have been one of the volunteers that worked on creating the American Greyhound Coloring Book. It was thrilling to take the project from an idea, through it’s development stages, and then finally see the actual finished book. This coloring book has become a great promotional item to give to children at the Greyt Readers programs, as well as meet and greets and other events.
Something I really enjoy participating in is the “Greyt Readers” events at the Tinley Park Library each month. This American Greyhound program fits right into what has become an important part of my life, which is doing therapy work with my dogs.
Do you have any Hobbies when your not busy with American Greyhound and everything else you have going on?
Though I no longer have a horse of my own, I do continue to ride at the barn where I spent so many years at. I’m also still involved with afghan hounds; continuing to serve as Vice-President and Show Secretary of the Afghan Hound Club of Greater Chicago.
Therapy work with my three hounds has become a passion. We can be found at schools, library’s, or senior facilities. Putting smiles on so many faces, and a warm feeling in my heart!
All of us at American Greyhound would like to thank Jody for all of the hard work she does, and the important contributions she makes to the group which make a big difference in the lives of the dogs we all strive to help.