GPA Tri-State was officially accepted as a new subchapter to
the National organization on July 29, 2003. Our very first
greyhound was placed on August 17, 2003 and his name is KD
Tom Sawyer. We would like to spotlight our first adoptee and
share a little bit of the story of how he came to find his home
with the Day family in Newburgh, Indiana. We would also like to
thank Kim and Deb LaFuse of Lafayette, Indiana for giving us
the opportunity to find a home for this beautiful brindle boy.
[Note: May 2004] Since this story was orginally written, the Days
have "chipped" (again) and adopted a third greyhound. Tom
seems to be blossoming even more with a big brother around
and gains a bit more self-confidence every day.
How did you hear about retired racing greyhounds? My oldest daughter went to Borders Bookstore when GPA
Tri-State was there for a meet 'n greet.
What convinced you to go ahead and adopt one? We had recently lost our Doberman who was a wonderful dog but
very much a family dog. He didn't really like anyone else very much. So, after a lot of research and some visits to
meet 'n greets, we decided we liked the temperament of the greyhound. This time, we really wanted a very laid-back
dog (only I didn't realize at the time just how "laid-back" we were talking about).
How did you find GPA Tri-State? Actually, Jennifer had already been to Borders and met some of the greyhounds
and talked with Kim Klueg from GPA Tri-State. But the really strange coincidence is that I posted a comment to a
message board and Kim emailed me back. At the time, I didn't realize we were from the same area.
What was your experience like while going through the adoption process? Absolutely "greyt"!! I faxed my
application to Kim and then she came for a home visit. Sara and her greyhound, Rafer, came for the home visit as
well. My daughters and I had gone to the website and looked at the available dogs and then I had each of them as
well as myself make up a list of the dogs we were interested in. I didn't show them mine but we all came up with
Tom as our #1 choice. Just something clicked when I saw his picture. His description read something like "shy/real
leaner". Shy, boy they weren't kidding. I didn't realize just how shy until we went to the kennel in Lafayette to pick him
up. I was so excited to get there. When we did, Tom just ran inside. He would peek his head out his door and look
at us. Then we got to go inside and meet him up close and personal - when he did come out, he just ran circles
around the room. And ran, and ran. Of course, at this time I'm going, "What was I thinking?" but I wasn't about to give
up now. There was just something about him. He finally did come around, but he was shaking and so scared.
Now that you have your greyhound, what has it been like having him around? I think the best thing is every day he
does something that still amazes me. Like hearing this squeaking coming from the living room, thinking Dixie is
stealing all the toys again, only to find that it is actually Tom playing with one of his toys. He goes out and runs
around the yard and looks so happy. He runs and plays and we have actually seen him wag his tail. To see him get
excited when someone comes home. He hears the school bus and runs to the window to watch Megan get off the
bus. The biggest thing is that he now spends most of his time in the living room with us and not isolated on the
landing (which used to be the only place he would go).
Would you ever consider adopting another greyhound? Well, actually, it didn't take us long to decide that Tom
needed a friend. I think it was probably about a week and I said, "Kim, start thinking about a friend for Tom." Then
along came Dixie. She is the total opposite of Tom. What a sweetie.
Would you recommend greyhounds to others who might be
looking for a family pet? From my experience, yes - as long
as they do some research and make sure it's a good fit for
their situation. While I know there is no perfect breed that will
fit every family, a greyhound has been the ideal fit for ours..
|Dixie and Tom enjoying a nap by the fireplace.
[UPDATE] To think that this time a year ago, I really don't think
that I had even ever laid eyes on a greyhound. Now I can't
imagine a day going by and not having a greyhound in my life.
Tom is a very special dog and he has come so far since we
got him. I guess it is kind of like someone telling you that you
can't have something - it just makes you work all the harder to
get it. Tom was so shy that I was almost obsessed with trying
to help him get over that. This dog spent 14 hours in his
kennel the first night he was here. He would just continually
pace and go to the door, like he was trying to escape. I
remember going to the back yard with him and watching his
every move, making sure he didn't try to jump the fence and get
away from me. Every time I would walk by him, I would talk to him and pet him. Constantly reassuring him that he
was a good boy and we loved him.
Tom has come from the dog who would either retreat to his kennel or go to his favorite spot on the landing to a dog
who now lays in the living room all of the time. Used to he would just lie on the landing. People would say, "Does
he do anything?" But again, the entire family would go to him and talk to him and pet him, never giving up. Of
course, adopting Dixie helped him to realize that if he wanted some of that attention, he was going to have to work a
little harder too. Dixie demands your attention. If there is someone here who hasn't paid attention to her, she will
take care of that problem. Now Tom comes for his share too. He lays in the living room with us and rarely goes to
his "landing spot". He has also moved from just one spot to being able to lay down many other places and feel
Tom still has his moments of fright. Once in a while, he will still bolt when something scares him. This is quite a
change from everything frightening him. He loves to go to greets. That is when I think I saw the real Tom for the first
time. We had only had Tom not quite a week when we went to PetsMart. I took what I thought was my dog in the
store, but soon realized I didn't know my dog at all. I couldn't even believe that this was the same dog. He was so
happy to be with the other greys. It was like he was at a family reunion, seeing family that he hadn't seen for years.
That was all it took for us to decide it was time to get another one.
If you have ever met Tom you know that tail. That tail that he kept tucked tight between his legs - now he wags; it still
makes a tear come to my eye. Whoever is the first one home after we have been gone for a while (10 minutes or
more) is blessed with seeing his tail wag. And toys, he has gone from taking them from your hand and just laying
on them to playing. I mean actually making them squeak, throwing them up in the air, down on his front legs
chomping on them. When I said I wanted a shy dog, boy, that is what I got. But seeing him come out of his shell -
words just can't describe the feeling.
[Update: May 2004] Since I originally wrote this story about Tom, we have also adopted Brett. Yes, we now have
three. Tom has made even greater strides. He not only has to compete with Dixie for attention, but with Brett as
well. Brett is constantly with you, and Tom comes around us even more. He is now wagging his tail all the time.
When you get up in the morning, he comes to you wagging his tail. When he wants to go out, he is wagging his tail.
And look out when it is food time! He is a wild man, running aorund, jumping and yes, wagging his tail! It is so great
to see this dog, what he has become. It is almost like he is smiling, that is, if you believe dogs can smile...