Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Puppy Bean Roadtrip, part 1

One evening, a few days after we lost Katie last September to lymphoma, Gayle commented — out of nowhere — that she wanted to adopt a racing Greyhound puppy. My mind spun for a few moments as I tried to recall stories written by others who had raised puppies. While I could not remember specific experiences, I knew the stories ranged from "I would do it again in a heartbeat..." to "I did it once and never again...". Was adopting a puppy really something we were prepared to do? 

Although Sadie was getting on surprisingly well as an only dog after having Katie around for nearly ten years, she really did need a dog of her own. (As an aside, racing Greyhounds are always around other Greyhounds from whelping to the day they retire from the track. While on the farm Greyhound litters are kept together for a year before they're sent off to "finishing" school.) I mentioned our interest in getting a Greyhound puppy to a friend of mine in Minnesota who regularly went to a Greyhound farm in Iowa to pick up newly-retired racing dogs. I could keep my eyes peeled for one, she wrote back. And, she explained, Gary (the farm owner) doesn't have oops litters but occasionally has one with a minor physical issue that causes him to decide not to train the puppy but put it up for adoption instead.

That was as far as puppy-talk went for the next several months.

My friend, during that time, made a few trips to Gary's farm, hauling dogs back to her Greyhound adoption group in Minnesota. During a trip she made at the end of November she photographed a litter of puppies that were just two-and-a-months-old. Here is one of her photos of one of those puppies, sleeping in the late autumn sun:

Photo copyright Aimée Finley
What a face. Who could not fall in love with it?

In February, very shortly after Gayle, Sadie, and I returned from the Solvang Greyhound Fest, Aimée sent me a message: Gary has a five-month-old female white-and-brindle Greyhound puppy who injured herself at the farm and, although she was treated for it, he's not going to train her to race but wants to pet her out. Would we be interested?

Uhhh...was this really happening...and happening this fast? We said "yes," put in our application, had our interview and were approved. Now we just had to plan the roadtrip to get her.