Animal breeding operations

Guest Blog from Tanya & Mason

Needles and Genny

My friend, Tanya, and her husband, are a mini unit of Greyhound Rescue.  A visit to her house and you know how that mechanical rabbit feels.

When I first met Tanya 12 years ago, she had Sable and Genny (and Needles--their landlord.) All the greyhounds then and since have been rescues from the dog racing industry, available either because they weren't fast enough to ever race, or had been retired. Greyhounds usually retire around the age 2 or 3. There are many greyhound adoption groups nationwide, and they are meeting with success (especially in Tanya's household.)

Any large-scale animal breeding operation for profit is a tragedy. It doesn't matter if it's dogs, horses, rabbits, or kittens. It used to be standard practice to "shoot and shovel and shut up," but because the dog racing industry is participating in the relocation (re-homing, re-cycling) of adult greyhounds, many have a good chance of finding a home. Their litter mates may not have been so lucky.  GR

Sable and his lamb

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to tell you all about my new little brother.  As some of you know, my big brother, Sable, died just before Christmas and I’ve been very sad. I don’t like being an only dog. Sure, you get all the attention, but it doesn’t work if you aren’t winning and the cat doesn’t count. My humans have also been very sad and I thought they needed a distraction.

We tried to drive to the Greyhound Friends for Life place in Auburn (near Sacramento) on New Year’s Day but my female human’s truck got sick so we turned around. I thought it was sort of silly to drive all day and not get anywhere but back home. Sure, we greyhounds run in circles but there are cookies at the end. We drove back up on Thursday in my male human’s car. 

There were lots of dogs at the Greyhound Friends for Life shelter. I liked them all but some of them couldn’t be my new friends because they chase cats. I understand completely but Needles wouldn’t have if I’d brought one of them home. I visited with a pretty boy named Tango but he was so scared of my humans that it sort of scared me so I didn’t take him home. Susie didn’t like me – obviously a female dog with no taste. Foxy was really pretty and sweet and liked me but liked my humans more and that made me jealous so I didn’t bring her home either. Then this 2 year old black dog came out and told me that he really needed me to be his big brother. I had to gently remind him who was in charge when he got too close to my humans but he was appropriately respectful so we ran and played. I didn’t have to bite him once. It’s the first time I’ve ever been the alpha dog. Sable was a firm but gentle big brother to me, so I know what to do.

This dog was named U da Boi by his track people. We will all try to forget that as soon as possible.  Dr. Heather Weir (the very nice vet who brought me to my humans) rescued him from his training farm in Colorado and called him Speedy. Well, that didn’t make sense. If he was, then he’d be racing now wouldn’t he?  Besides, he’s not speedier than me. After spending a day with him my female human said that he was obviously a Moose. Since he didn’t know his name yet anyway, we renamed him. Moose is it, and a Moose he is.

My humans almost called him “Sable’s Revenge” because when we go outside, he follows me everywhere just like I did Sable. But unlike Sable, I sort of like it. I’m taller than him so I pee on his head which is fun.

Moose has had a few “issues." First of all, he’d never ridden in a car before. That scared him a lot and he tried to climb over the barrier into my Mom’s lap while we were on I80 at rush hour. This was sort of exciting. I tried to tell him it is just like running fast without working so hard but he wasn’t listening. A big storm hit as we were driving home and though we made it ok, the power went out and big trees fell down in our yard so our humans were outside a lot trying to fix things and he cried when they went out without him. He had to learn that the cat is not a squeaky toy. He’s also scared of thunderstorms. He tries to steal my food – actually he tries to steal everyone’s food – thus his name.  I don’t care if he steals my food but I’m NOT sharing the couch. He’s a little shorter than me, but is a bit bulkier and he’s really strong. He pushes through when he wants to go somewhere even if my Mom says “NO”. Thus his name again. Of course he doesn’t know his name yet and just looks puzzled when someone says “NO” as though it couldn’t possibly be him they are talking to but I’ve told him that the youngest dog gets blamed for everything. He doesn’t know much actually which is sort of fun because I get to teach him. This worries my humans for some reason.   

My mom had the hardest adjustment but she’s coming around. She really misses Sable and it was hard at first because Moose is black, too. I was sorry for that but he picked me and dogs don’t see colors. We all still miss Sable horribly and Moose is certainly not a replacement. However, when he’s following me around and I’m having to be patient with him, I imagine Sable looking down at us from the Rainbow Bridge laughing his tail off.

Mason, the author

Kopi, the most recent addition