Greyhounds have very little body fat. When our adoption counselor talked with me to prepare us for bringing home our racing queen, she recommended Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies. I bought it dutifully, wanting to show how much effort I would put in to care for this unusual creature, but not really believing the book would help that much. I was wrong, completely and utterly wrong. I read the entire book one weekend and became increasingly intrigued by our future family member. I learned that she really would need a coat during the winter and possibly even pajamas. It wasn’t just to look fancy. Her skin would be very thin and tear easily. She would chatter when she was happy, almost like a dog purr. She would likely sleep all day on the couch and the bed of one of her humans would be her favorite spot. She might not know how to walk up stairs and would need time adjusting to glass doors and windows. She would need high protein food, because her body had more muscle than the average dog. Her heart would be nearly the size of my own and it would contain blood carrying more red blood cells and more oxygen all throughout her body than is typical. She was a genuine athlete, truly coming to retire. She would be unlike any dog I had ever cared for prior. Even when I worked in a vet clinic, I didn’t encounter a greyhound. When I see this photo, I have no doubt that she is resting and comfortable. She still races in her sleep and clears the football field in seconds when we have the opportunity to take her. She has not stopped being the athlete that she was bred to be; she just prefers to have a leisurely walk most days and values her space, regularly taking up two couch cushions and giving side-eye to anyone who dares move outside of that one remaining cushion. One of her younger family members lovingly tucked her in with both a fuzzy blanket and a comforter, plus a friend, so she wouldn’t be lonely or cold. She is our queen indeed.
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August 14, 2021 November 28, 2021