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Calming the Anxious Ones

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I volunteer with Greyhound Adoption Center in Dehesa, CA which is a kennel-based rescue group that takes in retired racing greyhounds, bred greyhounds, and mixed greyhounds and helps them acclimate to living as a normal household pet.

Why rescue these majestic dogs? Approximately 20,000 dogs aged between ages 3–5, sometimes as young as 1 year, are put down after every racing season. Some for placing poorly in races, others for being too “old” to race any more, and others for track-related injuries. 20,000 dogs who will never have a home or loving family to call their own.

Every third Sunday of every month is an open house which allows potential adopters and volunteers to visit and meet some of the rescued dogs we have at our kennel. Today I spent time with Ruby pictured below.

Photo property of GAC

She is on the shy side and felt anxious as the open house came to a close and turnout began. (Turnout is when the dogs are put out in groups on gated concrete slab areas to relieve themselves and interact with other greyhounds.) She was whining and whipping her head around, unsure of everything happening so quickly in this transition period. I knelt by her crate and softly sang lines of Taylor Swift’s Safe and Sound while petting her. She calmed down and leaned against the door of her crate so I could pet her more easily.


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