Monday, January 17, 2011

More Stuff About My Brother, the Greyhound

First of all, I will tell you that I am starting to like Nicky, and I don't growl at him anymore.  Mom says I am a very good girl for not growling.  Last night when it was bedtime, I went in the bedroom, and Nick was in the dog bed where I usually sleep, so after thinking about what I should do, I finally squeezed myself onto the edge of the bed next to him.

So that's how I slept until Nicky got up later and wanted to go outside and potty.  And Mom got up and let all the boy dogs outside, but I stayed in bed, and in fact I moved to the middle of the dog bed.  And then when Nicky came back, I growled at him and told him to go sleep on one of the other beds.  Which he did, and without talking back or anything.

Anyway, I asked Nick if he wanted to write the entire history of his life in a blog entry, but he said he was kind of too shy to do that, but maybe he would write an entry later sometime.  He said he didn't mind if I wrote about him in my blog, though, so I will tell you everything we know about him from his past records that we got from REGAP.

Nicky was born in Kansas on July 20, 2004, and his registered name is PB's Dodgedabone.  I think this is a very strange name because it sounds like someone was throwing bones at Nick, and he had to dodge them.  But when you look at Nick's sire's name, you see that it was Dodgem by Design, and his dam was named Runtodabone.  And if you kind of mix those names together, you could maybe come up with Dodgedabone.  But while I am at it, I will also say that Runtodabone is kind of an icky name because it sounds like you are going to run so hard and so far that all your skin wears away down to the bone.

Well, so after Nicky got to whatever age it is when greyhounds start racing, he ran in four races at The Woodlands, which was a track in Kansas City, Kansas that closed a couple of years ago because they were not making money.  And they weren't making money because lots of people decided they liked going to casinos to gamble instead of going to the track.  Which was good for the greyhounds because they didn't have to race there anymore or live in cages and other bad conditions.  Except that there are still a bunch of dog-racing tracks in this country in places like Florida.

Anyway, like I said, Nicky ran in four races, but these were not real races where people could bet on the dogs and win money.  These were "schooling" races, which we think must be just for training.  We don't know how many dogs were in each race, but in the first one, Nicky came in 4th, and the comments were "poor effort, inside."  Then in the second race, he was 5th, and the comments were "never rallied, inside."  In the 3rd race he was also 5th, and it says "chased field, mid."  Then in the last race, where he finished 5th again, he was "bumped early, mid."

So I think what all this means is that PB's Dodgedabone was not meant to be a race dog because he was not very good at racing.  Which is why he was retired at an early age, and he went to a rescue group called Pups Without Partners, where he was neutered.  And after that, some people adopted him and named him Gator.  These people had him until last April, and then they gave him to REGAP, along with a girl greyhound.  I don't know what the girl's name was before, but REGAP called the two of them Nicholas and Nadine.  At first everyone thought the two of them needed to be together, but later they decided that the dogs would be okay apart.  So the foster mom adopted Nadine, and now we have adopted Nicholas.

Whew!  That was a pretty long history, so it's no wonder that Nicky made me write it instead of writing it himself.  Anyway, I am just going to tell you a couple of things about greyhounds, and then I am going to quit writing.

For a long, long time, people thought that greyhounds dated back to ancient Egypt, and that they were related to the salukis (which are also called Persian greyhounds) or to sloughis (Arabian greyhounds).  But after the scientists figured out how to understand doggy DNA, they realized that greyhounds are not related to salukis or sloughis at all.  Instead, greyhounds are related to herding dogs!  I think a lot of people were shocked to learn this.  I know that I was, because it seems to me like all the tall, skinny, fast dogs would be related.

Our whole doggy family!
And of course, you may be wondering why greyhounds have that name when most of them aren't even gray.  And the answer is that nobody knows for sure!  The word greyhound probably came from the Old English word grighund.  But it's kind of a mystery what grig meant in Old English or Old Norse.  The best guess is that it meant something like "fair" or "shining."  So now whenever you see a greyhound, you can just think of it as being a dog that's all shiny and fair.


  1. Wow...Nick really has an interesting background! I'm glad he's no longer racing. I don't know why, but my mom doesn't like to hear of any animals racing...especially for money. She does kind of understand horse racing. I think it's great that you started to sleep right next to Nick. I also don't blame you for growling when he came back to bed - afterall that is YOUR bed!! Dodi and I have our own beds too, but we prefer to sleep on top of our mom - I sleep on her tummy and Dodi sleeps on her legs. :) My mom is really excited about Nick and is so happy he has a REAL home now!!
    Love, Di

  2. Dear Aunt Patty,
    I'm happy that Nick has a home with us, too. He seems like the kind of dog who deserves to have a good home. At our house, Chloe sleeps with Mom, but she just sleeps under the covers, right beside her. Charlie used to sleep with Mom some, too, and he would sleep next to her head, blocking her view of the clock. Now Charlie sleeps by himself in the cat room because he is too afraid of Nicky to come out.

    Love, Piper

  3. What a marvelous blog!!

    First, I’d like to say hello to a fellow Missouri blogger and greyhound mom through Piper’s words! A friend of mine pointed me to your blog because she thought I would enjoy it. And I did. Very much.

    I am, or until recently was, a greyhound mom. And fellow REGAP-er, although here in St. Louis. Technically, Berry was a Michigan REGAP, two times. The second after an adoption return, much like Nicky.

    I read the words with some tears and a lot of smiles. Thanks for posting such an informative and fun piece. And thank you for speaking up on the racing conditions. I believe it is important that it be communicated so everyone can become more knowledgeable.

    I don’t know if you have heard of the organization GREY2K USA or not. They are an advocacy group, dedicated to ending greyhound racing in the US. Their commitment is unbelievable, their compassion is heartwarming. Their endeavors have helped end racing in many states in the Northeast. If you would like to learn more about the work they do and what they have accomplished, you can visit them at

    And before you ask, no, I am not a member of this organization, just a huge fan. :-) As a, sadly, former greyhound mom, and a future greyhound mom. There can never be just one, you know.


  4. Dear Nancy,
    Thank you very much for writing a comment to tell me how much you like my blog. My mom and I went and looked at your blog about your greyhound girl, Berry, and we are very sorry that she died. She died on the very same day that my basenji brother, Gabe, died, so maybe they are running around together now at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Yes, we know about GREY2K. They do a lot of really good work to help save the greyhounds who live in bad conditions at the racetracks. They helped close down all the tracks in Kansas, which is a good thing.

    I hope you will be able to get another greyhound soon. Every homeless dog needs a lot of love. I know this because I was a homeless dog myself a few years ago. And greyhounds especially need good, loving homes because of everything they had to go through.

    Your friend, Piper

  5. Congratulations on adopting a Greyhound! As you know they make wonderful pets. Thank you for your enchanting blog about beautiful Nicky.  Nicky is indeed 'one of the lucky ones', as many of these graceful gentle dogs will not be as fortunate as he was, to escape the racing industry and find a loving home to call their own. 
    My name is Valarie Wolf, and I'm on the Board of Directors of GREY2K USA.  GREY2K USA is a national non-profit organization, working in the legislative system to end this cruel and inhumane industry.  
    An undercover video recently released by GREY2K USA shows the conditions in which these gentle dogs are forced to live:
    In addition to enduring lives of nearly endless confinement, many dogs suffer and die while racing, from injuries including broken legs, paralysis, and cardiac arrest.  And many greyhounds are euthanized every year, as the number retired from racing exceeds the number of adoptive homes.
    Fortunately, as you mentioned, the public has lost interest in this cruel and inhumane sport. 
    Since 2001, twenty-five tracks have either closed or ended live racing.
    Dog racing remains operational at 23 tracks in 7 states.  GREY2K USA will continue to work to end dog racing nationwide.
For more information about dog racing and to support our important work, please visit

  6. Dear Ms. Wolf,
    My mom and I watched the GREY2K USA video about the greyhounds in the horrible little cages, and we are glad that our Nicky doesn't have to live like that anymore. We wish all greys could have nice, warm homes with cushy beds to sleep on. Maybe someday that will happen. KC REGAP, where we got Nicky, often gets greyhounds from Florida or Arizona tracks, or from someplace in Kansas called "the farm." Thank you for all the work that you are doing with GREY2K USA to stop the racing and save the greyhounds.
    Sincerely, Piper

  7. I hope you still monitor this blog. I somehow happened on it looking for something for a friend. Greyhound caught my attention and then started reading and saw you mentioned Woodland's and REGAP and 2 dogs together and their names and so on... I bet we know each other!!!!! I worked with REGAP for a few years if Charlie is a grey you adopted my foster! I lived in Lee's Summit, worked too many clinics to count, did many rescues and at the end was black balled by Cher because we lost our home and we couldn't act fast enough for her and according to her our "priorities weren't right" and she pro-processed (took away)our Aspen! In the 2yrs we worked with REGAP we fostered at least 10-12 greys. As long as there was a grey in our home, we worked all clinics. Never just dropped them out or asked someone to come get them or asked REGAP to pay for food. Was never enough to have food given to us like some of the others and we needed the financial help. Just didn't ask.

    1. Yes, I still monitor this blog, and I post a new entry every other day or so. My grey was called Nicholas (Nicky) from the time he came into REGAP. He was owned by another family before I adopted him, but he was never called Charlie, as far as I'm aware. I do have a cat named Charlie, so maybe you saw that name somewhere in my blog. Sadly, Nicky had to be put to sleep this past February because of intestinal issues and a possible brain tumor. I don't plan to get another greyhound, even though they are beautiful dogs. I just need something smaller that I can pick up and carry, in case of an emergency.

      We probably have met at some point. I'm sorry you lost your home and consequently your dog. I hope things are going better for you now. I am not very active with REGAP these days because of not having a grey, but do like to support the work they do, at least in small ways.

      Thanks for writing.

      Piper's mom, Eva