By Ingrid Messina
That’s a wonderful description of the Greyhound!
What makes them so special and unique? Certainly, the antiquity of the breed has some bearing. They are, after all, mentioned in the Bible. Shakespeare wrote of them and artists have immortalized them. Their speed sets them apart as does their form, elegance and grace.
They also all have their unique personalities. Remember the day they came “home?” Some entered shy and reserved. Others walked right in and seemed to say, “It’s about time you guys got it right.”
Their vocalization skills vary. Some of them are very quiet, while others seem to enjoy hearing themselves make all kinds of sounds. One of my own is pleased with himself because he taught his “Mom” to howl. (Up until recently, I egotistically thought it was the other way around.)
They all seem to learn the human/canine alpha game very well. You know the one – Who gets the best spot on the sofa, and who has to offer the most to get it back?
So, where can we find the answer to what makes them “A Breed Apart?”
As I thought about all of this, I realized it is the Greyhounds themselves who know the truth.
If you are owned by a Greyhound, you have seen it for yourselves. They are on an outing with you, enjoying the company of dozens of other dogs, when suddenly, they stop. Their bodies’ tense, ears go up and tails start to wag. What is it they see? Is it a cat, a squirrel, or even the popular rabbit? No! It is another Greyhound – way across the field. So far away in fact, that they are the only ones who are sure. They recognize something special in each other.
If we allow ourselves to think about it, we too know what makes them special.
I believe you will find the answer in their eyes. Most of us have owned other breeds of dogs, which have watched us and wanted to do what ever it was that would please us. We loved them for it.
Greyhounds however, look you straight in the eye, not only to find out what would please you, but what they can do to make you truly happy. Then they respond.
If they hear us laugh at something they are doing, they will continue doing it, wagging their tails and checking periodically to see if we are still interested.
If we are feeling sad, they stand with their heads where we can touch them and reach out to us with soulful eyes that seem to say, “I may not understand, but I’ll be here as long as you need me.”
How many of us have come out of a truly pensive state to find that we have been absentmindedly stroking our Greyhound, who stood perfectly still for an undetermined amount of time?
The training and life of the racing Greyhound does little to prepare it for life as a companion. It is a pure desire on their part to share their lives and affection with us.
They seem to understand, not only are they “A Breed Apart,” but that we are a breed in need, and they lovingly let us know they are there to help.