Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My 45mph Couch Potato

I've gotten a lot of questions about Bob lately. So I figured I'd address those questions, that every one seems to have, for those who are not as inclined to corner me at Petsmart/ the dog park/ by email but are still curious. Here are the top five questions I get asked:

1. "Is he fast?" 

Yes, he is very fast. In general, Greyhounds can reach speeds up to and over 45mph in under three strides. That is generally under a second. They are the second fastest animal, behind only the cheetah. Faster than a car. Faster than you. So, no, you can't take him for a run.

2. "Did he race?"

Yes, Bob is a 4 year old retired racing dog. Meaning he did, in fact, race. In Alabama. He was kind of bad at it though so he only ran a minimal amount of races. I stick to the theory that he just didn't care. If he wants to run, he can. I have never seen him chase anything though other than other dogs so my guess is the only reason he would run the races is because the other dogs were running too.

He is at his happiest when he is running though. You can see it in his face when he is running at full speed. 

3. He looks hungry. Is he sick? 

No, he is not skinny. In fact, at his current weight, he may even be a little over weight. You are supposed to be able to see his ribs in there. Greyhounds are made to be lean and muscular. Their bellies, or "tuck", is supposed to be defined and that skinny look actually means they are healthy. 

4. "Wow, he is huge! Are all greyhounds that big?"

He is very tall, yes. Probably taller than you expected. Greyhounds are not the same as a whippet or an Italian greyhound. They are much larger and built for hunting/ running where the other two are more of a pet or toy breed. However, they are all considered sight hounds. Granted, Bob is big even for a greyhound. He is taller, a little broader, and has a bigger head than the other greyhounds we have met.  Yet another clue to why he may have been slow.

5. "Is he all energetic and crazy?" 

Greyhounds, as a breed, are particularly easy dogs. They are very gentle, patient, and loyal dogs. They do not require a lot of exercise to be happy and they are definitely not overly energetic dogs. They would much rather lay around with you on the couch than do pretty much anything else. Lazy doesn't really even begin to describe it. People are always astounded by how laid back Bob is. It almost borders on indifference. He will sniff new people, accept an ear scratch, and then go back to bed like he has done a full days work. Every once in awhile he gets all crazy and will run in the yard for about a whole minute or so but then he takes a three or four hour nap, so I'm not sure if that counts. The most excited you will ever see Bob is at feeding time. 

So, that's my Bob in a nutshell. If you are looking for a new pet, I hope you will consider adopting a retired Grey. They really do make the most amazing pets and because of their calm temperament, Greyhounds can make better "apartment dogs" than smaller, more active breeds like those yippie Chihuahuas that seem to be all the rage. 

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