Monday, November 27, 2006
I visited a local greyhound rescue facility on Friday - an interesting experience (more about that later). It was a multi-purpose visit since I had a greyhound painting to deliver and the client who purchased it was going out to adopt a new greyhound - so we combined purposes and I met her at the rescue place. I'd known about the facility for a while and had wanted to get out there, so this worked out great.
The painting is one I did over a year ago. The photo I used for the reference was one my client had taken of one of her ex-racing greyhounds (Freddie) - I'd filed it in my archives for future use. At the time I created the painting, I was working on my initial series of "Paintings with Petzazz" pieces and really liked Freddie's expression; so Freddie became "Blue Boy". At the time, there was no expectation that she should/would buy the painting, it was just something I wanted to do and I sent her a print and a magnet with the "Blue Boy" image. This year, however, she saw the painting again and she and her husband decided they wanted to buy it. Of course, I'm very happy that the painting now hangs in their home and Freddie's!!
I said the visit to the facility was "interesting" because it's typical of any animal rescue system in that it's great to get a chance to meet new animals and the folks who care so deeply about them, but it's extremely sad that the animals even need to be rescued in the first place. There were about 12 dogs there and I believe most of them had come from the same racing circuit in Arizona. Racing greyhounds lead difficult, unpleasant lives and when they're no longer of any use (either as racers or breeders), they are discarded. I won't go into further detail, but it's a terrible, inhumane situation. Greyhound rescue organizations around the country take in as many as they can, nurse them back to health, figure out their personalities & behavioral issues and endeavor to find permanent, loving homes for them. Even though they've lead rough lives, these rescued greyhounds make good pets; they have sweet, gentle personalities and have been described as "40 mile an hour couch potatoes". Of course, it takes a special person to adopt one and help them learn how to enjoy life, but the rescue folks are very experienced and adept at facilitating that transition. For more information about greyhound rescue and adoption, check out www.greyhounds.org and www.greyhoundfriendsforlife.org.