Why The White House Needs A Greyhound

Illustration for article titled Why The White House Needs A Greyhound

Though President-Elect Obama's first press conference yesterday was meant to showcase his plans on how to ease the economy out of its current crisis, the question that garnered the most attention, and the question that has been flying all over the press in every country in the world, is this: What kind of dog are the Obamas going to get? We had some suggestions last week, with Goldendoodles, Bichon Frises and Poodles leading the hypoallergenic way, and though it seems likely that the girls will choose one of these adorable breeds, I'd like to make the case for another hypoallergenic, quiet, loyal, loving breed: the greyhound.Greyhounds have a long and noble history; before greyhound racing became what they were best known for, greyhounds were actually protected by law during the Middle Ages, were the only dogs mentioned in the Bible, and were mentioned by Chaucer and Shakespeare, among others. America's favorite animated family, The Simpsons, adopted their greyhound, Santa's Little Helper, at the very start of the beloved series, and J.K. Rowling adopted a grey last year, which means, of course, that greyhounds are Gryffindor approved. The Obamas are looking for two things: a rescue dog and a hypoallergenic dog. A greyhound fits both of these criteria. Greyhounds are also notoriously lazy, preferring to spend their days curled up in a ball, fast asleep. They're incredibly gentle, they don't shed, they very rarely bark, and they don't secrete the same oil as other dogs, which means they don't give off that "doggy smell" that other breeds seem to. Even if the Obamas decide to go with a poodle or a doodle (which they will, most likely), greyhounds have already won one victory this week: voters in the State of Massachusetts voted to ban greyhound racing, a move that will close down the tracks that my retired racer used to run on. Thousands of dogs will now be placed in rescue shelters to await real homes. With 5,000-8,500 greyhounds being killed each year simply because they can't race anymore, the need for good homes and greyhound rescue awareness is higher than ever, and a Presidential adoption would do wonders for greyhound rescue efforts across the country. When we first got Liffey, he was three years old and had never set foot in a home before. He didn't know how to climb stairs. He didn't understand that the face looking back at him in the mirror was his own, and not another dog's. He walked into the plate glass door twice, not knowing what windows were. He had spent his entire life in a crate, leaving only to pee, eat, or run. A year and a half later, he's a bit of a rock star in our very small town. Kids will stop us every three feet when we go for walks, and he stands patiently as they pet him and tell him how neat they think he is. Sometimes when I watch him curled up in a ball on the couch, I think about the first three years of his life, when he was just a number on a track, locked in a cage at night, and I can't help but worry about the other greys out there who are still in need. A greyhound in the White House would be the best thing that ever happened to the Greyhound Rescue movement; but even if that doesn't happen, the steps being made in states like Massachusetts are definite signs that the country is beginning to realize that these animals deserve loving families, good homes, and a chance to live a cage-free life. [Grey2kUsa] Mass. Voters Approve Dog Racing Ban [Boston Globe] J.K. Rowling Adopts An Abandoned Greyhound [Daily Record] Who Should Be The First Dog? Here Are The Candidates [AP] Earlier: First Things First: What Kind Of Dog Should The First Puppy Be?


A Small Turnip

I want a greyhound so badly after reading this, but I have a kitty, and I would hate to put her at any kind of risk.

It hurts my heart a little. I mean, I know that any dog can, in a moment of madness, go for a fellow pet. Maybe I just need to do some more research about how Greys are socialised after being rescued. Maybe there's hope for me and mah kitteh.

I'm still dreaming of my beautiful, imaginary, pewter-coloured Grey. I'll call her Stella and rub her tum forever.