Friday, July 20, 2012

Let's Get Mikey

Mikey was a trainer's dog. My friend Kevin took him home when he was finished racing. Kevin took a job in Florida and couldn't take Mikey so I took him home. When Bobby and I moved to Florida to work we gave Mikey to Joel. Around the time Joel moved to Oregon to work, Kevin moved back to West Virginia and took Mikey back. He had Mikey until he died. He had him cremated and the last time I talked to him, Mikey was in an urn on his fireplace mantle.

This is actually a typical story of a greyhound's life. Most trainers have at least one dog at home and it fluctuates as they take dogs home to avoid killing them when the owners don't want them any more. There are dogs stuck in nooks and crannies all over the track that are supposed to be dead but the trainers and helpers are doing their best to find homes for them before it is discovered that they weren't "put to sleep" like they were supposed to be.

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of perfectly healthy dogs that would make great pets put to sleep. But if it is at all possible to keep them alive, most trainers will do so.

Mikey and Queenie were friends. I also had an Otterhound named Emily. Emily was slow and clumsy on land but graceful as an otter in the water. She used to break ice in the creek in the winter to swim - that's how much she loved water. Otterhounds hunt by scent. Greyhounds hunt by sight. Emily would scent something and start lumbering in the general direction of her prey. This was Mikey and Queenie's cue to take off running in that direction. I don't know how successful their hunts were but I do know that they must have been pretty good at hunting this way because they did it all the time. It was fascinating to watch. I imagine they struck terror in the hearts of the wildlife around our home even when their hunts weren't successful.

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