Blog Spotlight: A Retired Racer Adoption

As promised, we are continuing coverage on Greyhound Adoption Month with an adoption story. Previously, we mentioned that Greta Conroy had fostered a retired pup with the call name of Carlos. Carlos went through Bay Area Greyhound Adoption (BAGA) and was placed in the Hardee Hero Hounds program, where he learned basic and difficult commands. Carlos was able to perform his commands perfectly, earning him the “top dog” award upon his graduation of the training program. Carlos went into Greta’s foster care before being adopted by his forever family.

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Carlos during training and upon graduation of the Hardee Hero Hounds program. Photos provided by Greta Conroy.

Carlos had first been brought to our attention when Catherine D’Arcy of D’Arcy Kennels sent some photos of him racing as Next Addition at Derby Lane. We loved the images so much that we put them on one of our merchandise items, as well as our sign-up banner. Carlos became a part of Greyhound Channel and, without us having never met him, we became attached to him and continued to follow his racing career. When we heard that Carlos had retired, we were interested in how retirement life was treating him. Enter Greg, one of Carlos’ owners, who filled us in on the retirement of one of our favorite racers.

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Carlos racing at Derby Lane. Photos provided by D’Arcy Kennel with permission by Juppi Scheider.

Carlos, now known as Comet to his forever family, is Greg, Terry, and their son, Jacob’s, first greyhound. We asked Greg what made them decide on a greyhound since they had not previously owned one. Greg explained that, while training their german shepherd pup back in 2002, they saw greyhounds, who were also in their training classes, and instantly became interested in the fabulous breed. It was then that Greg knew he would want a greyhound some day. Well, that time had finally arrived late in 2016 when Jacob became obsessed with the idea of owning a dog.

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Carlos enjoying time at his foster home with Greta Conroy.

Around December, Greg started to think that it was time to get his son a dog. “The day after Christmas, I started looking for a greyhound and Comet popped up. It was a long time coming for us to get a greyhound.”

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Comet enjoying a walk.

Greg and his family would soon find out that the wait was well worth it. Greg mentioned that they loved Comet’s profile and his personality. While they weren’t specifically looking for a greyhound that had been through training, it was a great bonus that Comet had received training through the Hardee Hero Hounds program.

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Comet and Jacob snuggling in bed.

Upon arrival at his new home, Comet quickly adjusted, enjoying his forever family and adoring his new best pal, Jacob. Comet, like many greyhounds, is always right behind someone as he enjoys following them everywhere they go, including room to room throughout the house. Terry, Greg’s wife, mentioned that a cute quirk of Comet’s is to “collect stuffed animals and lay them in and around his bed.”

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Best friends, Comet and Jacob.

Comet isn’t the only one to become smitten with his newfound relationship. Jacob loves Comet completely. He has a special corner of his room dedicated to Comet, including Comet’s “Top Dog” award and pictures. Greg explained that they wanted to give their son the opportunity of having the responsibility of caring for Comet so they put Jacob’s name on the paperwork as the owner of Comet. Greg mentioned that, as the owner of Comet, Jacob feeds him and enjoys teaching Comet new tricks.

“I have my son do the majority of the feeds and then we work on obedience at home.”

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At an event picnic by BAGA, Jacob made Comet’s costume, earning them first prize in the costume contest.

According to Greg, Comet loves food and is a counter surfer, something that those of us who have greyhounds can fully understand. Greg explained, “He is a butter eater! Oh, it’s crazy. If you leave the butter out, it is gone!” Yep, we’ve been there too, Greg.

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Comet and his family at a greyhound event. Photos provided by Greta Conroy.

As our chat came to a close, Greg talked about how Comet is always so happy and explained that Comet has a small, heart-shaped spot on his hindquarters. This is no surprise to us as we believe it fully embodies him and his sweet, happy personality.

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Comet’s heart spot.

We would like to thank Greg, Terry, and Jacob for sharing their adoption story with us and giving us a peek into Comet’s retirement life. We would also like to thank Greta Conroy and Catherine D’Arcy for helping us contact Comet’s new family. We wish all the best to Comet and his forever family.

This Week With The Professor: Greyhound Interference

Today, The Professor will answer a question submitted by Jasper P. on greyhound interference. Jasper P. asked, “My question has to do with on-track greyhounds who interfere with other greyhounds while racing. How many races are they allowed by the racing judge to interfere before having to be re-trained or re-schooled. Just recently I noticed a greyhound at Derby Lane that would actually stop right past the finish line to interfere with other dogs behind it. Would this greyhound be ticketed since the interference was past the finish line? Is it indicated in the program? This happened twice in a row by the same greyhound after crossing the finish line. The greyhound finished fourth in both races.”

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The answer to the first question is as follows: There are generally three judges, two work for the track and one works for the state. In order for a greyhound to receive a “ticket” (it is called a ticket because the trainer will receive written notice of this decision) for interference, two of the three judges need to deem it as interference. When a greyhound receives a “ticket,” the greyhound must school successfully twice (generally) in order to be permitted to race at that track again. If the greyhound then interferes again, they are ruled off the track. There are exceptions depending on the track. Some tracks will permit the greyhound to school again after 30 days and be given another chance. Some kennels may choose to send the greyhound to another track to race after the first “ticket,” as to not have the dog have a ruled off ruling on its record.

In regards to the second question, the answer is no, a greyhound cannot receive a “ticket” for interference once they have crossed the finish line. Anything that happens after the race is over cannot be held against the greyhound, so there would not be any notation in the program.

Thanks for the great question Jasper!

Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.

Blog Spotlight: Greyhound Foster Parent Greta Conroy

For many of us, April means the arrival of Spring, but it is also an important month in the greyhound industry because it is Greyhound Adoption Month. In honor of Greyhound Adoption Month, we spoke with Greta Conroy, a greyhound foster parent for The Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions (BAGA), located in Florida. BAGA matches retired greyhound racers with their forever homes, with most of the pups being placed in foster homes before their adoption so that BAGA can begin to understand the greyhound’s personality and help start the transition from the track to home. BAGA also works with the Greyhound Advancement Center’s Hardee Hero Hounds program, where certain retired racers are trained at the Hardee Correctional Institution Work Camp before being adopted. Through the Hardee Hero Hounds program, greyhounds are trained in home basics and commands while the inmates receive the wonderful opportunity to work and grow with these greyt pups.

We always love to hear a greyhound love story, meaning that moment when someone learned about greyhounds and fell in love with them. For Greta, it was after her family moved to Florida and came across a greyhound adoption group while shopping. It was love at first sight and Greta knew that she wanted to get involved with greyhounds. After doing a lot of research, Greta and her family found BAGA, where they have been helping foster pups ever since.

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Meet and Greet event

“We went to a meet and greet, within a week had a home visit with a greyhound who licked my 5-year-old son for hours, and received our first foster in two weeks.”

Once their first foster pup was adopted and had left for their forever home, Greta and her family knew they needed a greyhound of their own, a feeling so many of us who have adopted a greyhound can fully understand.

“The right dog was foster number 4, Rusty, in January of 2013,” said Greta. “Our second foster ‘failure’ was Charlie, a year later, to keep Rusty from being lonely after the fosters were gone. We [have] fostered 40-50 dogs in the 4 years.”

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New life at the house

Clearly, Greta and her family had caught the greyhound love bug. Greta explained that she usually receives about 10 foster dogs a year. We often don’t know too much of the actual process of greyhound adoption, besides the part where the new owners receive their retired racer, so Greta was nice enough to explain the process at BAGA. Once an owner decides to retire a racer, BAGA picks up the dog(s) and takes them to a foster home, where they begin their acclimation into pet life. Some go to BAGA President Linda Lyman’s home till they are spayed or neutered before they head to their foster home. The pups remain in their foster home for two weeks, to adjust to home life, before they are adopted.

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Retirement Florida style

“Some dogs get acclimated to a family life right away and could get adopted faster,” said Greta. “Some need more time. I am a stay at home mom and I love getting the shy ones that need special attention. My Rusty has been a big help in getting the dogs used to living in a home”

Sounds like Rusty is quite the special pup. Greta further explained that “BAGA has meet and greets every weekend and we bring our fosters and own greyhounds to socialize. That’s usually when the potential adopters get to meet them.”

Having meet and greets is essential for most greyhound adoption organizations as they allow people to get to know and learn more about these amazing retired racers. They are, often times, the first steps into the adoption process for many families.

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Meet and Greet event

While most of the greyhounds go from the track, to their foster home, to their forever home, some of the greyhounds make another stop for the Hardee Hero Hounds program. This special training lasts 8-10 weeks, followed by a graduation. During the pups’ graduation, they show off what they have learned, during their training, through commands and tricks. Greta explained that, most of the time, all of the pups in the training program are adopted before they graduate, meaning that they get to head to their forever homes after graduation.

Clipper at graduation from the Greyhound Advancement Center

“At the graduation, the new families get a bag with an info packet, notes from the trainers, a toy, ball, muzzle, belly band (diaper that helps with house training). The adoption paperwork gets signed after the graduation, and dogs go to their new homes.”

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Proud graduates from the Greyhound Advancement Center

Perhaps reading all of this, you have found that you are interested in adoption or would like to know more about greyhounds as pets. You can always call and/or visit your local greyhound adoption organization for further information. Most of the time, the adoption process involves filling out an application, followed by a background check, and a home visit with your matched greyhound. Through the home visit, families can get to know their prospective pup a little more and determine whether they are a good fit.

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Since falling in love with greyhounds about five years ago, Greta has helped many dogs find their forever home, some of which she has adopted herself.

“Now, I have three greyhounds of my own. The last one is Cortez and he graduated the prison program in October 2016. He was not adopted at the time of his graduation, and while in training, his trainer found out he was blind. He touched mine and my husbands’ (who was at the graduation as well) hearts. we officially adopted him that weekend.”

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Greta’s Cortez finished the prison training program with Carlos, a classmate, now known as Comet by his forever family. Coincidentally, Greta also fostered Comet. Comet is a retired racer from Derby Lane whose racing name was Next Addition. We will be continuing Comet’s story in our next adoption feature article on April 22nd, so stay tuned!

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We would like to thank Greta Conroy, Linda Lyman, and Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions for speaking with us, as well as Catherine D’Arcy with D’Arcy Kennels for connecting us with these wonderful people. It is our pleasure to learn the experiences of greyhounds as they go from the farm, to the racetrack, and then on to retirement.

Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions works with many greyt kennels, owners, and trainers from Derby Lane, Sanford Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Palm Beach. They include: Capabal Kennel, D’Arcy Kennel, Jan Alderson, Randy Floyd, Victori Hounds, Cal Holland Kennel, occasionally Abernathy Kennel, Ed Bolton, Waverider Kennel, and Blu Too Kennel.

This Week With The Professor: Post Positions

Today, The Professor answers a question submitted by David L. on post positions. David L. said, “I found a very exciting race to wager on. The long shots to me seemed to be perfectly boxed while the favorites appeared to be in a more difficult situation. This is exactly what a smart bettor looks for. I went deep with my dollars and was confident on a nice return. Yes, sure enough my long shots ran one two three while the two favorites were off the board. Then the slap in the face. The price of my trifecta was only about $50. The numbers that came in were 1-2-8. That combination probably comes in more than any others. I assumed that the other players had simply pounded that combination and it was over-bet. When handicapping, should I probably avoid races where my top picks are in statistically better posts, regardless of the tote board odds? Or was I making a good wagering choice and just had the bad luck of someone blindly making a $20 trifecta box?”

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There are no easy answers to this question. I can’t really comment on the specific instance that you are referring to for several reasons: One, the odds that you are seeing may be win odds and may not reflect the play those dogs are getting in the exotic pools. Second, maybe several larger bettors have seen what you have seen in these longshots and played them in exotics only and not in the win pool, not wanting to tip off the public. Third, when you see a payoff lower than what you anticipated, it is most likely the second scenario and not some random person betting numbers, as those bettors tend to make small wagers.
While not knowing what happened in the race that you are referring to, it is true that the #1 and #8 post positions will be over bet; that does not mean that you should shy away from wagering on greyhounds that are in those post positions. As always the key to winning wagering is getting value for your play. To get value on a key dog that you know will be over bet means that you may have to be more precise in finding the right dogs to play behind or with the hound that you like.  You should keep in mind the fact that these greyhounds will be over bet and adjust your expectations accordingly. That being said, I have written before about these posts being over bet, and the value of trying to find false favorites who are in these posts. The name of the game is beating favorites (most of the time), and if you can find false favorites and they happen to be in the one post, all the better.
Thank you for the question, David L!

Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.