Finding the Right Homes for Retired Hounds in the Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia Area ...and Beyond!
The Case of the Convict's Bloodby Ron Powell
~~My name is Prince Frecklebum, Greyhound Detective. I wasn't always a detective. I was a racer once, before I retired. My track name was Occam's Razor of Lightspeed Doom. You can call me Prince. Most of the humans around these parts do.
I've been lookin' forward to this case since I heard we were getting a real troublemaker. We've already had a little discussion of what's expected of her. I think she's on board. She certainly seems to have a new outlook on life. She's been spending time in her cell, but she's made some real improvements and has been allowed out more and more every day. I'd like to think I had something to do with that.
Take the other day, for instance. It was a lazy afternoon. She was doing time in the cell block, where they keep the wheely thing, so I moseyed on out and laid down beside her, in case she wanted to talk or might have been lonely. It's what good Greyhound Detectives do, you know. After a short think in the sunny spot on the floor, she started jabberin' away.
"How'd you manage? I mean, to go from being a racer to not racing anymore?," she asked.
"Well, I knew a long time ago that racing was just what I did, it wasn't who I am. I was always a Greyhound Detective, in my heart. Sure, I raced, but I just knew there was more to life than the track. Boy was I right. Once you pick yourself a couple of good humans, life really begins. I don't even remember what sleeping on shredded newspaper is like, or doing your business with 20 or 30 of your best friends watching."
"What's it like, living with humans? Is this where all the retired racers end up? How come they don't tell us about this ealier?" She smelled eager and a little worried, too.
"No kid, they don't all end up in retirement homes like us. I'm not real sure where all of them go, but the lucky ones get a house and humans of their own. No sharing! I imagine they don't tell us about this so we'll keep on racing. Or maybe they just forget. Humans are pretty forgetful sometimes. They take a lot of care to train right. Living with humans is pretty darned great, once their all trained up. Once you learn 'em when to give treats, you're really on to something. Thing is, if you pick the right humans, they love you and give you toys and soft beds and good food and take you for rides and stuff."
"Toys? What are toys?" A puzzled look and tilted head peered out from behind the cell bars.
"Oh man, toys. Squeaky toys, furry toys, round things you can toss around. Playin' with toys is the next best thing to a nap on the couch."
She got up and turned around, making a new nest in her blankets.
"So, Prince, how do I get to choose humans of my own?"
"Well, there's this thing called Adoption Day. Once you are done being fostered, they load you in the wheely thing..."
"You mean, car?"
"...as I said, wheely thing, and you go on a long ride and they have all sorts of people all lined up for you to pick from. You let them know when you've picked 'em by being all cuddly and wagging your tail at them. They'll make some big noises and then they sit at a table and pass all sorts of papers around and someone tells them how lucky they are and reads all sorts of rules to them so they know who's the boss and stuff. Then you get in their wheely thing..."
I cleared my throath slightly. "wheely thing. Now, as I was saying, you go on another ride and when you get to your new house, the humans take you inside and let you sleep on the couch and play in your yard and generally just go about the business of making sure you're comfortable and well fed. My advice is to choose some humans with kids. Kids are the awesomest."
"Do you think they know I'm sorry about before? That I really just want to be loved, now?"
"I think so, kid. They keep talking into the talky thing..."
"TALKY THING. Anyway, they keep talking about sweet you are and such. And you been spending time with the kids. They wouldn't go for that, no matter what I said, if they didn't think you were trustworthy."
"Good. Prince? One more thing. Thanks."
I got up from my spot on the floor and walked into the kitchen. I looked over my shoulder at her. "Stick with me, kid, I'll take you places."
Over the next few days, we had lots of talks and I showed her how to roach and water flowers and make sure the garden had enough holes in it and when to nose-poke dad and how not to get rained on and all sorts of things a Greyhound Detective should know. She took to it real easy, too. We got along great, too. She's pretty much a natural!
A few rooms away, Mom called to Dad. "Hey, honey? Come here!"
"What's up, Sugar Lips?"
"I told you not to call me that."
"Watch it, you. I have a squirt gun here!"
"er...um, yes, quite. What is it, darling?"
"I was goofing around on the internet and looked up Prince's family tree. Take a look!"
Dad bent over the screen and scrolled through Prince's family tree. "yeah?" The glazed expression told Mom he wasn't quite on the same page as she was.
"Look! Prince's grandsire is Occam's Sock 'em Robots. There were two girls in the litter with all the boys, Prince's mom and another called Heart of Glory. For giggles, I started looking into their lines." *click* *click* "Now what do you see?"
Dad leaned in and read Heart of Glory's family tree. "WOW! It's Heart of Treachery! They're like, cousins, right?"
"We'd certainly call it that."
"That's pretty amazing! I take it no one else has figured it out?"
"Not yet! But wait till I tell' em!"
Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!