Finding the Right Homes for Retired Hounds in the Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia Area ...and Beyond!
Treachery's Gambit (part 2)by Ron Powell
My name is Maury and Arty's Heart of Treachery. I'm a racer. I love to race. That's the only thing I do like. Nothing else matters. Just the race. And Winning. I used to win a lot.
My stay at Greyhound Central was pretty short, really. I was let out to take care of my business. I was fed in the crate. I was spoken to kindly. I hadn’t yet begun to figure out how to wreak havoc. I haven’t yet begun to figure out what buttons to push. I was anticipating the challenge. The lady there looked like a formidable opponent. Later that day, however, I was shuffled off to the first of several foster homes.
Humans are predictable, really. Weak. They all follow the same pattern. Trust. Doubt. Disbelief. Shock. Anger, sweet anger. Finally, Fear. More intoxicating than anger, you can smell it. The realization that they have been confronted with something they can't explain, can't control.
In the first home, they trusted me. When I shredded things, they doubted I was capable of doing the things I was doing. Then the disbelief set in when nothing thing they tried stopped me. Then shock at the things I was willing to do. Chewing through electrical cords, for instance. The brief pain of the shock was nothing, really. Nothing compared to what I could put them through. Anger when I wouldn’t stop, when I destroyed the things they loved like they destroyed the things I loved. It ended with fear. The pattern repeated itself ad nauseum. It’s a sweet victory to find the one thing that puts them over the edge. It helps me forget about the things I’ve loved and lost, even for just a little while.
In the next home, I knocked things over. Drinks, plates, chairs, the gate they thought they could use to contain me. A vase. And when they let their guard down, when their backs were turned, a tv. I thought perhaps I could get it to land on the man while he was cleaning the mess I’d made. I wonder if it occurred to them I’d made the mess right there, on purpose. One good push and the tv came off the stand it was sitting on. It was so easy. They couldn't get on the phone fast enough to get rid of me. They actually pushed my cage to the door and opened it with a broom to let me out, then bribed me with raw meat to get me back in. Of course, I chose when to go back in. Control. So much of it was gone from my life. Controlling them was a substitute, a crutch, but it worked.
The third home, I chewed things until they kept me muzzled 24 hours a day. That doesn't matter, you can still strike back with a muzzle on. The woman's bruised face is testament to what I can do. She knew fear. She actually called two large men with thick leather gloves to move me out. I don’t know who was more afraid, the woman or the two men carrying me.
In the fourth place, I waited until the old man was ready to take a step down and I lunged. The collar hurt my neck, but falling three steps hurt him more. It didn't hurt him as much as I hurt inside, but it's a start. It wasn't long before I was moved again. Triumph. It gave me enough reason to keep going. It wasn’t much, but it was enough.
Then they took me to a home where I met with an "animal behaviorist." The joy to be had in confounding her was immense. Everything she tried, I thwarted, every theory disproven, every strategy failed. After several sessions, I heard her tell the couple that I was living in the red zone. I like the sound of that. Then she said if I don't "snap out of it" and "change my ways" that the only thing left may be to put me down. There's only one problem with that. I don't feel fear, so their threats don't matter. I'm living in the Red Zone. If there's only one end to this story, there's one last line I haven't crossed yet.
"No, I understand. No other options, she’s got nowhere else to go. I'm just scared. I've read about what she's done. I don't know what she'll do, or get into, or if she'll snap. It's such a bad situation. I've never seen a hound do these things. Only one day? Oh. I understand. It's come to this, really?"
The woman hung the phone up, visibly shaken. She turned the man and said "It's only one day. I couldn't say no. I mean, I could have, but I want to be some kind of help, you know? They've done so much for us."
"Yeah. I understand. You made the right decision. The kids will have to be told to stay away from her. I'm sure we can handle it for one day."
In the next room, a relaxing hound perked up an ear and listened intently. He rolled over, worry free but anticipating a challenge.
Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!