Finding the Right Homes for Retired Hounds in the Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia Area ...and Beyond!
Treachery's Dawn ( part 1)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 win a lot.
I like the bars of the gate. I like to beat my muzzle on them. I think it makes the other racers scared. Good. I like them scared. Scared hounds don't run fast. Throws them off their game. I see I'm three gates from the inside track. The dogs close in don't look like much of a threat. One of them is a big, muscular brindle. He might be a nuisance, but I've got ways to deal with those. I can tell by the lights and the noise that we're going to get started soon. I hunker down and tense up, ready to go.
I woke up on a steel table. The humans are talking about me. I don't like humans.
"Maury? This is Arty. Treachery had an accident at the track today. Hold on."
"So, doc, how long till she recovers?"
Maury is the business man. He likes it when I win. It's the only thing that I like about him. I've only seen him once or twice. He doesn't care about racing much. He does make sure I get some extra treats whenever he comes around, though. I could almost like him. Almost. Arty is around a lot more. He always makes sure I have what I need to win. I don't know, or care, if that is kindness or self-interest.
"Well, we set the bone and got her all sewn up. She's going to need a cast, antibiotics, follow ups. Figure 4 to 6 weeks or so." The vet. I don't like him much. Not because he was mean. He always takes pretty good care of the hounds here, but he's human. That's enough for me. "However," he went on, "She's never going to race again on that leg."
My ears tried to perk up, but I couldn't really feel much and my head was hazy. I figure they gave me something for the pain. That doesn't stop the hatred for this human from rising up within me. Can't race anymore? Humans. They cage me and ignore me and the only thing they let me do that I love, they're going to take away? Typical. That's why I don't like them.
"Maury, doc says she'll recover but not race. What? No, I don't want her put down either. Maybe see if one of them groups wants her? She's done right by us, I'm perfectly fine trying to do right by her."
The vet piped up and offered to talk to some other humans about me. Whatever.
I put my head back down and went to sleep.
It was a long time, several weeks, before I got the cast off and I could walk around on my own. Weeks without racing can make a racer a little edgy. I made sure the humans knew how I felt about it. I'm not allowed to be out of my cage without my muzzle on now. Good. Humans should have a little respect for a racer like me. I can still run and trot but I can't race and I know I'm not as fast as I used to be. Stupid humans probably would have done me a favor, if they'd just let me die. A Racer that can't race. That's a cruel joke, indeed.
Several days passed and Arty came by to see me.
"Well, Treachery, this is your big day. We found someone to take care of you. I'm going to miss you, but you're going to really happy where you're going."
Happy. Unless there's a race involved, happy is not in this equation. Arty opened my cage door and took me out to a waiting van. This was kind of new to me. Usually, when a Hound goes away, they put him in a truck full of other Hounds and they just disappear forever. I slammed my head into Arty's knee, just to show my appreciation. My heart skipped a beat when I heard him grunt.
"Hey there, you're from that group? It's so great that you guys were down here for vacation and had room to take her back with you. I can't tell you how much this means to Maury and me. They told you all about her little "quirks?" Good. I can't believe you're still willing to take her. She's gotten ornery since the accident. Not everyone would be willing to do that."
Then Arty did something he's never done before. He cried. He bent down and pulled me close, ruffled my ears and cried. "Goodbye, Treachery. Live a long and happy life." The turned around and walked off, dabbing a bit at his eyes. I don't understand what that was about. I was still trying to sort things out when I was pulled into the van. I gave a half-hearted struggle, because these humans need to know who's boss, but I was still a little confused.
The door closed and the human got in. She pulled out her phone and pretty soon she was talking to another human. "Lisa? We've got her. She's going to be a handful. See you tomorrow."
That's when I noticed there was another two humans in the car. A man and a kid. I found a spot to lay down on. They had a bunch of blankets on the floor so I laid on them. I fell asleep for a while. It was easy to do. The blankets were soft. Nothing like shredded newspaper.
"Mommy, she's awake," the kid cried. Then he reached back and put something on the floor by me. The smell was irresistible, so I pushed it through my muzzle and ate it. It was fantastic. I wanted more, but I can't let them know I appreciate the treat, so I did what every prisoner would do. I peed on the blankets. That'll show 'em.
"Mommy! She peed!"
The van pulled off the highway and into a little town. The man gathered up the blankets and ran into a little laundry place. They got some lunch while they waited for the blankets to get clean. They found a table next to a grassy place and sat down. I was about to lay down on the grass when I realized I was letting my guard down. I'll show them. I took my muzzle and knocked over the woman's cup. I was set and ready to savor the anger but all she did was clean it up, get another drink and put down a bowl of water. Something is definitely up. I wish I understood what was going on.
Time passed. The man picked up the blankets and they put me in the van again. Not without a fight, though.
I stood up in the back of the van for the longest time. The humans kept looking at me, but no one said anything. My leg was getting tired and the blankets were so soft. I didn't want to get used to the softness. It might take away my edge, or worse, I'll come to like it and then when they take it away, I'll only have myself to blame. I looked at the blankets. Finally, I gave in. I was seduced by the softness. I slept. I slept like I'd never slept before. I dreamt. Green grass, soft blankets, yummy treats... Alien things. Things I could grow to like. If I let myself.
When I awoke, a new lady was opening the door to the van. The sun had just crested the horizon. She took my leash and said, "Welcome to Greyhound Central."
Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!