Article: Greyhound Offers a Lesson in Understanding

From Eileen Mitchell’s article on

Gazing at my beautiful boy, I told my sister that if his pain kept worsening and wasn’t manageable, if his quality of life started to decline and surgery wasn’t an option, I might have no choice but to consider the unthinkable.

And just at the moment, I saw utter fear flash across Elvis’ face, and I witnessed what I had always wondered about – comprehension.

Read the full article: Greyhound offers a lesson in understanding

Gracie’s Adoption Day

Gracie and her new family

For the Phillips family, January 9 will forever be Happy Adoption Day for their new family member, Gracie.

The Phillips family is happy to report that Gracie is adjusting very well to her new home, noting that she’s eating fine and hasn’t had any “potty” problems. While content to sleep on her own bed, Gracie has also been known to crawl up onto the family bed, even under the covers!

Photo courtesy of Lisa Phillips

In Memory of Aspen

Our deepest sympathies to CalGAP editors Roger and Sharyn Deeringer for their loss of regal Aspen.

From Sharyn:

When it is time to let go?

Having just lost our sweet girl, Aspen, I wanted to share with you my thoughts. First, I could not have gotten through this with out the support of some wonderful friends who offered needed medical counsel. A special thanks goes to Katie Fisher for directing Roger and me to Dr. Eich and Dr. Christina Goulard for introducing me to Dr. Annie Forslund.

Dr. Annie Forslund allowed all of us – including Sears, Neo, Static – to say good-by to Aspen in our home as Aspen rested on her favorite bed. By coming to our home, Dr Forslund allowed us to cradle and gentle stroke Aspen as we sent her off to the Rainbow Bridge. Our pack didn’t have to deal with the uncertainty of Aspen leaving the house and never returning. The passing of a pack member they understand; disappearance leaves them uncertain. All of us had the opportunity to say good-by.

Dr. Forslund also provides pre and post emotional support to help pet owners deal with these difficult decisions. Being a greyhound owner, she truly understands our emotional attachment to our wonderful greys. When you are faced with the decision of letting go, please visit Dr. Forslund website at We can’t thank Dr. Annie Forslund enough, nor express how grateful we are for her services.

How do you decide when it is time to let go?

With tears in my eyes, I share this poem with you. The question I ask of myself when having to make this heart wrenching decision is, “Am I keep my precious baby from the Rainbow Bridge for my greyhound’s sake, or I am keeping my sweet greyhound here for me.”


Author Unknown

I didn’t want to go at first, I fought with all my might!

But something seems to draw me now to a warm and loving light.

I want to go! I really do! It’s difficult to stay.

But I will try as best I can to live just one more day.

To give you time to care for me and share your love and fears.

I know you’re sad and are afraid because I see your tears.

I’ll not be far, I promise that and hope you’ll always know

That my spirit will be close to you wherever you may go.

Thank you so for loving me, you know I loved you too.

That’s why it’s hard to say good-bye and end this life with you.

So hold me now, just one more time, and let me hear you say,

Because you care so much for me, you’ll let me go today.

A Grey Shows What He’s Made Of

A fun article about love, understanding, and stress release, in more ways than one.

From Elvis Proves Himself in a Moment of Doubt

Many thanks to volunteer Pat Hagler, who sent this our way. Says Pat: “This reminded me of my first grey, China Beach, who always waited for me no matter how late I worked and we didn’t have a doggy door. One fun memory of him is from our X-country trip in an RV. He stood with his nose pressed into the door jamb of the motor home, telling me he wanted to go out. He didn’t have a clue that we were traveling 65 mph down the interstate.”

If You Need to Surrender Your Greyhound

When you need to surrender your Greyhound
by Sharyn Deeringer, CalGAP President

I write this article with a heavy heart. One of our loving, trusting greyhounds was dumped in the Lancaster shelter. A couple days later sweet Spin was dead. Whether she died of exposure or stress we will probably never know. Shelters are reticent to admit mistakes.

As soon as word was received that Spin, a Retired Racers greyhound, was in the shelter, the greyhound adoption agencies in the area went into full gear to get Spin released to one of the groups. It was a truly cooperative effort by all. Many times shelters will allow greyhound adoption groups to quarantine greys in an approved home. I have been allowed to do this several times.

A hold was put on Spin within a day to prevent the shelter from euthanizing her. We had an adopter ready to take her as soon as the quarantine was over in 8 long days. Just 2 days after Spin’s arrival at the shelter, the day the new adopter pledged to pick her up, we received news that she had died.

Giving up your greyhound is serious business. As we all know our greys are special, not only to us emotionally; but they also have special physical needs. It is very important that no matter what the circumstances, never allow a greyhound to be placed in a county shelter.

Shelters do not realize that our greyhounds do not have the body fat or the fur to help them survive extreme temperatures. Shelters do not realize that most of our greys are very social animals and extremely dependent on their people. Some greyhounds may become stressed when not with other animals. Help us prevent another tragedy; please do not place a greyhound in a shelter.

Please call your adoption agency if you must return your greyhound. You probably signed an adoption agreement that stipulates that you must return the greyhound to the adoption agency. Please! Honor that commitment. If your need is immediate and you cannot get through to your adoption agency, please call the CalGAP main number, 949-468-8689 or go to for the phone numbers of all the other adoption groups. Someone will help you and will get your grey to the adopting agency.

‘A Happy End’

Send to us by one of our Needle Nose Team volunteers:

Why our hearts are with the greyhounds, and will be forever. A little insight about how crazy we are for our greys, and why the ex-racing greyhounds deserves whatever we can do to save their lives, and make them happy and healthy.


The greatest thing I’ve ever known,

Someone came and took me home.

Away from the track; hope I’ll never go back!

Like a nightmare in my memory, my future looked Black.

Then I was adopted, and my life was spared.

I thank God everyday that someone cared.

‘Cause this must be heaven, I’m a winner this time.

Got a ball, a bone, and a bed all mine.

And I’m crazy about my family;

Devoted you might say,

Like a shadow beside them,

You can bet I want to stay.

And I’m special too, they call me “sweetheart,”

And they hug and kiss me and tell me I’m smart.

Even dreams are peaceful now, no stress no strife.

And I run for fun, instead of running for my life.

‘Just A Dog’

Author unknown.

From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog.”

Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.” Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” then you will probably understand phases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a human.”

So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog.” just smile, because they “just don’t understand.”