Posh Pet Day Spa owner Lynn Mulrenin admits to always having a soft spot for greyhounds.
“I’ve only had one in our daycare over the past nine years,” Mulrenin said. “But there was just something about them that drew me to them.”
While doing some research online, Mulrenin became acquainted with American Greyhound/Great Lakes, Inc., a non-profit organization that finds homes for unwanted greyhounds, usually dogs that have outlived their usefulness to owners involved in greyhound racing. She attended a picnic and met Elmo, a 10-year old male with an amputated tail and ground-down teeth from being caged and biting on the cage.
“I fell in love with him,” Mulrenin said. “He is the best dog I have ever had; everyone loves him.”
Now the proud parent of five rescued greyhounds, Mulrenin wants to help other greyhounds also find loving homes.
On Saturday, July 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mulrenin will host a greyhound “meet and greet” at Posh Pet Day Spa, 3514 W. 111th St., to help potential foster and adoptive families become acquainted with the breed.
“They are the best natured dogs, and they just want a chance at a good life,” Mulrenin said. “They don’t always have the best life after racing.”
According to Nicole Graves, a board member of American Greyhound and its foster coordinator, the organization rescues greyhounds from locations in Florida and Alabama where greyhound racing is prevalent. Volunteers then bring them to the American Greyhound facility in Valparaiso, Ind., provide necessary veterinary care, teach them how to live in a home as a companion animal and find good homes in the Midwest where they are able to live out the rest of their lives.
Meet and greet events such as Mulrenin’s typically involve five to 10 dogs and a festive atmosphere, Graves said.
“They know they’re surrounded by friends,” Graves said. “When they meet their prospective family, we call it a ‘love connection.’”
Graves seconded Mulrenin’s opinion of the breed’s temperament. She has a 7-year-old rescued greyhound named Sophie that is a loving companion to her 11-month-old daughter Cora, Graves said.
“Sophie loves lying next to Cora, and Cora just lights up when Sophie walks in the room,” Graves said.
Graves said that many people have the misconception that greyhounds have a lot of energy and need room to run. The dogs are sprinters, she said, but do not require any more exercise than other breeds do.
“They are very lazy dogs,” she said. “They sleep 20 hours of the day; their nickname is the 45-mile-per-hour couch potato.”
Because they do not require a yard for running, Graves said, greyhounds are well suited for an urban area.
“They are great apartment dogs,” she said. “We have adopted many out to people who live in townhomes, condos and apartments in Chicago. In fact, one of our most recent adoptees went to an apartment on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.”
Mulrenin said her greyhounds came from different racetracks and with a variety of minor problems. One of her dogs, 2-year-old Newton, is blind, she said, but not disabled.
“They just need a good bath, a good diet and a fenced yard,” she said. “They all get along great.”
Mulrenin said she was inspired to host the meet and greet because she believes there are many local families who would love a greyhound of their own.
“This is a nice neighborhood with good families,” she said.
While she often gives her customers an impromptu sales pitch, Mulrenin said, the meet and greet will provide families with an opportunity to meet a prospective companion firsthand.
“When you see the dogs, you fall in love,” Mulrenin said. “At my age, there are not a lot of things that melt my heart, but they’re like ‘Please pick me.’ They just want to be loved.”
Applications for fostering and adopting greyhounds are available online at americangreyhound.org.