Whisper, a retired racer, attended the greyhound meet and greet on June 29. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Whisper, a retired racer, attended the greyhound meet and greet on June 29. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

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The Northwest Canadian Greyhound League hosted a meet and greet on Saturday at Petsmart

On Saturday, the Northwest Canadian Greyhound League (NCGL) hosted a meet and greet at the Petsmart in the Uptown Shopping Centre. The event ran from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and drew many pups and their parents.

The meet and greets serve to introduce the public to greyhounds and show them how calm and compliant the dogs are, explained Heather Lane, an organizer and dog-mom to Sadie and Toot. It’s also an opportunity for local hounds and owners to socialize.

Whisper, a retired racing hound from Alabama, spent the afternoon giving passersby the “puppy dog eyes” and playing with the other dogs.

Almost all greyhounds used to race and have since been rescued through programs like the NCGL, Whisper’s dog-dad, David Robertson, explained. There’s no greyhound racing in Canada, he explains, and it’s winding down in places like Florida too.

The dogs like to race, he says, but it’s hard on them because they have delicate joints and thin skin.

“They’re like Kleenex with bones,” he says with a laugh.

The adoption process can take up to two years because people need to be matched with a dog and have a home visit. Even once the dog arrives, it can take time for them to get comfortable, says Robertson.

It’s important to be patient, he explains. If they grew up at the racing track, they’ve never been in a house or climbed stairs.

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It’s rare to adopt a greyhound as a baby, said Coreen Chriswell. She was able to adopt her hound, Scout, when he was still a puppy because his mother had been retired from racing when she became pregnant. Scout’s training facility said they’d never even seen a greyhound puppy, Chriswell explained.

Most people don’t know much about greyhounds, said Robertson, and there’s a lot to know. They need special collars, they like to run, they don’t sit and they enjoy sleeping on their backs with their legs in the air, he says with a chuckle.

“We want people to understand how great these dogs are,” said Lane, patting Toot, her “foster fail,” affectionately.

The NCGL plans many meet-ups and group walks throughout the year. For information about events, fostering, or adopting, head to www.ncgl.ca.

@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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