A Day at the Kennel

Judy and I headed out to Daytona at 7:30 Saturday morning with my daughter's meowing kitty in the back seat. Plan for the morning - CAT TESTING!

We started cat testing at 8:30, and I would like to share my experience with you. When we arrived at the kennel, the trainers were waiting for us and the KITTY. Judy, Chris Miller, and I went inside one of the empty kennels, and placed the Kitty in an elevated crate (eye level for a dog). The trainers lined up outside the kennel, and brought their greys inside one at a time. They gave Chris and Judy the dog's name, their ear tattoo, and their racing weight. The trainers then brought their grey over to the kitty to see the reaction (both of the dog and of the cat). It quickly becomes apparent whether the grey is cat friendly, cat trainable, or NO cat! While the trainers wait in line outside the kennel, you can hear them talking to their dogs, telling them to "be good to the kitty", "you love the kitty", "don't look at the kitty", "kitties are good". These trainers really want their dogs to be cat friendly so they have a better chance of being chosen by an adoption group. And what is depressing is the look in the trainer's eyes when the dogs turn out to be "NO CAT". Their body language shows their disappointment. Judy and Chris both do their best to help with the NO CAT dogs, but the demand for these pups is not nearly as great.

What is so moving to me is the number of wonderful dogs just waiting to get out of the racing kennel. We tested 60 dogs - all non-racers - all needing a place to go! I wish I had a greyhound bus, because I personally wanted to take at least thirty five of these exceptional dogs (I still remember each of their names and the look in their eyes!). We ended up bringing back 5 dogs, and Bob brought back two more on Sunday. I have three wonderful little females at my house today - Rockette and Ribbons (littermates) , and Ginger. All three girls have adjusted immediately to my home, and will be vetted this week. Judy has the two males Bruce and Jet, and I know these are greyt boys too. In fact, Jet spent Sunday afternoon with me at Halloween event, and was the perfect gentleman with all the small dogs and cats walking around.

If you are in a position to open your home to a foster, please let Judy know. There are so many wonderful dogs waiting. We need your help so we can help them. And, if you would like a taste of reality, please ask Judy if you could help her the next time she is going to cat test. It really is quite a moving experience.

Donna Galante

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