Owner of greyhound talks about adoption of the dogs


March 29, 2002|By Betsy Diehl | Betsy Diehl,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

YOU COULDN'T ask for a better library visitor - friendly, agreeable and oh, so quiet. For a 3-year-old, Joey is quite obedient. Just watch the bookshelves - he could very well sweep off every tome with one swoosh of his 3-foot-long tail.

Joey, a greyhound and former racer, visited the Savage branch library Wednesday. He came along with Beth Blair, a volunteer with Greyhound Pets of America/MD Inc.

Blair, of Catonsville, introduced Joey to a group of 22 children and six adults for a program called "Gorgeous Greyhounds." Joey, a sleek, black former racer with touches of white, greeted everyone with "kisses" and curious sniffs as Blair discussed life with a greyhound.

Blair adopted her first greyhound in 1989, after reading a Sun article about Greyhound Pets of America and the founder of its Maryland chapter, the late Betty Rosen. Blair adopted Joey in June.

As a volunteer, Blair advises people who are considering greyhound adoption. "We do home visits," she said. "We like to be face-to-face and answer questions."

She takes Joey to prospective households and to public forums to give people a glimpse of what it's like to have an 85-pound former canine sprinter around the house.

It sounds surprisingly serene.

"People are very pleased with the breed," Blair said. "They're good indoor pets, they don't shed a lot. They're adaptable to different households."

Just because your back yard isn't the size of a racetrack doesn't mean you have to rule out owning a greyhound. The dogs, able to run 40 mph, are quite content to go on moderate leash walks and then curl up for the rest of the day, snoozing.

"They're really couch potatoes, very laid back," Blair said. "They're big dogs that take up a small space. They sleep and curl up, and you'd never know they're there."

Owners must promise to abide by one cardinal rule.

"Never let them off the leash," Blair says. "They're sight hounds. They are bred to take off running. If you let them off the leash, they will run. They don't understand the word `come.'"

For Laura Brothman, 7, of North Laurel, the idea of owning a greyhound was appealing.

"I like this dog because it doesn't slobber," she said after the program. She and her brother, Eric, 9, hoped to persuade their father to adopt one. Their mother seemed to have been won over.

"The idea of saving an animal and having a great family pet at the same time really appeals to me," said Margaret Brothman. "Joey is a good spokesperson for greyhounds."

Information: Greyhound Pets of America/MD, 800-600-8607.

High-speed computers

Joey the greyhound was not the only fast thing at the Savage branch library, thanks to a new T-1 line for accessing the Internet.

"The response is much faster," said Diane Li, assistant branch manager.

All of the computers that are available to the public access the Internet using the state-of-the-art, high-speed connection.

The library will hold a session, "Untangling the Web," from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday for adults and children ages 11 and older.

Along with the chance to try out the speedy Internet connection, participants will learn to navigate the Web using the library system's new, portable laptop computer lab.

Information and registration: 410-880-5980.

Art auction and show

The Fulton Elementary School PTA is putting on an art show and auction from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. April 13.

The event will be held in the banquet room of Nixon's Farm in West Friendship.

"It's our first time ever doing an art auction," said Sheila Bischoff, ticket chairwoman. "It's part of our parent-involvement initiative. The major focus is to give adults an opportunity to socialize together."

Works of art will be up for bid, and an assortment of door prizes will be awarded. Bischoff said the door-prize items, donated by businesses, include four rounds of golf and a night out, complete with baby sitting and limousine service.

Tickets are $25 and include complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages. All proceeds from art sales will be used for "teacher wish list items."

Information and tickets: 301- 854-1220.

Parting words

Ellie Bateman, children's associate librarian at the Savage branch library, plans to bring her unusual "pets" to the library for a program April 18. The pets - sleek, active and easy to care for - are worms.

Bateman estimated that she has 1,000 wiggly creatures, which she keeps in two composting-style bins in her condominium.

"They're the best pets because they just eat your garbage," she said, noting that the worms digest food scraps into potting soil.

Bateman said her fiance, Tom McManuels, "is a dog person," but she thinks the worms have won him over.

"He only has nightmares every once in a while about worms in the bathtub," she said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.