The Seymour greyhound adoption centre was buzzing on the weekend as more than 1000 people lined up to meet, greet and take home a new best friend.
In what was initially scheduled to be a three-day event run by the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) from January 12 to 15, the final day had to be cancelled because the overwhelming response meant all available dogs were re-homed.
A total of 104 greyhounds were re-homed, with a staggering 59 dogs adopted on the first day, leaving GAP to pick up more dogs from foster homes in Melbourne.
Most of the dogs available at the adoption weekend were between the ages of one and seven, with a mix of retired racing greyhounds and others which have never raced.
GAP Ambassador and AFLW Carlton player Laura Attard — who adopted Macer the greyhound in 2015 — knows firsthand that these beautiful dogs make terrific pets and was excited to come up to Seymour to experience what an adoption day is all about.
(Laura Attard in Seymour last weekend)
‘‘Macer has been the perfect addition to our lives and it has been a joy to see her personality evolve since bringing her home,’’ she said.
While Laura and her partner had been thinking about adopting a dog, she said it was the experience of looking after her friend’s greyhound, Henry, for six weeks that made her settle on what type of dog was right for them.
‘‘I hadn’t really thought about the breed too much … but after we looked after Henry for six weeks, we just fell in love with their temperament,’’ she said.
‘‘They’re such a beautiful, placid dog — they barely make any noise and they sleep for most of the day, but they also love to have a bit of play and a cuddle as well. So we came down for a visit and just fell in love with her when we took her for a walk. She was just really attentive to us and really cuddly.’’
As a professional athlete, Laura leads a pretty active lifestyle, so she and her partner wanted to choose a particular dog that would be able to go for a walk and run every day, something she said GAP could help achieve.
‘‘Macer isn’t great at running, so if we go for a jog then she’ll only last for about a kilometre or two, and she’ll tell you when she’s done — she’ll just put the brakes on. But she’s probably a little more active — there are a few lazy ones who aren’t interested in walking,’’ Laura said.
‘‘Greyhounds aren’t endurance athletes, but the dogs are all really different in their own regard, and the great thing about coming to GAP is that the people here will match you up with a dog that will suit your lifestyle. They know the dogs, they know their temperaments, they know what they like.
‘‘So we were matched up with Macer … and we knew that she was going to suit our lifestyle. But if you’re someone who works a lot, and not at home often, they will match you with a dog that doesn’t require a lot of attention.’’
While Laura makes sure to keep Macer on a leash when taking her for a walk at the park, she said they would also make a perfect family pet.
‘‘It’s really important that you keep greyhounds on their lead, more because they’re not super aware of their speed and what they’re capable of, and they love to play,’’ she said.
‘‘But I’ve never seen her be aggressive, if anything she’s timid … and that’s the feedback I’ve heard from other greyhound owners.
‘‘If there’s a thunderstorm, Macer legitimately hides in our walk-in wardrobe for two hours. So I think we would be in a bit of trouble if anyone tried to break in, because she would just go and hide.’’
GAP volunteer Pam Priestley, who lives in Kilmore and was on hand to help out potential adopters find their perfect greyhound companion in Seymour on the weekend, said she loves their gentle and easygoing nature.
‘‘They’re good for people of all ages — from youngsters to elderly people,’’ she said.
‘‘The main misconception is that they’re supreme athletes. Because they’re retired now, they don’t need lots of exercise — only 20 minutes once or twice a day to start with is a good enough walk for them … and if you want a jogging companion, just make sure to get a youngster and build them up slowly.’’