A few days ago my wife Cindy & I saw a Facebook post on the Greyhound Pets of America (Cape Girardeau, Mo. Chapter) wall by Tricia Mueller.
The post was to report a greyhound that had been seen running loose in Murphysboro, Illinois for about a week and not responding to people who would call to it. Instead it would run and, in some cases, bark at them. We decided to travel the 20 or so miles there to see if we might be able to see the dog and catch it. We looked up and down the neighborhood where the dog had been seen several times with no luck. After about 3 or 4 hours of looking we saw a man walking his dog down the street and we stopped and asked him if he had seen a greyhound running loose; he said that he and his wife had seen him several times in the past week. We gave him our phone number and asked him if he would please call us if they saw it again, and if they were able to confine it some way that would really help.
The very next morning Mrs. Hill called and said she saw the dog in her yard and when she opened the door to call to it the dog came into the house. We told her if she could keep it there we would be right up. When we got to her house and approached the door, both she and the dog were there looking out the “storm door”. As Mrs. Hill opened the door just a little, the dog became very anxious and bolted, pushing out the door. We were not able to hold on to him and he bolted down the street. I tried calling him, but he would just bark a few times, then move further away until he was finally out of sight. We asked Mrs. Hill that if he came back, would she please try to get him into the garage or somewhere away from a door so we would be able to get in without him trying to escape. We then looked around for an hour or so with no luck and returned home. We were very disappointed that we missed our chance. With the temps dropping into the 20’s and 30’s that night, we felt very bad that this poor guy was going to have to spend yet another night out alone in the weather.
I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call from Mrs. Hill the very next afternoon saying the dog had indeed come back and wanted in. He was soaking wet & very cold. After she told us he was in her garage, I told her we would head that way immediately. When we got to the Hill residence, Mrs. Hill invited us in and showed me where the garage door was. I cracked it open a little. The dog was lying right in front of it and he started to bark at me; I opened it a little more and went in and shut the door behind me. The poor dog was extremely scared but appeared to be in fairly good condition although apparently somewhat underweight. I approached the dog and as I got close enough to try to place a collar on him he started to growl and lift his lip a little, and started to shake almost uncontrollably. It appeared to me that if I put too much more stress on him it might send him into shock, so I asked Mrs. Hill to come into the garage and see how he reacted to her. She had said the previous time he was in her home she was able to pet him and he appeared to enjoy it, to the point that if she stopped he would nudge her to get her to pet him again. She had no problems with him at all and it was very apparent he trusted her, so she was able to get the collar slipped over his head and the leash on without any further stress to him. I took the leash from her; when she opened up the garage door he came alive and wanted to get out but did not put up any real resistance once he realized he could not run away. He actually handled pretty well on the leash. It was at this point, after walking him in the yard for awhile, that he surrendered to letting me pet him. We had some concerns that he may not want to get in the truck, but he actually walked over to it and looked at it; when I opened up the door, he jumped right in. After thanking Mrs. Hill for all of her and her husband’s help, we were on our way to SkyView Animal Clinic in Cape Girardeau to have this poor boy who had been out in the rain and cold for at least a week or more examined by the vet. Initial exam would show he is a “lurcher” or a greyhound mix, he has all of the body characteristics of the greyhound, but he does not have the greyhound head or face. He appears to be around 5 or 10 lbs underweight. His teeth would indicate an age of around 2 or 3 years. These figures are just from casual observation; more will be known after his full vet exam. He is scheduled to get shots, heartworm testing, neutering and whatever else is deemed appropriate.
His initial response in a closed garage to a stranger while he was in a heightened state of anxiety was to be expected; once he calmed down and realized no one was going to hurt him he had no issues at all. He was still a little reserved, but that is to be expected as there is no telling what he has gone through in the last 7 to 10 days . . . or really who knows how long. We were absolutely thrilled to see our GPA (Cape Girardeau) group step up and take care of this “mixed” boy, and get him what he needs. Hopefully we can get this beautiful guy a loving forever home somewhere down the road.