Events can be life-altering for pets as well as people. Because of unforeseen circumstances, Eagle Point resident, MaryLou Rupp, is giving up her two beloved Greyhounds, Hopscotch and Chyna. Rupp is brokenhearted. She has hope, however, they will be adopted at a special event on February 12 at PetSmart.
Rupp and her husband, David, have been Greyhound aficionados since 2001 when Rupp retired and adopted their first Greyhound— a female named Kelly. The Rupps adopted Kelly through Homes for Hounds, an organization in Waldport, Oregon that places Greyhounds after the dogs retire from the racetrack. Falling into what is called the “potato chip syndrome,” when one is not enough, the Rupps then adopted Bandit— a male Greyhound. Unfortunately Bandit was not a good fit and went back to Homes for Hounds for new placement.
Not too long after the Rupps relocated to Eagle Point in 2007, they again adopted a second Greyhound— the beautiful, elegant Hopscotch. In 2008 they found themselves again down to one dog when Kelly was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to be put down. “I was devastated,” said Rupp. “She was our first and a love.”
In May 2009, the Rupps went to a Greyhound reunion and Homes for Hounds Founder and President, Rayetta Holder, had the perfect dog for them— Chyna, the blonde Greyhound with lots of personality. Chyna came to the Rupps with some issues after spending most of her life in a kennel, said Rupp. But with time and care, Chyna overcame her rocky beginning.
Greyhounds make wonderful pets with gentle, loving natures, said Rupp. Contrary to popular belief, they do not need continual exercise. After retiring from the racetrack, Greyhounds are 65-pound couch potatoes. “They want nothing more than to curl up on your couch and relax for the rest of their lives,” according to Holder who has dedicated her life to these dogs through Homes for Hounds. Greyhounds are athletes that were well-taken care of in their working days and were monitored by the Oregon Racing Commission before the Multnomah Greyhound Park closed in 2005
Hopscotch and Chyna will be at the Greyhound event at PetSmart, said Holder who will also be there with about six or seven other Greyhounds who need homes. Although this is national adoption weekend, the store offers this type of event four to five times a year. “It is very emotional when dogs and people get together with the right match,” said Connie Hooper-Leggett, store manager.
Although the Greyhounds will be there on Saturday, the entire weekend of the 11th through the 13th will be dedicated to finding homes for other dogs and cats as well. Hooper-Leggett said the store hosts an adoption event four to five times a year. Nationally, the PetSmart chain of 1,100 stores has found homes for 4,445,336 animals. “It is a pretty cool thing,” said Hooper-Leggett.
For more information call PetSmart at 541-772-5564. The store is located at 13279 Crater Lake Highway in Medford.
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent