The Peppermint Patty Trials

When Prison Met Patty

Prison Greyhounds has always been very good about communicating the availability of greyhounds for adoption to their followers. After many conversations with the organization’s president, Erin was particularly aware of the limited number of adoptable dogs that Prison would have access to over the past two years. The last couple of months, Prison Greyhounds was seemingly given notification that there would be no more greyhounds that would don the Prison Greyhound “Adopt Me” handkerchief. Although Prison Greyhounds has not completely ruled out another greyhound dog drop, they had been quietly searching for other organizations with a similar mission.  To our excitement and surprise, Prison located an extension of their original adoption mission and we are elated to share that they are partnering with The American Lurcher Project to help find homes for retired racing field trial greyhounds or as we like to call them, greyhound lurchers!

Bear with Erin and I as we are still in the early stages of educating ourselves on these hounds and this organization. We can tell you based on the American Lurcher Project’s website that non-sanctioned backyard racing, also known as field trial racing has been around for decades. Lurchers are commonly used for field trial racing, mainly in the Midwest.  It is our understanding that these races are unregulated, and dogs can continue racing for as long as they are successful (unlike NGA greyhounds, which must retire at 5 years old).

The greyhound lurcher, is the offspring of a greyhound and a coonhound.  There is no set limit on how much of each breed constitutes a lurcher.  However, most of the dogs that our group will be getting will be roughly 90% greyhound and 10% coonhound. These dogs do not have tattoos, as they are not registered racers. Once we learned more about these dogs, Erin and I jumped at the opportunity to help Prison Greyhounds in any way we could. To our delight, we were given the opportunity to foster one of the first four trial lurchers that our group brought to Indy. And that is how Prison and the Jessweins were introduced to Peppermint Patty.

Peppermint Patty is our first greyhound lurcher foster!

Erin Likes A Challenge

Throughout all of our fostering, Erin has made one thing very clear to Mary, the Prison Greyhounds President. No issue was too big for her to handle when it came to fostering a greyhound. Well, it turns out that Mary was listening and she found a doozy of a pup for our first lurcher. Erin being Erin, she was very forthcoming of the details when she pitched fostering Patty to me. Turns out that Patty is five years old and is actively being treated for heartworm. Heartworm is an issue that we’ve never had to deal with in our 57 greyhound fosters.  Aside from helping her recover from three separate treatments that lasts for several months, it is really important that we don’t allow her to raise her heart rate.

Thankfully she loves her ex-pen, so even though she can’t go for walks, she loves to chill in her pen.

Not allowing any dog to raise their heart rate is like depriving me of deep dish pizza…it is just going to piss me off! But rules are rules and this means that Patty isn’t allowed to go for walks, absolutely no zoomies, and my favorite part, she isn’t allowed to go up or down stairs. So we all know who is carrying her up and down the stairs each day! Similarly to the last couple of foster greyhounds that were from the farm instead of the kennel, Patty didn’t know the meaning of no when she first came to us. She did catch on to “treat” and “good girl” quite quickly. The first week of fostering and subsequent first trip to South Bend was a fog of hundreds (ok, maybe not that many) of accidents in the house and car. The car ride back from Indy was especially tough because of the amount of “stuff” that came out of her. It sure was hard to be angry though when she would just look at you with those big, brown hound eyes. The cherry on top of all of this is, we were informed the day that we were getting her that she is in heat! But hey, we’re managing!

This is a common view with Patty as she loves be as close to us as possible.

Here we stand at almost three weeks into the Peppermint Patty trials and things have gone about as expected. The number of accidents in the house are almost down to zero. Almost. Most of that is due to rewarding her for every successful outside bathroom break.  We also got smart and put lots of pee pads in her ex pen to help save our carpet as much as we could.

Hard to be mad when she gives you that look.

As much as she wants to run and play with Six Pack and Callie, she doesn’t put up a fight when we put the leash on her to go in the backyard as much as she initially did. Her and I haven’t fallen down the stairs! And to my relief, her cycle has been spotty at best, not nearly what we had braced for. Nothing a little hydrogen peroxide can’t clean up.

I know that look, that’s the “I’m about to try and jump into your lap” look.

Peppermint Patty is more affectionate than any other foster greyhound we have had. We had been warned by Mary that lurchers love people and attention and she wasn’t lying. Patty loves trying to get on the couch, especially to try and sit next to me. She’s a collector and is starting to figure out how enjoyable bully sticks can be.  Patty does a great sit and is a champion leaner when she’s being petted.

Best Sit Ever! And she doesn’t even need a command do it!

She will be with us until December at a minimum, so we’re really excited to see more of her personality come out.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *