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The (greyhound) adoption process continues: Betsy and Max meet Bobby

May 14, 2008 |  2:13 pm

Riley_mug_shotLos Angeles Times Entertainment Editor Betsy Sharkey is in the process of adopting a greyhound, Riley, at right, that used to race at the Caliente Racing Track in Tijuana. She will periodically post updates on his assimilation into her family here on L.A. Unleashed. Today she writes about meeting her first possible match, a greyhound named Bobby.

Seven nail-biting days after clearing all the hurdles to adopt a greyhound, the call finally came. Beverly of Greyhound Pets of America thought she'd found a possible match for me.

His name was Bobby, a big white boy with red patches, who had a reputation for loving puppies. Four years old, but still playful enough to take on my crazy 7-month-old English Setter, Max.

Bobby had been in a foster home since January, so would come with all the social graces -- understands basic commands, walks well on a leash, housebroken and used to the daily decorum of sharing indoor space with humans. Sounded ideal.

And so, with a growing sense of excitement (I was really going to do this...) and fear (would two dogs be too much to handle?), I headed out with Beverly, Pattie, another GPA volunteer, and Max to meet Bobby.

After an hour drive, most of it with me locked in an intense debate with Max over why he had been relegated to the back of the van, we were there.

Bobby was a beauty -- a sweet face making the classic greyhound smile, which I learned involves showing a lot of teeth. There were two other greyhounds in the home, so we took Bobby and Max out back for a kind of speed dating for dogs.

Here's how it went -- they raced around at breakneck speed, jumped, played, rolled in the dirt. For the first time ever, Max was actually the quieter one sensing, it seemed, a power greater than his. On they went ... racing, rolling, panting, then starting all over again. It looked like a version of dog heaven.

Me? I was agonizing. Here was a lovely dog that needed a home. How could I reject him? But the energy and intensity of Bobby combined with Max seemed potentially combustible. I had visions of the 5K that I was witnessing here taking place in my house.

I vacillated, I equivocated, I talked myself in and out of taking Bobby a dozen times. In the end, ambivalence won over guilt. I just didn't think Bobby was right for me. I told Beverly I needed time to think about it.

And, as usual, I did nothing but think about it: I was making a huge mistake. Max needed more time to mature. Bobby needed a different environment. Or maybe, I just wasn't cut out to handle more than one dog in my life.

It's a long-term commitment and not one to be taken lightly. And I couldn't imagine what I would do if it didn't work out. Take Bobby back? That seemed unthinkable.

In general, rescue groups will have you meet and consider two or three greyhounds before making a placement, so Bobby wasn't the only option. But for now, I had decided to put my search for one on indefinite hold.

Next up: Then along came Riley.

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