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Harlingen Haul
Sunday, April 2, 2006

Sunday, April 2, 2006 was a day in memory for 19 Greyhounds who left the Valley Race Park outside of Harlingen, TX. Departing shortly before midnight the night before, they were escorted to Waco by a generous kennel owner and then met by GALT members, David Cole, John McQuade and Joe Hoiles. Some dogs rode in crates in the back of David's truck while the majority rode in GALT's customized hauler. For those who have not seen the hauler, it is best described as a dog limousine. Riding low to the ground in order to facilitate loading and unloading, GALT's hauler has 5 usable stalls on both sides. Each stall is climate controlled and comfortably holds two muzzled dogs. Vented for light and for days when the air conditioning is not needed, a hauler is the safest and easiest way to transport dogs.

Arrival time at Houn House was 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, and the welcoming committee immediately got to work. Volunteers Susie McQuade, Joann Young, Nadav Sela, Barb Bray and Carol Sahlfeld were there to meet the transportation crew. With everyone's help, the newcomers were unloaded in a matter of minutes and placed in their runs. Until foster homes are found, the dogs will be staying at Houn House, a boarding kennel in Carrollton. Having transported a large number of greyhounds over the past five years, GALT instituted a system to monitor each new dog. A medical checklist is started upon arrival, and notations are made to track the administration of worming solution and parasite control.

With the dogs inside, volunteers had a chance to get acquainted with the newest arrivals. The whole gamut of colors is represented, as blacks, whites, reds and brindles were all present. Volunteers scratched the ears of the confident dogs, gave an extra hug to those who seemed a bit overwhelmed, and chuckled at the two boys who insisted on standing in their water buckets to stay cool. Personalities will evolve over time, but the first look gave everyone a chance to make an initial assessment of those who need to go into foster homes first.

Once situated in their runs, it was time for a hands-on day at the spa. All 19 arrivals had grooming appointments, and each dog got a bath and pedicure. Bathing gives another opportunity to handle the dogs, check for fleas and ticks, and look for any abrasions that might need medicating. Very few resisted their baths, and most seemed content to be buried under a sea of drying towels while expert manicurist, Joann, tended to their nails.

It's the end of the racing season in Harlingen. On April 2, GALT took in 19 dogs to join those already living at Houn House. The next two weeks will bring more dogs to GALT as the kennels weed out those who are no longer racers. Some of the new arrivals are destined for other adoption groups, but as of April 5, 2006, GALT will be boarding 35 Greyhounds at Houn House. The cost to board one dog for a month is $180.00. Multiply that amount by 35 and you'll have an idea of the anticipated fees.

GALT is desperately looking for foster homes to offset some of these expenses. Many pleas for foster homes have gone out in the past, and although not everyone can help, GALT hopes you will give it some extra thought this time. A foster home not only helps GALT financially, it helps to get a Greyhound adopted. It is no secret that dogs in foster homes are adopted more quickly than dogs in a kennel. If you have a GALT dog, chances are that he/she came from a foster home before joining your family. Please consider doing the same for another Greyhound. Life in a chain link run just doesn't equate to a soft dog bed in a loving home.


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