BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When the Greyhounds meet, it's like a canine family reunion. Tails wag and doggie greetings are exchanged.
The dogs entertain thousands of people at betting racetracks across the country, reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. They come and go in a blur. When the dogs reach about five years of age, they are retired.
That's when the organization Greyhound Pets of America springs into action. Al Murphy is a member.
"We're looking for foster homes in the Harrison County area and again once the fosters are established, sometimes they'll last a couple of weeks. Other times a couple of months, but those dogs usually go out quickly as well," Murphy explained.
There are misconceptions about these racing dogs. For one, they are very high maintenance.
Linda Dantagnan is the president of the organization.
"It's a great inside dog. It's a great apartment dog. They don't require very much exercise, which of course, everybody thinks they need a lot of exercise but they don't. A short walk twice a day and they're quite happy," Dantagnan said.
They are also incredibly friendly, good around other animals, and even with the small children who stopped by for a visit. The kids were impressed.
We've all the phrase that dogs are man's best friend. But when it comes to Greyhounds, these dogs take to a whole other level, according to Linda Murphy.
"At the track, they're handled by people constantly. So they're used to being next to people," Murphy explained. "They like being someplace soft in the house and they will follow you. They'll be right next to you, if you sit down they're going to sit down next to you. If you get up, they're going to follow you where ever you go."
Finding a loving and permanent home for the Greyhounds provides a feeling that just can't be beat for these volunteers Dantagnan said.
"When you get the pictures from the adopters, and they tell you about how much they love their dogs or they come back for their second dog, you know you've done a good job."
A dog gone good job!