We started fostering Airliner on February 26, 2008. He was the biggest and most beautiful greyhound we had ever seen. We could not pass him up and adopted him in May 2008. So, I guess, Steven and I have been BRGA members for 6 life-changing years. We were privileged to have him with us until January 21, 2014, when he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge--too soon. He was 2 months short of nine, but osteosarcoma is such an evil and unrelenting disease. Millie came to us in January 2009. She needed rehoming and was a perfect partner for Airliner, he, big and goofy, loud and communicative, she, petite, quiet and a follower.
To say that Steven and I are passionate about greyhounds and greyhound rescue is an understatement as we at once felt the need to give back by helping others in some way. We channeled this energy into doing the Manassas Meet and Greet for (soon to be) six years, once a month on the first Saturday of the month, through rain and snow, in good weather and bad. Whew! We discovered that it was a great way to socialize our dogs with other greyhounds as well as to get them used to seeing other breeds. What an opportunity to educate the public about our retired racers, to dispel some common misconceptions about the breed, and spread the word about the need to rescue them from an uncertain future. We have met so many interesting people, many of whom, although not in a position to adopt, nevertheless opened up their wallets and made generous donations, even through the worse of the recession. Greyhounds have such an impact on people once exposed to them.
The most important suggestion we have for running a Meet and Greet is giving individual attention and time to each individual or family that stops by to chat. We have seen instances in other groups where the members present are too busy talking with each other and barely acknowledge the people stopping by. Many have made a special trip. I have developed a routine which is almost like doing "stand up." People appreciate the attention. We make sure that they know as much as they can so they can make an informed decision. I tell jokes about the little cute habits they have. I want the person to be able to picture him or herself with a greyhound at home. Of course, I do not want anyone to apply if not sure, as having any live creature involves work, money, and commitment.
Finally, we have found doing Meet and Greets to be extremely gratifying. We would like to acknowledge the steadfast loyalty and devotion of Kim Barnett, owner of Roxie and Marcus, without whose presence and participation it wouldn't be nearly as fun.
~ Barbara Moskowitz