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By Barbara Willcox
from the Greyhound Adoption Center newsletter

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Early on a cold Sunday morning in November, a staff member arrived to tend the animals at the Yuba County animal shelter and was amazed to find a greyhound tied to the chain link fence -- cowering and shivering.

The officer thought it might be a purebred greyhound, so he looked in the files under sighthound rescue and called the number for Cheryl Holt, a [Greyhound Adoption Center] adopter and volunteer. He left a message that a greyhound had been abandoned and would be held at the pound for 72 hours.

As it happened, Cheryl was in San Francisco at a weeklong seminar. She didn't have time to retrieve her messages until Wednesday. She immediately called the pound and was told the 72 hours were up. No one had claimed the dog. He was scheduled to be euthanized the next morning. Would they hold him if the fees were paid? Yes, but the pound didn't accept credit cards. Cheryl's only hope was to leave the seminar and find the nearest Western Union office to wire money, but then she thought of me.

On Wednesday afternoons, I tutor my English students between 3 and 5 p.m. and I always turn off my phone during class time. Imagine my surprise when the phone rang at 3:15 on Wednesday afternoon! How could I have forgotten?

Cheryl was out of breath and obviously running against time when she told me the bare details of the abandoned dog. She said the pound had promised not to make the final cut on the greyhound until they heard from me. I begged them to hold the dog one more day and promised to be there no matter what.

On Thursday I picked up the dog. It was a happy meeting and in the process I taught the staff how to identify an ex-racing greyhound. I also learned that Yuba County destroys 450 dogs every month. That very morning, 30 dogs had been euthanized.

That's how I came to meet B.D., the most beautiful Black Dog I have ever known.

©1997 Greyhound Adoption Center/Archer & Valerie Productions