Fast Dogs & Derby Girls!

In celebration of National Greyhound Adoption Month, Maine Greyhound Placement Service volunteers, their greyhounds, and the Bangor Roller Derby Girls will join forces to promote greyhound adoption and show off just what kind of pet a greyhound can be. For Dogs Boutique, 251 Main Road in Holden, will host a Meet and Greet from 11 AM – 2 PM on Saturday, April 20. The public is invited.

“We are excited about hosting a benefit for the promotion of adoption and rescue of our beloved canines,” said Anna Perna, For Dogs Boutique owner. “Our store brand is to offer products and services that are not only healthy and fun but also for the emotional safety of our family dog members.”

The event, called a Meet and Greet, is part of ongoing outreach events to showcase the breed’s grace, athleticism, and personality. MGPS has demos throughout the state every month. According to Sue Sprague, MGPS secretary, and Bangor-region demo leader, these kinds of outreach events have been held since MGPS’s inception 20 years ago.

“The Meet and Greets give people a chance to get up close and personal with a greyhound,” Sprague said, “Many people have never seen one ‘in person.’ They always have questions about the breed.”

Sprague speaks from experience. She and her husband, Skip, have had greyhounds at their Winter Harbor home since 1984. Today, they share it with six greyhounds, including two littermates and an Italian Greyhound named Spyro.

Greyhounds are classified as sighthounds. They are bred to race. They are retired by age five. Rescue agencies like MGPS take in many. These athletes can reach speeds of 45 miles per hour, second to the cheetah as the fastest land mammal.

However, that doesn’t mean they’re high maintenance or require lots of exercises. Greyhounds are considered “couch potatoes.” They need a walk several times a day and must be kept on a leash at all times unless their space is enclosed.

“Since they are sighthounds and can see better than humans can, a tiny leaf blowing nearly a half-mile away can bring on the ‘chase’ mode,” Sprague said. “Since they can go from zero to 35 miles per hour from a standstill in less than five seconds, it makes it a little hard to catch one.”

This Meet and Greet will be different, Perna said, because the Bangor Derby Girls will be helping out MGPS.

“Athlete is the operative word here,” Perna said, “Desi, a staff member of Ren Dogs, happens to be a member of the Derby Team. She had said numerous times that the team would be happy to help with any of our fundraisers at the shop. I put two and two together, derby dogs and derby girls, and voila!”

Desi Clark, who skates as DZ, said it was easy to team up with MGPS.

“We are all very avid dog lovers and have done a lot of work with Bangor Humane Society,” Clark said, “We have 30 girls. They all have to do two hours of volunteer service a month. We thought it was a great thing and an easy way to get out in the community.”

In addition to helping MGPS volunteers showcase the dogs and educate the public, the Bangor Roller Derby Girls will hold a raffle for tickets to their next bout against Fog City Canada on Saturday, April 27. Proceeds from the raffle will go to MGPS.

MGPS will not have any adoptable dogs on-site. However, adopted dogs will be on hand to visit with anyone who comes to the Meet and Greet. To see videos of adoptable dogs, visit greyhoundplacement.com and click on the “see our adoptable dogs” link at the top of the site.

” If anyone ever thought they would love to have a retired racer, then they should come to meet a whole bunch of them on the 20th at For Dogs Boutique,” Sprague said. “We have a saying about greyhounds that is so true. ‘As they race their way to the sofa, they are also racing their way into your heart.’”

To learn more about greyhounds, visit greyhoundplacement.com and critters.bangordailynews.com.

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