by Marcia Herman
Greyhound owners who walked their Greyhounds in public on September 22, 2002 were, accidentally or intentionally, a part of Greyhound Planet Day. What was Greyhound Planet Day? It was the day Greyhound people all over the world set aside this year to celebrate and promote Greyhounds in whatever way they wished.
Therese Skinner, a Kansas City Greyhound adopter and advocate, originated the idea. She proposed it to members of the Greyhound-L just this spring. Because the Greyhound-L has 2,700 plus members from around the world, enthusiastic Greyhound lovers immediately embraced the celebration idea; it quickly developed into an international event with the help of the American-European Greyhound Alliance.
The celebrations ranged from a one person Greyhound walk in Norway to larger events held in Australia, Spain, and Ireland as well as numerous events in the United States and Canada. One of the most dramatic and exciting events scheduled was at the Peace Arch which bridges the U.S. and Canada, south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Responding to a call, groups on both sides of the border began their procession to the Arch by “Calling the Hounds to the Arch.”
Locally, We Adopt Greyhounds (WAG) members and friends celebrated Greyhound Planet Day in an impromptu manner. The day coincidentally was the day after the 10th Annual WAG Gathering. People from afar and from many groups attended the Gathering, and many had already planned on staying overnight in Connecticut before heading back home. So, creating an impromptu Greyhound Planet Day in Connecticut was a natural development. Before leaving for home, some took a walk!
Gathering attendees from Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maryland joined a contingent of Connecticut Yankees and formed a group of 12 people and 13 dogs. They walked a portion of the Farmington Canal Line, the same location of the WAG Walk-a-thons. Groups represented were WAG, Greyhound Guardians, The Greyhound Project, GPA-Maryland, and Personalized Greyhounds. As usual, the sight of Greyhounds, especially en masse, stirred up a lot of attention and talks with passers-by about adoption.
When all is said and done, the numbers participating worldwide can only be guesstimated, but the numbers are likely quite high, judging by the number of planned events going on that day. Eighty-seven United States groups and 18 groups from Australia, Canada, and Europe officially participated in walks, picnics, and formal events bursting with speeches and educational events to, as Skinner writes “express their love and admiration for Greyhounds, and their cousins, the Spanish Galgo, and Lurcher.”
Additionally, PETCO is actively supportive of Greyhound adoption efforts and Greyhound Planet Day was no exception. On the East Coast PETCO sold Greyhound pins and will distribute the money raised to local adoption groups. PETCO stores in other parts of the country will donate monies brought in by doing “round-ups” at their cash registers on September 20, 21, and 22. The amount of each sale will be rounded – up to the nearest dollar amount- and the proceeds will go to local Greyhound adoption groups. Over the years many thousands of dollars were raised and given to local adoption groups.
Therese passed away yesterday, May 16, 2017 after a battle with breast cancer. You will never be forgotten, Therese. Until the end she was making hats and scarves for other cancer patients; that’s just how she was.