by Hal Hawley
Dear Greyhound Articles Online Readers,
This post was on the Greyhound-L and its author kindly agreed to allow me to repost it here. It’s as enjoyable now as it was back in 1996. Matter of fact, some of us think it’s as hilarious as the day it was posted. Enjoy!
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 08:24:14 -0700
From: Hal Hawley <greyhnds@XXXXXXXX.COM>
Subject: Ghost Pregnancy Confirmed <G>
A while back we told of a neutered dog who successfully mounted a female
in heat, and joked about greyhound ghost puppies. Well, the female had
a false pregnancy just recently, which we interpret as confirmation that
indeed the ghost embryos are viable and doing well. It won’t be long
now before the ghosts are born, and we are on pins and needles wondering
how many will be in the litter.
Some of you probably don’t think I’m serious about ghost puppies, and
for you skeptics, check this out. The females nipples were noticeably
swollen, but when you actually *touched* them instead of just *looking*
at them, they weren’t swollen at all. This is well known in the
literature as “ghost swelling” and is positive proof that a viable
ghost litter is alive and well inside the womb.
There is considerable debate in scientific literature over the
gestation period of ghost puppies, so we don’t know exactly when to
expect them. The main scientific problem is lack of a statistically
significant number of study cases — ghost puppies are quite rare, and,
just as many otherwise astute people refuse to believe that tick borne
diseases are a bona fide problem, so do many refuse to believe in ghosts,
so there are very few scholars who have actually studied them or
performed any experiments to determine what conditions are necessary for
their conception. The only known and generally agreed upon factor is
that a successful mounting of an unspayed female by a neutered male is
However, such a union is not in itself sufficient. Some researchers
speculate that the male must also have ghosticles, a condition that
apparently is quite rare. Since they cannot be seen or felt, the
existence of ghosticles is only an hypothesis, and some refer to it
disdainfully as pure speculation. Among those who support the ghosticle
hypothesis, there is a clear consensus that neutering is essential to
the production of ghost sperm by the ghosticles — in other words, an
unneutered male simply cannot father ghost puppies.
Well, sorry to bother you with all this scientific technical jargon.
The bottom line is that GFN will be adopting out the ghost puppies after
they have been weaned and socialized. GFN is prohibited by its
operating policies from adopting ghost puppies before socialization is
complete, as most dog owners, even highly experienced ones, are incapable
of controlling unsocialized ghosts. Our motto in this regard is “We
will adopt no ghost before its time.”
Due to the rarity of ghost puppies, and greyhound ghosts in particular,
GFN could set the adoption fee astronomically high. However, since the
conception was unintentional and we are not in the ghost breeding
business, the adoption fee has been set at $25 — well below the fee for
a “real” (non-ghost) greyhound. We are able to keep the fee for the
ghost puppies so low because, as you well know, they require no vet care
(they never get sick, and ghosts are not fertile).
Since we do know the sire and the dam, all ghost puppies will come with
a pedigree certificate. Interested prospective adopters should realize
that GFN has a strict screening process for prospective adopters of ghost
puppies — your check has to clear the bank. Anyone wanting one of these
ghost puppies should mail a check in the amount of $25, payable to GFN,
GFN, Dept. “Ghost Pups”
1095 NW Firwood Blvd.
Issaquah, WA 98027