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Trust: A Deadly Disease

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There is a deadly disease stalking your dog; a hideous, stealthy thing just waiting its chance to steal your beloved friend. It is not a new disease, or one for which there are inoculations. The disease is called TRUST.

You knew before you ever took your puppy home that it could not be trusted. The breeder, who provided you with this precious animal warned you, drummed it into your head. “Puppies steal off counters, destroy anything expensive, chase cats, take forever to house train, and must never be allowed off lead!”

When the big day finally arrived, heeding the sage advice of the breeder, you escorted your puppy to his new home, properly collared and tagged, the lead held tightly in your hand.

At home, the house was "puppy-proofed". Everything of value was stored in the spare bedroom, garbage stowed on top of the refrigerator, cats separated, and a gate placed across the door of the living room to keep at least part of the house puddle free. All windows and doors had been properly secured, and signs placed in all strategic points reminding all to "CLOSE THE DOOR!"

Soon it becomes second nature to make sure the door closes in nine tenths of a second after it was opened and that it really latched. "DON'T LET THE DOG OUT" is your second most verbalized expression. (The first is "NO!") You worry and fuss constantly, terrified that your darling will get out and a disaster will surely follow. Your friends comment about who you love most, your family or the dog. You know that to relax your vigil for a moment might lose him to you forever.

And so the weeks and months pass, with your puppy becoming more civilized every day, and the seeds of trust are planted. It seems that each new day brings less destruction, less breakage. Almost before your know it your gangly, slurpy puppy has turned into an elegant, dignified friend.

Now that he is a more reliable, sedate companion, you take him more places. No longer does he chew the steering wheel when left in the car. And darned if that cake wasn't still on the counter this morning. And, oh yes, wasn't that the cat he was sleeping with so cozily on your pillow last night?

At this point you are beginning to become infected. The disease is spreading its roots deep into your mind. And then one of your friends suggests obedience. You shake your head and remind her that your dog might run away if allowed off lead, but you are reassured when she promises the events are held in a fenced area. And, wonder of wonders, he did not run away, but came every time you called him!

All winter long you go to weekly obedience classes. And, after a time, you even let him run loose from the car to the house when you get home. Why not, he always runs straight to the door, dancing in a frenzy of joy and waits to be let in. And, remember he comes every time he is called. You know he is the exception that proves the rule. (And sometimes late at night, you even let him slip out the front door to go potty and then right back in.)

At this point, the disease has taken hold, waiting only for the right time and place to rear its ugly head.

Years pass -- it is hard to remember why you ever worried so much when he was a puppy. He would never think of running out of the door left open while you bring in packages from the car. It would be beneath his dignity to jump out of the window of the car while you run into the convenience store. And when you take him for those wonderful long walks at dawn, it only takes one whistle to send him racing back to you in a burst of speed when the walk comes too close to the highway. (He still gets into the garbage, but nobody is perfect!)

This is the time the disease has waited for so patiently. Sometimes it only has to wait a year or two, but often it takes much longer.  He spies the neighbor dog across the street, and suddenly forgets everything he ever knew about not slipping outdoors, jumping out windows or coming when called due to traffic. Perhaps it was only a paper fluttering in the breeze, or even just the sheer joy of running -- Stopped in an instant. Stilled forever -- Your heart is as broken as is his still beautiful body.

The disease is TRUST. It's final outcome -- hit by a car.

By Sharon Mathers  - Courtesy of Canine Concepts and Community Control magazine, September 1986
Note from NSGAA (June 2013): Although this article was written a number of years ago, its message is as relevant today as it was in 1986.  We strongly encourage you to review this often and to not allow yourself to become a victim of this deadly disease

  • September. 10

    Shades of Grey 2020

    SOLD OUT!!  Thank you all for your support!

    The Shades of Grey 2020 Calendar is now available for purchase!

    Featuring pictures of greyhounds, lurchers, and other sighthounds submitted by over 140 families, this 9x12, full color calendar makes a greyt Christmas gift. Click below for a preview

    There are a limited number available so contact Judy in Calgary, Susan in Winnipeg, or Deb in Edmonton to pick up your copy for only $20.00. Or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to have your calendar mailed directly to you for $23.00.

    Shades of Grey 2020 front cover picture

     

  • May. 01

    APPLICATION UPDATE

    Our last group of dogs for 2019 will be arriving the third week of October.  They will be AVAILABLE for ADOPTION so get your application in soon!

    If you are considering adopting a greyhound or lurcher, please review the information provided below before submitting an application and review the information on the site regarding our adoption process. Note that as of September 1, 2018, NSGA will no longer place greyhounds and lurchers in homes with children under 3 years of age. 

    Please review our Available for Adoption page. We are accepting applications for those dogs on the page that do not currently have a Pending Adoption. If you could indicate on your application if there is a specific dog that you are interested in, it would be very helpful. This page changes often so check back on a regular basis.

    We respect the time commitment made by other adoption groups and ask that if you are also working with another group, that you not submit an application to NSGA until such time as you have withdrawn it from the other group.   

  • May. 01

    MEET AND GREETS

    UPDATED - AUGUST 21 - Calgary Foks!  Join us for an Ice Cream Social - September 14!

    Pet Planet Glenmore Landing

    1600 90 Ave SW Calgary

    11 am – 1 pm

     We have very few meet and greets scheduled as there has been a shortage of dogs available for Adoption.  If you live in the Edmonton area and want to spend some time with greyhounds, please contact us directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a meeting.  

    Meet and Greets provide a greyt opportunity to meet greyhounds in person and talk to their owners about the joys of adopting a greyhound or lurcher.

    Meet & Greets are hosted by NSGA volunteers who typically bring their own pets along with them. There will not necessarily be "adoptable" dogs at each outing as these events are intended to be a starting point for those considering adoption. You will however, have the chance to meet some lovable hounds, scratch a few ears, and gather information about our organization.

    To see a  complete list of our scheduled meet and greets, click on Read More below  Please be aware that changes to scheduled meet and greets are sometimes necessary and check back here to confirm locations, dates and times.

    Read More