by Debra Bell
Special to The Weekly
On December 27, 2009, we adopted our first greyhound, a beautiful red brindle dog named JAGS Laura (now shortened to Laura). If you’ve read this column regularly, you’ll know
Laura is our spunky and adorable girl. Inquisitive, happy and accident prone.
Within the last year we started noticing she seemed lonely and bored. Olivia, our cat, hates
her and makes that clear.
We tried sending Laura to daycare at Green Acres which helped some, but not enough to offset the fact that we felt she was lonely.
So this June we started the process of considering adding another greyhound. The decision
to add another dog wasn’t one we took lightly because we wanted to ensure the happiness of all
involved, human, canine and feline.
We met with Dr. David Cloutier from Veazie Veterinary Clinic, our veterinarian, as well as Don
Hanson from Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor. Don is a dog behaviorist and he and his staff
know Laura well. We also talked with friends who have multiple greyhounds about what it’s like.
We wanted to get a feel for what it would be like to have two dogs at home and what we needed to keep in mind before, during and after the adoption.
After discussing all of the pros and cons, we decided to proceed with adopting, as long as the
right dog was there. We ran the numbers for the cost of adding another mouth. We discussed
what would be breaking points. All points led to adoption.
We knew we would add a male because male-female pairings often are the best. We knew
we would have Laura meet her potential buddy. They had to get along. And he would need to
We stopped into Maine Greyhound Placement Service in Augusta on July 5 to pick Laura up
from holiday boarding and were introduced to two handsome boys: Dr. Feel Good McDreamy (a
red fawn) and Herschel (a handsome red brindle like Laura). Both dogs were a delight to us and
snuggle bugs. We were confident that one would be “the one” for Laura.
So we set up a separate appointment for her to choose her new companion the following
After prepping the house (and breaking the news to our 14-year-old coon cat, Olivia), we
caravanned down to Augusta in my parent’s van and our Subaru Impreza. Each dog would get
its own shuttle home to make the ride comfortable and manageable.
Once at MGPS, the adoption counselors brought up McDreamy (Herschel had been adopted
that week) and Laura and McDreamy seemed to hit it off. We looked at one more grey, Cyclone,
before making the final decision: Laura would take McDreamy home with her.
We resolved to rename him. McDreamy didn’t seem like the right name for this gentle, silly
soul. We considered Zeke, Beau and Riker, but Buddy seemed to be what we were already
calling him. We decided that we’d just go for it.
And it fits him. He’s a great buddy for Laura and for us.
If you’re considering adding another pet to the home, do your research before adopting. We
wanted to make sure that Buddy’s addition to the family would be seamless and positive. Our
veterinarian gave us good advice as did Green Acres. They also provided us with an outside
opinion and could play devil’s advocate. Those insights are so important to making sure that
everyone ends up happy. Which will lead to a successful placement. And a happy family.
Debra Bell is a pet photographer and the owner of Bangor’s Best Pet Photography business,
Bell’s Furry Friends Photography (a division of Bell Imaging & Design LLC) and is a freelance
writer. For information, go to bffpetphotos.com.