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Few dogs are as emotionally engaging or physically elegant as the greyhound. None are as swift. Its unmatched fleetness is key to the breed's longtime survival. Bred to hunt, the greyhound has a lineage extending back 8,000 years. Throughout its history and around the world, the greyhound has been the companion of kings and the inspiration to writers and artists alike. This book has an agenda that goes beyond simply capturing the unassuming elegance of this breed: rather, the hope is that the book will bring about greater public awareness of these dogs and the peril they face after they are no longer able to race. It is intended to garner the attention of the innumerable potential dog owners who might consider adding a gentle greyhound to their family.
Today thousands of young and healthy purebred greyhounds that do not make the grade on one of thirty-five racetracks in the U.S. and Mexico are in need of adoptive homes. When their racing days have ended, the lucky ones are taken by one of hundreds of greyhound rescue groups who will adopt them into loving homes. About 20,000 greyhounds are adopted annually, although the need for homes remains decidedly greater. With additional exposure of the breed, and a broader awareness of their plight, it is hoped that eventually all of these dogs can be placed after their life on the track or the breeding farm is over. The otherworldly beauty, quiet grace, and loving disposition of the retired racing greyhound were Barbara Karant's inspiration for this book. By photographing her subjects against a pristine white background, Karant is able to portray the dogs' indomitable spirit, readily visible in these portraits - their spunk, spontaneity, humor, mystery, and charm. Karant's gloriously expressive pictures, along with an evocative essay by Alice Sebold on the extraordinary qualities of these magnificent beings, make this book a wonderful gift to anyone who has ever shared their life with a dog.