I was born in kennel in North Dakota in 1996 and was named Dakota Kain. I went through all the usual greyhound training until I was about one and a half years old. That is the age when we usually start racing. We never know where we will end up, but one thing we know for sure is if we don't perform well and make money we are out of that particular track. Often we are shipped from track to track. Eventually I ended up in RI and I guess I did OK running at the track there, until I injured a leg muscle. I was given a rest so I could heal, but the problem persisted and the owners felt I could no longer run. When you're over the hill at three years old, what do you do? I was not in a situation where there were too many choices. Time was running out for me because they needed room for the new dogs coming in. I knew my trainer was a very kind person and she helped save many of us old timers from a very sad end. I was one of her favorites and I knew she would not let me down.
An adoption was in the works and I finally got to meet my new family. When we first met, I was jumping all around from excitement. I wanted to run just to show them how well I had recovered, but of course I couldn't do that. I just knew I was going to love these two. After getting control of myself I was handed over to Claire and we walked around a little. I guess she wanted to help me feel comfortable, and it sure did help. I was then motioned to jump into their vehicle. What is this, I thought. My previous riding experiences were not so good. I was always in a crate and loaded into a truck to be shipped somewhere. Now I was being led into this big opening and I was afraid. After a few minutes frozen in my tracks, I felt someone's strong arms cradle and lift me into the car. At that moment I was so frightened, I couldn't move. The rear hatch was closed and I just stood there not knowing what to do next. The couple got in the front and we were soon on our way. At that point I was still nervous, but I kept hearing a calm voice calling my name and telling me everything was going to be OK.
It wasn't too long before the car came to a halt and I was being led out. Well now I was just getting comfortable here in the car and I'm being led out into a strange area. I looked around and no way was I leaving my new area. Pretty soon I felt those arms around me again only this time they were guiding me down out of the car. I looked around and froze in my tracks again. Suddenly I felt a little tug and a gesture to come. I slowly moved ahead and before I knew it we were in the yard. My leash was removed and I had a chance to survey every inch. This took some time and it was really nice. All this green soft stuff under my feet felt so good. I had never felt grass before. I finally finished sniffing everything, but little did I know there was more to come. They called to me and I gladly ran their way. In front of me stood another challenge, the stairs. I had never encountered stairs before either and there were three of them. Pete went up and called to me but I didn't know what to do. Then Claire placed one on my front paws on the first step and gave me a boost from the rear, which helped me to move upward. The door opened and I went inside where I met my little brother Noogie (Nugget). At that point we were both on our leaches and the introduction went well. He was led outside for a while and I had the whole house to investigate. I slowly went into each room and sniffed every nook and cranny. This was a whole new life and everything I saw and smelled was new to me. My new family was very patient and spent a lot of time tending to my needs. I was very tired that first night and realized I was nervous over nothing.
I have been here a little over one year now and have settled in very nicely. I love my new family and my life couldn't be any better. I am always learning something new. I watch over my little brother Noogie, because he is still a work in progress, but we are all very patient with him. He is my good buddy and we keep each other busy.
My story also has a happy ending because of the adoption program, which has placed so many retired greyhounds like me in homes where we can live the rest of our lives with families who truly appreciate us just for being us!