Maryland Homes and Gardening
- Category: Home & Hound
- Published on Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:49
- Written by Renee Houston Zemanski
The Mulford family and their greyhound rescue, Pebbles,
perched outside the bright blue door of their Annapolis home.
The first thing you notice about the Mulford's house is the bright, "beach blue" front door. Kim Mulford painted it to match the playhouse door in their backyard.
The Mulford's aren't afraid to use color on the inside of their house either. Their living room is a soft bluish green, the kitchen and family room a pretty sea blue, and the front office is a bold autumn orange. Her daughters' rooms range from bright and soft pink to lime green while son Trip's room is a traditional boy blue.
"I love using a lot of color; it's so much fun," says Mulford.
So, with all of this color in their lives, how is it that they chose a "grey"hound for a pet?
After years of not having (or wanting) a pet, Judge Bill Mulford finally gave in and told his eldest daughter, Emma, now 17, that she could choose a dog or cat before her 16th birthday.
"Emma and the other kids had done so well in school, I felt that they deserved a pet, and I realized I was being a little bit selfish about not wanting one," says Bill.
Even though Bill wasn't a huge dog lover, Emma remembered that her dad thought greyhounds were "pretty cool." Another factor in the decision was that her youngest sister, Caroline, is allergic to longhaired dogs.
"I wanted to rescue a dog and of all the types of dogs, greyhounds seemed to match our family the best," says Emma. "Their relaxed temperament is perfect for our busy lifestyle. Once I had the idea of rescuing a greyhound in my head, I mostly focused on learning what I could about them. The more I read, the more perfect they seemed."
The family went to the rescue center hoping to adopt a two-year old male greyhound, but when Bill and daughter Lucy, saw a two-year old female greyhound, named Dr. Pebbles, it was love at first sight. Although son, Trip, protested that they already had enough girls in the family, they brought home Dr. Pebbles. The family promptly dropped the title of Dr. since they aren't a formal family and Pebbles eased right into family life with the Mulfords.
Greyhounds, best known for their speed, are bred by professionals to be racers. However, not all greyhounds are fast enough to race or they retire because of injury or age. These greyhounds are rescued and put up for adoption. They make great pets for families because of their sweet and calm dispositions. However, if you're looking to raise a greyhound as a puppy, chances are that you won't find one.
"Very few people breed greyhound puppies because there are already so many dogs in the rescue kennels making it tough to get a license to breed them," explains Kim.
Needless to say, Pebbles brings a lot of joy and exercise into the Mulford's life. As soon as the kids walk in the door they call for her, says Kim. Greyhounds, like any dog, love to be walked and Kim now takes daily walks with Pebbles. Bill and the kids also pitch in from time to time, but says Kim, while the novelty of having a dog hasn't worn off the novelty of walking her has.
"I love having a dog that greets me at the door, goes on walks with me, and eats the food off of the floor," says Emma. "I also love how she makes me laugh with all of her awkwardness and quirkiness. For example, when we first got Pebbles, we had to teach her how to walk up stairs and how to play with toys."
"Pebbles brings a smile to my face every day," adds Lucy.
"Greyhounds are so easy that they make great dogs for most people because they don't require a lot of work. They rarely bark, prefer to sleep a lot, and as long as you walk them a few times during the day, they're fine." says Mulford, noting that they don't have to take long walks as they are sprinters rather than endurance dogs.
Bill has definitely had a change of heart about having a dog. "I've never seen a dog so gentle and sweet," he says. "She's a wonderful dog."
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