Greyhounds to take stroll in Manlius

Local club organizes monthly walks for owners, pets

A group of greyhounds -- and their owners -- will take a leisurely walk through Mill Run Park at 10 a.m. Sunday June 13 as part of a monthly event organized by The Greyhound Walking Club of Central New York.

The club, which was first established around 2000 but lasted only five years, is up and running again, thanks to North Syracuse resident Glenn Santa.

"I missed it," he said of the club. "It was a great way for greyhound owners to get together."

Santa recently designed a club web page, too, so owners could unite through news, photos and blogs. The site provides information on greyhound adoptions, as well.

"The only way you can get a greyhound is through a rescue group," said Santa, adding the main reason they're bred is to race. "After their racing career, they're either adopted or destroyed."

His mission is to educate people on greyhounds and why they make fantastic pets. A common misconception, he said, is they're hyper. In reality, greyhounds are gentle, quiet and enjoy taking naps.

Santa, who always wanted a dog as a child, owned his first one at 35 years old. He chose a greyhound because he was told they're a top dog breed for people with allergies; they have short hair, are single-coated and don't develop as much dander as others. It was after he brought Maggie home when he learned just how lovable greyhounds can be -- then brought home a second named Jake.

Unfortunately, Maggie died of cancer three weeks ago and Santa shared his thoughts online.

"My heart is crushed and I never thought I could love an animal as much as I loved her. She got me through some of the darkest times in my life," he wrote. "I felt such a strong bond with her from the day she came into our home. She was the most gentle, sweetest dog in the world."

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