Hollsopple canine gets a day to himself
This photo of Quincey, an 8-year-old greyhound, is featured in the 2012 Bad Dog Wall Calendar as well as the 2012 Bad Dog Page-a-Day Calendar. Owners Wendi and Don Cowie of Hollsopple submitted the winning photo of their retired racing dog to Workman Publishing Co., of New York. (Submitted photo)
While the new year may go to the dogs for many residents, Wendi and Don Cowie of Hollsopple plan to hang their bad dog's accomplishments on the wall proudly.
That's because their retired racing greyhound Quincey has been chosen by Workman Publishing Co. for the 2012 Bad Dog Wall Calendar as well as the 2012 Bad Dog Page-a-Day Calendar.
"You can easily make fools out of greyhounds," Wendi Cowie joked.
The 8-year-old greyhound is one of about 40 dogs featured on the cover of the Bad Dog wall calendar. Quincey is also featured on Dec. 11 inside the wall calendar along with Dec. 22 in the page-a-day calendar.
Wendi Cowie said she first saw the Bad Dog calendars five years ago and has been submitting photos of her four greyhounds ever since. The calendar's tagline reads "365 outspoken, indecent & overdressed dogs."
While Quincey's housemates Sydney, Dobbi and Maddie have all appeared in Celebrating Greyhound calendars, Quincey is the only "bad dog" in the pack. The winning photo features Quincey wearing a pair of reindeer antlers hanging upside down from the dog's chin. The caption reads, "Is this right?"
"The calendar is hysterical," Wendi Cowie said. "I was delighted when they chose Quincey. He's such a special greyhound."
The Cowies adopted Quincey in 2008 when his racing career ended with a broken leg on the racetrack. The injury required surgery, which resulted in complications and infection.
Quincey's racing days were over, but thanks to Monica's Heart of Altoona, he found a home with the Hollsopple family.
"Quincey was a great racer, but (the break) was bad and his money-making days ended right there," Wendi Cowie said. "It's just a financial investment for them (the dog's former handlers). When it's over, they get rid of them."
Wendi and Don Cowie began adopting retired greyhounds in 1996 after a bet with their daughters.
"We were always cat people," Wendi Cowie said. "Our daughters wanted a dog, and I told them I would consider if they found one that acts like a cat, and they did."
Because of the way they're treated as racers, greyhounds aren't typically a prime example of man's best friend.
"They're kind of snobby," Cowie said. "They'll stick their noses up to most other dog breeds. They're not used to kissing up (to their owners), they're not used to being disturbed when they sleep and they won't rush to greet you at the door unless you train them to."
Greyhounds also require plenty of space to run and exercise. A typical greyhound will run several miles per day, but the dogs sleep about 16 hours a day, Cowie added.
Most of the retired racing greyhounds come to their new owners without knowing their own names. The racing trainers keep the dogs nameless so they aren't distracted by spectators calling out to them during races.
"It's sad. They don't know who they are until you give them a name, an identity and a home," Cowie said.
Quincey has found a warm and welcoming home with the Cowies. Thanks to Workman Publishing, his bad dog antics will be shared with the rest of the country.