Skip Avery-Potter, the Leadout on Wheels from Project Racing Home (PRH). LOL
Actually, Avery is my beloved 8 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi. She is my pride and joy. I do have a Greyhound, "Brandy," but I cant use her name. IT'S A GIRL'S NAME! LOL
Here is the story behind the rest of my names:
have Cerebral Palsy, and use a electric wheelchair to get around. My interest in Greyhounds began with attending races with my Uncle Dave in Iowa. I attended many races in 2001 and 2002, but had never seen a Greyhound up close.
One of my father's colleagues, Dr. Marc Vaughn, adopted ONECO EXCEL from a local adoption organization, and he invited me to come meet "Merlin." Dr. Vaughn encouraged me to get involved with Greyhound adoption, which started a chain of events that have truly changed my life.
I came home from meeting Merlin, and did an Internet search for Greyhound Adoption in Greensboro." I found Kimberly Jewell, who was starting Project Racing Home Greyhound Adoptions. I began volunteering with Project Racing Home in 2003, handling electronic communication and fund raisers from home.
Whenever possible, I would go to the kennel, to help feed and play with the hounds. During my visits to the kennel, I developed a very strong bond with SPARTAN SPIRITED ("Molly"). I took Molly to parades and Meet & Greets. My first experience with helping Kimberly with an adoption came when my family asked me what I wanted for Christmas 2003. I replied "I want Molly to have a home for Christmas." No one in our family was in a position to adopt a dog, but my Uncle Jerry donated Molly's adoption fee to PRH, and we were able to find a loving family for Molly. Molly's adoption showed me how much a Greyhound can mean to a family.
My time at the PRH kennel got me curious about spending my life working with Greyhounds. In April of 2004, I wrote a letter to Derby Lane, asking about becoming a Leadout. This letter caused some fun and light-hearted discussions at PRH. I was affectionately given the nickname "Leadout on Wheels" by the volunteers at PRH.
MAPMAKER ("Map") is a hound that steals the heart of anyone he comes in contact with. I loved his high energy and playful antics. He was adopted in July of 2004, and through the next six months, I heard stories of what Map can do now. In December of 2004, I saw Map for the first time since his adoption. This was a very calm, cool, and collected boy. Not the wild man that I remember. He can even sit and lay down. I tried to get him to jump in my lap, like he used to, but he just politely sat down in front of me.
Map's adoption showed me what a family can mean to a dog. It was then that I set a goal to bridge the gap between racing and adoption. I also made up a saying: "Racing needs Adoption......Adoption needs Racing. Let's all work together."
In early December of 2004, I began coming to the kennel on a regular basis. Kimberly, and her husband George, are teaching me about working in a kennel environment. I cook the rice for the feed mix, help feed, wash bowls, clean crates, and help with turnouts. People at PRH now call me "The Mop" or "Mopmaker," because of the rather entertaining way that I clean crates.
There is one PRH dog, JUST BELIEVE ("Justin"), who presents a challenge to me. Justin is very muscular and playful. He likes to try to get away from me, when I try to put him in the crate. This is a fun game for the two of us. Kimberly and George have been entertained by the game of chase between Justin and I. I am able to get Justin into his crate by myself every time. Sometimes, it takes a while, but Justin and I provide a lot of laughs for Kimberly, George, and the people at PRH.
Because of his antics, and my ability to handle him, Justin's NGA name has become my new motto. I have set three goals to reach in my lifetime......Become a licensed trainer, have my own farm, and have my own race kennel that supports the Race for Adoption program. Many people doubt that I can accomplish these goals from a wheelchair, but now, I just grin and tell people to "Just Believe."