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It's a Dog's Life: The Life and Times of Zephyr, a Rescued Italian Greyhound

Updated on May 16, 2016

Meet Luigi Zephyrini (Zephyr)!

It was a cold, dark night in Iowa, and he was locked in a metal cage, shivering, scared, and no doubt wondering where he was going...yet again. it was the third time that month...it seemed no matter where he went, whoever he was given to gave him back for one reason or another.

His original mother struggled with depression, lost her job, and simply couldn't care for him anymore. So she did what any good mom would do, and that is give her beloved pet to someone who could take of him.

But, that person couldn't handle him either. You see, Zephyr is a greyhound - an Italian Greyhound or IGGY for short. He didn't do well being locked up in a kennel all day, and like many IGs he hadn't been properly potty trained. Anyone who has owned an IG knows it is a challenge to get these guys to pee where they are supposed to. But was that his fault? Did he have to be shipped off to someone else, again?

Zephyr Relaxing

Zephyr
Zephyr

What Happened?

So they put him back in his cold, metal kennel, put him in the back of the truck and took him over to another person who enthusiastically said they would take him. I mean how hard could it be? IGs are so cute after all, and little, and well, CUTE!

No sooner was he let out the kennel did he take off down the street running like the wind. He didn't know where he was running to, he was just running. It was, after all, what greyhounds are born to do. Run like the wind. And this little dude is one fast IG!

But, his new owners didn't see the humor in his little escapades. They preferred to keep him locked up in his kennel, 8 hours a day, while they went to work. When they got home to let him out, Zephyr would take off again, running like the wind, to where, nobody knows.

Now it wasn't an issue of whether or not he could be cared for, it was a question of whether or not the family was a right fit. Clearly, this family was not. You can't keep an Italian Greyhound locked up all day and not expect him to go a little crazy when you let finally him out. And to make matters worse, he peed in the house.

This happened two more times that month. he was shuffled again and again to different families and individuals who were eager to take him in but not considering the kind of care and attention an IG needs.

Follow Zephyr on Instagram

DOGS 101 - Italian Greyhound

Humanely Euthanized?

The final place that fateful month was with a well-meaning young man who really liked Zephyr. He is so cute, after all and no one can resist him really. But this well-meaning individual failed to do his homework because his landlord did not allow pets. Not even the cutest little IG in the world!

He was given an ultimatum...the dog goes or you go. Not knowing what to do and unable to find anyone to take Zephyr in, this individual decided to take him to the vet to have him humanely euthanized. I mean, Zephyr;'s history clearly indicated he was a problem dog, right?

The evening before Zephyr was going to be taken and put down, I received a phone call about the plight of this little dog. It was my stepmother. She had heard about Zephyr's story from a friend at work. She knew I had wanted to get an IG since the death of Patty, my beloved rescued racing greyhound of nearly 15 years. She thought maybe, I would take Zephyr in. It seemed, I was his last hope.

Well, I was still in graduate school and I really didn't want the expense of another dog just yet (I have two others already). But given his situation, I agreed to take him and foster him, and if it wasn't a good fit, I would take him to a rescue league so they could find him a good home.

Yeah, right!

Seth's Dog Frisbee vs. the Champion Italian Greyhound - Late Night with Seth Meyers

Zephyr is pure joy,

his whole purpose in life is to spread happiness and contentment and to relax and have fun. How can you not love that?

Zephyr's Rescue

The evening before Zephyr was going to be taken and put down, I received a phone call about the plight of this little dog. It was my stepmother. She had heard about Zephyr's story from a friend at work. She knew I had wanted to get an IG since the death of Patty, my beloved rescued racing greyhound of nearly 15 years. She thought maybe, I would take Zephyr in. It seemed, I was his last hope.

Well, I was still in graduate school and I really didn't want the expense of another dog just yet (I have two others already). But given his situation, I agreed to take him and foster him, and if it wasn't a good fit, I would take him to a rescue league so they could find him a good home.

Yeah, right!

Our Favorite Things to do with Zephyr

We love to take walks with Zephyr. He is naturally inquisitive and he likes to explore everything. My son like to go running with him, and while Zephyr could leave him in the dust, he does not. He runs right next to his brother and never misses a beat.

One of the games my son Brandon plays with Zephyr is a game called "treat". I'm sure you can figure this one out. Like any dog, Zephyr LOVES treats. In fact Zephyr loves food of any kind and is a major food thief. Brandon will take little pieces of pepperoni or beef jerky and run all over the house with it, with Zephyr all over him trying to get the tiniest morsel. They both love that little game and it is a joy to watch.

The best activity though, is to cuddle up with Zephyr. He has the warmest little body, and he loves to cuddle.

Photos of Luigi Zephyrini (Zephyr)

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Zephyr Chillaxin' on a Sunday

About Me

Clearly I'm a sucker for cute little dogs. But I'm a sucker for medium sized dogs and large dogs as well. All of my dogs are rescues, as a matter of fact. But I have a special place in my heart for greyhounds, big and small.

I don't consider myself special for taking Zephyr in; it was just the right thing to do. And while there have been challenges along the way, I don't regret it one bit. To see him so happy and so bonded with my son and other two dogs, well, there is nothing more rewarding.

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    • DeniseAlvarado profile image
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      Denise M Alvarado 6 years ago from Southwest

      Zephyr really wants to know what folks think about his story.... got a minute to type a line?

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