Weekends are always busy for us, it's when much of our actual photography happens. This past weekend though, we kept a day open for a special event. Special to us, but more special to our hound, Lochrima. It was the annual Greyhound Rescue Reunion picnic.
Greyhound events are one of those things almost like a secret society~ you only know about the events if you already own a greyhound or if you accidentally happen upon them. These sorts of things happen all over the country~ from picnics large and small to greyhound wine-tasting events and concerts to greyhound beach or hiking weekends. The mix of people is always incredible ~ all ages from all walks of life, everyone coming together only because they are "crazy greyhound people" and like the chillness of "greyhounding." (That means hanging out with larger numbers of greyhounds, of course!)
This year's GRI Reunion picnic was held at Downs Park in Pasadena, MD. If you are a dog-lover of any kind, you should definitely check out this park. Not only are dogs allowed into the park, they have a special dog beach where your canine can lounge off-lead in the sand or take a swim in the water. Most greyhounds are more prone to wading (or just sunbathing) but there were plenty of other dogs taking a dip in the drink. Some other fun features of the park included volleyball courts, playgrounds, basketball courts and loads of dog-friendly walking trails. A great spot, to say the least!
The GRI picnic was really packed with humans and hounds this year. Everywhere you looked was another family or couple on a blanket enjoying the perfect day with their greyhounds. Unlike many other breeds, greyhounds can congregate in large numbers in complete calm. No barking, fighting or other dogginess. They seem to truly enjoy the company of other greyhounds. And the serene vibe is contagious. Everyone is always relaxed, just as chilled out as the hounds.
To offer activities to all the people that accompany the greyhounds, GRI had various entertainment planned for the day. In addition to fund-raising raffles and a silent auction, they had a reiki master give demonstration about alternative healing therapies for dogs. There was also dog-related shopping, doggie pedicures, clay pawprints and of course ~ plenty of food for two and four legged guests. In past years there has been a DJ and live demonstrations by folks from the Renaissance Faire of greyhounds in history. Always something to do (as if the beauty of nature isn't enough, right??) and something to appeal to the diverse crowd of greyhound people.
For the past three years, Nathaniel & I have blocked out the date of the picnic on our calendar and always go to volunteer and help out in any way we can. The day flies by for us ~ we get there early to set up, help out all day long and close the place by packing cars and cleaning up. Sometimes we barely get a chance to have a break!
But this year we took a short walk to the water with Lochrima to check out the dog beach and the gorgeous views. It was totally worth it to step away for a few minutes and hound around with Lochrima because the park itself was wonderful! Behind the dog park there was a lagoon with tall white herons, which was a fun surprise.
Today it's back to business as usual for us: working on images, answering emails ~ day-to-day life. But the GRI picnic was a nice break from our work to enjoy each other, friends, and of course ~ the company of dogs.