Meet Mishka, a retired racetrack greyhound. Mishka was bred for one purpose, Run Fast. Mishka came from a long line of racing greyhounds and was born into the bloodsport. She raced for a few years, and actually did really well. She even won a few races and placed top three is a few more. She was a great racer until her last race.
Greyhound racetracks are oval and the dogs only make left turns, which actually puts tremendous force and strain on the rear right leg. During Mishka's last race, her right rear femur just snapped. She had actually been at the front of the pack when it happened, and as she went down the rest of the dogs trampled her leaving "V"-shaped scars all over her body from where their nails dug into her skin.
After she was "retired" because her owner could no longer make money racing her, the owners solder her to a company called Hemopet. I never had heard of them before I met Mishka, but since I heard her story I have actually seen their name come up several times in a positive manner which seems really odd as I will explain. Mishka was sold to Hemopet because almost all greyhounds are universal blood donors. Hemopet buys greyhounds who can no longer race and just takes there blood repeatedly and then sells it to veterinary hospitals across the country. That was Mishka's entire life for the next year, just sitting in a kennel until it was time to give a blood "donation" again.
Thankfully, the Arizona Greyhound Rescue picked her up, and after I met her, I was in love, so I adopted her, scars and all.
Now what does this have to do with Genetics? Well, Mishka was bred, and selected from that litter as having the perfect athletic genetics that made her ideal for racing. When it comes to people, generally if you want to get into shape, you just need to eat healthy and exercise, right? Well, since Mishka has come to me, she hasn't be required to do much, I mean she is "retired" and all.
Mishka spends most of her day lounging on her bed, or stretched out on the couch while the other dogs wrestle next to her in the living room. I often find myself waking her up and ushering her just to go outside from time to time just to go potty. Although, the aside from the change of scenary, not much else is different when she is outside either.
Mishka, burns so many calories because of all of her muscle mass that she eats twice as much as a dog that's twice her weight! Yet, she never puts on fat. I can still see almost all of her ribs, and all of her muscles. What does this have to do with genetics? Everything! If you ask anyone in the greyhound community, what its like having a greyhound, they'll tell you that they are the laziest dogs on the planet! Yet, they never gain weight and they never lose their muscle mass.
Miska is actually the reason I stopped buying as much into the whole healthy diet and exercise are the only way to get the perfect body. While diet and exercise is important to staying healthy for some of use, that six-pack abs and buns of steal may not be in the cards for us.
Now dispite the ways genetics can work for us or against us, diet and exercise for our dogs are both still extremely important. Its so unfortunate that we see so many obese pet dogs these days, and owners who don't think its a big deal. Obesity can cause so many issues as our dogs age and can really shorten the lifespan of our pups!
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