Izzy and I do a fair amount of volunteering for our local re-homing group, Greyhounds as Pets. In describing the greyhound, I often hear the term lazy used as in “they are very lazy dogs and like to sleep most of the day.”
The Oxford dictionary defines lazy as “unwilling to work or use energy.” I don’t find Izzy unwilling to expend energy; she’ll happily join me for walks twice a day (except when it is raining heavily and then she needs some encouragement). Often she will instigate play time herself – typically in the evening after dinner – when she zooms around the house with one or more of her toys. Yes, she plays for about 5-10 minutes, but she does play.
And in my mobile service, she often accompanies me in the car to meet and greet clients. (Yes, she also sleeps in the car but the point is – she is always happy to go in the car and usually bounces into the garage before I have time to clip on her car harness.)
The synonyms for lazy include slothful, inactive, idle and slow-moving. These terms remind me of the stereotypical fat person whose preferred activity is sitting on their sofa eating junk food and drinking.
Like Homer Simpson.
And greyhounds are definitely not slow-moving when they decide it’s time for a zoomie.
Izzy is certainly not fat, either. She’s a svelte girl who has maintained her ideal weight for the 3 1/2 years that she has been in my life. Most of her greyhound friends are equally as fit.
So I think we do a disservice to the breed by calling them lazy because lazy has many negative connotations. No one enjoys working with someone who is lazy and doesn’t carry their weight, for example.
Instead, I propose:
“Greyhounds are discerning in what activities they choose to undertake.” (A sign of quality and taste!)
“Greyhounds are energy-conserving.” (A dog that is kind to the earth and sustainable!)
Greyhounds – don’t call them lazy.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand