Dewey Beach, Del. — About 3,000 retired athletes ended a five-day get-together on the beach here Monday, and not one of them bragged about setting records, or pulled out old newspaper clippings, or even became an on-air analyst in old age. Still, they were a bunch of lucky dogs.
They were greyhounds and in a real sense, racing histories aside, each is a winner. After they were no longer money-makers at the track, many would have faced death, but an ever-growing network of greyhound rescue groups has found them private owners and a new job: house pet.
For the eighth Columbus Day weekend, they dragged their owners here in a rite called "Greyhounds Reach the Beach," which grows by doggie leaps each year and has become a boon to the autumn economy of Dewey and neighboring Rehoboth Beach.
Who says no dogs are allowed on the beach? For several days at 8 a.m. a few thousand padded up and down the narrow stretch of Dewey's sands with their owners, a moving wall of animal life and coats of many colors. The owners swooped in with plastic baggies to keep everything clean, and even kidded one another about the canine cultishness of rescue-greyhound ownership.