Second Shot at Life for Champion Race Dog

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- Blue ink tattoos inside the ears of a Greyhound race dog named Roustabout, say a lot about his life and lineage.

"In their left ear they have their litter number," Retired Pilot Bill Murphy, said.

Bill and Clare Murphy adopted Roustabout in February 2008 after the Corpus Christi Greyhound Racetrack closed for repairs.

"We got Roustie as a raw dog, right off the track." Mr. Murphy said.

Trading in the track for a house with a backyard, wasn't easy.

"That first two weeks, he was painfully shy," Ms. Murphy said.

The Murphy's dropped the formal name Roustabout, in favor of Roustie.

"Everything was so new to him, because he knew nothing but kennel life that even taking him into our backyard, even just walking on grass was new to him." Ms. Murphy said.

Roustie still likes to run, and he is learning to play. Roustabout raced in more than a hundred races and was clocked at 41 miles per hour.

"It's very gratifying to watch these dogs go from an athlete to a household pet," Mr. Murphy said.

Bill Murphy and Roustie played at the Dog Park on Friday.  The big win for the former money dog is all the extra attention, he now lives in a multi dog home.

"Once they get into a home, they thrive on that affection," Mr. Murphy said.

The biggest challenge still is retraining his brain not to chase small animals.

"That's all a part of his breeding and what he was trained to do," Ms. Murphy said.

The Murphy's use a muzzle and leash when small dogs enter the dog park.

"He's getting used to it, he's beginning to realize these are pets," Mr. Murphy said.