I started my journey to Greyhound Gang on the East Coast.
I had a perfectly nice job in the New York corporate world. I had a house in Connecticut, a Volkswagen convertible, an antique brass bed, three closets of designer clothes, forty-seven pairs of high heels, and a life-size carousel horse. And I chucked it all to buy a sixteen-foot camper trailer, a half-ton Chevy pickup truck, and to hit the road, heading west with my faithful greyhound, Slim.
I was looking for a better way of life. For me that meant someplace where I could have land, freedom, and a chance to make a difference somewhere. Land to rescue race dogs, and freedom to be me. Not be what everyone else expected from me. Not to settle for a life less than ordinary. But to strive to be extraordinary and to do some good, someplace, for something or someone.
Everyone thought I was crazy. “You’ve got a great job, you make a lot of money. How can you just leave it?” Simple. Just leave it. Have tag sales, decide you can live without a lot of things. Things like facials, therapists, designer shoes, jewelry, spa vacations, convertible cars, clutter and stuff.
Written down, it sounds easy to do. It’s not easy to start to do. But it is easy, once you start to do it.
First you move your stuff around, or keep it hidden in cabinets and drawers. But it all has to come out, like the baggage we all carry around stuffed in the recesses of our minds. Closed behind doors that won’t open, or burst open with dust and joy just for the ability to fly and be free. And free you feel when you’ve chosen a new path, a path that holds changes — what you don’t know. But what you do know is that you can take care of yourself and nothing can really go wrong. Because there is no such thing as a wrong path. You can always change paths when one gets bumpy or doesn’t go in the direction you want it to.
I wasn’t even sure what I wanted. I knew what I didn’t want. No more 8-7 workdays. No more listening to people who I didn’t think much of. No more defining myself by what I wore, what I drove, and where I lived. No more winters. I’d stop at every small town I went through out West and check out the Chamber of Commerce, where I’d read about the demographics. Then I’d go to a real estate office, and check out the price of land. I wasn’t sure where I was headed, but I knew where I didn’t want to end up. I also knew that what’s really important is the journey. Not the destination.
My current destination is in a small town in southern Utah. At my home, for the past years I’ve been the slave of the Greyhound Gang. This is a non-profit, tax-exempt, labor of love, that will get me into Doggie Heaven and brings me immeasurable joy on a daily basis.
For more about Claudia and her journey, read a PDF version of “The Life You Save: The Journey to Greyhound Gang.”