Greyhound Gang, founded by Claudia Presto, is all about the dogs – greyhound dogs. Claudia’s journey – from East Coast corporate America to Greyhound Gang’s chief pooper scooper – is detailed at “The Life You Save”. These were chapters she wrote to friends back on the East Coast as she traversed the US, looking for a new way of life. She’s been saying FOR YEARS this is the start of her novel (whose proceeds will benefit hounds if she ever finishes it). But in the meantime, below is the start, and if you’d like to read more, just click here.
The Life You Save
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 and my cockatiel, Hoser.
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 facials, therapists, designer clothes, jewelry, spa vacations, convertible cars, boyfriends, drawers of clutter and so much 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 you carry around stuffed in the recesses of your mind. 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 7-7 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 Greyhound Gang. This is a non-profit, tax-exempt, labor of love, which will get me into Doggie Heaven and brings me immeasurable joy on a daily basis. For more about Claudia and her journey – visit The Life You Save.