Greyhound handler talks dogs, careers

By Eric Norwood Jr.

PNT staff writer

enorwood@pntonline.com

WEB-11-12-HoundHandler

by Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune
Eastern New Mexico University junior Debra Thompson takes Tory the Greyhound on her daily walk on Monday. Thompson is employed as a Hound Handler, and spends 7-10 hours with both Vic and Tory a week.

Debra Thompson, a junior at Eastern New Mexico University, serves as one of the Hound Handlers, students hired to tend to ENMU mascots Vic and Tory during the day. Thompson works with the dogs 7-10 hours a week, taking them on daily walks and to events around campus, including athletic events.

Thompson, a Clovis native and Biology major with a Pre-Med emphasis, considers this job therapeutic in a way, as it releases her from the stresses of being a full-time student.

How’d you find out about the job and why’d you want to do it?

I found out about the job through student e-mail, they sent out messages saying they were hiring. I wanted to join because I really miss my dogs back home, so I thought it’d be nice to spend time with the dogs here.

If you could breed any two dogs, which would they be?

I would want to breed a Great Dane and a St. Bernard so I could have the biggest dog in the world. I love big dogs.

What is your favorite dog movie?

I’d say the original “Air Bud.” I grew up on that movie, every time I think of an animal movie I think of “Air Bud.”

What are your career goals?

Hopefully I can be a doctor or a veterinarian. I’m still in the air but I could go into any one of those fields.

Which character from “Scooby-Doo” do you most identify with?

I think I most identify with Velma, the dorky one. She’s clumsy and I’m very clumsy as well, and someone needs to be the brain of the group.

Heard any good music lately?

A lot of music nowadays is iffy, but I actually heard the new Eminem CD and I liked it. I was surprised at how good it was, I wasn’t it expecting it to sound so good.

How do you feel about the prospect of a new Greyhound Stadium?

I’m really excited for the new stadium, because I won’t have to drive ten minutes to see the Greyhounds play anymore. I can just walk from my dorm room. I think a lot more students will be able to go to the games, which means more student participation.

What else are you involved in on campus?

I am a Safe Ride driver and I’m also a lifeguard at the Natatorium. I am also in Zeta Tau Alpha, and the Caduceus Health Society.

What is your dream pet?

If I could have any animal I think I would want a sloth. They are really lazy, and they just like to relax, and I like to relax. When they get in the water, they are very fast swimmers and I’m a fast swimmer too.