Louise Coleman was born in Bath, New York on November 28, 1944 and grew up with 8 siblings in a basic Irish-American family. She attend the University of Massachusetts Boston Campus where she got a B.A. in English. She went to work for Head Start in Roxbury, Massachusetts as an administrator. She later worked at the Dimmock Health Center as an educational testing counselor. She also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health from 1977-1983 as a psychiatric rehabilitation counselor. Louise also worked for The Boston Public Library and the Harvard University Library systems.
Louise moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where her son Nolan was born on December 5, 1967. On Mother's Day 1983 she and Nolan picked up their first greyhound, Boston Boy, in a 1980 Pinto. This was the start of over three decades of placing greyhounds and other dogs with thousands of families. The non-profit organization she found was launched in 1986 as Greyhound Friends Inc.
Louise has written a book to document the history of her work with greyhounds and to archive the amazing stories, history and efforts by so many to help this vulnerable breed. Coming soon.
Louise Coleman with greyhound "Elvis" and beagle basset "Gunshy"
...how the adventure started
Mother's Day 1983
Search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity. ~ Albert Schweitzer
I remember when he had to die - an old sweet dog sick with cancer. He clung to his bed and hated to go anywhere. When the vet came and gave him an injection and sent him to heaven. We both cried. Boston Boy was a seasoned racer, aged five, when I got him. I hadn’t thought about getting a dog. It just seemed too bad that a dog with a name like Boston Boy was going to be destroyed and would get no reward for all his work. An extraordinary racer, he finished at five at a top track and was never graded off. After I brought him home and tried to introduce people to him, he would act like a canine statue.
I nicknamed him Shadow because he shadowed me. But alone with my son Nolan and I, he was demonstrative and himself. Shadow wasn’t alone for long. He became long-suffering and patient as more greyhounds entered and passed through his home. Trainers, who knew about his adoption kept calling up to ask me to find homes for more dogs. Greyhounds sat on all the couches and chairs. Boston Boy was permanent; he knew that he was for keeps, for good. But he was like a stone thrown into still water. From him concentric circles started. They are still going out. He had a good dog’s soul; he was the sweetest boy. Through Shadow my bond with greyhounds was formed. By the simple act of sparing one dog his death, my life was altered. Many people and circumstances remained the same, but the connections became much more intense, varied and extensive.
I never would have circled out so far had I not brought Shadow home that day. Exhausting work pushes the ripples out, and help comes. My life changed on Mother’s Day, 1983, the day Shadow came. Many people hope for a definitive moment to galvanize their lives. My moment came and brought Boston Boy. He was a real gentleman, my ever loving and faithful Shadow.
Greyhound Friends/ Louise Coleman:
-Courage of Conscience Award,
-Reverence for Life Award, Massachusetts Antivivisection Society
-Massachusetts State Senate Official Citation - In Recognition
of Twenty Years of Dedicated Service to Greyhound Protection and
-Massachusetts State House of Representatives Official Citation - In
Recognition of Twenty Five Years of Dedicated Service to Greyhound
Protection and Advocacy.
-The Greyhound Project -
They Thank you for Making a Difference Award
Twenty Years of Greyhound Adoption
-The Elisabeth Lewyt Award -
North Shore Animal League
-Person of Distinction Award to Louise Coleman
From the MetroWest Daily News
-The best reward is being gratefully remembered by
many, many dogs.
to Spain in 1998
to help with the
issue of Irish
after the closing of
the Pabellon Track.
This was when she
met Anna Clements
and her husband
Albert Sorde. This trip was the inspiration and support needed to help them launch SOSGALGOS which they have built into a large non-profit organization that helps galgos through education and action in the media.
Louise Coleman starting working in Ireland 1995 with animal welfare activist Marion Fitzgibbon who was at the time head of the Irish SPCA. Marion became very interested in greyhound adoption and advocacy and is an outspoken advocate for their welfare. She is now president of Limerick Animal Welfare.
Louise Coleman marches with Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland 2012