Disguised as Ordinary
Disguised as an ordinary woman, in a pleasant home on a normal street in unpretentious Derby, Kansas, Pat Bozeman has changed the lives of at least 11 greyhounds, and her volunteer work has touched hundreds of two-legged friends. Her dancing eyes are the first clue that all is not as it appears.
"If you want to do something, just go do it," she says. From her childhood as a military daughter and early days as a military wife, moving frequently within the United States, she learned to rely on her own abilities and follow her heart. Bringing up two children, pursuing multiple hobbies, and caring for greyhounds and other pets, she has brought sunshine to many beings in many places.
Moving Is No Big Deal
Pat's down to earth humor and goodwill radiate powerfully even as she prepares to move to Tucson after 34 years in her current home. She is set to leave Derby on June 9. As she ruthlessly eliminates possessions in preparation for a lovely smaller home, she explains that a history of military moves helps her remain at ease with this one. "It's a lot of work, but no big deal."
Family and Friends
She will miss daughter Liesel Sargent, who alternates working for Spirit and as an x-ray technician, and who with her husband has a cattle farm in Douglass. But in Tucson, Pat's son Doug, a physical therapist and talented artist, will not only be nearby, he will be her landlord.
Pat expects to make new friends in Tucson and has already connected with another greyhound mom there. Although she was shy as a child, Pat found she could make friends and find her niche anywhere. "I can't imagine my life without friends," she says. Now, most of her closest friends are fellow greyhound owners.
Hobbies and Helping
Pat claims to have tried just about every crafting hobby available. Her consistent favorites are quilting, knitting, spinning and weaving. Quilting always tops the list. Pat has donated several quilts to auction for greyhounds, through Race the Wind and at the annual gathering in Abilene. One quilt sold for a thousand dollars. Proceeds now go to help Halfway Home for Greyhounds, Teddy Palmer's shelter near Tulsa.
Pat has served in leadership positions in several organizations such as the 600-member Prairie Quilt Guild of Wichita and led or participated in making a number of quilts for charity including one hanging at Exploration Place and one at the Red Cross. She has transformed pieces of a prized wedding dress into multiple quilts for her son's friend who was dying of ALS and wanted to leave precious memories with her daughters.
Son Doug wanted a quilt with a pattern of earth as seen from space. Pat taught him to quilt so he could make it himself! Already a skilled artist in several media including stained glass, Doug has created and donated many beautiful, original quilts to charity or to friends. Pat and Doug have worked on many quilts together.
Pat has served as unofficial treasurer for Heartland Greyhound Circle of Friends for about 11 years. She often steps up when something needs to be done. Her spirited can-do attitude makes it look easy.
The Greyt Influence
Pat and husband, Air Force Major Jerry Bozeman, moved to Wichita for the second time in 1978, after several three year posts around the states. (Jerry passed away in 2006.) Much later, daughter Liesel introduced her parents to greyhounds at a Race the Wind meet and greet, where they met Blaze.
Blaze joined the Bozeman household in 1997 as a seven-year old and got along fine with their Doberman, Shelby. Over the years, Pat also adopted greyhounds Callie, Lady, Mr. Baby, Sarah Lee, GiGi, Heaven, Spice, Tivvy, Rodney, Gabby and Smokey.
Prior to meeting Blaze, Pat would never have expected to fall in love with greyhounds. "They're the best kept secret in the dog world," Pat says. "Some pick you. You pick others. Some fall into your lap. Several came to me through my vet."
Her all time favorite was Mr. Baby. Jerry wanted a gray greyhound, and Baby fit. They adopted him sight unseen despite the "flaky" reputation of gray greyhounds.
"He turned out to be my heart dog," Pat says. She did not anticipate coming to love one dog more than the others, but he captured her at a deep level. "He was a great sleeping partner, and loved to jump on the bed, body slam me, then roll over and put his feet in my face!"
At a meet and greet at PetCo, a man offered to buy Baby, probably thinking to race him and make money. He raised the offer to $1500 but Pat refused to sell for any amount.
The most, er, entertaining hound was Heaven.
Pat and Jerry stored all recent grocery purchases except for a five pound bag of flour on the counter, then went out again. "Someone got the bag of flour, opened it on the dog bed in the hall, tracked it upstairs into the quilt room and dragged it all over the house. All the dogs had dough balls on their whiskers so we only suspected who started it."
Jerry asked Pat, "Why are you taking pictures of this mess?" Pat said, "Because I'll laugh about this some day!"
At a St. Patrick's Day parade in Wichita, Pat's dogs were in her car next to the car she was decorating. In preparation for the party later, she had left a large box of cookies in the front seat, protected by strapping tape all around. Completing the decorating, she found tape still in place but all the cookies gone. Pat took Heaven Houdini home and "did the peroxide thing" to get her to throw up. They missed the parade that year.
Pat loves sewing for greyhounds and has made many coats and other garments, some of which went to the Galgos in Spain. She has also knitted uncountable snoods for auctions. Below are some of her hounds, styling.
Smokey and Gabby
Smokey and Gabby are the current Greyt family members. They seem distressed by preparations for the move and Pat is especially concerned about Gabby's ability to make the trip to Tucson.
Smokey came through Jan and Dean Tuinstra. A mutual acquaintance needed to re-home Smokey and Pat feels lucky to have him. "He is very personable and loves everybody."
Jan Tuinstra picked up a greyhound in Abilene and dubbed her Gabby because she talked all the way to Wichita. Pat collected her new foster dog, but by the time she cruised into her home driveway knew she would keep both hound and name.
It's a Family Thing
Pat comes by her love of animals honestly. Her grandmother frequently rescued animals, including a small dog named Baby, whom she took to the Dairy Queen weekly for ice cream. Every phone call to Grandma included getting Baby on the line.
Pat's daughter Liesel often brought home strays. A teen friend asked if this was really okay. "Sure," said Liesel. "If I have a name for it, it's fine." Liesel now has multiple farm dogs but no greyhounds.
Pat Bozeman's curiosity and sense of adventure continue to propel her forward. Moving to Tucson begins another act in her life script, which she writes as she goes along. She suggests, "Don't let anything hold you back," and follows her own advice, embracing this next episode with enthusiasm. Certainly her new experiences will include greyhounds, quilting and friends!