Monday, 24 March 2008

Greyhounds Are Great! In Memory of a Much-Loved Greyhound

Greyhounds Are Great! A Personal Story and In Memory of a Much-Loved Dog

Like many people we never thought of having a greyhound for a pet. But when we met Spot at a rescue centre we were instantly won over. One look from those pleading eyes was enough! After doing some essential fencing work in our garden we had a successful home check, and Spot was ours to bring home. He settled in very quickly - within 3 days - and proved to be a well-mannered and clean dog.

Greyhounds are intelligent animals and will quickly learn about their new environment. They are laid back and self-contained. However, they do like a lot of affection and will lean heavily against you while looking straight up into your face. Totally Irresistible!

People often stopped to admire Spot (he had several local fan clubs!), and invariably asked if he needed lots of exercise. Greyhounds don't - they are built for speed, not marathons. The truth about them is they are couch potatoes! They will lie still for hours on end, usually with one leg stuck straight in the air, as if they are asking for permission to leave the room.

Quite often, Spot would go into a kind of trance, his eyes wide open and dreamy. This was a bit uncanny at first! He also tended to slide off the couch. Slowly and gracefully his back end slid to the floor, whilst his head was held high in the air. He never bothered to correct this, but stayed like that as if it was the most comfortable position in the world. A friend of mine who has kept lots of greyhounds says that this is a sign of a happy dog.

Spot had a tattoo in one ear, an indication that he may have raced in England. (Irish greyhounds have tattoos in both ears). I checked with the Greyhound Stud Book and found out his exact date of birth, that he was from a litter of eight, and that his racing name was Little Mustang.

Greyhounds are tattooed as a litter and start racing at about 15 months. By 4 years old they are near retirement. At this point they face an uncertain future., and many end up in rescue centres.

Greyhounds are very loyal and make wonderful pets. We were very happy that Spot the Greyhound came into our lives. We lost him soon after his 12th birthday. The poor lad developed a spinal problem. He saw a specialist, had scans, and an operation, but sadly nothing could be done. I would have sold the house if the money could have saved his life.

We dedicated a tree to him. It is a hazel, which in folklore is a protector of animals.

Sleep tight, Little Mustang.


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