When we lost our mongrel many years ago I never wanted another dog again, it was so heartbreaking and I thought I couldn't love another dog as much as her or cope with losing another.
One day my dad came home with a beautiful pure white greyhound, his friend had adopted her from a greyhound rescue but unfortunately the dog he already had was too boisterous for this timid new arrival. Rather than subject this 7 year old bitch to many more months in a shelter my dad offered to adopt her.
I kept my distance for a while, not wanting to get attached, if this lasted a weekend it was a lot.
This gorgeous girl was an ex racing dog who had broken her leg and been dumped and left for dead now her racing days were over. She had then spent a long long time in a rescue shelter waiting to be adopted, being overlooked as people favoured young puppies over an older, scared dog cowering in the corner.
Considering what she had been through she was so trusting and had so much love to give. Before long she was sleeping in my room every night and was my best friend. The hair grew back on her bald back legs, she put a bit of weight on and she had a permanent smile on her face!
She was excellent with children, well with everyone really! The only problems we faced was with her being an ex racer and having been trained to chase small furries she did used to get a bit excited and pull on the lead if she spotted a cat when out walking but she was easily controlled.
Something to take into consideration when adopting a greyhound is that they will need a good diet and exercise, because of their slight frame they will not cope well with excess weight as they're not built for it.
They do like a lot of exercise. We were lucky enough to live beside a dog park where we could leave her off the lead to run laps and she would be in her element. On days when we had more time we would walk her for miles and she was a wonderful companion.
Unfortunately we lost our greyhound quite some time back, my heart was broken but she didn't suffer. still to this day I encourage people thinking of getting a dog to consider a rescue greyhound. They make amazing pets! I currently live in a rented flat and wouldn't consider getting a dog without having a garden but some day in the future I would definitely love to get another greyhound (or two).
I'd definitely urge people to at least attend one of many open days the greyhound rescues have. There are many advantages of adopting an older rescue dog such as them already being neutered and not having to go through puppy training. They are wonderful animals who will provide you with years of happiness.
I currently work in a vets that carries out all the necessary veterinary work for Tia Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue, who are based in Halifax, West Yorkshire. We mainly neuter them before they go to their 'forever' homes, although we have seen numerous broken legs, and bite wounds!
Tia, (which stands for There Is An Alternative) have been rescuing greyhounds and lurchers for around 13 years and at present have about 90 dogs in their kennels, which means that they are at maximum capacity. They rely entirely on donations to look after all these animals, and I'm sure you can appreciate that looking after that amount of dogs costs an awful lot of money. The majority of the dogs are ex-racers who have served their purpose and at around 3-4 years old are no longer financially viable for their trainers so are either sent to rescue centres, (if they're lucky) or are dumped. Anywhere. They are collected from Vets, and other rescue centres across the north and will then live at Tia until someone comes along and decides to adopt them. Tia will never put a dog down, unless there is absolutely nothing that can be done and it is deemed as inhumane to keep the animal alive. When someone adopts a dog from Tia, they will be vaccinated, chipped, neutered, had a dental and recieved flea and worming treatments, all for the measly sum of £150. The work that Tia do is just staggering, and I take my hat off to them for their dedication. I just wish that more people would look into rescuing a dog, as opposed to buying a badly bred puppy.
At present I'm fostering a dog for Tia, who came into them via another vets after she had been out lamping and broken her leg. Her owner didn't want to pay for the necessary x-rays, or indeed the surgery needed in order to fix her leg. He decided that she needed to be put to sleep, and wouldn't even pay the vet to do that. He was going to take her home and shoot her!!! Fortunately for this gorgeous girl, they managed to persuade him to give her up to Tia. She came into our vets, and had the required x-rays and surgery to fix her broken leg, and two and a half weeks on is currently sprawled out on one of my sofas fast asleep.
This lady is 13 months old. Yes 13 Months, not years. How on earth anyone could possibly want to kill this beautiful animal, I will never know. Through no fault of her own, she served her purpose and then was discarded like a piece of rubbish. She is the sweetest natured girl, with a gorgeously cheeky face, and a wonderful personality to boot. She gets along really well with my other dog, (terrier) and has shown no interest whatsoever in my cat, (only her food) proving that Greyhounds and cats can live in perfect harmony! She is in short adorable, and I'm so grateful to the other vets for managing to talk her previous owner into giving her up to Tia. She is residing with myself until she finds her 'forever' home, and I'll make sure it's the one she deserves. That's if I don't end up keeping her myself!
The message I'm trying to get across here is that like me, you probably live relatively closely to a Greyhound rescue centre. If you are looking for a really gentle natured dog, who walks impeccably on a lead, and can happily manage with 30 mins to an hour excercise per day then I urge you to find your nearest centre. They will undoubtedly have numerous Greyhounds/Lurchers that are looking for a roof over their head, some food and water, a couple of walks a day, and a cuddle. They make fantastic pets, and just because the majority of them have come from a racing background it doesn't mean they can't adapt to fit into a household.
Until Greyhound racing is banned, I'm afraid there will be thousands of these poor defenceless sweet natured creatures looking for a home. If you think you can help in any way, then please do.
Tia's website is Tiagreyhounds.org.uk and has loads of useful info on it, including dogs currently looking for a home.
I just wanted to update my review, as I have had Fly-Bomb, (as she is now known) for the last 6 months and yesterday she had the pins removed from her broken leg, and she can walk on it!! She's not entirely out of the woods, however it's fantastic to see her wandering about, and bearing weight on it after 6 months of operations.
It took several months, but now she has decided to show me her true personality I am completely smitten. I was only meant to be fostering her, but she won me over with her funny foibles and here she is to stay. Food stealing aside, she is one of the nicest natured dogs I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and has a cheeky side to boot. She has managed to master the stairs, and looks really smug when i go upstairs only to find her on the bed, with her head on my pillow.
She is amazing, and inspirational, and there are plenty more just like her that would just like to be given a chance.