Ah if I had a pound for every time I’d heard the following when out on our dog walk:
“I’ll bet he takes some walking doesn’t he?”
Then I’d have . . . Well, lots of pounds. Part of the charm of being the proud owner of one of these awesome creatures is – surprisingly to some – the fact they are pretty low maintenance.
When we decided we wanted to take on a retired racing greyhound, we went to the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust and were given a choice of two that were suitable. (We have cats. This narrowed our choice slightly but don’t assume a grey is a no-go if you have feline friends too.) One was new to the kennel – a very pretty petite girl, silver grey in colour (or ‘blue’ to use the proper description) and a lovely temperament who presented herself beautifully.
We were given a bit of a warning about the second one:
“Now Badger doesn’t present himself too well but that’s because he’s always excited to see people. He barks but I don’t think he will when he’s settled into a home. He has half his tail missing, a torn ear, and floating ribs so he looks a bit funny, but nothing that will actual cause medical problems. He’s been our longest resident to date – people seem to put him as their second choice a lot but never end up taking him on.”
And off he went to bring Badger to us. I glanced at my husband who had thought the blue girl was gorgeous, and he had a knowing look in his eye. “You’re going to want this one, aren’t you?”
Badger tore around the kennel pen and barked his head off. I didn’t find him odd looking, I found him pretty darn perfect and instantly wanted him. (My other half knows me too well.) More importantly, our little girl who was just coming up to two at the time, found Badger hilarious.
He hardly ever barks, bless him. Exactly as we were told. In the home, you’d hardly know he was there, and he is wonderful with our little one. Interestingly, our daughter has some anger issues, and when she’s in a strop Badger is the first one she goes to to calm down. He is a very tolerant chap bless him.
So if you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a dog, here’s a few reasons why you might want to consider a retired racing greyhound:
– They are not especially built for stamina. Two 20 minute walks a day is required, that’s all, and although a larger breed, they are so chilled out in the home you often forget they’re there. (Often referred to as 45mph couch potatoes.)
– Whilst proper precautions should always be taken with dogs and children, they are very often suitable for homes with kids of all ages.
– Greyhounds CAN live with cats.
– If you like the idea of a rescue, but lean towards a pedigree because you’d want to know the history of the dog, then an ex-racer may be the perfect compromise.
– If your greyhound decides to go for a run – well just wow. They are the fastest breed of dog in the world and there is no sight quite like it. You’ll be the proudest owner on the doggy field!
-Racing greyhounds are bred for their speed, and so are not prone to the congenital defects or temperament problems of many other breeds. Only the fastest, healthiest and best tempered animals are generally used for breeding.
– They have short, odourless coats and often suit people who may suffer with other breeds due to allergies.
We got our Badger from the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust, who were incredibly supportive and still there to help with any issues that spring up – even 4 years after adopting him. The greyhound owning community is a very supportive one.
And that m’lord is the case for the defence of adopting a retired Greyhound. Amazing, beautiful gentle creatures.
We’ve never looked back.