For the Love of my Hounds

Greyhounds

Today while out walking my two hounds, I had a bit of an experience.
I was rounding a corner when a lady grabbed her child and uttered 'disgusting beasts' as she shot off around the corner and out of sight before I had the chance to say, 'its ok, they are really friendly'...lame I guess, but it was the first thing that came out of my mouth as I was taken by surprise.


I have to say that since the 4 corners 'exposay' on live baiting in the Greyhound industry  I have noticed people cross the road when they see us coming or hold their own dogs tighter on their leads.


In the greyhounds defence, I would say most breeds would react in a similar way if an item made of meat (dead or alive) was foisted in its face. Dogs are animals and they have an inherent instinct to eat/hunt/survive. My last dog ate my pet duck. And he was a pint sized terrier.


I feel that the 4 corners report did little to defend the nature of these dogs. In general they are placid, lazy, affectionate, playful, loyal and totally hilarious. There was one comment to say they are a misunderstood breed and I do feel that they are.


It comes back to the people handling them. And if there is money involved, bad stuff happens. These dogs are made to be aggressive by being treated in an aggressive way. It is the people caught and others who have not yet been caught who make these dogs act the way they do.


I have heard stories of people razzing up their dogs of other breeds until they kill. The people who live next door to my parents have 'pig dogs' a breed used to hunt down and kill wild pigs. Are we going after that guy and calling his dogs 'disgusting beasts'?


Through history greyhounds are a breed that is portrayed as noble. A kings dog. One for royalty. Considered proud and loyal. Protective and a breed of great standing. It is also a breed that has been documented over this time and findings date back to as early as 6,000 years ago. Mentioned in the bible and painted on the walls of the Egyptian tombs.

Anubis Recumbent statuette  |  Late Period, Dynasty 26–27, 664–404 b.c.  |  Egypt, Memphite Region, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The first references in English literature to the mysterious breed the 'greyhound' is found in Chaucers Canterbury tales. Late 14th Century.
"Greyhoundes he hadde as swift as fowel in flight,"
There are various theories about were the name came from, but from the early Renaissance this breed of sight hound had acquired the modern name of greyhound.


There is a lovely little film/photo essay made by the Metropolitan Museum of Art that shows the Greyhound through the ages in Art. Met - Greyhounds

Henry Fane (1739-1802) with His Guardians, Inigo Jones and Charles Blair (87.16) | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Diane, la chienne levrette de Bergeret (Diana, greyhound bitch of Bergeret) 1774. Oil on canvas. Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie de Besançon, France


So where does it leave these poor misunderstood pooches who want to do no more than sit on the couch and help you write a blog.

In the USA grey hound racing has been banned in 39 states and more and more regions are taking up the bans. Colorado took up the ban in early 2014. Out of the remaining states that racing is still legal, 7 of those you cannot commercially bet on any races. Now the industry has been deemed no longer a profitable or popular 'sport' as gambling revenue has declined by over 50% since 8 in the past few years. Hence the connection between 'popularity' and 'profitability'. So is it the if you out law legalized betting and prize money you would find a sharp decline in the 'popularity' of the sport.???

SO that brings us to here. Its not just the live baiting that 4 corners exposed that is an issue. Its the whole shebang. If you have the past director of Grey Hound racing NSW admitting that over 3,000 dogs are 'disposed' of each year, multiply that figure by the remaining states and you have a bloodshed of disgusting proportions.

I know that there are lots of animals that need homes. But I can tell you now from experience and from the experience of many others that greyhounds do make fantastic pets.

So please, don't go returning your adopted greyhound because you think it might go cray cray. If it hasn't yet and has showed you no more than how good it is at sleeping and eating, its going to be a great pet. It would have to be exceptional circumstances for there to be an incident. As there would with any other dog breed big or small.  

Please don't reconsider adopting a hound. They need a home and they are great in a household big or small. My two are fantastic with kids. Gentle and respectful of little people. The dogs via the GAP program are vetted to ensure they are good with children.

They don't need much of a walk, don't eat huge amounts and really just want a warm and soft place to curl up for at least 20 hours a day. I kid you not, these dogs are sleepers.

 

So, how can you not look into these eyes and not fall in love? Fritz is very good at guilting you into snacks.

 

Someone reminded me to me today how the police and the RSPCA work very closely together for many reasons. One that many people don't realize is that people who show cruelty to animals often end up committing henious crimes later on. Many convicted criminals have a history of animal abuse not too dissimilar to what was shown in the ABC doco.  And what was even more disgusting was some of the people caught were doing this in front of children and laughing about it.

So...I just feel I need to say loudly to anyone who would make a comment like this lady this morning....its not the dog's fault its the fault of the humans who do the things they do and they ultimately do it to MAKE MONEY.

 


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  • Fiona on

    My grandfather raced greyhounds (before my time) and my Mum has always said they are the sweetest, loveliest dogs. When they weren’t racing they were family pets. My grandfather died when I was a toddler, so I don’t know what motivated him to race greyhounds. My Nana used to enjoy the social aspect – the wives would dress up and hang out. If money was their motivation, they certainly lucked out! It wasn’t a profitable pastime for them. Myself, I’m not keen on the whole racing thing. It is amazing to watch animals running fast (just think of all those wildlife docos), and I’m sure for some it’s just the thrill of the race. For others, it is all about winning, and exploiting animals to get the win. As you say, it is instinctive behaviour for predators to chase prey. Just last weekend my indoor cats each caught a rat from the compost when let outside for a play. They were darned good at it too and we were rather pleased with their efforts. It doesn’t make them horrible disgusting cats. Back to Fritz and Bon – it’s what people do to demonise a breed that is shameful, not the breed itself. I wish people could see that. I need to stop now…

  • Linda smith on

    the only thing in your story are the breeders and handlers of these dogs, your dogs look beautiful, and there is no place in the world for small minds

  • Wendy Ashworth on

    Oh Jen, Fritz is such a Darling! I have told so many people about your gorgeous dog and what a beautiul companion he makes. A great post in defence of these gentle creatures, go girl!

  • Janette Dickson on

    Dogs are only as good as, and a reflection of their owners! Let’s hope that women never gets a puppy!

  • Linda on

    It’s a shame that people are ignorant. I have an English Setter; she is the most gentle little “big girl” around. She likes to chase things as is the nature of her breed and I wouldn’t change her for the world. I like to think that a person who shares their life with a dog is presented with the gift of unconditional friendship every day. that’s a rare thing in this day and age.



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