When we think of Greyhounds we think dog races (...or a form of affordable transcontinental transportation...). And unfortunately, that is what Greyhounds are bred for today. The origin of the fastest dog on earth is not quite clear. 4000 years old depictions in Egypt show dogs that resemble the modern day Greyhound, other sources place the original Greyhound with the ancient Celts from Eastern Europe. However the origin though, all modern purebred Greyhounds derive from Great Britain. Here the Greyhound was a hunting dog exclusively for the upper class. The so called “Forest Laws” prohibited the common man to breed or own the noble dog. As an all time hunting companion the Greyhound was always in close contact with it's owner, resulting in a friendly, affectionate, even tempered and intelligent character. In fact the Greyhound was so well behaved he even was allowed in church with his owner. All these attributes are still valid for today's Greyhound, but instead of born into a life of luxury the Greyhound now is bred for money, for gambling money!
Ten thousands of Greyhound puppies are bred for the racing industry every year. Most of them will be “disposed of” after only a few months. The rest of them will be trained and further “selected”. At about 18 months the selected few will be sent off to the racing track. While at the race track the dogs are kenneled for most of the day in rather close confinement with only little socialization and they basically have to run for their life, if they don't succeed, they will be either euthanized, sold to research labs or might be lucky enough to get the attention of a rescue organization.
Radar is one of these lucky ones.
Not performing to their owners liking, 12 under-nourished Greyhounds, later lovingly called the “Dirty Dozen” by the rescue organization were scheduled to be shipped from the Tuscon race track to Mexico, when they got taken in by a Greyhound rescue organization. Radar was one of them. Not long after this, Radars new owner, who had signed up with Greyhound Friends for Life to adopt a Greyhound, got a phone call, telling her a Greyhound that matched her profile could be adopted. The family went right away to look at the prospective new family member and fell immediately in love.
And you can see why, his heart is just in the right spot...;-)
They were given the opportunity to see the other Greyhounds, but their heart was already taken. Since Radar had spent his former life only in kennels, the inital days in a “normal “ house were quite a challenge. The first time he was supposed to go up the stairs he was at a loss what to do. On his way to the garden he bumped into the glass door, puzzled by the invisible obstacle. But very soon he became a well adjusted loving dog, who always greets me with a wagging tail and a soft muzzle.
Please help raising awareness about the Greyhound racing issue by getting informed and informing others. Please check out the following links and organizations and feel free to forward the blog to anyone who might be interested.
Greyhound Protection League
Greyhound Friends For Life
Golden State Greyhound Adoption
The Proof is in the Picture