When our beautiful dog Gruntle Bucket died, we were devastated. We’d had him from a pup and he had come from a purposeful breeding with a friend’s bitch and my dog, Rusty Bucket. We didn’t intend to get one of the pups but fell in love with a tiny little white fluff ball when we went to visit the little cuties. After 14 years of that beautiful, fluffy and hilarious dog he was gone and we were heart-broken but we had to have some time with no dog. Having gone from 3 to none over ten years, the house was quiet and clean.
But then, we started to think about a new dog. There was a list of desirable traits we wanted in our new dog. Short dark hair that wouldn’t stick to clothes and everything else. No fear aggression – he had to be friendly to other dogs and children to make up for the last unfriendly feller. Big enough to not escape and we wanted to rescue a dog, partly coz puppies are a pain and it is far better to rescue than risk supporting some horrible puppy farm where the brood mothers are mistreated and underfed (look up Oscar’s Law for more info).
Border collie and kelpie crosses were off the list; though extremely clever, they are way too energetic for the city and much too fluffy. So we would peruse the many dogs of all shapes and sizes we’d see at the local farmer’s market. Too hairy, too naughty, digs, jumps, barks too much…. I know, we sound fussy. But two out of our three previous dogs had been trouble-makers, this time we needed a calm fur-baby.
Greyhounds started to catch our eye. Paul mentioned them once or twice. We met a few and they would lean on us gently and look sad but glad. We researched them, meeting a couple more of them here and there and becoming more and more enamoured each time. Neither of us like the gambling industry either so it seemed like a good fit.
Once we decided we were keen I rang Greyhound Adoptions WA who are a non-racing industry rescue group and spoke to Toni at length about how dog proof our place is, that we’d had large dogs before (Beau was a big boy) and as long as the dog was a dark colour and male we were happy.
A black dog named Jack came up. I was in love without even seeing him, we were excited and ready to drive out to the hills to meet him, however that wasn’t to be and someone else got him. Then we were invited to Toni’s to meet a brindle named Bear.
Skippity skip behind the flyscreen, two lovely hounds and Toni came to the door. We went in and sat down, surprised that the room with two to four hounds in it at any time (she fosters as well as having her own), had ornaments on low tables. We thought their tails would wipe everything onto the floor but she smiled and said she’d never considered it and they never knock things over. Greyhounds are quite clever at reversing too we noticed at that point.
So there was Bear, and Toni’s tall lad, Target, taking turns between Paul and I, coming over and leaning on us, removing that last tiny bit of resistance about taking home a slightly taller dog than we had been owned by before. We went home a couple of hours later with Bear, a lovely boy who happily jumped into our car and settled in really quickly. He came into our home to the smell of a pork roast. He knew straight away he had lucked in, we found him a bed and we were both totally enamoured with him. He has been hardly any trouble apart from when he gets the chance to steal meat then he certainly will. That was partly our lack of training regarding having such a tall hound around and we are now much better at putting food away. They can be a bit stubborn but are trainable. We never let dogs hang about in our kitchen, so he respects that, fortunately. Mostly.
In the year since we have had Bear move in, his bed has expanded, I’ve met most of the neighbours and we’ve befriended many people with greys and spoken to many more about why greyhounds make such great pets. It’s a bit of a cult. Every week he seems to settle in that little bit more and become more relaxed and able to show his own personality. He is the friendliest dog I have known with people and other dogs. If a little dog has a go at him, he even gives them a second chance to say g’day or he just ignores them altogether.
Oh, and he walks really well on the lead, too, so walking him is a breeze. He only needs a couple of short walks a day and a chance to tear around a bit once in a while. Our garden now has a bermed running track around it, but that’s a small price to pay for such a cruisey dog the rest of the time when he isn’t acting like a racecar doing a tap dance for 30 seconds a day with his toys.
He is an absolute joy and so easy. He is somewhat boring compared to a kelpie though, which is a relief but also a bit weird when you can’t convince him to come over for a late night pat. We bribe him with tiny bits of biltong.
UPDATE: Some months later, we started fostering some of the small females. What a wonderful experience that is. So many lovely dogs to introduce to life. We had six pass through and the seventh arrived on Christmas eve. She is a cute little black female with a bit missing off her tail. She settled right in. And we loved her just that bit more than the others. So, she’s still here, sitting under my desk.
Greyhounds make great pets. Serene, placid and gentle. Who wouldn’t want more of that in their life? Consider adopting a greyhound. They really are greyt! #petsnotbets #endgreyhoundracing #couchesnotcages
The independent greyhound rescue groups in WA spend a lot of money on vet fees and neutering of dogs they are given by trainers. Sometimes this extends to fixing broken hocks, an expensive and time consuming surgery and recovery time. If you are able to, please support one of these groups. Or consider fostering or adopting.
We adopted from Greyhound Adoptions WA but there is also another rescue group in the Perth area called Greyhound Angels.
If you’re further south Busselton has Busselton Greyhound Awareness.
This page is cute and dispels some of the myths about having a pet goofball, I mean greyhound. Adopt a Greyhound.