‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ Mahatma Gandhi.

15 Jul

greyhoundsBefore this week I really knew nothing about greyhound racing.  I have no personal experience of it at all.  I have never met anyone in the industry, have never been ‘to the dogs’ or even watched greyhound racing on the telly.  I only know what I have read and, sadly, that has mostly been horrific accounts of corruption and cruelty, the doping and mass killing of dogs, or live baiting. But as awful as these reports were I think I also honestly believed that the accusations had to have been grossly exaggerated or sensationalised—otherwise how was it that these dreadful things were allowed to go on?

Then last week the Government decided to shut down greyhound racing in NSW following the report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry—(‘The Special Commission of Inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting. The inquiry’s report concluded that the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry has fundamental animal welfare issues, integrity and governance failings that can not be remedied.’)

greyhound groupWow.  I admit that the announcement pulled me up short because, in my mind, that meant that there was much more truth to those horrifying reports than I had ever wanted to believe.  It made me feel sick to my stomach.  While I obviously have strong opinions of my own on the issue I am not going to debate the rights, wrongs, political or financial ramifications of the Government’s decision here. (Since I began writing this post the appeals against the decision have already started (sigh) so the debate will rage on with or without my input anyway.) Besides, I would much rather just talk about the dogs.

I have personally only known one greyhound—’Gandalf’ (Gandalf the Grey 🙂 )—and that was years ago. Gandalf, his mum, and his best mate (a tiny little white ‘potscrubber’ of a dog whose name now completely eludes me) would meet up with a group of us every Sunday morning to walk all our dogs along a local beach.

While most of the dogs would immediately ‘go silly’ as soon as they got on the beach, running in circles, barking and chasing each other in and out of the water, Gandalf would initially ignore everyone else, putting all his focus on the straight flat beach laid out in front of him. GreyhoundAnimatedClipArtHe would then take off at full speed (followed at ever-increasing-distance by his little friend, tiny legs going ten-to-the-dozen trying to keep up with him).  When Gandalf reached the end of the beach he would wheel around, with barely a pause, and race back towards us (his pal doing a somersaulting full stop followed by a mad u-turn in an effort to stay with him).  He was beautiful to watch. (Gandalf, I mean.  His little mate, not so much—he was just hilarious.)

greyhound3As Gandalf was my only reference point when it came to greyhounds, and not knowing much about the breed otherwise, I did a quick ‘google’ and found nary a bad word said against them.  They were mostly described as affectionate, cheerful, friendly, gentle, independent, intelligent, loving, quiet, responsive, and sweet—which is probably just as well as the RSPCA is now bracing itself for an influx of no-longer-racing greyhounds in need of furever homes (see article).

But before you all go madly rushing out to adopt or foster a needy greyhound (I am so tempted but, although my own three girls might eventually forgive me for bringing yet another dog into the house (I can just see Mabel rolling her eyes already) I don’t think my landlord would be as accommodating) please do read up on whether a rescue greyhound would actually be a good fit for you and your family.

Here are a few quick reasons why you should consider adopting a greyhound—

They’re quiet, clean, gentle and mild mannered.greyhound

They love to lounge around in their favorite comfy spot (they’re professional ‘couch potatoes’).  They will be happy to lay around all day while you are at work
(some will sleep 16-18 hours).

doggie pyjamas
They are very affectionate and love cuddles.

Their coats are easy to maintain but because of their lack of body fat
they are inside-dogs only and need to have a warm place to sleep.
(And you also get to dress them up in snazzy pajamas for a real reason
—rather than you might just think it’s cute!)

They require less exercise than many other breeds, but they also love to go out on adventures with their family.greyhounds in cars

Their polite and gentle nature makes them excellent buddies for travel
and meeting new people and pets.

greyhounds laughingThey come in a gorgeous array of colours.

They are a robust, healthy, long-lived dog, with a life expectancy of 10-13 years.

You’d be saving a life (and making Mahatma proud)

And two very important reasons why you should consider NOT adopting a greyhound—

Dogs need affection, time, company and security.  If you are unable or unwilling to provide these basic needs, don’t adopt a dog . . . any dog . . . 

If you can’t be as certain as humanly possible that any dog you adopt
will be part of your life, for all of its life,

just don’t do it . . .


The photos I have used in this post are all from the web.
The dogs pictured are all obviously 
beloved pets and although I can’t acknowledge their owners here as I don’t know who they are
I hope they don’t mind me using their lovely images.

Posted by on July 15, 2016 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,

10 responses to “‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ Mahatma Gandhi.

  1. Judy

    July 19, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    You always seem to capture it just right Sal. Total empathy with no histrionics. I have been writing to everyone I can think of, including Mr Baird, to do something definitive about the puppy farms. Let’s hope he addresses them next!


    • sallyinthehaven

      July 20, 2016 at 7:21 am

      I absolutely agree. I’m afraid I am a real wuss and tend to put my head in the sand when it comes to animal cruelty as it always upsets me so much, so I thank the heavens that there are people like you out there willing to make some noise about it. You go girl . . . 🙂


  2. Jon

    July 19, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Great article Sal. Now I want a greyhound! Molly wouldn’t mind NOT!


  3. stevetalbot51

    July 15, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    As a keen punter who has been “to the dogs” countless times, I find it very sad to learn about what has been going on behind the scenes (or apparently, not so much behind the scenes). The main question for me is how widespread these cruel practices are, and whether a whole industry and thousands of jobs and lives (animal and human) will be destroyed because of the actions of a minority. The answer to that question depends on which side of the argument you are talking to. The other question is “why only NSW and the ACT?” – surely the greyhound racing industry in the other states can’t be THAT much different – yet they have been allowed to carry on – albeit “under notice”. Have to say that I am a fan of Mr Baird but I disagree with him on this one.


    • sallyinthehaven

      July 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

      I know you don’t agree with this decision and I do understand your reasons why. As I said, the debate is bound to rage on, and on, and on . . .


  4. lifewith3dogsblog

    July 15, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Our ridgebacks are always cold since they have a thin coat may have to look into those. Then they’ll be stylin’ 🙂


  5. lifewith3dogsblog

    July 15, 2016 at 10:44 am

    I love the doggie jammies!!


    • sallyinthehaven

      July 15, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Me too – aren’t they gorgeous?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Vee

    July 15, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Oh Sal you have captured the beautiful greyhound well. My grandmother used to have them as pets many years ago and always said they were such a loyal breed of dog. Susie will testify to that as well being a lover of the breed and having one very spoilt girl living in her house. The picture of the one lying on the lounge looks just like her Rosie and that is what she does and she has her own toy box. They are lovable clowns. Vee

    Liked by 1 person

    • sallyinthehaven

      July 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

      I knew Susie had a greyhound as we had talked about her, but I have not met her (yet!) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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