Love at First Sight
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that anyone meeting a greyhound cannot help but be impressed by their gentle, loving and affectionate nature. Many are surprised to find out that these athletic canines are very docile and are more than happy to spend their retirement lazing around on the sofa.
Through her work running GBGB’s Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship, Nyc Whitworth has regularly met retired greyhounds and has seen for herself what fantastic pets they make. When an opportunity came up to give one a home, she grasped it with both hands. Here she talks about how she fell for the breed, the transition from kennels to the sofa and the joys of owning a greyhound.
“I had always had a soft spot for greyhounds. Since spending ten months absorbed within the sport – visiting tracks, trainers and working with the apprentices – it didn’t take long for me to see how gentle-natured and affectionate these dogs are. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I welcomed a retired racer into my own home but that day came sooner than I had expected.
“On a recent visit to oversee our apprentice Kay’s training at Carl Perry’s kennels I was introduced to a young bitch, Geelo Trixie. Kay explained that she wasn’t showing much promise on the track so they were looking for a new pet home for her. As clichéd as it sounds, it really was love at first sight and I look Tix home with me the very same day.
“She has settled into home-life really well. I have a working cocker and a cockerpoo and she’s getting on brilliantly with them. Of course, it took the first couple of days for her to get used to her surroundings and find her role with the others but it has been much easier than I expected. It was inevitable that there would be a few teething issues – I’ve had to say goodbye to one remote control and my Aberdeen Angus doorstop – but, on the whole, the transition from kennel to home life has been incredibly smooth. I can only say that that’s testament to the care they receive in the kennels; they are used to love and attention. Unsurprisingly, Tix has quickly found her place on the sofa.
“Whilst she didn’t have a high-flying career on the track, I’m proud of Tix’s breeding and I’m keen to keep an eye on her litter siblings and will be cheering them on. Adopting a greyhound really is unique. Unlike any other breed, you’re getting the opportunity to engage with and celebrate their linage; it’s fascinating and I hope to learn more through my work with the apprentices.
“I’m so pleased that Tix and my impromptu meeting turned out so well and I’ve been keeping Kay and the kennels updated on how she’s getting on. I would recommend to anyone who is considering adopting a dog to consider a retired greyhound – they are full of character and really do make wonderful pets.”