On April 20th 2013 we drove all the way out to the wilds of Darkest Somerset to meet our little girl and bring her home.
She said hello to Chris by headbutting him in the face. It was not an auspicious start. She made up for it by resting her chin and one paw on his leg all the way home, then promptly fell off the seat when we stopped in Morrison’s car park to get her a drink.
At that point we began to suspect that she might be a little bit special…
It’s been a year of getting up earlier than we used to, of long walks and dodging the rain, and chilling on the sofa with a nose or a paw always just an inch away. She has changed us in ways we didn’t expect – Chris can get up and hold a coherent conversation before 10am now; I can go outside and talk to people without wearing any make-up. These are big psychological things for both of us.
As I write she is sitting in her accustomed place, in a nest of old duvets and cushions right in front of the big floor-to-ceiling window, where she can watch people going up and down the road and occasionally whine for no apparent reason. Whining for no apparent reason is a thing, as is stealing the toilet brush, chewing up the recycling, and very gently pushing her head into my chest and burping….
She’s also modeling this years accessory, a snazzy new Star Wars collar, and looking forward to a slice of peanut butter on toast.
It feels like a week. It feels like she’s been here forever.
As my friend said, greyhounds have a shit set of life options. They’re not bred as pets – has it every crossed your mind that you never see greyhound puppies? – they’re essentially factory-farmed for the racing industry, and most of them don’t make it. Those that do can look forward to a career of maybe 4-5 years where they’re likely to be permanently injured, and for many of those that retire or fail to succeed, the outlook is pretty bleak.
Here’s some nasty numbers for you – every year around 15-20 THOUSAND greyhounds “go missing” from UK and Irish kennels. I’ll leave you to fill in the blank.
The lucky ones get rehomed. They’re smashing dogs, super-lazy, low maintenance, and really funny. They spend a lot of time doing this :
If the burping, and the whining, and the loo-brush stealing doesn’t put you off, and you’re looking for a dog, you could do a lot worse.
We got Lyra from Greyhound Rescue West of England, but there are breed-specific rescues all over the country and a quick Google will bring up one close to you.
In the meantime, a wet tennis ball has just landed by my foot. I guess that means it’s playtime…