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From track to sofa, adopting a retired greyhound

Adopting a retired greyhound was a brilliant decision!

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Max has been with us over six months now and he feels like part of the family. I didn’t really click at the time, but he came into our lives as my youngest went to school. Apparently its a common phenomenon. Perhaps that is why sometimes my youngest has to be reminded not to annoy him, although he’s learning rapidly about pet ownership and Max is endlessly patient with the kids. You can tell Max loves the fuss and having the kids lie next to him, and being a kid himself too.

Max won 20 of his 60 races as a racing greyhound, when I Google him by his name as a racing hound it’s fascinating, and to me it is important that I understand his background. Last night we walked past a cheering crowd at a sports tournament and immediately his ears pricked up and his whole body became excited and alert, did the sound take him back?

Max, our retired greyhound, is too big to sleep on our bed, but he tries. He’s allowed to jump on in the morning for a snuggle and if Mr A is away for a night he doesn’t think twice about nicking his place.

He’s been with us since November and has slipped into a happy daytime routine, after a quick walk he spends his days moving from sofa to sofa, I pop down from my office to find him on a different sofa each time. Often, he lies on my office floor, his gentle mumblings a sign that he is dreaming.

I often wonder what he is dreaming about. From time to time we are reminded he is was a top class athlete. He likes to chase tennis balls and the speed at which he accelerates after them is incredible. We don’t let him off the lead much, greyhounds are trained to chase and can reach 40mph, so you need to be sure they won’t knock anyone flying or go after a squirrel. But, we are beginning to let him run on an enclosed space near by, and its a joy to see his ‘zoomies’.

Max has been with us over six months now and he feels like part of the family. I didn’t really click at the time, but he came into our lives as my youngest went to school. Apparently its a common phenomenon. Perhaps that is why sometimes my youngest has to be reminded not to annoy him, although he’s learning rapidly about pet ownership and Max is endlessly patient with the kids. You can tell Max loves the fuss and having the kids lie next to him, and being a kid himself too.

We were also warned to be careful when opening the boot, in case he mistook it for the trap opening, but he’s not made a run for it yet. He’s also mastered stairs, it took a bit of persuading him to slow down, to stop him skidding, but he draws a complete blank at stiles still.

My thoughts on greyhound racing have developed too, I’ve chatted to many people on both sides of the fence. I’ve heard amazing stories of the lengths owners and trainers go to, to look after their dogs. I’ve had some wonderful advice and support from trainers in forums. I imagine Max has been trained and cared for incredibly well, his behaviour is brilliant, he is healthy with a glossy coat, and has made having my first dog quite literally a walk in the park.

Of course, any sport that is dependent on gambling is open to abuse, our dog sitter showed us a photo of the state her now beautiful greyhound was in when she adopted him when he didn’t take to racing. There is also the issue of what happens after racing. There are an awful lot of dogs in the care of Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust where we met Max, who have finished their racing career and are looking for homes. As well trained pedigrees, well known for being gentle and obedient, retired Greyhounds make truly excellent pets.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Gail

    Max is lovely Penny, how fantastic that you’ve given him a life after racing:) For some reason I imagined you’d had him for much longer but it sounds like he has settled into your family very well. I remember seeing a programme about retired greyhounds and was surprised that they didn’t actually need a huge amount of walking. I remember the one on the programme didn’t like the stairs much either!

    31/01/2017 at 12:20 pm
    • Reply Penny Alexander

      Ah this is an old post, you were right, we’ve had him 3 years now. I republished it and forgot it would go out as a new one!

      01/02/2017 at 11:51 am

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