Yep. The Sprouts have adopted a baby. Which is part of the reason I've been so slack over the last month, because a new baby takes up a great deal of time to settle in. I've also not been very inspired, so hopefully with a new year I'll feel like posting a bit more. What? I hear you say. No, we haven't changed our minds about being child free, we just have another furbaby is all. Not any ordinary baby either, but a beautiful three year old red fawn greyhound by the name of Twiggy. If we had more room, I suspect we might end up with a few more of them, but for now one is enough. There are many many dogs that need a home, being peak kitten and puppy season most shelters are bursting, and after Christmas, many more are dumped as unwanted gifts. I personally feel giving an animal as a gift is one of the most stupid and irresponsible actions to make. They aren't toys, and they aren't things - they are living beings that need a full commitment for life - much like human babies!
During our research on these charming pooches, we came across Greyhound Rescue NSW, run by a retired couple Peter and Janet. They do an amazing job and give up a lot of time and money to these dogs who are treated terribly by the racing industry. A hound that isn't fast enough is shot, dumped in the bush with its ears cut off (to remove the tattoos that can trace the owners), left at the pound (which is basically a death sentence anyway), or put down by a vet. Twiggy was left at the pound, and picked up by Greyhound Rescue. The number of ex racers that find homes is something like 5% of all that are bred. Others are shipped to China, only to die there anyway. This is a terrible thing, because as we have found, they are very loving, easy going dogs. If you had children, they would be great with them. Unfortunately a lot of people think they are viscous due to NSW law which states greyhounds must be muzzled in public. Although small furry things certainly might get a nip depending on the prey drive of the dog, they are very friendly to humans. Which brings me to the next point - we had to find one that got along with cats. And chooks. And ducks.
We are very lucky that Twiggy isn't interested in chasing any of them. In fact, we think he's a failure as a racer because he wouldn't chase. I fancy he's the sort that would have flopped down, and thought "I'll just wait until that rabbit comes back around and then I'll try and get him."
Although initially the cats weren't too keen and he did give a bit of chase if they decided to run, now nearly everyone is settled or resigned to each other so the house is in good order. I feel happy to let the chooks out in the back yard with him running around, a they don't scatter now they are used to him. All in all, we were rather lucky Twiggy just fit right in.
As a result greyhounds have become very dear to our heart and educating people about these animals has become very dear to my heart.
If you are interested in adopting a dog, or would like to learn more about these beautiful hounds, or would even like to make a donation, please go here. There are other rescue groups in Australian states, and of course, if you don't live on our island continent, your own country is sure to have similar organisations. For the UK, try here or for the US try here.
Happy New Year!