|Ashley Bradshaw 's NZ-bred Rambo (Rambunctious) |
coming second in a race at Addington in Jan2012
The reality is, however, that some people do not support greyhound racing (both in New Zealand and overseas), or quite often do not know much about it. I was one of those people - when I adopted my Louie, I have never seen a greyhound race, even on TV! In fact, I have never even seen a greyhound at all, whether racing or retired. I did not know a single greyhound trainer then ... I thought greyhound racing was, at best, dubious and possibly inhumane practice ...How things have changed :)
Would these dogs run if they didn't love it? Would the people who work with the dogs work for the pittance that they do if they didn't love the dogs?
You love your dog and you can't believe his life could have been better before you. But in the back of your mind you do realize this dog is so endearing to you BECAUSE of the people who are in his past (breeders, trainers, handlers, racing kennels staff, rehoming agencies staff and volunteers etc). THEY made him that special dog.
I grew up in Europe - my father was a keen hunter and we had harrier hounds, German Shorthair Pointers, Wiszlas and Weimaraners -I grew up with those dogs. I have gone hunting with my Dad and his mates as a teenager and I daresay I am good with a rifle. :) Today, when I see dogs of these breeds kept in small sections, in houses, with no stimulation and no work, it is painful and devastating for me to see. Recently, I saw a Weimaraner bitch someone brought to the boarding kennels I often visit. The dog was young, and truly MAD, uncontrollable and jumpy. They had a choke collar and a Gentle Leader collar on it, as they could not control it otherwise. It was upsetting to watch. :( And it was even more upsetting to know that she was not, by any means, an exception, as 99% of young Weimaraners would act the same, when in similar situation. :(
The dozens of Weimaraner dogs I grew up with were the calmest dogs you could imagine -they went hunting at least twice a week, covering hundreds of kilometers chasing deer, boar, foxes and bears! When they got home to our kennels, they were exhausted, content, and very very calm dogs. They would rest and sleep for days. They were happy -doing what they were bred to do.We lived almost in the middle of the city and NEVER had a barking problem -our hunting dogs were too tired and too content to even think about barking!
Today, in New Zealand, when I see a half-mad young Weimaraner on a lead, with an owner who boasts he/she gives it 'at least 45minutes walk EVERY day' , I despair :( A few times I even cried, marveling at human selfishness and delusion.... :(
Dog trainers and so-called 'dog-behaviorists' make a killing advising such owners on their dogs, once the situation gets out of control...but the whole thing is so simple: these dogs want to do what they were bred to do ....and their owners cannot give them that. Simple. And so sad and so unfair.
See this video below of my beautiful Louie (Charlston State) winning a race named in his honour, on Cambridge raceway in 2005. He is in striped rug, number 2, and at the start, he actually jumps into the box on his own - yearning to GO! :) These dogs love it -they live for this:
Louie still gallops like a lunatic across parks and beaches -but for him, it just is not like racing itself. He does not care about injuries or anything like that, despite being a wuss that he is J Louie is still so competitive and keen to race -he would gladly go and literally break all his legs just to win one race just once more! :) I keep explaining to him that he cannot compete against 2yr - 3yr old greyhounds, but he does not care, and keeps racing EVERY single one of our foster greyhounds, whenever he gets a chance :) I have fostered over 90 ex-racers by now, and each and every one of them LOVED the thrill of the race.
|Connor (Know Question) enjoying the race|
|Abby (Patricia Sherry) watching one of her races on DVD|
(yes, that is her on the screen :))
There is also a local person, who has an anti-racing Facebook page called "Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand" and actually refers to himself as 'us'. He is the sole member of this 'organization' though, and most of his statements are pure fantasy. He preys on animal lovers from all over the world to 'join his cause' - people who of course think the cause they are joining is well-intentioned, without being aware of this person's background and the fact that he is delusional individual who mostly spreads selective truths and incorrect statistics, besides being a self-confessed cyber-terrorist. He often states that he was a 'GAP NZ Volunteer' however he conveniently forgets to state this relationship ended sourly and since then he has frequently criticized GAP publicly.
If this person ever bullies or threatens you because you support racing dogs , do call the police. A number of people, including myself, have done that.