Jess, an elegant black rescue greyhound belonging to my parents-in-law, died earlier this year. She was a retired racing dog who had run 148 races, never been taught to play and, when she ran, preferred to race in circles as she had done all her working life. She didn’t like having her tattooed ears touched but was very happy to have her long flanks stroked. She had a habit of leaning against you when she wanted affection. Teddy used to chase about her ankles in an effort to get her to play. Sometimes she’d run with him, mainly though, she watched him from her tall vantage point and stepped over him with her long dainty legs. Her dignity was incredibly appealing.
Jess came from Clarks Farm Greyhound Rescue, a rehoming centre for retired racing dogs. A family run rescue centre, they hold about 60 dogs at any one time and re-home between 120-160 retired greyhounds every year.
Recently my in-laws decided that it was time to adopt another greyhound from Clarks Farm. They liked the look of a fawn-coloured 5-year-old, called Lass. Yesterday we took Teddy to meet her and check they would get along.
In the yard, we first met a brindle greyhound, Carly. She loped up and gave us a thorough sniffing. Only when she’d sauntered about the yard for a bit and wandered off into the office did we find out that she is almost completely blind; ‘only sees shadows’. No wonder she was so keen to greet us with her nose.
Next we met a volunteer who helps take the dogs for their daily on-lead walks. He brought two grey and black beauties up to see us. While the grey one leaned against my son the black one came and rested his chin across the grey one’s back. They looked like an extremely elegant jigsaw puzzle.
And then we met Lass. She confidently trotted up to say hello to the humans and then looked down and saw Teddy. She seemed fascinated with this small fluffy character. They both did what dogs do, and gave each other a good sniff, but Teddy thought her attentions were a bit much. He gave a warning growl. When he did this a second time, she growled back. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Jess allowed Teddy to think he was in charge but I don’t think Lass is quite so laid back. I’ll keep you posted on their progress when we next visit. In the meantime, if you’re feeling charitable, look up Clarks Farm and the good work they do.