Tag Archives: greyhounds

The Dogs of Avalon – book review

Inspired by her adopted lurcher, Lily, author Laura Schenone started to research the background story of Irish sighthounds that were being imported into the United States for adoption.

Her research reveals the story of Marion Fitzgibbon, who witnessed firsthand the appalling animal welfare problems in her native Ireland and started to take action.  Marion’s story starts small, as most animal welfare initiatives do.  But her dream and her passion builds as she finds friends who are willing to work alongside her and to help find shelter and fostering options for rescued animals.

The dogs of avalon

She eventually becomes the head of the Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty Animals and she is experienced enough and with enough authority to tackle the greyhound racing industry.  This includes conducting an undercover investigation into facilities in Spain, where many of the Irish greyhounds were sold to live in appalling conditions.

In Ireland, very few people were willing to adopt the greyhounds that their country’s highly subsidized racing industry supported – and so many were sent to the United States which is how the author’s Lily came to reside in New Jersey.

And for a time the book focuses on the USA greyhound racing industry and the groundswell of support to help shut tracks down.  I actually found this part of the book to be its weakest – diverting from the Irish story.    The cause to shut down the Wonderland track in Massachusetts is covered, for example; but not particularly clearly in my opinion.  (I grew up in Massachusetts and Wonderland is a stop on the Blue Line of Boston’s subway system.)

Like all true stories of animal welfare organizations, there are many cases that are not easy to read.  But that is the reality that we must face when acknowledging how people and industries view the rights (or lack thereof) of animals and the history of how man has treated animals.

As a greyhound owner myself, I could never have passed by this book.  It’s a solid read for greyhound lovers, all dog owners, and anyone interested in animal welfare.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Advertisements

A date in the red zone

Izzy has a boyfriend named Bergie who lives across town from us.  Bergie is approximately one year younger than Izzy, but from the day they first met on an organized Greyhounds as Pets walk, it was clear that these two really enjoyed each other’s company.

We make an effort for them to have dates on a regular basis; one of their favourite places is the red zone – this is an area in eastern Christchurch where homes were demolished after the 2011 earthquake; the residents were bought out by the government so they could relocate elsewhere because the land is unsuitable for building.  There are a few locations in the red zone that are fully fenced, allowing greyhounds the opportunities to do zoomies in a safe environment.

Bergie the greyhound

Bergie

This area of the red zone is very sandy (which is why it isn’t suitable for re-building).  It is, however, very good for digging holes.  Bergie likes to dig holes for Izzy and she likes to watch…

Digging a hole for his love

Bergie digs a hole for Izzy

And greyhounds generally like to do zoomies (short bursts of running).  Here is Izzy chasing Bergie:

Izzy is now asleep in her bed after having a great day with Bergie.  (I think their next date will be at the beach – Izzy loves the beach!)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Play date

A change of scene, play, and social time with other dogs are all important to the emotional health of our dogs.

Izzy, for example, has a boyfriend who lives on the other side of the city.  His name is Bergie and they have a special relationship.  I can’t even remember when it started; they just met at greyhound walks and bonded to each other.

So, it’s important to his owners and to me that we make the time for them to see each other.  This week, they finally managed to have a play date after being severely rained out of one date and then missing another chance to see each other when, again, the rain and cold interfered with the monthly farmers market display for Greyhounds as Pets.

On this date, Bergie decided to impress Izzy with his hole digging skills…she took a front row seat!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Great Global Greyhound Walk

The Great Global Greyhound Walk has become an annual event since 2014 to raise the profile of adoptable greyhounds.  (The event was started in 2010 as the Great British Greyhound Walk but interest soon went global.)

Groups from around the globe organize walks with their hounds to show them off to the public and to raise funds for greyhound adoption.

This year, the date is this Sunday – 11th June.  gggw-logo  If you follow the Walk’s website, there’s a searchable database to find the walk closest to you.

Check out the map while you are there – this event is truly global.

As Izzy is a greyhound and we volunteer for Greyhounds as Pets, you can guarantee that we will participate in our local walk in central Christchurch.

Interested in knowing more about bringing a greyhound into your life?  Why not come out on Sunday and meet lots of hounds and their owners.  Owners love to talk about their dogs and their enthusiasm is infectious.  Bring your spare change and make a donation, too, so more hounds can find a forever home.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Job share: Boots and Rush

When this story came through my Facebook feed, I had to share it.

Yet another ‘working dogs/therapy dogs’ success story – this time in Western Australia at the Woodvale Secondary College using two special greyhounds.

Boots came first for three days of dog therapy support, and then Rush joined to fill in for the remaining two days.

Enjoy this video, which shows therapy dog work and benefits:

And the spin-off benefit from using the dogs at the school is the profile raised for greyhound adoption.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Izzy’s racing career

Izzy is a retired racing greyhound.  She won 6 races over the course of her 2  1/2-year, 74 race career.

As a salute to my ‘little winner’ who is now a much-loved pet and helper in massage classes, here is a montage of the finish lines at her races and one photo of her in her preferred career…

Izzy winning on 10 Dec 2010Izzy winning on 25 May 2011Izzy winning on 1 Jun 2011Izzy winning on 3 Aug 2011Izzy winning on 7 Nov 2012Izzy winning on 19 Dec 2012

IMG_1237

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Greyt New Zealand Caterpillar Craze

As you know, Izzy is a greyhound.  And as a devoted greyhound owner, I belong to several Facebook groups dedicated to greyhounds.  One is the Greyhound Collective, based here in New Zealand.

Early last week, a fellow owner posted that their hound loved their large stuffed caterpillar from The Warehouse (the New Zealand equivalent of Walmart) and – coincidentally – they were available at the annual toy sale for 50% off (so $40 compared to $80)…Caterpillar

The caterpillars being sold by The Warehouse are 250 cm long

…and so started the Greyt New Zealand Caterpillar Craze!

I slept on it overnight and then decided Izzy should have one.  I ordered it online and then emailed my friend Marie “I’ve just bought Izzy one of those caterpillars.”  Marie wrote back “So did I, for Ben”   Gosh, I thought – we are good dog mothers…

And then another one and another one posted on The Greyhound Collective.  Their hounds were also reveling in their new colourful friends.  It’s been like that all week (and the sale is still going).  More and more New Zealand greyhounds are loving their warm and cuddly friends.  It’s winter here and greyhounds feel the cold.  A caterpillar makes a greyt friend on a cold winter’s day…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So enjoy these snaps of our Caterpillar Craze…can you spot Izzy?

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand