Tag Archives: racing greyhound

Fasting together

This is Sox on Tuesday morning. He was scheduled to go to the vet for a fasting blood test and could not have his breakfast. I didn’t think it was fair to eat breakfast when he couldn’t and so we fasted together.

I couldn’t bear the thought of him being hungry watching me eat as normal. He would have thought something was wrong, or he was being punished or teased. Dogs are sentient, capable of feelings and sensation. Feeling hungry and left out are reasonable assumptions in this situation.

Do you fast in sympathy with your dog?

My Sox is well on his way to a confirmed diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease; a condition we cannot cure but can only find a way to manage. It’s tough when he is not yet 5 years old with a lifetime ahead of him. I was told that Sox would regularly collapse after racing with a condition called acidosis. But I also wonder if he wasn’t already showing the symptoms of IBD (with regular bouts of inappetence and diarrhea) which would have zapped his energy stores.

We will persevere and I will update everyone about Sox’s progress in future posts.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Best Mate – book review

Best Mate

Best Mate is a book for young readers, approximately 10 years of age.   I picked up my copy at an outdoor market for just $3 (the book was originally published in 2007).  Since I am now the proud owner of a re-homed racing greyhound, it was the greyhound on the cover that caught my eye.

It was, of course, an easy read.  But I can highly recommend this book which tells the story of a greyhound pup rescued by a small boy, Patrick, on his way to school.  Named ‘Best Mate’, the pup was discarded in a river canal in a sack with his litter mates.

And so begins a story of a dog and a child’s insight into animal cruelty.  Best Mate loves Patrick and Patrick loves him.  The two are separated when Best Mate is stolen for  racing.  There he meets a young girl named Becky who names him Brighteyes and he makes a friend with another racing greyhound.

But that is not the end of his story, or the cruelty that the book portrays.  Be prepared to support the young reader in your home:  Best Mate’s friend is killed when he can no longer win races.

Best Mate will ultimately be re-homed yet again before the end of the book, and this time he ends up with the name Paddywack.

There are a few chapters in this book written from Best Mate’s perspective.  The only thing that would strengthen the book is to hear more from Best Mate himself.

This book should be on your child’s reading list.  It is a good introduction into animal welfare issues and a good first insight into the greyhound racing industry.

My reading of this book is all the more timely since news has hit the media this week about ‘live baiting’ in Australian greyhound racing…the book doesn’t portray live baiting, but I felt a connection to the story nonetheless because of the headlines.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand