A story of a rescue
Our involvement started quite a while ago. We had lost our wonderful William to the ravages of old age and were left with our Saluki Lurcher ‘Pollyanna’ and ‘Bumble’ a very old and frail Labrador. Polly had really taken the loss of William very badly and spent most of her days in her bed. We all needed new company to lift us out of our loss and a new pooch was on the cards as the heartbreak started to subside.
I had always wanted a Greyhound and spent many hours scrolling through pages of little faces on the Internet. They all needed homes and they all looked appealing but none of them broke the barrier of the heartache of losing William, until we saw Frankie.
The picture was of a small, frightened girl pressed into the corner of a concrete cell trying to be so small as to make herself invisible. We both knew that if ever our Polly got lost, then she would look just like that, waiting for her pack to come and find her. We had to give Frankie a loving home, the sort we would wish someone might give to our Polly should she ever become lost.
So we put our names down for a home check and said we wanted to give little Frankie a loving home… and that was the beginning and the end of our ambition to care for Frankie in one short moment, because, although we passed the home check, we were told that Frankie was so traumatised, so damaged by attempts to 'train' her for racing, that she had completely shut down and rejected all contact with people. She needed expert care from Sue an animal behaviour expert and that even with Sue’s skill Frankie might never be able to be placed in a ‘normal’ home.
We only wanted what was best for Frankie, so we resigned ourselves to not being good enough to help her, but at least she was out of that concrete cell and with the very best help she could ever hope for. Jill told us that if Sue (an animal psychologist) couldn't heal Frankie, then she would stay the rest of her days in Sue’s care. Someone special was going to care for ‘our’ Frankie.
A few months went by and we followed Frankie’s agonisingly slow progress. She was never going to be well enough to move from Sue’s care and we were asked to consider a little Lurcher puppy that was suffering ‘Separation Anxiety’ and desperately needed a ‘Forever Home’. His name was Bill, and again, Sue was fostering him.
We took a trip out to meet Bill and Sue. Polly took to the string-bean of a puppy straight away and for some reason the puppy decided that he rather liked us. Even more surprisingly, Sue decided that we would make a good home for Bill and so he was bundled into our car for the journey home. During our visit, Frankie ran frantically around the garden, yapping in her manic ‘scream’ bark and never getting closer than 10 yards. She seemed interested but not enough to overcome her fear and approach us. It was looking like Frankie would be staying with Sue for a long time.
Then Sue'’s patience paid off and after six months, she decided that not only might Frankie be able to be re-homed but that in her opinion we might make the ideal home, so along with Bill (now Dillon) and Polly we all visited Sue again. This time Frankie was indoors in her bed behind the settee. Even more amazing was that Frankie was taking sausage pieces right out of our fingers. We all went for a walk in Sue’s paddock and Frankie seemed fairly relaxed.
Sue then made a huge decision that we might be ideal to help Frankie take her next steps in development on the road to recovery. It was a tearful separation, Frankie had been a big part of Sue’s life for 6 months and now she was taking the gamble that Frankie was ready to make some big new steps of progress. It was decided that we would foster Frankie for a few weeks to see if she settled with us and it was agreed that if she didn't settle then Sue would have her back and she would not try and re-home her again but would adopt her herself.
Well! The first steps were very much backwards. She stayed hidden in the corner behind my desk. Tiddles and poos on the floor and she was frantic not to be trapped by ‘the man’. She accepted me but was seriously afraid of Derek. If he got near to her she would tremble so violently that we could hear her bones vibrate against the skirting board.
Our dogs have always had dreams when they slept. They would yip and run in their sleep and now and then their tails would wag – happy dreams. But Frankie had dreams of her past, her feet would trot away and then she would scream…terrified and in pain, Frankie would dream her memories of a life still ever present to her.
But life at 74 has a way of building confidence. Lots of walks, lots of contact (even though she would rather have been left alone) and of course Dillon, a cheeky puppy with no manners and buckets of charm and fun.
Frankie has been here now for 3 months and she now has a mum and a dad. She runs down the stairs with Derek in the mornings for her early pee trip to the garden, she charges around the house with toys and even lets Derek put on her harness, coat and lead in preparation for walks.
But there is one even greater measure of Frankie’s progress – as I write this, she is asleep in her bed, she yips and her feet twitch as she runs – and her tail is wagging!
Frankie is mending. She is home and has a family that loves her and for this we owe our eternal thanks to Kerry Greyhound Connection for rescuing Frankie in the first place and Sue for her skill and love to bring Frankie within reach of our love and bringing her to us.
Postscript from Derek
Frankie is still covered in scars from 'training', but is now an absolute little madame - she bosses me about something wicked and swanks up the road ahead of me with her tail curled high when we go for walks.
Is greyhound racing cruel?
Watch this little Snip, an 18 month old puppy greyhound smashing her leg on her seventh race and consider if you would put any dog of your own in the path of such jeopardy for the sake of profit, fun and fame.
The BBC have promoted greyhound racing as a fun night out in their program Three men in a Boat, carefully edditing out the dog that crashed on the night or mentioning Snips later crash.
We are supposed to be a nation that cares about animal welfare, yet we would not even allow animals bred for meat to be abused the way greyhounds are abused by the Track Racing Industry
Have your eyes been opened?
If you think that it is wrong to abuse greyhounds in this manner, then please forward the revelations about this industries cruelty to all your contacts. Only when people know the truth behind their 'Fun night out at the Dogs' will they have the opportunity to decide to support the cruelty or to turn their backs on it.
If you don't help the greyhounds - then who will?
If you would like to adopt a greyhound, there are lots waiting for a real home here.
Or in any of these regional Greyhound Rescue Centres
Bristol Dog Action Welfare Group: http://southwestdawg.wordpress.com
Dumfriesshire Greyhound Rescue: South West Scotland and Cumbria: http://dgrescue.org.uk
Give A Greyhound a Home (GAGH): Aberdeen and Central Scotland: http://www.gagah.co.uk
Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue North East: http://www.freewebs.com/greyhoundandlurcherrescuenortheast
Greyhound Awareness League, Scotland: http://www.gal.org.uk
Greyhound Action Scotland: http://www.greyhoundactionscotland.org.uk
Greyhound/Lurcher/Rescue: Sunderland and Durham: http://greyhoundlurcher.googlepages.com
Greyhounds Galore: Cleveland: http://www.greyhoundsgalore.org.uk
Greyhound Gap: National Organisation: http://www.greyhoundgap.com
Greyhound rescue north east: sunderland: http://freewebs.com/greyhoundsnortheast/
Greyhound Rescue North East: North East of England: http://www.greyhoundrescue.net
Greyhound Rescue: North Yorkshire: http://www.greyhoundrescue.org.uk
Greyhound Rescue (Wales) http://members.aol.com/busher9518/GREYHND.HTM
Greyhound Rescue Scotland: http://www.greyhound-rescue-scotland.org
Greyhound Welfare: South Wales: http://www.greyhoundwelfare.org.uk
Greyhound Rescue West of England: http://www.grwe.co.uk
Groovy Greyhounds and Loopy Lurchers: UK based web group: http://groups.msn.com/GroovyGreyhoundsandLoopyLurchers
Greyhound Rescue Scotland: http://www.greyhound-rescue-scotland.org
Home a Greyhound: UK: http://www.freewebs.com/greyhounds
Houndzaruz Animal Rescue: Salford: http://www.houndzaruz.co.uk/
Kent Greyhound Welfare: http://kentgreyhoundwelfare.co.uk
Lurcher Link: National Organisation: http://www.lurcher.org
Rescued Racers: http://www.rescuedracers.org
Retired Greyhound Trust: National Organisation: http://www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk
Greyhounds in need www.rigolo.force9.co.uk/
Kama's Cave (Holbeach) www.kamascave.com
Lost Dogs UK http://www.lostdogsuk.com
Northern Greyhound Rescue: Lancashire: http://www.northerngreyhoundrescue.org.uk
Northumberland greyhound rescue: Blyth,Northumberland: http://northumberlandgreyhoundrescue.org.uk
Rescues against Greyhound Subsidies http://fido.k9.co.uk/rags/
Greyhound Rescue in the UK www.greyhoundrescue.co.uk
Sheya Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue: North West/Manchester: http://sheyagreyhoundandlurcherrescue.com
Sighthound Rescue Jersey: http://www.jerseydogs.co.uk
Swiss Valley, South Wales: http://www.freewebs.com/swissvalleygreyhoundrescue
The Greyhound Trust (Oxford branch) location: http://www.oxfordgreyhoundtrust.co.uk
Greyhounds in Wales: South Wales and the West: http://www.greyhoundsinwales.moonfruit.com/
White Lodge Longdogs: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire: http://whitelodgekennels.co.uk
Pound for a Hound is a novel way of raising funds for a new property with a kennel block at Greyhound Gap. They have a photo collage which is growing all the time as images donated by the public are added for just a pound donation. You can have any picture you want included, of your yourself, your pets, family members or favourite places. The completed collage will contain up to 50,000 small images and will be printed and turned into an artwork to be hung in the kennels when they open.