Guess What I Have In Common With JK Rowling, Bart Simpson and The Rolling Stones?

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Do you want to know what I have in common with Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Bart Simpson and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts? It’s simple really – we all own greyhounds! I’ve only recently joined the ranks of these famous folk when I adopted a beautiful retired-racer called Chesta a few weeks ago.

The idea to adopt a greyhound was borne a few years back when, as the editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly magazine, I published a story about an amazing organisation called Greyhounds As Pets (GAP). Re-homing ex-racing greyhounds, which is what GAP does, really struck a chord with me. Not to mention the fact that greyhounds really do tick all the boxes. They’re kind-natured, obedient, don’t bark (much), don’t shed, don’t smell and need little exercise. Plus they love to sleep. In fact, they’re the biggest couch potatoes you’ll ever meet.

So with that in mind, we adopted Chesta three weeks ago and immediately fell in love with his gentle nature, beautiful manners and handsome good looks. In fact, Chesta is quite literally the perfect dog (I’m not joking). He’s super obedient, walks beautifully on the lead, comes when he’s called, sleeps most of the day and is a big snuggler too. Okay he did dive in the pool and sank like a stone (minor hiccup) and licks his lips when he claps eyes on our guinea pigs but hey that’s hardly a misdemeanour when you’re a dog.

His model behaviour has been in stark contrast to my experience of owning two Bichon Frise ten years ago. While Bichons are super cute balls of fluff they should come with a buyer beware warning. They need regular grooming (read expensive), are notoriously hard to toilet train and bark at everything and I mean everything! Even a leaf gently falling from a tree would be enough to set them off. Not only does Chesta hardly ever bark (which is a typical greyhound trait) but he doesn’t need a lot of exercise either (another perk of the breed). Most people imagine these racing power-houses need a tonne of exercise but the reverse is actually true. They have speed but not a whole lot of stamina (although Chesty more than keeps up with me when I’m clocking up my daily 10,000 steps). In a perfect world greyhounds will happily sleep for around 18-hours a day (winning). They are also well-mannered, easy to train, easy to walk, don’t have a doggie smell (fact: there’s little oil in their coats) and most importantly are loyal, loving pets. Are you starting to see the appeal?  

So given that greyhounds are meek and mild you may wonder why you’ll occasionally see them wearing muzzles. The answer is simple and has nothing to do with them being dangerous dogs (as some ill-informed people may believe). Greyhounds wear muzzles on the track to protect their delicate skin in case another dog nips at them as they jostle for pole position in the pack. This is normal dog behaviour. They occasionally wear muzzles when they’re out in public in case their natural instinct to chase kicks in at the first sight of the neighbourhood cat. Their instinct is to chase and they’ve been trained to chase small fluffy things so it will take a little while for them to understand they don’t have to do that anymore.

Having spent the past few weeks with our beautiful boy I can understand why I’m not the only one smitten with these gentle giants. Even some of the biggest names in the dog world own greyhounds – which says a lot really. World famous dog trainer Caesar Milan owns one and so too does Australia’s favourite TV vet Dr Harry Cooper. If anyone knows how to pick the perfect pet these guys would right?

If you want to see Chesta in his hey day you can check him out in this short video below. Oh and you can’t miss him. His racing name was All In All and he’s the one leading the charge all the way to the finish line!

 

 If you want to know more about adopting a greyhound visit Greyhounds As Pets New Zealand or follow GAP on Facebook or Instagram