Greyhounds can make great pets

I GREW up with lots of others like me, same routine each day of learning how to run and chase.

I started to enter competitions and did well so moved over to Newcastle from Ireland to further my career.

I continued to do well and raced more often.

The rules say I could race every seven days, but I was raced every two or three weeks.

I carried on like this for the next three years, and sometimes raced with my brother – we took it in turns to win.

But I stopped being the fastest and it wasn’t much fun anymore so I decided it was time to retire, although I didn’t really know what this meant.

I spent a few months in other kennels, with lots of different people coming to take me out for walks.

One day someone came and took me for a walk and I went for a long drive and ended up in a new building.

It was nothing like a kennel, there was lots of space and the floors were soft and warm.

This was the start of the next step of my life as a pet greyhound.

I’m great as a pet. Lots of people think that dogs like me need lots of exercise because they’ve only seen us running, but we only need two 20 minute walks a day and then will sleep the rest of the time.

This makes us great for the modern ‘busy lifestyle’ I’ve heard so much about, although my new lifestyle generally involves trying to sleep on the sofa and sneak food – it’s so handy that people have designed tables and kitchen work tops to be the same height as my nose.

Stairs were a complete confusion; I tried to jump, but got stuck half-way, with all four paws on one step and no idea what to do next, although with practice I’ve mastered them.

I had never met another breed of dog before coming to my new home so the first time I went on a walk it was all very new and exciting.

I am slowly learning that not all small things are to be chased and so I still wear a muzzle on walks, but I’m not aggressive and I know that people are there to provide me with attention and strokes.

I had never been left alone because I had always been in a kennel with another dog so this was one of the scariest things about my new life, but my people got me used to this gradually and I know they’ll come back.

I’m one of the lucky ones of my group because I’ve had a chance at a new life, and there are a lot of my friends still waiting in kennels with the Retired Greyhound Trust for this chance to retire in comfort.

So please, if you’re wanting a dog to love and care for, spare a thought for the hundreds of greyhounds retiring to kennels each year.