Go Biddy, Go! The secret of the pet Greyhound.

Posted By elaine on October 12, 2009

When I was a little kid my grandparents owned a Greyhound kennel.  In those days Greyhounds weren’t even considered as pets, they were trained to “kill” and therefore when they didn’t run and were not used as breeding stock, they were usually put to sleep.  While most people never had them as pets, my grandparents did keep a couple of them.  One I remember in particular was a champion racer named “Biddy”.  When my grandparents got out of the Greyhound biz, “Biddy” was the one dog they kept when they moved back into the city.  She was super with us grand kids and since I come from an Irish Catholic family, she had to love kids.  Her favorite grandchild activity was a game we called “Go Biddy, go.” .  It was a simple game in which my sister, cousins, and I would pile on the trampoline and scream “Go Biddy go!”  “Biddy” loved this game and would tear around the tramp while we squeeled with delight.  I am not sure that she was remembering her glory days on the track or just thought it was fun to romp around the yard, but for us it was great fun.  I still remember how “Biddy” would run so fast you could barely follow her with your eyes. 

The end of racing may not be the end of the great Greyhound.

The end of racing may not be the end of the great Greyhound.

There was a time in the park when “Biddy” did take out off after a little white poodle.  Everyone was sure that she thought it was a rabbit and the unsuspecting pooch would be dead before it saw the four legged freight train headed its way.  “Biddy” was smarter than that though, she got close and realized it was not prey and turned back and loped happily back to the family.  This is a long story to say… I’ve known for years that Greyhounds are great pets.  Thanks to the “Adopt-a-Greyhound” program that got adoption groups and racing dog owners working together, lots of people are now in on this secret.  Greyhounds are so popular now people are breeding Greyhounds as pets, a thing that was unheard of when my Grandparents raced dogs.   This is probably a good thing because tracks are closing at a fever pitch. If it weren’t for the adoption groups and racing dog owners placing these dogs in homes, the probable end of controversial dog racing in the US would have also been the end for the Greyhound, and that would have been a sad day indeed.  The latest track to possibly call it quits is Dairyland race track in Wisconsin, even though the final decision on closing the state’s only dog track has not been made.
 

Dairyland managers sent a letter to employees last week saying a decision on the track’s future will be made no later than Nov. 16. Attendance at the track is down 19 percent compared with last year. Wagering is down 29 percent and most of the people working there expect the track to close.  If the track closes, hundreds of dogs will need to be adopted quickly. Of 900 dogs at Dairyland, between 300 and 600 dogs are expected to be available for adoption with the rest going to other tracks around the country. 

 

Greyhounds enjoying lure coursing.  Courtesy G.C. of A.

Greyhounds enjoying lure coursing. Courtesy G.C. of A.

If you are looking for a low maintenance dog the Greyhound is perfect.  They are easy going and love to please and they are happy to take it easy on the couch with some exercise, or they will jog along with you while you train for your next marathon without missing a step.  You can also take part in  “lure coursing” ,  a great competitive event that bring the breed back to its hunting roots and Greyhounds love it.  For more on this sport you can check out the Greyhound Club of America website, http://www.greyhoundclubofamerica.org/lure.html.   Don’t worry, nothing gets killed in these events except for a cloth lure!

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