Thursday, March 3, 2016

'G' is for Greyhound

It is easy to become enamoured of certain animals. God by nature grants graces. The eye, and then the soul, becomes enchanted. Hounds (i am not using the AKC definition, but the older English canine term) have great genetic elasticity, so that many various body shapes, sizes, and other physical characteristics run a gauntlet on the continuum. We are given the chihuahua, and many mastiffs. The hound is a social animal, that grants hounds and people position within the pack. The signals a dog recognises has him approaching an empath. It is easy, so doggone easy, to be infatuated with a breed.

Recently, i have come into possession of a greyhound, a track discard, an animal sheltered by a rescue organisation. Many people have done same, and still a majority of these dogs are not rescued. I will refrain from an euphemism, they are killed. How many have people have seen a greyhound pup? They are controlled by the industry. They are overbred. A culling comes early, not every whelp is deemed suitable. During training, and racing some are injured and their days are ended. A hound's racing span is not often long, and if not chosen for breeding, they are expendable. It is then death, or adoption.

Some are rescued and become companion animals--pets. They learn a new life. The transition is an healing proposition. A new socialisation occurs. Healthcare changes. Their care is not formed for racing needs. As with other hounds, parasites are an issue: worms, ticks, fleas should be removed. I read again and again, teeth are often in bad shape. Greyhounds scar easily (emotionally too), and bones can be fragile.

As other hounds, certain traits are very common in a particular breed. An Englishman, Rich Skipworth, is a cartoonist with a greyhound; and he has drawn some of the hounds' proclivities. My hound does do some of that, it is as if he did picture him. Other people with greyhounds have developed a descriptive greyhound vocabulary. The greyhound's physiology is not the average hound's. There are related sighthounds that share some physiology. They are lean, narrow, with long backs, longish necks and muzzles, deep chests, high tucks, long tails, long legs    built for the sprint run. 

They are bony, with thin coats, and very little fat. They are not winter animals, and they need a few amenities. They wear clothes in bad weather, and need soft bedding for reclining    and they do recline, to the point they are lazy. But, they are gentle, docile, quiet (some are painfully shy), and low maintenance. Their odd habits become cute and endearing to you. They are also watching you, and can be sly.

They are sleek and chic, beyond that i have noticed walking with my hound is that some people stop and chat, and to my initial surprise, thank me and bless me for getting the animal. I can not remember this sort of random, unsolicited bonhomie directed towards me.

[end part one]

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