Julie is no ‘anti’
Julie Collier speaks the voice of reason, prioritising dog welfare certainly doesn’t mean you are an “ anti”, as the animal welfare charities, which make up the Forum, have stressed for some considerable time. Julie supports the Sport but finds certain practices unacceptable, her words echo what the Forum has been saying and working towards improving.
GBGB, under new management, have formulated, with input from the charities, the Greyhound Commitment, an 8 point plan that would greatly enhance the welfare of racing greyhounds. It is essential that, for continued support from the charities, this “commitment” is fulfilled. Without considerably enhanced income from the Bookmakers this “ commitment” may end up on the betting room floor, what price welfare then.
Clarissa Baldwin CBE
Forever Greyhound Trust are ‘antis’
If the antis get their way
THE LAST GREYHOUND
A fantasy story…………………………or is it?
Well my dear friend, my dear companion, the one who has been with me for many a long year, come and sit with me, stroke my head and listen to my story. This is the last chance for my story to be told so listen carefully.
This is my story but it’s not just mine, it’s the story of my forebears, my ancestors, the ones who came from ancient times. The ones who chased through ancient forests and moors with the wind in their ears and the blood coursing through their veins driven by their pounding hearts. Their story is my story and it was told to me by my mother, who heard it from her mother, and she heard it from her mother, right the way back to the mists of time, to the ancient forests and moors. But that long, long story is about to end because not enough people understood or listened to their story, my story, not enough people could feel the way I felt, the way you do.
I am from the noble line of greyhounds, the most ancient of dogs, the most graceful of dogs. In the days that have been lost in the mists of time we ran through the ancient forests and moors in pursuit of our quarry. Our human partners had long admired our noble lines and fleetness of foot, they encouraged us to live with them and let them join us on our hunts. They ran with us on foot and on horseback. We ran and chased because that is what our genes, our DNA, tells us to do. We ran and chased because the blood that coursed through our veins driven by our pounding hearts was telling us to do it. We felt the wind in our faces and rushing past our ears, we were at one with the elements and our human companions understood us.
The humans who admired us guarded us jealously, we were fed the best of the food they had to offer. We were shown off and given the freedom to do what we wanted. We were admired and envied. We chased and we hunted and the power of our genes and the blood coursing through our veins driven by our pounding hearts grew. We were the most magnificent dogs that had ever been, and our human companions continued to understand us. They listened to my story, the story of my ancestors who lived with them.
For millennia my ancestors hunted and chased as they had always done, our past lost in the mists of time and our future ahead for eternity in the forests and moors. But my ancestors did not know that they were hunting and chasing into their setting sun.
Human laws and rules got in the way of things as rules and laws tend to do, and we were stopped from hunting and chasing as our ancient forebears had done. We had to stick to rules and our human companions who still understood us made sure that our genes and the blood coursing through our veins driven by our pounding hearts were still allowed to do their work. We chased and hunted our quarry some of the time and then the humans made tracks for us to chase and hunt on at other times. That was where it all started to go wrong. There were other humans, who didn’t understand us thought that we should not chase our quarry on fields and so, eventually, we were stopped from doing it. But our genes and our blood that coursed through our veins driven by our pounding hearts still wanted to go on. We wanted to feel the wind in our faces and rushing past our ears, but we were restricted to a sand track and our quarry wasn’t a hare or a rabbit, it was a wind sock. But our humans, our companions still understood us and over time we got used to the windsock and in our own way, when we were chasing that windsock, we were back with our ancestors on the ancient moors and forests, chasing and hunting our quarry with the wind in our faces and rushing past our ears and our blood coursing through our veins driven by our pounding hearts. We still had humans who understood us.
Then people who didn’t understand us and didn’t even try to understand us or our genes or our blood coursing through our veins driven by our pounding hearts said that we should stop. They said we should be pets, that we should live in houses and walk on leads and never chase a hare or a rabbit or a windsock ever again. They didn’t understand that we greyhounds, we noblest of dogs, we the most ancient of dogs were best served living together as a family until we were nearly grown, running in fields and paddocks, chasing leaves and the wind and each other and learning how to be greyhounds, the noblest of dogs, the most ancient of dogs. Our chasing on those sand tracks driven by our genes with our blood coursing through our veins driven by our pounding hearts, those people said that should stop…………………………and we should leave our family group when we were still babies and live in houses and walk on leads and learn to ignore what we are, living with people who do not understand us.
And so it happened. The last of the greyhounds trotted off the last of the sand tracks, they went to homes where they lived as pets and tried so hard to ignore those genes, that blood which flowed uneasily through their veins driven by their slowing hearts, all at the will of the humans who didn’t understand us and didn’t bother to find out about us.
We didn’t have fields or forests or sand tracks to chase our quarry on, we had nothing. And so there was no point to our existence, not even for us. Only the people who didn’t understand us thought this was worthwhile. Greyhounds didn’t have any more litters, not one was born, greyhounds were soon all but gone. Now I am the last of the greyhounds, I am old, but I can still well remember the wind in my face and my ears, being driven by my genes and the blood coursing through my veins driven by my pounding heart, but that memory is all that is left in me. I am the last greyhound, remember my story, the story of my ancestors, it will not be told again.
We greyhounds, the most ancient of dogs, the most noble of dogs will become creatures of myth, like the dragon and the unicorn. Creatures of fantasy and make belief. One day, nobody will believe that dogs of such nobility, grace and speed could ever have existed. Remember my story my dear friend, my companion for so many long years, my heart will soon be still and yours will be broken. We will be an entwined memory. You loved me my friend, you understood.
(copyright Jayne Conway 2019)