Thursday, 24 April 2008

Greyhounds

Edward, Duke of York, was a writer, his principal work being The Master of Game, written during a well-deserved spell in prison. (He is also reputed to have been a poet, though the one work I have seen attributed to him suggests he was not exactly up there with Chaucer.)

The Master of Game is a fascinating book, covering most aspects of medieval hunting in great detail. Much of it is a translation from an earlier work by Gaston Phoebus Count of Foix, but Edward did add five chapters of his own. One thing that becomes clear from Edward's writing is his regard for greyhounds. He classes them as 'fit for a knight or his lady' - in effect dogs for the nobility. Hunting was, of course, the preserve of the landed classes in the middle ages, although it was common for monks and other clergy to take part in the sport. (Monks often got in trouble for keeping unauthorised greyhounds.)

The reason I mention this is that greyhounds in our modern world are a much-abused breed, and need as much of our help as possible. If you can find it in your heart to give one a home, please do so - you will be rewarded with a loyal and loving companion, albeit one who may need to be watched while it learns not to chase cats and other small animals! Contrary to what you might think, they don't need a lot of exercise, and are more likely to wear out your sofa than your legs.

If you can't have one at home, why not sponsor one of the many rescue centres? You could do a lot worse than join me in supporting Tia Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue. They do a great job for these aristocratic animals!

5 comments:

Lady D. said...

Brian - I adore Greyhounds and lurchers! In fact I have a whippet x bedlington lurcher myself. Can't recommend them enough, especially as they don't need the exercise some people think they do - they aren't called 45mph couch potatoes for nothing.
All rescue services for these lovely creatures are worthy of support as they really do suffer some terrible things. Another great rescue charity is Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue.
As you said, these dogs were once the royalty of dogs and now they tend to get treated as dirt! Well done for bringing this up!

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

We lost our beloved greyhound last summer. He was 14. His name was Dax and he was my brindle boy. He was rescued from a track down in Florida -- he was still a puppy when we got him and had never even raced. He and his brother were going to be destroyed simply because they were "runts". Had we not had to take in a "dog of divorce" from a family member, I might have added another greyhound to our brood (we have five dogs). I would like to have another one, one day. I miss him terribly and, sometimes, as I'm sitting at the computer, I still think I feel his nose on my arm.

Lady D. said...

Sorry to hear about Dax, Lynn. They are so like your children that when they go it leaves a big hole in the heart. [[Big hugs]]. I often still think of and remember the doggy companions in my past.

Brian said...

I'm delighted to find myself in company with people who have such good taste in dogs! Lynn, I sympathise over the loss of Dax, I have been there and felt the pain. I miss having a greyhound about but family circumstances make it impossible right now, hence the sponsoring as substitute.

It's sad that these beautiful animals are so often abused but sadly they are. The various rescue services do a wonderful job.

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

They are indeed beautiful -- and sweet -- animals. Their treatment really makes me sick. Even though, I can't adopt another one right now, I think I will make a donation to the local rescue group in Dax's name.