Monday, 2 September 2013

NORTHANTS RETIRED GREYHOUND TRUST SHOW

This weekend no birding was done apart from what flew into the garden, which wasn't much except my chirpy little old sparrows, the juvenile robin and a dunnock (birders log off now)....big deal.
Saturday was an odd day but can't really talk to much about it otherwise someone may loose their job but involved a wolf, not a wild one roaming the Northants countryside :o) , but not a wolf dog either, google wolfdog, might shock you, it did me, but check the wiki' links on google makes for fascinating reading but when a friend changes his job at the end of September I'll shall come back to the wolf encounter....
Sunday was the Northants Retired Greyhound Trust fundraiser, they have two during the year to raise funds for ex-racers and a chance for like minded owners to meet up and potential/perspective owners looking at re-homing greyhounds to come and have look. The first of the year was cancelled due to the weather and is held in the grounds of some country house/school which was a shame as it's lovely setting, the second at the end of August/September used to be held at Towcester Horse Racing course, the owners have also opened a greyhound racing track, so as you can imagine during the planning stages protest were made and the owners obviously miffed by the protest said "no more"....now myself I think the actions by the protesters were justified, I've seen myself the actions of SOME trainers and what they've done with their dogs once they've finished with them, I've to date have owned 5 ex racers, 4 of which were treated appallingly by their trainers/owners BUT I've got one current one James racing name James Destiny, who's owner is one of many good trainers, in fact Jim's (James) temperament (very friendly) I put down to his previous owners care and love for his dogs.
 I felt the protesters should've approached the owners of the race course and asked for free access during race meetings, and to set up a stall to raise money, meet some of the owners/trainers and exchanged details so when they retire their dogs they might contact them to re-home them......
 Also the new location is the lawn area at the front of the Holiday Inn at Crick, within earshot of the motorway! However the kind hotel staff provided good cheap food and buckets of cold water for the dogs and were very friendly (plug over), despite the location there was good number of people (not as many as normally at the first show or at the previous location for the second show) perhaps it was the location or perhaps the fact there was another greyhound show being held, who knows but to be honest, I'm not a fan of this site...hotel staff exempt, it's the road and nearby lorry weighbridge that concern me.
Still the sun was out and when the welcomed strong cooling breeze dropped the sun was hot, very hot I look like a lobster...ooops!
"AREN'T GREYHOUNDS HARD TO HANDLE?"...NOPE!
 A pack of greyhounds above were in for some treats from the stands, in fact loads greyhounds everywhere it was nice to see so many variations, here are a couple of my greyhounds,
MY 11 MONTH OLD MACK

TAKING A BREAK, WHIMMSY

WHIMMSY
Whilst my mum was showing the hounds in the ring I managed a few images of Whimmsy and Mack, sadly not too many of Jim (james) as everytime I had him with me loads of people kept coming over too talk, I'm not complaining, I'll talk for ages about greyhounds to anyone willing to listen, he's not shy nor nervous and tries to make eye contact with people as they walk past, if they look at him he wags his tail and most stop to chat and pet him, if they ignore him, he whinges, which makes the passing person stop, laugh and come over and say hello....smart cookie, good trainer...not me. I did get some of him I'll post them later in the "Canine Friends" tab.
So I spent time photographing other greyhounds...here's a few...
REMINDED ME OFF THE DOG FROM THE AMERICAN COMEDY, THE RASCALS?

TYPICAL RETIRED GREYHOUND "LAZY WALK"

 Some might be a bit squeamish of a three legged dog, but don't be, sadly some greyhounds suffer bad breaks and legs are amputated, some might say "put it down", "cruel" or "not nice", however I lost count of the number of greyhounds with a leg missing that are very content and happy and apart from the obvious slower walk/run are none the worse off for being three legged. Obviously some care and considerations have to be taken in to account, but greyhounds by their nature are very good at balancing, my dog Jim travels standing up leaning into corners and has never once fallen over, which amazes me, considering how I drive!!!
THESE DANGLING COLLARS WOULDN'T LAST TWO SECONDS WITH MY DOGS, NOR THE SCARVES
But it wasn't just greyhounds, it's a companion show, so all dogs welcomed and many various breeds were present....
IRISH WOLFHOUND
The above breed is one my favourite and if my house was bigger one I would seriously think about having, the Irish Wolfhound, for me as a photographer a dream subject, give me some mud, a puddle and a willing owner and I would be a happy photographer for a few hours.
PIP, A 14 WEEK OLD ITALIAN GREYHOUNDxLURCHER,
Spent an age with the Nikon Coolpix trying to photograph Pip an Italian Greyhound cross Lurcher, so,so cute and playful, other images from the 1d mark3 and 300mmf/2.8, too big of lens.
"Pssst, I THINK THEY'VE SUSSED OUT WE'RE NOT GREYHOUNDS"


Haven't got a clue what the above breed is, almost didn't see it in the grass!
My Jim and Mack got first place in brace (walking two dogs together) which won me a bronze statue and a 15 kilogram bag of dog food producded by a company in Northatnts, the bag when sold raises money for the Retired Greyhound Trust which is really good idea. Jim got a second place rosette in his individual class, Mack got second and Whimmsy got a third, the rosette's will be donated back to the Northants Greyhound Trust (all our rosette's from Kennel Club and other dog shows get donated back, saves money and materials remaking new ones).
Great day was had talking to other greyhound owners, meeting people who hadn't considered a greyhound as a pet and other dog owners, there is one other thing to note, we did have a large area to walk the dogs and me being a birder who hates plastic dog pooh bags and treading in pooh I was also pleased to see no plastic bags lurking in the grass and hedges and no pooh to step in after the show, brilliant and without sounding to condescending, well done for not laving a mess behind.
Sorry if you're not "into" dogs but I am.....love them as much as wildlife and photography.

2 comments:

  1. This is a brilliant organisation.

    I've never met a greyhound or Lurcher that wasn't friendly and sociable. They are wonderful dogs. Were the van bigger I'd have one.

    The last dog is a miniature Dachshund. A badger hound. My aunt used to have some full sized ones. Little devils they were.

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    1. Adrian, The Retired Greyhound Trust (stand in top image) and the Northants Retired Greyhound Trust are great organisations, alot of hard work and some of if can be very nasty at times.
      Forget the bigger van, by three hog the sofas, beds and fridge you'd need a lorry lol.
      Minature Dachshund, that was it, thanks. Yep people easily forget what certain breeds were originally used for, look at Jack Russels by aunts used to nip at my ankles, it was an actual cattle herder.

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