Today, I thought we’d take a break from the ‘less than one hundred word story challenge’ and instead have something a little different.
Hugh Carey, owner of retired greyhound, Rich, has written a story in the point of view of his dog. Hugh hopes to raise awareness of how important it is for retired greyhounds to find new homes.
Let’s start with seeing what Rich looks like.
And here’s Rich’s story.
Hi, my greyhound racing name was Caribbean Rich, but now I’m known as ‘Rich’ by two lovely humans, Lorraine and Hugh, who I adopted. I call them Mum and Dad. Woof Woof.
I started life as a puppy sired by a well-known doggie dad called Kinloch Brae. Raised and trained in Ireland racing under the name of Tip and Skip, I managed to receive a best pooch of the litter award. From an early age, I just knew I was destined for greatness and I did indeed perform well. My racing career consisted of eight outright wins and several placings, earning in excess of £5,000. I like to think I paid my way in life.
I’m not into tattoos in a big way, but my dad, Hugh, says I have one in each ear which confirms I must have inherited the luck of the Irish when growing up. I enjoyed the thrill of racing, the many venues I visited and the people within the racing fraternity who touched upon my life, and kept my best interests at heart.
My last race was in 2013 when unfortunately I damaged my foot. This was termed as a wrist injury and my racing career ended abruptly. Luckily for me, I was kept safe until a vacancy became available at Bark Inn Greyhound Rehoming Kennels in Birmingham. I was fed, watered, and kept warm and snug. The lovely staff and volunteers made sure I had regular exercise.
One day, I overheard the staff saying, I was to have my picture taken. Wow. Famous again.
The photo was to help find suitable people for me to adopt, and hopefully get me my forever home, the one I always knew was waiting for me. A word that I hadn’t heard before was mentioned. Retirement. My picture was splashed across the internet. Boy did I look cute?
On Wednesday, Mum and Dad came to visit. They couldn’t take their eyes of me. Home checks were carried out, well, I didn’t want to end up in any old place, did I? It had to be nice and cosy, have a garden, no cats, a big fence to keep me safe, places to go walkies with pleasant smells too.
Saturday arrived. My big day. A car pulled up outside the kennels and two humans climbed out. It was love at first sight for us all. Mum wanted me. Dad wanted me. And most important of all, I wanted them. A brilliant result, this internet dating lark. Yayyyyyyy. Retirement here I come….
My New Home
Tucked in safely with treats, I snuggled down for the long journey to the south coast. A place humans call The Seaside. Whatever that is? We stopped after a four-hour drive and I stepped out. Wow. There was a gentle breeze in the air. I sniffed. I’d never smelt anything like this before. Dad said it was salt I could smell.
So this was the sea. Woof woof. I love it. Blue sky, water as far as my eye could see, and sand like I used to race on. This was Heaven. My choice of location for retirement was absolutely a Doggie Dream.
My dad’s, ninety-year-old dad, was in a nursing home suffering from dementia. One day my dad took me to the home, a building in Worthing, to visit his dad and lots of other elderly residents. Dad introduced me to them all.
They welcomed me with open arms and fussed over me. I loved it to bits. They asked lots of questions about me and made me feel like like a famous VIP.
I didn’t sit down but stayed standing up. I barely barked or made a sound. Dad said I looked regal and majestic as I stood there observing the environment around me. The first thing I noticed was the elderly people’s faces lighting up. Their years of trials and pains slipped slowly away like sticks floating down a river. My reward was watching them smile and laugh. My new-found extended family in the shape of Grandad Bill, and his fellow residents, gave me a warm glow inside.
I visited the nursing home frequently. The first time it was sad to say goodbye, but going back again gave me, and them, the love and affection we needed. No matter how old we get, everyone’s good memories may be triggered by the simplest things in life.
I know that one day I will be old too. For every human year, I age seven years. I’m seven now, so in human terms, that makes me forty-nine. Luckily my mind still tells me I’m a teenager. I can still reach speeds of up to forty miles per hour in six strides if I put my mind to it.
I can safely say, I love my new family and surroundings and know this was the path for which I was destined.
Thank you for reading my story.
And thank you to Hugh for telling Rich’s story on his behalf.