Our fun with Frankie

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den

IN my fi nal col­umn, I thought it would be re­miss of me not to let read­ers meet one of my pets, so let me tell you about my res­cued grey­hound Frankie.

My girl­friend Hay­ley was dead- set on get­ting a dog. For her, any dog would do – she loves them all.

I was a lit­tle bit more par­tic­u­lar about what I wanted. We took many trips to the dogs home but it was a chance meet­ing out­side work with an owner of two grey­hounds which kicked my mind into gear about the prospect of get­ting one.

We were look­ing on Emma Haswell’s Bright­side Farm web­site at their dogs for adop­tion and they had a whip­pet named China we were both in­ter­ested in, so the next day we drove down to Bright­side unan­nounced, only to fi nd it closed.

I called Emma and she said she wasn’t home but that there were vol­un­teers there and we were wel­come to have a look at the dogs for adop­tion.

She in­quired about how high our fences were at home and said they defi nitely wouldn’t be high enough to house China, who was known to leap over a 2m fence and run away.

Frankie, her sis­ter Lexi and mum Mag­gie May had all just ar­rived at Bright­side.

As soon as Hay­ley saw the two sis­ters she grabbed their leads and took them for a walk up the drive­way. When she re­turned, she said Frankie was the one she wanted.

Emma told us Frankie was re­tired from rac­ing be­fore she even got started be­cause she would only chase the lure for about 30m and then lose in­ter­est. Whether that was lazi­ness or her just be­ing too in­tel­li­gent, it has worked out fan­tas­ti­cally for Hay­ley and I. When we take her to the park for a run, she’ll of­ten re­alise she’s got open ground and go tear­ing around for a cou­ple min­utes be­fore walk­ing back up to us and say­ing, ‘ OK, I’ve had enough, we can go home now’.

We were amazed at how in­tel­li­gent and quickly she trans­formed from be­ing a creature whose sole in­ten­tion was to race with other dogs to be­ing a do­mes­ti­cated pet.

It only took Hay­ley a cou­ple of days to teach her to sit, lie down and “speak” on com­mand. We bought her a bed and put it in the foyer of our house and after two nights she re­alised when we went to bed it was time for her to go too.

She’s a bit of a sook though – she’s pretty scared of other dogs, which is quite amus­ing when you see a lit­tle puppy or a small dog run at her at the park and she just bolts in the other di­rec­tion.

It’s quite weird be­cause she wants to make friends with all other an­i­mals be­sides dogs. Our next- door neigh­bour’s cat spends a lot of time asleep in our front yard and Frankie al­ways goes up to it want­ing to make friends, but that is defi nitely not re­cip­ro­cated. And don’t even get me started on what our two pet rab­bits think of her, even though all she wants to do is be­friend them ( which may be the rea­son she never made it in the ca­reer she was bred for).

A lot of peo­ple in this col­umn gen­er­ally say the best thing about their pet is hav­ing some­thing to come home to – and I would have to agree.

Hay­ley and I couldn’t rec­om­mend highly enough get­ting a grey­hound as a pet. They’re great with peo­ple, es­pe­cially kids, and I think there are a lot of mis­con­cep­tions about the breed, such as that they need heaps of ex­er­cise.

We’re hop­ing to have Frankie for many more years but fur­ther down the track we wouldn’t hes­i­tate in con­sid­er­ing get­ting another grey­hound.

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