FROM RACER TO THERAPY DOG
My name is Bertie, aka Pantone Deal (racing name), I was retired from the track at the age of three, having raced at 54 meetings (mainly in Newcastle).
I won a lot and was well placed in the others.
I am an Irish hound, I was sent to the Scottish Borders branch of the RGT (Retired Greyhound Trust) to await adoption.
In May 2013 I was adopted by my humans, or perhaps I should say that I adopted them as I definitely chose them.
Since finding my "furever" home I have never looked back.
I am such a calm, well mannered boy (as most greyhounds are) that my humans decided to have me assessed to become a therapy dog.
I passed the tests with flying colours and for the past three and a half years have been visiting the residents of two Care Homes in the local community.
Nurse Fiona Williams said "His visits bring so much pleasure to the residents. He is such a gentle dog and never flinches when getting gentle and sometimes not so gentle pats! It is such fantastic tactile stimulation for people with dementia and triggers happy memories of much loved pets. It's amazing for us to see some residents who can be withdrawn becoming animated and interacting with Bertie."
And it's not just the residents who look forward to my visits but the staff too. I have befriended the chef in one of the Homes and know exactly how to get to the kitchen where a nice bit of ham has my name on it!
As well as being ideal therapy dogs, greyhounds make fantastic additions to a family and, contrary to the myth that we need lots of exercise, two 20-30 minute walks a day are all we need.
We love to lie in sunbeams and snooze a lot, so it’s no surprise we are called “40mph couch potatoes” and this makes us the perfect dogs for older people too.
If you’ve ever doubted that a greyhound might be for you, doubt no longer and get yourself along to your nearest greyhound rescue.