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Hello From Ireland


Guest GreyOrchard
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Guest GreyOrchard

I joined here a few weeks ago but only just saw the introduction section today. Thought I should introduce myself. For more than 10 years I have owned and run my own private greyhound sanctuary in Ireland (am from the US but have not lived there in over 20 years). I specialized in very poor cases because I had some of the knowledge and all of the patience and space for it. Here, they lived in a non-kennel environment and recovered from all sorts of trauma, had 2+ acres of grassy enclosed space, and learned to be real pets. They also learned their individual names and household manners, developed social and communication skills, and otherwise became solid citizens. I set them up in small, carefully selected groups, and each group had their own living space, which usually was set up a little bit like a living room/bedoom. I did this by myself but am having to do less of it now due to health and other reasons. I called it Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary.

 

While having less dogs in the past year, I have used some of the extra time it brought to finish a book based on my hands-on experiences: Understanding Greyhounds: Our Companions Through the Ages (Amazon). I wrote the book because I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about greyhounds. During the time I was in full swing and had anywhere from 12-20 dogs here, I began to find that many of the assumptions about them were not true or only half true. Even well-known greyhound rescue people turned out to be not as hands-on as they made out to be, and I soon found that under certain circumstances I could take liberties with them and have expectations of them that were considered impossible...like taking a small group out walking and running off leash in vast fields, socializing many of them to live with cats, and much more. I began to do some careful historical research of how greyhounds were cared for over the centuries, and read interesting advice from 200, 400, 700 and even 2000 years ago. Very little of it was to be found in any of the books on greyhounds as pets, and some of the advice I found from the distant past was excellent. I used the archives of a major British university for the research.

 

When I had a lot more dogs I hardly had time to participate in disucssion boards. Now that I have only a handful of dogs, this board was recommended to me, so here I am. I should add that I am not a behaviourist, but that I know of few to no behaviourists with extensive sighthound experience (on an individual or pack basis), and if they would read Ray and Lorna Coppinger's work, they would know that sighthounds are indeed "wired" differently than other dogs.....getting through to them and expectations of them just might need to be tweaked a bit from approaches used on Cocker Spaniels and Dobermans, for example.

 

So that's my starting point. If I offer advice, it comes from direct experience with these dogs. Most of the time I just enjoy reading the different posts and seeing greyhound photos. I could write more but will stop here. I hope it's ok I wrote all this.

:f_red

 

 

 

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Welcome from Richmond, VA.

 

saw you book on Amazon and I am looking forward to reading it!

groupwindia-greytalk2.jpg

The handsome boy Brady, mid-morning nap. The sun, the sun feels so, so, so good.

I can't keep my eyes open ... ... Retirement agrees ...

... and the Diva Ms India, 2001 - 10/16/2009 ....

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Hello and welcome!

 

We have several members from the UK and it's always interesting to hear how their experiences differ from those of us here in the US, and other countries too!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest GreyOrchard

Thanks for your welcomes. There is a good rapport between the UK and Irish pet greyhound owners. Some Irish rescues home to UK homes as well, since we are all so close and there are so few adequate Irish homes....though it is improving. However, pet greyhounds everywhere have a common heritage, and the greyhounds in the US are only a few generations or even just one generation away from their European heritage....so they are all the same dogs. They all come from the same source and all have the same deep history and selective breeding. Our greyhounds are living history...if we look back in time, we can see a lot of the same sentiments then as we all experience now....here is a sentiment from 600+ years ago that I connected to right away as I reflect on my deceased sighthound companions:

 

The greatest fault of hounds

is that they live not long enough…

Edward of Norwich, c. 1410

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Welcome from Germany. I have three greys from Ireland and I got your book this week, too. Now I just have to read it.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

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Welcome, also, from New Jersey. I just purchased your book for my Kindle and have been wrapped up in it for the better part of the afternoon. Thank you for your love and caring of these beautiful hounds. Greys have been part of my life for many years. They are beautiful and unique and truly their greatest fault is that they live not long enough...

 

Glad you are part of Greytalk!

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Welcome to the board! Always nice to have words of wisdom from the experienced :) Would love to purchase your book, but can't seem to find it anywhere here in Canada (Robin where did you order from?). Thank you for working so hard to help so many greys.

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Guest GreyOrchard

Redhead - here it is at Amazon in Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Greyhounds-Companions-Through-Ages-ebook/dp/B013I80IYI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440884988&sr=8-1&keywords=understanding+greyhounds

 

greyhoundlady -where are you from in NJ? I am from NJ too.

 

Thanks everyone else for your comments. Really nice to read just before going to sleep! It's almost 11pm in Ireland now....

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Guest GreyOrchard

Welcome from Germany. I have three greys from Ireland and I got your book this week, too. Now I just have to read it.

Yes, there are a lot of Irish greyhounds in Germany. Thanks for adopting them! And buying the book!

Hello from Howell, NJ.

Small world. I grew up in Middlesex County....centuries ago... :rolleyes:

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Welcome. I really hope more Irish greyhounds get adopted.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Welcome to Greytalk! :wave

 

I visited you and the dogs at the Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary 2 years ago and learned so much about Greyhounds and Greyhound adoption in Ireland. I almost finished reading your book, lots of great info! :)

Anne, Sasha & Tapas. Spriet (2002-2015), Tibbie (2000-2015) and Gunda (1996-2009)

www.sighthoundgoodies.com

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Guest GreyOrchard

Welcome to Greytalk! :wave

 

I visited you and the dogs at the Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary 2 years ago and learned so much about Greyhounds and Greyhound adoption in Ireland. I almost finished reading your book, lots of great info! :)

Hi Anne! Thanks for the nice words!

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Grey Orchard! Hi From Tampa Bay, Florida.

 

All of my own greys and most of my fosters have had Irish lines.

 

I'm going to look for your book on Amazon. I love learning about their history. I think most people really underestimate these dogs, even many of the people that regularily work with them. Hopefully as they get more associated with being pets than with racing, that will change.

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Guest GreyOrchard

Grey Orchard! Hi From Tampa Bay, Florida.

 

All of my own greys and most of my fosters have had Irish lines.

 

I'm going to look for your book on Amazon. I love learning about their history. I think most people really underestimate these dogs, even many of the people that regularily work with them. Hopefully as they get more associated with being pets than with racing, that will change.

I completely agree with you. When I first started doing this I got all sorts of misinformation from greyhound rescue "experts" and the man on the street - turns out one of the "big experts" in rescue never even owned a greyhound and another was basically afraid of them. The few racing people who saw the dogs here just could not understand how on earth I was able to keep them from fighting! What???

 

History.....someone has mentioned to me that I should write a book on sighthound/greyhound origins. We all know the recent history, she said, but it all gets confusing back in Egyptian times with Pharoah hounds, tesem dogs, sloughi-types, what some call "jackals" and more. There is a lot to be uncovered...recently someone I know doing research on the origins of writing showed me some passages in a document from about 1800BCE where someone who kills a "trained dog" - meaning a hunting dog - was to be punished with 500 lashes of a horsewhip and 500 more lashes of another kind of whip......hmmmm..............

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Guest GreyOrchard

Welcome. I really hope more Irish greyhounds get adopted.

 

So do I! There are more dogs than responsible homes here. Although there is a "pet culture" here, there are still too many homes where people believe dogs are "dirty" and should only live outside. Makes me crazy.

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Guest Kryspen

Both my hounds have Irish origins, but I am really concerned that more retired greyhounds find homes. And I encourage people looking to adopt greys in the UK to concentrate their search on specialist rescue centres, especially those run by the Retired Greyhound Trust. In our recent search for a hound to adopt we visited a general dogs home, and a privately run greyhound kennels as well as an RGT home, where Pebbles finally came from.

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History.....someone has mentioned to me that I should write a book on sighthound/greyhound origins. We all know the recent history, she said, but it all gets confusing back in Egyptian times with Pharoah hounds, tesem dogs, sloughi-types, what some call "jackals" and more. There is a lot to be uncovered...recently someone I know doing research on the origins of writing showed me some passages in a document from about 1800BCE where someone who kills a "trained dog" - meaning a hunting dog - was to be punished with 500 lashes of a horsewhip and 500 more lashes of another kind of whip......hmmmm..............

 

You might be interested to see this article Martin Roper wrote in 2008.

 

Everything You Know Is Wrong
In the 1970s, an American comedy troupe comparable to Monty Python was the Firesign Theater. They never reached the superstar status of their English counterparts, but their albums were popular on college campuses across the country. The title of one of them, Everything You Know is Wrong, has become a personal motto of mine—it seems that almost daily new discoveries in science and exploration make us reassess what we once held to be true.

 

The same can be said for Greyhounds. A long-held belief, published as fact in dozens of books and repeated on hundreds of web sites, is that the breed is of Egyptian or Middle-Eastern origin. The assertion is puzzling because there are no Greyhound breeds presently residing in the Middle East. The Saluki, Sloughi, and Afghan Hound are clearly of a different type than modern Greyhounds, and it’s hard to imagine that they descend from a common ancestor. On the other hand, Greyhounds and Greyhound-type dogs are common in central Europe, Spain and the British Isles. As early as 1853, John Henry Walsh, writing under the pseudonym "Stonehenge," made a clear case for a Celtic origin for the breed in his book The Greyhound, but not too many authors since him seem to have been able to make the same connection.

 

From the beginning of the first millenium B.C., the Greeks were seafarers and traders and regularly visited ports all along the southeastern Mediterranean in what is now Egypt and the Middle East. Much of what we know of that area in those times was recorded by Greek historians and there is no mention of Greyhounds. The breed was completely unknown to them prior to 200 B.C., the time of their first encounters with the Keltoi, as they called them, a tribal culture from the north. In 300 B.C., Xenophon made no mention of Greyhounds in his discussion of dog breeds in his treatise On Hunting. Two centuries later, the poet Grattius wrote of the Celts’ dogs that, "...swifter than thought or a winged bird it runs, pressing hard on beasts it has found." Arrian, another Greek, but who wrote in Latin, clearly identified the Vertragus, the predecessor of the modern Greyhound.

 

The Celtic culture flourished from what is now Austria, west to northern Spain, and north to the farthest reaches of the British Isles and Ireland. Everywhere they went they took their dogs with them and left offshoots of the Vertragus. In Spain it was the Galgo; in the British Isles, it was a bewildering array of sighthounds in a wide variety of sizes and coats, from giant dogs we now call Wolfhounds to "Tumblers," by contemporary accounts a Whippet-sized dog. The Celts made no distinction among their sighthound varieties. To add to the confusion, English writers up until the 16th century called all the larger Celtic dogs "Greyhounds," and the dog we call the Greyhound today, the "Coursing dog." Irish Wolfhounds in those days were prized in Europe for hunting Boar, and the demand for the largest Greyhounds "of the Irish type" was great and they fetched tremendous prices.

 

The present Greyhounds, the ones we love, are the result of the coursing craze after the death of the Forest Laws in the 17th century which prevented commoners from coursing or even owning Greyhounds. The coursing rules of the day dictated a very specific range of performance and traits, and those are the ones we see in our dogs today. Almost all the other varieties of Celtic sighthounds disappeared. Even the Irish Wolfhound is a re-creation of a breed that had all but gone extinct.

 

Two recent landmark genetic studies have confirmed Walsh to be correct. The first, "Multiple and Ancient Origins of the Domestic Dog" (1997), traced the mitochondrial DNA from ancient times to the present day Greyhound. Interestingly, three other breeds derive from the same strain, the St. Bernard, Miniature Schnauzer, and the Irish Setter, which suggests male-line introductions of other breeds to Greyhound-line females who were the foundations of those breeds. All three originate in areas where Celtic culture flourished.

 

The second, and more definitive study, "Genetic Structure of the Purebred Domestic Dog" (2004), used Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), clumps of identical DNA strings that appear in groups of breeds, but often not in others. The study clearly showed that Salukis and Afghan Hounds were part of an "Asian" group along with the Chow, Akita, and Shar-pei. Predictably, the Greyhound appeared in what I’ll call the "Celtic" group along with the Irish Wolfhound, but also as a progenitor of more recent breeds including the Whippet, Borzoi, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, and the St. Bernard. A glance at a map clearly shows that all those breeds originate within the influence of Celtic culture in Europe.

 

It’s time the Celts got their due as the caretakers of the breed, not Egyptian Pharoahs or Mesopotamian kings who never saw a Greyhound.

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Guest GreyOrchard

 

 

You might be interested to see this article Martin Roper wrote in 2008.

 

 

Thanks for that! Just read it,. All the sources he mentions I have used in the book, and much more. I agree with some things he has written and not others. For example, what he says about the greyhounds today not really appearing until after the death of the Forest Laws in the 17th century is very vague, especially since King Kanute's (Cnut's) Forest Laws have turned out to be a forgery. Since he does not indicate WHICH Forest Laws he is referring to, one can only assume he is referring to the FL eveyone talks about in regard to greyhounds. And he really does not tell us anything about how these dogs suddenly appeared on the scene. The historical record would really disagree with some of his claims.

 

Also, referring to a "definitive" DNA study that was for him in 2008 "only" 4 years old is....well, it's not necessarily definitive since DNA technology is improving constantly and is far better than it was 4 years earlier....Also, it was certainly not Walsh who figured out that greyhounds were from the Celts, but it is very clearly pointed out in Arrian's Cynegeticus (On Coursing), written around 140AD/CE. If he wants to refer to DNA studies and the relatedness of the different sighthound breeds, he can look at any of the work by Dominique Crapon de Caprona, who is a biologist and just about the top sloughi person in the world today. Just google de Caprona +DNA and you will see some very very interesting stuff there....like sloughis seem to be a link between African and Meditarranean breeds, and show greyhounds and racing greyhounds in the US show some huge differences....and much more. Walsh certainly wrote a lot of interesting things and had some great observations, and he might have been one of the first English language authors to make the claim about vertragus and the Celts...but that is only because Arrian's Cynegeticus was not translated into English until, if I remember correctly, about 1811.

 

Part of the reason why I wrote the 2 historical chapters was to correct the misinformation that is out there. However, the development of the sighthound breeds is still very vague. I mean, here is something to think about: sure the Celts and pre-Celts lived in the great forests of Europe, and when some of them migrated to England and Ireland in pre-Christian times, they brought their hounds with them...but...apparently there were people living in Ireland before the Celts...so did the Celts bring the hounds or were those hounds already native to Ireland? And the mythology about the Iberian Celts is that they sailed from the the nothwest tip of Spain, due north, to the south west coast of Ireland....where even today you can visit sites from 1000 and 1500BC and older in that part of Ireland....and it is well known the Iberian Celts were trading with the Phoenecians...who were from the Middle East... or were the red-haired Phoenecians the red haired Celts?....sooooo.....where DID these dogs come from? Very confusing! Between the DNA work that does exist and the historical and pre-historical record, it would be nice to get a slightly better grasp on our hounds and their origins.

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