Greyhound has a friend in me

The Barossa Greys will be holding a  greyhound information day on April 8 at the Nuriootpa Linear Park to promote adoption of the big friendly dogs and hopefully encourage people to give a greyhound a second chance at a good life.

Anthony McLean from Tanunda, founder of The Barossa Greys and an Australian veteran, has a great love for his own greyhound, Bonnie, who serves as his companion dog and best friend.

Since Bonnie joined his household, she  has helped Anthony manage his PTSD and give him back his confidence.

For a period of time, Anthony couldn’t leave his home and couldn’t be around other people. Bonnie’s companionship filled a big gap for Anthony.

When Anthony was in the Repat Hospital in Adelaide last year, a lot of veterans had companion or service dogs. He was offered the same opportunity to help him when he left the hospital.

However, he wasn’t keen on the guidelines of a service animal. Anthony preferred to find a companion pet and  started looking into Greyhounds.

The Greyhound Adoption Programme SA (GAPSA) helped find Anthony the perfect greyhound with the right temperament.

Anthony wasn’t sure if he would be able to handle a greyhound, assuming that it would require a lot of work. 

After researching into greyhounds with the help of his family, he learnt how perfectly a greyhound would fit into his life.

“We have been inseparable, 24/7 Bonnie is there. She knows how I am feeling. People think greyhounds need a lot of work, but they are a burst animal. We take Bonnie for a walk in the morning and it is just a sniff-a-thon,” said Anthony.

“A 30 minute walk would be enough to make her sleep all day. Then another walk in the evening. The misconceptions are that they might bite and they are a lot of maintenance and exercise. Greyhounds are far from that.

“The number one thing is that most people that are animal lovers would be anti-racing. It is giving that animal another life. They are a fantastic

Anthony continued that greyhounds are great with children, can be very therapeutic, are very calm dogs, and greyhounds are used in nursing homes and hospitals after they pass on to their green collars.

Greyhounds with a green collar or leash means the dog has been through a socialisation programme and it has passed tests with small children and small animals, able to walk on a lead, can walk in public, and more.

Any dog without a green colour has to wear a muzzle. A blue collar/leash greyhound is on its “L plates”. Blue collar greyhounds go into foster homes to learn socialisation skills.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.

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