Jack the Greyhound zooms around his yard in Wynnum West as if he’s always had a happy home. The sun bounces off his sleek black coat as he races around for a few minutes, pausing occasionally to nudge one of his stuffed animals.
Jack’s life has not always been so carefree. He raced until he was 3.5 years old, when Terri and her husband Charles adopted him from Gumtree Greys, which rescues greyhounds not only from the duress of track life but from a likely early death. Thousands of greyhounds are put down yearly if they are poor racers or grow too old for the sport, according to Gumtree Greys.
Many people assume that Greyhounds require a lot of exercise because they are bred to race around a track, but Jack proves that’s a myth. He does race around the yard for a few minutes at a time, a popular greyhound past time known as “zoomies.” But while greyhounds can reach speeds of up to 70 km per hour, they don’t need a lot of exercise. Jack is tired after 20 or 30 minutes of walking, and many greyhounds’ favorite activity after “zoomies” is “snoozies.”
Greyhounds don’t jump well and so can stay in yards with only a hip-height fence. Many dog experts recommend them as good pets for apartment-dwellers. They are inclined to chase small animals because that is how racers train them, so not all of them can live with a cat.
Jack is also extremely well trained because track life is tightly controlled. He is gentle on a lead and will even interrupt a long sniff if he’s asked to come along. He’s also careful with Terri’s toddler daughter.
Terri, a nurse, became interested in adopting a greyhound after reading about their plight as racing dogs. When Gumtree Greys appeared at an adoption event at a local pet shop, Terri and Charles attended.
“Jack came right over and was all personality, wanting pets, whereas a lot of greys are shy when they first come out,” Terri say