Retired Greyhound Trust
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History of the Greyhound

The ancestors of modern Greyhounds were used in hunting and kept as companions. Many Egyptians considered the birth of such a hound second in importance only to the birth of a son. when the pet hound died the entire family would go into mourning.

The favorite hounds of the upper class were mummified and buried with their owners. The walls of Egyptian tombs were often decorated with images of their hounds. An Egyptian tomb painting from 2200bc portrays dogs that look like the modern Greyhound.
The pharaohs that were known to own greyhound type dogs were Tutankhamen and Cleopatra 7th.

Centuries of breeding have resulted in the most remarkable breed of dog known to man - the Greyhound. The Greyhounds streamlined body is that of the ultimate canine athlete, which has not signified deviation since ancient times. Greyhound or greyhound like canines have appeared throughout the centuries in artistry, poetry, literature, and within the tombs of the ancient pyramids. The exact historical origin of the Greyhound is unknown. It's origin has been thought to be Africa, Greece, Middle East or Turkey. We do know that the Greyhounds historical lineage is greatly rooted in ancient history dating back thousands of years, making the Greyhound the oldest pure bred canine. Some say the Greyhounds date back over 4000 years ago.

Throughout time Greyhounds have been bred for one thing... Speed. Greyhounds are a member of the sighthound family and primarily hunt by eyesight, as apposed to other canines, which use scent. Greyhounds have the ability to see distances up to half a mile away. Another characteristic of the sighthound is the instinct to chase. Greyhounds are noted for reaching speeds up to 45mph in 3 strides. collectively, throughout history these attributes made the Greyhound an excellent and well adapted hunter.

There is much speculation as to the origin of the name "Greyhound" contrary to what some people may think the word Greyhound does not come from their colour. In fact there is no real "Grey" Greyhound the closest thing to grey is a blue or steel colour, actually it is not very common. Some believe it stems from the word "Gaze" hound, which is another word for sighthound. Other possibilities include from the word "Graius" or Grecian Meaning Greek, the Latin word "Gracillius" meaning slender or slim, the old British Word "Grech" or "Greg" meaning dog, or "Hundr" meaning hunter. Whereas others assert the name simply implies "Greathound". Regardless of their exact lineage and name derivations, Greyhounds are one of the most unique breeds in the world, recognized for their elegant appearance, grace, gentleness, agility and speed. The and silhouette of a Greyhound running, full speed, muscles contracted, legs stretched is a rare beauty in respect to the rest of the canine world. these remarkable creatures have been a symbol of pride and respect  for many great civilizations. The following are just some of the impressions the Greyhound has made throughout history. The first evidence of long, lean canines resembling the Greyhound appeared in temple drawings in the city of Catal-huyuk in Turkey. the temple drawing dating back to 600bc depict a Greyhound like canine assisting a hunter. Around 4000bc now Iran, a funeral vase was made and beautified with the depiction of Greyhound like Canines.Greyhounds were the most valuable possession of the Egyptian Pharaohs, adored for their speed, grace.elegance and loyalty. Cleopatra and King Tutankhamen had Greyhounds. Figures of the Pharaohs greyhounds were often carved into the walls of their tombs or mummified alongside their masters. In ancient Egypt the birth of a Greyhound was often second in importance to the birth of a son.Entire families would mourn the passing of a Greyhound by shaving their heads, fasting and weeping out loud. the Greyhound is the only canine mentioned in the bible! Proverbs chapter 30 verses 29-31 King James Version (This should have you all getting your Bibles out to check and see if it's correct).

Greyhound racing was believed to have begun in 1876 in Hendon North London but the first official meeting was at Belle Vue in Manchester in 1926. Greyhound racing continued to expand to official and unofficial tracks throughout the country and the Greyhounds life was far from satisfactory after their racing life had come to an end. In 1976 a small group of Greyhound owners, Trainers and kennel hands formed the Retired Greyhound Trust. The objective of the trust was to help owners find homes for their Greyhounds when they finished racing.

The Retired Greyhound Trust has come on in leaps and bounds over the past thirty years and now has a board of directors including veterinarians, financial advisers, a member of parliament and trainers. There are twenty eight registered Greyhound tracks in the United Kingdom, they subscribe to the RGT approximately one third of their outgoings, therefore the other two thirds has to be raised by the 72 Branches by fundraising. Money has to be found to pay for kenneling of Greyhounds, inoculations, vets bills (for example to cover Spaying/castrating), Teeth checkup and first aid. This money has to come from very hard fundraising events, all done by volunteers. In 2011 we found homes for 4,121 Dogs and in 2012 we found homes for 3,910. Last year was a little quieter because of the persistent wet Weather, the distraction of the olympics and the tough economic climate. The first quarter of 2013 has been good for rehoming and we are hopeful this will be an excellent year for the hounds!
at anyone time we have around 800 Greyhounds looking for homes in the 72 branches across Britain (6 in Scotland, 2 in Wales and 64 in England).

After having their second Greyhound and helping other branches to fundraise Ted & Lynette Phillips decided they had enough knowledge and experience to go it alone and form their own branch which the RGT head office was more than delighted with. At the start there was just three people doing all the work involved with fundraising and re-homing that was seven years ago, and today we have now branched out to become Bridlington Branch RGT and have a merry band of volunteers and dog walkers/carers. Covering a much wider area to cover Bridlington-York -Whitby and villages in between down to the Beverley Area.

Our kennels are now based in Nafferton where they are cared for and loved by People who dedicate their time Soleley to looking after dogs including our six Greyhounds awaiting homes. They get far better treatment because of there being a small quantity of Greyhounds.

 Most of the Greyhounds we receive within this branch come from Sunderland Racetrack area.
 Recently we went to visit a new owner and her Greyhound of one hour , to find the Greyhound quite happily sleeping in his new bed, he came to greet us the went back to his bed and continued sleeping. Life of a retired Greyhound consists of waking up, have a walk then breakfast then back to sleep until tea time apart from waking up for the occasional treat or four, when the same thing happens, walk dinner possibly relax and watch TV.In the recent cold months we have had it is very you will see a Greyhound happy to go for a walk, if he/she does they rush straight back into their warm beds when they get home.
Greyhounds are not very energetic, they will go with whatever pace you are going at, if you want a short 10min walk or a long ramble. As they have very thin skins they normally have a coat on whilst out, and when it is really cold a matching snood to keep their neck and ears warm, but remember they are not being spoilt!!!