DENMARK greyhound rescuers can now be seen promenading their pooches around town on weekends.
Bill and Robin Dessauer started the monthly walks in June last year after they picked their greyhound, Jorge, up from a national rescue group, Greyhounds as Pets, in Perth the month before.
“We were just following what our daughter was doing in Melbourne,” Mr Dessauer says.
“She’s also got a greyhound, which got us interested in them and she runs a monthly greyhound walk over there in the botanic gardens.
“The main purpose of the walks is to get the hounds and the people walking together and socialising.”
Mr Dessauer says the 20-minute monthly walks in Denmark are good exercise for bipeds and quadrupeds alike.
“The first walk we had last June, we had 17 dogs in it,” he adds.
“From then on, it’s dropped off quite a lot.
“We usually have three or four hounds only, most of them greyhounds, but also whippets, and we have two people who come over from Albany regularly.”
Mr Dessauer says hounds generally get on well together.
“All sorts of hounds, they’re called ‘sighthounds’ because they can see a long way, but the greyhounds, whippets, wolf hounds, lurchers, they all seem to recognise the other hounds as their kin and you very seldom see an altercation between them,” he assures.
“They just accept each other and are friendly to each other and sniff each others’ bums and all the usual things.”
“They love going for a walk, but they’re also couch potatoes, and you bring ‘em home and they’re likely to lay down and sleep until the next walk or the next meal.”
Mr Dessauer says greyhounds are “beautiful dogs” that “virtually become a member of the family”.
“They’re absolutely adorable,” he says.
“The thing about walking a greyhound, you’ve got to expect to take a lot longer with a walk than you would with any other dog because a lot of the people you meet want to stop and talk about them.
“People are interested in them and think they’re lovely dogs but the secret is to get more people to rescue them because the supply exceeds demand.”
Jorge, whose racing name was Weldon Sun, is 4.
Mr Dessauer, who is not a fan of greyhound racing, says Weldon Sun raced through 2017, winning every fifth race on average, and getting a place every two-and-a-half races.
Then Jorge lost interest in racing.
“In the old days they just used to put them down,” Mr Dessauer lamented.
But now, thanks to their adopters, many greyhounds can expect to live out a life of 12 to 14 years in comfort.
Mr Dessauer says greyhounds do not need lots of land, as they are used to being in confined spaces most of the week then being let out to race or train.
“It doesn’t worry them at all,” he says.
“And being couch potatoes, it worries them even less.”
More details of the walks can be found on the ‘Denmark Greyhound Walk’ page on Facebook.