Saturday, January 15, 2011

Can Irony Get Any Better Than This

Tonight, a friend, greyhound friend, asked me where Berry originated.  So I had to check her name and tattoos (ugh!) in the database.

So, the precious angel’s dam is Mountkeeffe Lizz and sire is Flying Viper. 

Ok.  Viper doesn’t excite me much.  Then I read where Mountkeeffe Lizz had 34 offspring.  34?  I was horrified.  I am guessing she was brooded until no longer useful?  Mother of God.  34?

Alas, Berry had no stats associated with her.  Either she did not race or it wasn’t tracked.  If she wasn’t raced, it’s terribly sad she was tattooed in those soft delicate ears.  If you haven’t felt the velvet of a greyhound’s ears, you have missed something wonderful.

I searched Flying Eagle Kennels, where she originated.  And learned of a distemper outbreak where over 100 greyhounds had to be euthanized back in approximately 2003.  There are very ugly details there.  I couldn’t complete that search.  Not at this time.

Not impressed with the details I could find on the kennel, I searched on the owner of the kennel, one Vince Berland.  Another stellar individual who stated:

"We don't have a whole lot going for us," said Vince Berland, a greyhound breeder, "So we'll try anything to keep from having to work for a living."

(This, courtesy of a friend, Ironicus Maximus (2005).)

The more I dig, the worse it gets.  It’s incredibly tragic and I cannot dig further.  It just saddens me.  I just don’t understand the mindset of a person who would willingly breed, race and dispose of these beautiful, loving creatures.  I stopped digging.

So many greyhounds have to suffer for man’s greed. 

Very sad.  My Berry is, and has been, forever safe from that life. 

The irony?  My friend’s Sammy is Berry’s great-great nephew.


Tori said...

It sounds as though Sammy and Berry have more in common than just an ancestor. Sammy never raced either and yet he exhibits classic PTSD symptoms. It sounds as though Berry did also.

Sammy has been with me for two years and, although he has made great progress, he is still frightened of things that my other dogs don't even notice. I never know if our walks will take us all the way to the park or just to the end of the driveway. At some point, he "freezes" or "turns into a statue," usually with his front legs crossed which makes him even more immovable. It's a heartbreaking sight.

I suspect that he didn't race because he was timid and shy to begin with and the harsh training methods just made him shut down completely. I noticed that three of the seven puppies in his litter did not race either. I wonder if they had similar temperaments and were too traumatized to perform on the track.

I guess we will never know exactly what took place in their early lives. Their later lives, however, we know all about those---- nothing but soft beds, comforting words, great food, the best medical care, and love.

Nancy said...

Tori, the later lives are what matter. And yes, Berry did exhibit everything you describe. It does sound as if their temperaments are very similar. Everything traumatized her.

It sounds like Sammy has a set of "Berry Brakes" installed... That was Ber's trick. I tried to walk her once without Schemie while he was recovering from ACL surgery.

We made it 2 houses up and the brakes kicked in. She wouldn't budge an inch. She would do that if I changed routes.



monique said...

You are very brave to dig into Berry's past, Nancy... I have not brought myself into digging very deep into Andra's...
She sometimes have a case of Berry's Brakes, but is ok when I changed directions, after a while, that is...
She had other issues: the video that you so loved, where she was laying in my arms on the couch... those days were gone for quite a while. Any closeness traumatized her after a few months. I had to back up and take it slow. She had at the beginning laid quite contently (I thought) into my arms and suddenly she would lunge and snarl and pretend to bite me. A few times, she hit me with her teeth. Not a "real" bite but enough to scare me. A dog behaviourist that I saw for many months told me that was common, to back off and let her come to me. I did and it is slowly paying off. She never growls at me anymore, is starting to let my husband hug her (that took over 2 years!!)
I will never know how closely confined she must have been to become so scared...
She had only 9 documented races, with months in between. The adoption group told me that if that had been because of an injury, it would be on her papers. But she had a dislocated toe that was badly healed, that is now causing her to limp when she runs too much at the park... How come this was not documented? And no trace either of the multiple scars all over her delicate skin...
As for her "later" life, I let my love heal her... And we still have a way to go, after 2 years and 3 months...

Nancy said...

Dear Monique,

Greyhounds, I have learned, require a lot of patience and a heap more love. Berry taught me that.

Almost 6 years together, it took many years for her to trust. She had the double-whammy of confined to a cage while young and then a very traumatic disruption to her life during the first adoption.

We had our shares of growls and nips when I was trying to dress a wound.

But when it all came down to it, through all the trials of a terrified greyhound, traumatized by bad weather, there was the purest love that emanated from her. And in her final hour, regardless of the horrors of her past, she knew I would have laid down my life for her.

It just takes patience. Just remember the uncertainty she experienced. She's made great progress with you and your husband. And I know she loves you both dearly.