Sweet Sammi

Smithton vet Craig Dwyer with children Willem, 9 (left), Hunter 6 and Hugh, 10, and pets Sammi and George. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

Adoption. At home, Sammi the greyhound is placid enough to rest happily as her six-year-old master lays on top of her. In public, she must wear a muzzle.

Smithton vet Craig Dwyer says his family’s newest addition – a four-year-old adopted greyhound – is the most beautifully natured pet one could ask for.

“It’s law in Tasmania that in public, greyhounds have to be on a lead and wear a muzzle and you can’t let them off . . . just because if they do chase something they can’t hurt anything they catch,” Craig said.

Despite the mandatory muzzle set for all greyhounds, Craig says the family’s second dog – a playmate for Maltese-cross George – “would never hurt a fly”.

“George is such a pain to her – he’ll bite her and pull on her tail and she’s so tolerant, she doesn’t do anything . . . but I suppose people see them with a muzzle on and worry that they’re a dangerous dog.”

It is the family’s first greyhound adoption and according to Craig, the process was simple.

When retired from racing, temperament-tested dogs are chosen for the Greyhound Adoption Program and put into foster care for six to eight weeks where they learn to live with a family.

With profiles of each of the dogs up for adoption online, the family was able to choose the dog that best suited them: Sammi, known on the race track as Fyllbirt (20 starts, one win and seven places) was their choice.

“They’re bred to chase, they say you’ve got to be careful with little things that run fast when you first get them, and so we socialised them (George and Sammi) over a week or so.”

A large backyard, three active boys to play with and regular walks make for a content dog, one that is happy to spend much of the day lazing around.

“The only thing we have to do now is give her a break because George likes to play all day,” Craig laughed.

For more information about the Greyhound Adoption Program go to gaptas.org.au.

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