Hello my name is Garza and I am a Spanish galgo. I came to England all the way from Spain in March 2002. Before that I was living in kennels in Alicante with lots of other greyhounds and galgos. My friends at the kennels were different ages, with some of my pals as young as two! Most of us had been working dogs – I used to chase rabbits and hares in the Spanish hills. One of my friends Beavis, who I have met since being in England, tells me he used to run around a track chasing a stuffed rabbit! I thought that was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.
Anyway, I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I was given my own passport and got to travel in a big lorry to England. I was very frightened, as I didn’t know where I was going to end up. It took me a while to settle into my new home but I think I am the luckiest galgo alive now. I live in the beautiful Cotswolds and go running twice a day. I have my own bed with toys and everything. My best bit is watching animal programmes on TV.
When my Mum and Dad are away at work I have taught myself the art of html another new language to learn and have started building my own web site. Please have look around it. I have to warn you that some things I have to tell you are about as nasty as my breath.
You might be wondering what kind of a dog a galgo is. Not many people have heard of my breed before. I am part of the greyhound family but I am Spanish and I am smaller than my Irish and English pals. I am called a brindle that means I have brown, tan and black stripes. I like to think of myself as a Tiger or a snowflake - no two snowflakes are the same.
Coursing is chasing hares and rabbits across the countryside to catch them. That is what galgos are mostly used for in Spain. That used to be my job when I lived there. Since coming to England and learning English I have been reading terrible things in the papers about what happens to a lot of galgos when they finish coursing. It makes me feel very sad.
Half the dogs, just like me, end up dead by the age of two. They are fed on bread and sugar and have to run for miles each day. Most dogs only last one season. The worst thing is that after all of that the dogs are hung in the trees. If you have raced well you are placed high in the tree but if you have raced badly you are placed low in the trees. The low hung dogs can just touch the floor and they scrabble around trying desperately to get free. Some people find this funny and call these dogs ‘Secretaries’ or ‘Piano Players’ because they actually look like they are typing or playing the piano.
As you will see greyhounds have been around for a long time and have been loyal companions to people. I think my ancestors and I deserve a bit more kindness. I’m not talking big juicy bones or anything like that just a chance to have, what you humans sometimes say, a ‘dog’s life’.
Dogs like me have been around for a lot of dog years! We first show up in early cave paintings alongside strange animals like bison. We appear in Egyptian hieroglyphs, on Greek Vases, in Roman jewellery, sculpture and mosaics, and in medieval paintings and tapestries. We are quite famous in books too. We have been mentioned in the Old Testament, in Roman stories by Ovid and Virgil, Chaucer, and even Shakespeare.
More people are learning about greyhounds and what happens to them. There are lots of dogs just like me who end up finding a lovely safe home to live in. I am happy now, but I can’t help remembering my friends in Spain.
If you are a dog who has recently mastered the art of websites and e-mail, please send me an e-mail with your name to join my petition. I will be writing to the Spanish government as soon as my English is good enough.
My e-mail address is Garza@tiscali.co.uk
If you liked my site and want to find out more about greyhounds or galgos these sites are not to be missed:
This website was designed by Amanda Hart e-mail me at email@example.com
Last updated 02 February 2003.