Recycled racer gives out plenty of love

WHEN life brings me down I call my bestie and we drown our stresses at the beach.

We surf the sand, frolic in the waves and observe the funny, odd and friendly creatures that, like us, are drawn to the sandy shorelines.

I love this time. I drag the kids along sometimes, and he never minds the intrusion or fact that we cover half the distance.

Instead he takes interest in their finds and plays with them in the waves.

I'll tell you how we met.

My sister, who works for the RSPCA, had been telling us a greyhound would be the "perfect" dog for our family.

I was sceptical. I envisioned the thoroughbred of the dog world to be a highly strung, hyperactive and high-maintenance package, so instead we began fostering RSPCA dogs, which was quite fun.

One trip to select a new dog to foster, I told Master 3 he could pick. Imagine my delight when he picked, you guessed it, a big white greyhound.

He had no name, and no clue. The calm statuesque creature freaked out at floorboards and turned into a four-legged calamity on stairs.

On his first weekend he stole about 1.5kg of butter from the bench (I eventually gave up on baking the cake).

Having never been inside, he was more comfortable outside.

No matter how hard the kids tried to coax him in out of the cold Tassie winter weather, he chose instead to stand at the lounge room window like something out of a 17th century tale involving orphans, and watch us while we watched him.

By day four he had a name, Alfie Brown the Bench Surfing Bandit, and practically no chance of leaving.

We realised that we were indeed well-suited to greyhound life, lazy loving laidback lollapaloozas that they are.

To think someone almost put him down.

You see Alfie was at the vet ready for the needle because he didn't cut it at the track - 18 months old and his life was over.

It's estimated that some 20,000 Australian greyhounds are euthanased every year, but it's impossible to track because you can dispose of your unwanted dog for whatever reason, however you see fit: sad but true.

So from me to that insightful vet nurse, thank you, because I need to be rescued from life often, and my recycled racer is just the trick.

That old saying one man's trash is another man's treasure rings so true.

Recycle people, save the planet, and in the process you may just save yourself.

This column is featured in APN's new Weekend Magazine. Don't miss your weekend lift-out each Saturday 

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