Us Greyhound Kinloch Brae has been a great success in Ireland and Worldwide. Razldazl Alice is out of Razldazl Billy and Brood bitch of the Year 2011, Razldazl Pearl. “I feed them the best of everything,” Ruth says. I can believe it: the dog looks fantastically healthy. His fur is soft and shiny, his eyes bright, his teeth – which get brushed every day – are whiter than the average X Factor contestant. His muscles are defined and there isn’t a scrap of fat on him.
He is also clearly in love with Ruth. She sits on the low bed, lined with golden straw with him and he nestles up to her, licking her face and proffering his paw.
A lot of controversy surrounds greyhound racing. The media have carried numerous reports of abuse of and cruelty to greyhounds over the years, but the Retired Greyhound Trust, which rehomed more that 4,000 dogs last year, says the treatment of greyhounds has improved a lot in the last few years. The RSPCA is less sanguine: “Every year at least 10,000 greyhounds are retired from racing. The fate of many is unknown and many simply ‘disappear’. Welfare issues can occur at any life stage, so we believe that all aspects of the industry, from breeding to kennelling, racing, transportation, management and retirement need to be regulated. We want to see greyhounds protected from cradle to grave.”