We have another 22 members join since the last newsletter, bringing our membership to 74. Welcome to the Order of Celtic Wolves and I hope that you feel not only welcome, but comfortable sharing your stories, thoughts and feedback. One of our newer members, Julie Sheard emailed me and I got her permission to share this: –
I have been reading about the history of the Celts dogs and found that the greyhound was associated with the Celts for hunting, companionship, healing and guiding spirits being the guardians of crossroads. I have my very own Irish Greyhound named Aoife who came to me at 3 years of age (a reject of the race tracks). She has changed my life completely, bringing me back to health, when I was suffering from ME. Her incredibly expressive eyes can tell me things without words and I love her with all my heart. She is now 7.
I came to France so that she could run across a field with no chance of harm. This evening we were all in the field (me, the 2 small goats and Aoife. She rolled in the grass, hid behind clumps of weeds and then would catapult out and give chase to nothing but her own soul. She would return and do a fly past, sending the goats into a fluster and then coming back to lean on my legs for a stroke before collapsing at my feet while her huge chest heaved oxygen back into her limbs by her huge and beautiful heart.
I did not know she was purely Celtic, thinking as many people do that she was related to the Egyptian hounds but it seems this is not so. She is a Celt!!
At the end of the racing life of many Irish greyhounds, they are sent to foreign lands where they are not honoured but treat cruelly. I wish I could adopt them all!
Kindest wishes to you
Thank you so much Julie. I find it sad that greyhound racing still goes on, with my works Sports and Social even arranging trips to the Dogs. The Order of Celtic Wolves opposes dog racing and this inspired me to do a bit more research for this newsletter. Scroll on for article.
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Tucked away in the quaint village of Combe Martin amidst the beautiful North Devon countryside you’ll find a special place… a unique research and education centre…. home for three packs of awe-inspiring wolves and wolf-hybrids.
A litter of wolf pups in Devon are believed to be the first of their kind to be born in the UK.
The Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park in Ilfracombe said it was excited to welcome the first litter of “endangered” white Hudson Bay wolves.
The animals’ natural habitat is in Canada and Alaska and the park say the seven pups are “rare” with “only 12 registered collections in the world”.
The parents, Maska and Naira, came from animal parks in Amsterdam and Germany.
Park Director Dawn Gilbert said: “This is a rather large litter for a first-time mum. The average litter size is four to six and not all of them generally survive.
“It is still early days yet but the pups are making strong progress and mum Naira is carrying out her role brilliantly”.
The only other collection of white Hudson Bay wolves in the UK is at a wildlife park near Lincolnshire, but it is understood no litters have been born.
The park said it hoped to sell pictures of the pups to raise funds to build an extension to their enclosure to accommodate them all as adults.
Some 10-12,000 greyhounds are retired from racing every year because of minor injury, old age (3 years +) or under-performance. Sadly, the fate of these dogs is uncertain and it is feared that most end up being killed or badly neglected by their owners. Many simply disappear off the map once their racing days are numbered, with no indication as to where they have gone. Despite their long life expectancies of 12-15 years, racing greyhounds are usually retired between 2-5 years old when they are deemed ‘too slow,’ meaning most are still only youngsters when they are destroyed.
Thankfully, due to widespread interest in adopting retired greyhounds, many find themselves in forever homes once their racing careers have ended. However, due to the enormous number of greyhounds being retired annually, finding a home for each and every one of them is impossible. Also, due to the many misconceptions surrounding having greyhounds as pets i.e. their high exercise needs, hyperactivity and incompatibility with children, some people are reluctant to adopt them.
Thousands of dogs of many different breeds wind up in shelters every year and, unfortunately, greyhounds are not everyone’s first choice. For this reason, hundreds of ex-racing greyhounds are disposed of once their purpose has been served, whether humanely or otherwise. More disturbingly, many greyhounds have their ears cut off before being abandoned or killed, in order to remove the identification number that traces the dog back to its owner.
In 2007, a 57 year old man named David Smith was arrested after 10,000 slaughtered greyhounds were found on his property. In what was described as a ‘killing field,’ Smith had buried retired but otherwise healthy dogs after shooting them with a bolt gun. The unsuspecting dogs were taken into a shed, shot in the head, and dragged into a pre-dug ditch for £20 a time.
Smith admitted that, while his activities were unprofitable, they had got a little ‘out of control’ in the 18 months prior to his arrest. He also claimed that the dogs were only killed because they were unsuitable for re-homing, either because they were too aggressive or too badly injured. While Smith was prosecuted for owning a landfill site without a permit, his actions were not considered inhumane and his owning a bolt gun was perfectly legal.
According to a report, two men using metal detectors discovered a hoard of more than 280 gold and silver coins dating to the late Iron Age, and the period of the Roman Conquest, which occurred in A.D. 43. Adam Daubney, finds liaison officer for Lincolnshire County Council, said the coins are stamped with names like Dumnocoveros, Tigirseno, and Volisios, among the earliest personal names recorded in the area. They are believed to have been the names of local rulers. Fragments of a pot were found with the coins. University of Lincoln archaeologists surveyed the site and will continue their investigation into why the coins might have been buried.