Friday, November 07, 2008


Giovanni Boldini Italian, 1842 - 1931
Portrait of the Marchesa Luisa Casati, with a Greyhound
Date: 1908

The Marchesa Luisa Casati, who was born into a wealthy family of Lombard textile manufacturers, was renowned for her extravagance. The poet Gabriele d'Annunzio once claimed that she was the only woman capable of surprising him. Boldini is supposed to have first met her in Venice, when he helped her retrieve pearls from a seven-metre long necklace that had broken. She would parade though Venice dressed as a gondolier and accompanied by a cheetah on a leash.
(Source: 'Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd-Webber Collection')

A few weeks ago, we applied to adopt a Greyhound. We sent in our adoption application, finished our home visit with a representative on Sunday, and got the news last night that our application was approved. Now, the wait is on...The dogs presently in the adoption program did not fit all of our family needs( cat safe, child friendly, and companion for our aging Sheltie) so the search begins for that special one that we will welcome with open arms. Having been a former Greyhound owner, I am excited and thrilled beyond words that we will at long last be blessed with another of these most beautiful, kind and loving creatures. Of course, I couldn't let this post escape without applying some historical facts about this breed. Now, tea and Greyhounds?... I suggested if we adopt a male that we call him Earl Grey..How perfect is that? My husband wasn't as enchanted with that prospect as my son and I were so I suspect that one has been vetoed. For those of you who have read The Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs, you will note that the heroine/tea shop owner/super sleuth of the novels, Theodosia, does in fact have a dog named Earl Grey.

I will be chronicling all of our Greyhound adventures on another blog soon to be published as well as a few posts on this blog as well. For now, you may indeed find some of these facts below about this ancient breed very interesting.

1. Greyhounds are the only canine mentioned in the Bible (Proverbs 30:29-31) King James Version.

There be three things which go well, yea,
Which are comely in going;
A lion, which is strongest among beasts and
Turneth not away from any;
A greyhound;
A he-goat also.

2. Greyhounds are one of the oldest purebred dogs, dating back to the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Paintings inside the tombs of the great Pyramids depicted greyhounds.

3. A law passed during the reign of King Canute stated that the destruction of a greyhound should carry the same capital punishment as the murder of a man.

4. At one time in England it was forbidden for commoners to own a greyhound.

5. General Custer was a greyhound fancier.

6. President Lincoln had a greyhound in his family coat-of-arms.

7. In 1804, Australia issued a proclamation ordering the destruction of all dogs except greyhounds and sheepdogs.

8. In 1886, Charles Frederick Holder assembled a pack of greyhounds and trained them to chase fox, jack rabbits and coyotes. The hunters rode in the style of English fox hunting, and Holder was instrumental in the formation of the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena, California in 1888. In 1889, the Valley Hunt Club held a "beautiful fete" to show off their hounds and celebrates the ripening of the orange. The resulting event, the Orange Parade, ultimately became the Pasadena Festival of Roses and is now known as the Rose Parade.

9. The mythical Greek Goddess Diana is usually pictured with a greyhound at her side.

10.John Barrymore, the famous actor, always kept his house full of greyhounds as pets.

11.Bo Derek, the actress best known for such movies as 10 and Tarzan, owns several retired racing greyhounds and is a great advocate of greyhounds as pets.

12.For many, many years the Lincoln car had a greyhound as a hood ornament.

13.Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog, reaching top speeds of 40 mph.

14.Greyhounds can see clearly for up to a half-mile.

15.Many people who are allergic to dogs are non-allergic to greyhounds due to their short hair, sleek coat and skin type (which has more oil to it, thus less dander.)

( Greyhound Facts from Greyhounds of Shamrock )


willow said...

Rebecca, I think a regal and elegant greyhound would suit you to a tee! This was a charming post and I'll be looking forward with much interest on the latest doggie news!

I like "Earl Grey", BTW!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Congratulations! My husband's brother and his wife adopted a greyhound and he was spectacular. So regal, and so kind. A true gentleman. I can't wait to meet your new addition! Edward, too!

Lavinia said...

Exciting news from your household! When my daughter was younger, she begged me for a greyhound for years; it was (and possibly still is) her favourite breed. I think Earl Grey is a positively smashing name!

Barb said...

Oh Rebecca, I am so excited for you and your family on the upcoming
Greyhound adoption :) So enjoyed reading your Greyhound facts too.
Jumping for joy in Texas,

Rebecca said...

Thanks Barb...and the pictures your sent of Dacia and Bunny are wonderful....

Everyone, we're still waiting for word here....I'm not the most patient person to begin with so this is proving rather difficult..LOL!!..

Marcy said...

Congratulations on the pending adoption!!! I'll check back periodically to see the latest and greatest news.

Love my two greyhounds and I'm sure that yours will bring you years of pleasure.

Tea Time With Melody said...

Oh, I vote for the name Earl Grey. It is perfect for a greyhound it is very Royal for such a graceful dog.