These days Oreo, or Ori for short, is a very spoilt and happy greyhound. She loves walks, but can also sleep for 22 hours of the day. She loves pats, but often doesn’t know how to ask for them. She loves to play, but is still learning how much fun toys can be. Most of all, she loves to run, and is very fast.

It is this last fact that is the reason why the ones before it are true. Ori is a survivor from the greyhound industry; an industry that breeds these dogs for one purpose only, and then (usually) discards them when they have served this purpose. 

Greyhounds may be famous for their running, but they are actually extremely lazy dogs!

Ori was a good racer, both a blessing and a curse for her wellbeing. You see, greyhounds are only profitable if they are fast, and the ones who are not likely to be winners are removed from the industry early in their life; the lucky ones will be rehomed, but most are euthanised. Instead, Ori lived the life of a successful racer. She was from a family of racers; her father’s name was Still Just Under, and she was named Just Over. She had 64 starts, with a record of 4-10-6. Overall, she won $6,835 prize money. Yet, even though she had had a relatively successful career, she was still discarded by the industry at five years old, when she could no longer keep up with the younger dogs. 

Ori is one of the lucky ones, and was rehomed rather than killed. However, not having love and socialisation during her formative years has meant that, at almost halfway through her life, she has had to start learning how to be a normal dog from scratch. 

Ori with one of her favourite toys – Taz!

Ori has been in our lives for almost one year now, and as time goes on we see more and more of her personality emerge. She is a generally timid girl, but once she is comfortable with her people, her rambunctious personality comes out. Greyhounds are known for their quirky personality, and Ori is no different; in many ways, it’s like having a 30kg puppy.

The famous greyhound sleeping position known as “the roach”.

Australia is one of seven countries that still allows greyhound racing, but with each scandal that emerges from the industry, it’s social license comes ever closer to expiring. More and more people are recognising that dogs like Ori, just like all animals, deserve to live a life free from exploitation. Ori is a survivor, but only because we created a system where she had to be. 

Ori, just like everyone else, has good and bad days. Some days she is too anxious to walk in the park, especially when there are lots of other dogs around. Most of the time, an airplane flying overhead will cause alarm and stress. But today, with a lot of reassurance, she walked past a scary, noisy garbage truck for the first time – these are the good days we celebrate; the signs that Ori is healing; that she is, finally, living the life she should have always had.

Ori running for fun, not for human profit.
Author:
Dr. Mehr Gupta

She/her Dr. Mehr Gupta is Kindness Project’s Director of Research and Strategy. Mehr has volunteered a huge amount of time to animal rights as an investigator, researcher, and fact checker. She played a significant role in the film Dominion and founded the non-profit Animal Liberation Tasmania. For the last two years Mehr has been working as a hospital doctor, volunteering her time on many research initiatives to improve the health of people around the world. She is currently studying a Masters of Health Economics and converting a bus into a tiny home.