A long weekend always provides plenty of opportunities to get out and about and this weekend will be no exception. With the forecast set to be kind to sun-lovers, how does a leisurely walk surrounded by eager greyhounds sound?
If this appeals to you, then head down to the carpark between the National Library and Reconciliation Place in Parkes for this year’s Great Global Greyhound Walk in Canberra, as they celebrate their 10th year anniversary. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak up the sun, get some exercise, mingle with fellow greyhound lovers and cuddle a few dishlickers.
Since the greyhound racing ban came into effect in the ACT in 2018, several not-for-profit groups in and around Canberra have worked tirelessly to re-home ex-racing greyhounds and set them up for the next stage of their lives. The Great Global Greyhound Walk is an event to promote these gorgeous canines and to dispel myths about their temperament.
“The Great Global Greyhound Walk has been created as an annual dog-walking event that brings together greyhounds, sighthounds, and their owners, to raise awareness of the breed and show the public just how fabulous they are as pets,” organisers said of the event last year, which saw 80 greyhounds and six other dogs attend.
The event is the brainchild of Greyhound Walks, a registered charity which began in East Anglia, with the aim of socialising and promoting greyhounds as pets by organising local walks. Ten years ago their small group of volunteers decided to bring together sighthound owners across the UK with a national event, originally known as the “Great British Greyhound Walk”. The event captured the hearts and minds of greyhound owners across the UK and in 2014 the walk became global, with last year’s event seeing walks as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, USA, throughout Europe and even Abu Dhabi.
In 2017 when the ACT joined in for the second time, the walk hosted 19 greyhounds, one whippet and a German Shepherd. Membership has grown steadily since then, and the event is hoping to see unprecedented numbers this time around. This year, at least 26 walks have been registered across Australia.
And while this all sounds like a lot of fun, let’s not forget the message the event is hoping to underline: Greyhound Connections, a volunteer-run, registered charity that facilitates the re-homing of retired, rescued and non-racing greyhounds from the Canberra region revealed that since 1 January 2019, 41 greyhounds have found their forever homes through the charity and live in areas across Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Groups like these make no profit for themselves; all funds raised at events go towards re-homing retired greyhounds.
By attending the Global Greyhound Walk, you will not only be supporting these groups, but you will also find yourself learning much more about these gentle animals.
“Greyhounds make great companions, they love human company, walk nicely on the lead and contrary to popular belief, greyhounds don’t require much exercise – just two 20 minute walks a day, although many can enjoy much more too. They really are 90kmph couch potatoes!”, the organisers say.
The event is open to anyone who enjoys the companionship of dogs and would like to know what greyhounds are like as pets, or have an interest in fostering greyhounds.
“The gathering is a great opportunity for people to meet the breed. People will be able to mingle about, pat and interact with greyhounds of all different colours and sizes, and also see many of their companion dog family members,” the organisers say.
And if you’re a greyhound enthusiast without a greyhound to bring to the event, come around for the exercise – you might even get to walk one if the owners have any to spare!
The walk will commence at 10 am and will cover the Parliamentary Triangle, leaving from the carpark at Parkes Place W and Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes.
The Great Global Greyhound Walk – Canberra
Sunday, 9 June from 10 am at the carpark between the National Library and Reconciliation Place, Parkes (Mall Road W Parking).