When I first heard that there was a new greyhound book available, and that it cost only $6.95, I had some serious doubts about its quality. After all, $6.95 doesn't buy much these days. However, I was in for a most pleasant surprise when I purchased a copy of Greyhounds by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D., Barrons Educational Series, Inc (1996).
The first thing which caught my eye was the cover portrayal of a gorgeous fawn greyhound with the most soulful eyes. The second was the quantity of color photos available throughout the book (forty nine in all), plus a number of pencil sketches. By the way, don't be mislead by the Ph.D. after the author's name; this is not some stuffy educational textbook! Rather, it is a delightful rendition by someone who obviously not only knows and loves greyhounds but also cares deeply for their welfare. I think that most readers of this book, whether they own a former racing greyhound or an AKC greyhound, will agree with the author that "once that greyhound sashays through your front door, hops onto your couch, and turns those lustrous doe eyes upon you, your life may never be the same" and "you'll know that it has made the transition and formally adopted you the first time you catch it doing something utterly silly and so very unlike the public greyhound persona."
The only fault I found with the book is in the graphics area. The particular type chosen for the text, coupled with not justifying it (having the type spaced evenly across the page so all lines are the same width, makes it very tiring to read for any length of time.
As a greyhound owner since 1979, the only lapse I detected was in the collar recommendations. Although almost every photo of a greyhound wearing a collar pictured the humane choke collar which is used and recommended by most greyhound adoption organizations, there was no mention of this type of collar at all. Instead, it was recommended that the greyhound owner purchase a flat buckle collar for around the house and a nylon choke collar for leash walking. With the humane choker, only one collar is necessary, as long as the dog is supervised. It works as a choke collar when the dog is being leash walked and as a regular collar at other times.
Although I am a long time greyhound owner, even I learned several things from reading this book. For instance, in dealing with the dreaded injury to the end of the tail, there is a pressure point on the underside of the tail near its base. Also, although I have long suspected it, one of the stated "predispositions" affecting greyhounds is osteosarcoma. Additionally, I may have even found the real reason a greyhound died following a routine neutering operation some years back when a tube placed down his throat ruptured something causing massive bleeding. Apparently, some dogs may have a collapsed trachea and in these dogs, the rings of the trachea are not formed correctly and the upper part of the trachea may collapse inward during heavy breathing.
All in all, I found Greyhounds to be a very informative book and an outstanding reference manual which all greyhound owners will want to add to their collections.
Reprinted with permission from Celebrating Greyhounds: The Magazine, Summer, 1996. © Joan Dillon
Everything About Adoption, Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Behavior, and Training. This is a very well written book with great color photographs at a very affordable price.