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They’ll be lining up to see the Show-stopping greyhounds

By: Phil Weir

When it comes to pulling a crowd, it’s pretty much established the order is 1) The Queen, 2) A greyhound and 3) The Rolling Stones.

Get a bunch of greyhounds however; surrounded by fairy floss, showbags and Dagwood dogs, and Her Majesty might be back in the list providing backing vocals on ‘Gimme Shelter’ at the Wonthaggi Bowls Club…

Such is the mood at the Royal Melbourne Show, when said ‘bunch’ of GAP greys meet annually to greet thousands of excited adults and fairy-flossed up kids. Volunteers and staff from GAP and GRV are on hand to talk about the breed and do so non-stop, such is the demand for information about these regal canines.

The intention is to introduce the breed to people who haven’t even seen one ‘in real life’. There are some odd perceptions about greyhounds, as any owner will attest, so changing opinions means it’s more likely a greyhound might appear on future ‘possible pet’ lists. The feedback from GAP confirms the fact that many adoptions have been instigated by a show meeting.

People have been known to attend the show year-after-year with the GAP stand as their first stop, probably to calm their nerves before the excitement (?) of whatever new death-defying, nausea-inducing ride is making people scream this year.

It’s a big ask – dogs and people are there for all 11 days of the show, nine hours a day; but it’s still a highlight for the volunteers. There’s nothing a greyhound owner likes more than bragging about their dog…

From September 21 to October 1, it’s a veritable long-dog patting marathon. We’re in a different location this year; in the RACV Pavilion (on the Epsom Road side, near gate 10). Drop in and say g’day. (QE2 and Mick won’t be coming. Something about a gig in Nyah West).