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A Fast Dog for a Fast Family

Motor racing fanatics would be very familiar with the name Garth Tander. Garth is a multiple championship winning Australian motor racing driver who has won Australia’s most prestigious motor race, the Bathurst 1000, four times; the most recent of which occurred just a couple of weekends ago at Mount Panorama as part of the Triple Eight Race engineering team.

A month ago, Garth and his wife Leanne (who is also a race car driver) along with their two children, Scarlett and Sebastian, welcomed a new addition to their family in the form of greyhound Ted. Scarlett was the one who spearheaded the notion to adopt a grey as Leanne explains; “One of her friends at school has one [a greyhound] and, after meeting him, she became quite obsessed with them. Her class had to write a persuasive letter at school and hers was called ‘Why We Should Get a Greyhound.’ I hope she got good marks for it, as it certainly persuaded us!”

The adoption process through GAP was seamless for the Tander family: “After I found Ted’s profile online, I called and expressed my interest. They asked me some questions about my family and living situation to ensure Ted was the right dog for us and, once that was established, Ted was delivered to my door just 2 days later. Probably the only issue COVID posed was that we couldn’t go and meet Ted before adopting him so I did have a little concern in the back of my mind regarding how he would get on with Ruby (3 year old Doberman) and the kids, but I’m pleased to report there have been no issues at all,” says Leanne.

Ruby chases Ted around the backyard at home but inevitably can’t keep up.

Ruby chases Ted around the backyard at home but inevitably can’t keep up.

Although Ted has only been with them for a short period of time, he has already become part of the Tander family. “He is the perfect dog for our family,” says Leanne. “He’s so sweet, friendly, and really inquisitive. He was very quiet the first few days, barely making a noise and not really wanting to play with Ruby. But by the end of the first week you could see he was becoming more comfortable. It certainly didn’t take long for him to adjust to being an inside dog! He’s now been here 3 weeks and his cheeky side is really starting to show. He follows me around the kitchen while I’m cooking (hoping for scraps!), and just this afternoon he and Ruby spent an hour outside running and playing – in the mud of course!”

Ted’s integration into home life hasn’t been without a few setbacks. The main challenge has been stopping Ted from marking his territory inside the family home and teaching him manners, so he doesn’t try to eat food that is within his reach or steal one of the kid’s toys.

Garth only met Ted for the first time last Tuesday (20th October) after being away for the past month, first quarantining and then racing. Luckily Ted is so easy going he wasn’t even bothered by this new person in the house.

With Leanne and Garth’s love of fast cars, one could come to the assumption that they also have a love of fast dogs hence their decision to adopt a greyhound, but Leanne reveals that this isn’t the case.

“Their speed is one of the things that Scarlett loves about them. We thought Ruby was fast, but Ted is on another level. It’s amazing to see him when he gets going! Poor Ruby yelps and calls out to him while they’re running around the backyard. The kids think she’s telling him to wait for her – she’s not used to other dogs being faster than her!”