We would like to introduce Django, the newest member of the DC Tours team!
At just 4½ years old, he’s the youngest member of the team, but what he lacks in experience he makes up for with his enthusiasm! He’s a Saluki lurcher who we’ve adopted from Dog Angels Ireland, a fantastic country-wide rescue charity who find new homes for surrendered and abandoned dogs of all breeds.
Salukis are historically known as Gazelle Hounds as they can get up to 40mph in full flight which made them perfect for hunting fast moving gazelle. They are one of the oldest breeds of sighthounds, originating in the Middle East and first appearing in wall art well over 5,000 years ago.
Lurchers are a cross between a sighthound and a terrier (or another working breed), and while he clearly has a lot of Saluki in him we are looking forward to Django’s DNA test revealing what other breeds are hiding in his family tree.
He’s the fifth Saluki lurcher we have adopted over the last decade and brings our current pack up to 3, together with Clanger and Cleo.
Clanger came to us from Galway SPCA in 2016 and was a terrible cruelty case, found at less than a year old, starving to death and tied to a fence post in a bog in the middle of Ireland weighing just 7kg, when his proper weight should have been 16kg. The good people at GSPCA nursed him back to health over the next 6 months and once he was well enough to be adopted we were luckily chosen to be his new family. Today he’s just a cheeky little guy with a big bark who loves his cuddles like every other lurcher.
The bad news is that sighthounds in general, and greyhounds and lurchers in particular have a tough time in Ireland, with thousands being abandoned on the streets, sold to countries with terrible animal cruelty records or simply killed if they are not fast enough at the race-track or are not good hunters in the field.
Fortunately, the amazing work of dog rescue centres and charities across Ireland mean that fewer are being killed every year. There are a number of dedicated dog rescues on the island who do their best to get greyhounds and lurchers the best home they can, even if it means transporting them as far afield as Italy, Scandinavia or even the Czech Republic to do so.
Completing the pack is Cleo, found straying in Dublin in 2014 we rescued her directly from the dog pound. Unfortunately quite a few Irish dog pounds kill strays if they haven’t been claimed after as little as 5 days – some even kill surrendered dogs within 24 hours. Cleo had been in the pound for 6 weeks and her time was running out, but luckily for everyone we saw her just in time.
When people see them on the street the typical question is ‘don’t they need a lot of exercise?’, to which the answer is no, they are 40mph couch potatoes, the laziest dogs you can imagine, ours won’t even go out if it’s been raining in case they get their paws wet.
But they are thieves and counter-surfers, the name ‘lurcher’ actually comes from an old English word meaning a petty thief or to lurk. Just never leave your dinner unattended when there’s a lurcher about! Django’s most recent crime was the theft of an entire bowl of grated cheese in less than 3 seconds, which will be no surprise to any lurcher owners out there!
This whole blog has of course just been a thinly veiled promotion of Irish dog rescue charities and their amazing work (and to show off my pups). But we do love to see guests bringing their dogs on all our tours, they are always welcome!