Greyhound History - Story of a Wonder Dog
Greyhound history consits of so many quotes and tales of these
The Greyhound, the great hound, the graceful of limb
Long fellow, smooth fellow, rough fellow and slim.
You can travel o’er the earth, and sail o’er the sea
But you will not find one more ancient than he.
Greyhound history is about one of the oldest breeds of dogs known to man. They are a descendent of the Egyptian Pharaoh Hound which is often seen in Egyptian art and hieroglyphics. The Egyptian god of the dead is Anubus, the body of a man and the head of a greyhound type of dog.
There have been excavations dating back to 6000 B.C. picturing greyhound like dogs assisting in hunts. With their keen sight and fast speeds they made wonderful companions for hunters gathering food. Thus they became a member of the family, treasured and loved. They were protected and revered; anyone convicted of killing a greyhound would face the same punishment.
Greyhounds are the only dog mentioned in the bible by name.
Proverbs 30, verses 29-31:
There be three things which go well, yea,
Which are comely in going:
A lion, which is strongest among beasts and
Turneth not away from any:
A Greyhound; A he-goat also.
And believe it or not there was a greyhound that achieved sainthood—St Guinefort.
The sight hound found their way to Europe in the 18th century. But only the noble were permitted to own greyhounds. English version of European forest law states:
“No meane person may keep any Greihounds, but freemen may keep Greihounds, so that their knees may be cut before the verderons of the forest, and without cutting of their knees also, if he does not abide 10 miles from the bounds of the forest. But if they doe come any nearer to the forest, they shall pay 12 pence for every mile: but if the Greihound be found within the forest, the master or owner of the dog shall forfeit the dog and ten shillings to the king.”
Most people assume the name “greyhound” refers to the color of the dog, but that would mean the name would be spelled GRAYhound. There are many explanations as to why these sight hounds are called greyhound. It is suggested that it comes from the Latin Graius Great Hound: Gaze hound or Greg from the old English word for dog. Personally I like the theory that it came from the Scottish name Greyt hound. If there was a word better than Great for these dogs I would use that name
Greyhounds have been prominent through history. Columbus was reported to have transported greyhounds to the New World. General Custer kept a pack of greyhounds with him. But at the Battle of Little Big Horn he reportedly sent the greyhounds home, thankfully saving the greyhounds from the destruction the soldiers suffered.
The greyhound history is fascinating and romantic, I encourage you to read about these fascinating dogs. See the More History page.
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