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Little Girl.

Black bitch Greyhound puppy, ten weeks old, came into the kennels along with her three brothers, started life in a puppy paddock running free and wild. From the start it was clear that she was an outcast from her brothers. What would start off as a game would end up in a fight, with Little Girl always coming off the worse.

The only one to take notice and care was a part-time worker named Mary. Mary would rush to Little Girl's aid whenever she heard a commotion, shouting at the other pups, she would then pick up Little Girl for a cuddle. From then on Mary looked on the little pup as one of her favourites, of which there were many. Little Girl soon caught on to this, and would always be first to rush over to Mary whenever she saw her passing the puppies paddock.

But the fighting with her brothers was getting worse. Little Girl was not as big as her brothers, and against three of them she did not stand a chance. Mary approached the kennel owners and told them about the pup's problem. But she was told that the little pup had to learn to fight back and stand up for herself, as it was a tough place out there in the racing world, and, if a Greyhound is to make it, then it has to be tough.

When the pup was seven months old, things were no better, and Mary's heart went out to the little black pup. After a weekend off, Mary came into the kennels to be told that Little Girl had been badly attacked by her brothers, and had been moved to a small pen on her own to lick her wounds. With a heavy heart Mary rushed to Little Girl, and found her in a sorry state, her wounds were mainly tears on her legs and neck, but one on her back was long and deep, dried blood was matted into her fur. Little Girl recognised her friend, and tried to go to her, but she cried out as it hurt too much. Mary took off her warm fleece and gently wrapped the pup in it, and laid her down inside the little wooden hut that was in the pen. Making sure there was plenty of paper bedding in there as well. Mary then went to the kennel owners, and was told that the vet will be coming and to get on with her work.

Mary had to take their word for it, and get on with her work. She checked often on the little pup during the day, and still there was no vet, and the pup was weak and slipping into a coma. When it came time for Mary to go home, she took a last look at Little Girl. The pup had not moved at all and looked so weak, Mary tried to get her to take a small drink, but the pup did not have the energy to even lap. She stroked Little Girl's head and laying a kiss on her dry nose, told her to hang on. On the way out of the kennels Mary stopped at the owners house to tell them the pup would die, they told her the vet would be there very soon, and they would tend to her needs until then.

All that evening at home Mary could think of nothing else but Little Girl. She had decided after talking it over with her family that she would go in tomorrow and offer to buy Little Girl and pay any vet bills. When she got to the kennels the next day she was told that the pup had died last evening. Mary ran over to the pen and there was Little Girl still wrapped in her fleece, just as she had been left the night before. With tears running down her face, Mary picked up Little Girl's small body and buried her in a deep grave at the back of the kennels.

That day, when Mary walked into work and buried poor Little Girl, she walked straight back out again; never to return.

As told to me by an ex kennel maid.

Sue Stoddart.

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