From a Death Sentence to Dumpledale

This poem tells the story of Dennis who had major issues when he arrived. It mentions that Dennis was given performance enhancing drugs; a practice that is illegal and tests are carried out on licensed tracks. While it can never be proven that Dennis was given drugs, a number of factors suggest that he probably was:

  • Dennis was "manic" when he arrived
  • The change in his behaviour and attitude towards people and the world in general was quite sudden; too sudden to put down to normal behavioural changes.
  • Dennis raced on flapping (unlicensed) tracks
  • The trainer he came from reportedly has previous for giving his dogs drugs

The initials "BGP" is Birmingham Greyhound Protection, the rescue that saved Dennis from being killed.

The poem is called "From a Death Sentence to Dumpledale" because Dennis was to be killed, but has twice (at the time of writing) been on holiday to Little Dumpledale; something he clearly enjoys.

From a Death Sentence to Dumpledale

My name is Dennis
an ex-racing greyhound
one of the lucky ones
my home I have found
My past is too common
I raced to make profit
but like all the others
I got to see none of it
I was given drugs
to make me run fast
when in a race
it's not good to come last
My racing days over
at the age of just four
I was no further use
not needed any more
The trainer didn't want me
as I could no longer win
I had a death sentence
'til BGP stepped in
But I was nasty to people 
about them I'd set
I hope they'll forgive me
I'll never forget
But it wasn't my fault
it wasn't the real me
Without the drugs
I was in cold turkey
Then I was sent to a place
with many a hound
The human there
he didn't give ground
I was given love
and space to grow
but within strict limits
and what do you know
Day by day
my attitude went
until at last
my demons were spent
Now life is much better
in fact, pretty good
good company, good grub
and walks in the wood
I'm now nice to people
and I love a fuss
I've even become
an Education Dog for Blue Cross
I'm blood donor too
but I'll not leave it at that
I'm doing my test
to join up with P.A.T.
But what I like best
it excites without fail
is going on holiday
to Little Dumpledale