By JESSICA SATHERLEY
Plucky Jack: The greyhound was diagnosed with a rare type of blindness after being retired because his owner thought he was a dud. In fact his condition meant he would have been terrified while on the race track
When Jack Sprat the greyhound came last in every race in which he competed, his owners thought they had a dud.
But in fact, he did well to keep up with the pack at all because it turns out Jack is almost completely blind and couldn’t see the rabbit.
The hound, who was born in Ireland, was entered into dog races in Wimbledon, London, last year after he hit speeds of 40mph in training.
Lagging behind: Jack, circled, struggling to keep up with the pack on the track at Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. He came last in both his races
Despite his disability, Jack can still run 100 metres in just 6.39 seconds - considerably faster than athlete Usain Bolt who broke records with his 9.69 time.
But three-year-old Jack, competing under the name Centurys Gunner, came sixth in both of his races at the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.
Looking for a new home: Dog trainer Charlie Parsley with Jack at the Dogs' Trust in Norfolk. The trust said that he will make a perfect pet
His baffled owner, believing he just wasn't fast enough, retired him and handed him over to the Dogs' Trust in Snetterton, Norfolk, in July this year.
Vets at the animal charity examined Jack and realised a rare condition had left him completely blind in his left eye and with only 20 per cent vision in his right.
They diagnosed him with Chorioretinitis, a swelling and irritation of the middle layer of the eye, which is irreparable.
'We think he may compensate for his loss of sight with his other senses. For example he likes to be on the left side of the person taking him for a walk so he can sense where they are.
'He needs to get used to his surroundings but once he is familiar in his new home he will be a perfect pet.'
*The Dogs' Trust is the UK's largest dog welfare charity and cares for more than 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs every year. To re-home Jack visit www.dogstrust.org.uk
Thursday, September 29, 2011
By JESSICA SATHERLEY