I don’t have any pics of Galtymore Dew. He’s dead now. He was a greyhound named after the mountain in Ireland and he inspired a poem I’ve just had published in “Northwards Now” magazine. He was my Dad’s greyhound…….well that’s a bit misleading factually albeit true in spirit. In the late 1940s and early 1950s just before I was born my Dad was in a Dundee based syndicate which owned and raced greyhounds at the then semi-legal flapping tracks throughout Scotland.
This was not the most respectable of activities to be involved in at the time. On one occasion for example a member of the syndicate was exercising Galtymore Dew one evening and spied a Minister of the Kirk where he was an Elder coming toward him. Not wanting to be embarrassed he let the dog off the leash and stopped to chat to the Minister as if nothing had happened. Galtymore Dew of course did what greyhounds do – he ran. Fortunately the ensuing search when the Minister had gone found the missing greyhound.
But the incident which inspired the poem involved my Dad and my Mum. Who was something of an innocent abroad in this world of Post War greyhound racing. The practice was to undertrain the dog one week to slow him down so the price would drift out. The following week he would be trained properly and the members of the syndicate would put money on him at a very tempting price.
One night in Thornton in Fife they worked this little scam and Galtymore Dew romped home. But local miners smelt a rat or rather a dog with regard to the strangers in town and as per the mores of the day the men from Dundee risked a beating from the locals if they collected the winnings. So my Mum bless her went and collected the money a women being a safer bet!!
They then quickly jumped in their rust bucket of a car and hot footed it back to Dundee. Despite this early episode my parents were together for forty years! Here’s to them and to Galtymore Dew whom I wish I’d known! The poem can be read online at http://www.northwardsnow.co.uk