By Chase Editor Pat McLeod
Desley Williams knew she had to put her greyhound knowledge down on paper, but like so many people who ‘should’, she lacked the confidence.
“My daughter, Natalie, kept urging me to do it,” she says. “She had worked in marketing for major companies in London, the USA and in Australia and she knew I could do it, but I didn’t think I could.”
Sadly, her daughter died from epilepsy in June last year. Despite being shattered by that tragedy, Desley vowed to fulfil her daughter’s belief in her.
The result is the just released: Greyhound Whelping Handbook (A step-by-step guide to the care of the broodbitch and her pups).
Desley hopes the publication will be a helpful, practical guide for the many people who are involved, or are keen to be involved, in the breeding side of the greyhound industry.
“I am really happy with the end result,” Desley said of the book. “I am sure Natalie would be very proud. She certainly was the inspiration behind me doing this and it is a result of her belief that I should do it.
“But, in general terms, the greyhound industry needs so much more of this type of literature. There isn’t enough around for people who are new to greyhound racing, or who just want to learn more about the industry.”
Desley, who is based at Bribie Island, in south-east Queensland, has been involved in greyhound racing for more than 20 years. She came to prominence as the co-trainer of legendary chaser Dashing Corsair, the only dog to win both the National sprint and distance championships.
However, Desley has become even better known through her years as a professional whelper, and it is this experience that she has decided to share.
In all she has whelped more than 130 broodbitches.
“My knowledge grew over the years on how to care for broodbitches and their pups and this is why I wanted to share my knowledge,” she said.
The book steps through every facet of the breeding process, from choosing a broodbitch and suitable sire, required facilities, the whelping process, nutrition, medications, costs and so much more.
Desley said the welfare of the broodbitch and pups was a core theme of the book.
“A lot of my advice points back to – the heathier and happier the bitch and pups are, then the better the outcome and therefore the better the race dog,” she says.
“I am a huge advocate of the strong animal welfare regime that has been highlighted in recent years in the industry. It is something that most greyhound people have always advocated, but it is good to see it being enforced.”
Desley’s book includes endoresments from leading greyhound figures including Stephen Williams, Tony Brett, Chris Georgiou and Greg Sternberg.
Prominent Victorian greyhound vet, Dr Ray Ferguson, said: “This book is a very useful document for those people wishing to consider whelping and rearing pups. For people new into breeding and those with no knowledge of the topic, the book provides lots of good information. It is practically based and easy to read and understand.”
You can purchase Greyhound Whelping Handbook (A step-by-step guide to the care of the broodbitch and her pups) by contacting Desley Williams on email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(For people seeking copies of another publication, which was recently mentioned in Chase newspaper – Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound Veterinary Handbook for all greyhound owners – contact Melbourne’s Walnut Vet clinic on 03 5995 5255)