OUR DOG COMMUNITY HEROES: MOE KAUR
Our Betty & Butch customers are at the heart of everything we do and so many of those in our dog community are absolute heroes. Over the years, we have been lucky enough to get to know plenty of you and your perfect pooches.
As part of our Chorlton store’s 10th year, we will be interviewing prominent customers about their journey with Betty & Butch to learn more about their own dog journey.
So many of our amazing customers do such inspiring charity work and we want to celebrate their efforts as our community heroes.
Our last community hero was Josie Starling who you can read about on our community page. Our next community hero is Moe Kaur. We asked her about her dog journey and what it's like being a member of the Betty & Butch family.
WHAT AGE DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST DOG AND WHAT WAS THEIR NAME?
I was five years old when my mother was given a miniature Pomeranian, sadly he died aged 7 from a congenital heart defect.
I rescued my first dog when I was 11 years old, he followed me home from the bus stop, a Terrier Collie mix. My parents were not keen on him staying with us but I fought and fought as I had heard stray dogs were killed. He won my family over in the 2 weeks, no one claimed him, my mum named him Lucky, he was with us for 17 years.
IT MEANS SO MUCH TO US THAT YOU CONTINUE TO BE PART OF THE BETTY & BUTCH FAMILY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
I loved Betty and Butch when they opened, at that time I viewed it as a lovely dog shop. When JoJo, came into my life with her spinal injury, all her dietary intolerances and pancreatitis, that is when Betty & Butch made a huge impression on me with their fantastic knowledge on food and harnesses.
It was the arrival of Bobby and his love of all things stuffed and squeaky that catapulted Betty & Butch to the superstar status they have in our family now. Every celebration both human and dog involves a trip to Betty & Butch.
I also can’t thank Betty & Butch enough for being there every time I have asked for help: harnesses and leads for transporting rescue dogs, food and treats for rescues, or writing reports to government inquiries. Not forgetting the generous donation from Betty & Butch’s 2019 Christmas Event to Makants Greyhound Rescue.
OVER THE YEARS YOU HAVE DONE A LOT OF DOG CHARITY WORK. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK AND ITS HIGHLIGHTS?
While I do the odd rescue, support greyhound rescues fundraising and transporting, I am mainly a campaigner against the greyhound racing industry in the UK and internationally, which involves writing, researching, presentations and I do attend peaceful protests.
When I adopted JoJo I researched greyhound racing in depth, the more I learnt the more distressing it became. As a retired paediatrician, the fact that racing destroys the bodies of greyhounds leading to almost 5,000 injuries a year and that hundreds of these greyhounds were killed for treatable injuries set something off in me, especially when I found out the government and leading animal welfare organisations protect the industry.
I felt compelled to support those campaigning to end greyhound racing and joined Shut Down Belle Vue who have raised public awareness outside Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium for over 20 years, until the track’s recent closure.
I founded an awareness group on social media, Greyhounds Many Nations One Voice in 2016, and joined the Alliance Against Greyhound Racing last year. Please support our government petition calling for a phased ban on greyhound racing in the UK, the link is on our website which also has many articles on why greyhound racing should be banned.
I support groups in Ireland, not only because JoJo is Irish, but because 83% of greyhounds racing in the UK are Irish, and therefore the UK greyhound racing industry is complicit in the overbreeding and killing of 6,000 Irish greyhounds every year.
The most notable campaigns I have been involved were regarding the Macau Canidrome, China, led by Albano Martins from Anima Macau, Grey2K (USA) and Pet Levrieri (Italy). First the Close the Canidrome campaign where an estimated 18,000 greyhounds had been killed over the last 54 years. This then became the Save The Macau Greyhounds to save the 600 greyhounds there.
After a nerve-wracking campaign, the greyhounds were saved and the mammoth task of sending 532 greyhounds from Macau to be homed around the world in only 6 months began in October 2018.
It was an emotional experience to be at Heathrow Airport to greet the 70 greyhounds that came to the UK including four senior greyhounds that arrived in March 2019. I was given the honour of naming a beautiful 11 1/2 year old girl I had been keeping an eye on in Macau, Sonia.
My highlight is that three weeks later I adopted Sonia, fulfilling my promise to Albano Martins to adopt one of the senior greyhounds. Sonia was an incredible girl, everyone was drawn to her. She spent 9 1/2 years living in a concrete cell with no bed or water, but had only seven weeks of being part of my family as cancer had spread through her, even reaching her heart. I still have not recovered from the heartbreak of this.
CHARITY WORK CAN BE EMOTIONALLY DIFFICULT, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE?
Indeed campaigning and charity work is very emotional with the cruelty we see on a daily basis. As a campaigner I also have to put up with personal insults, lies and threats from those involved with greyhound racing.
How do I cope? Through time away from social media, cuddles and walks with the dogs, computer games, TV box sets, support from amazing family and friends, lots of chocolate and when all else fails, sitting with the greyhounds in rescues reminding myself of why I put myself through the stress and heartache.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT DOGS.
JoJo is an Irish greyhound who had a spinal injury when she was a year old. She doesn’t always know where her back legs are causing her to be clumsy. She is a very affectionate girl but anxious, and things have to be done in a certain way sometimes.
I realised she needed another confident dog with her, hence the arrival of Sir Bobby, a tripod Chihuahua cross (he’d been run over by a car) from Galgos del Sol in Spain. Bobby is after world domination and he is an official greyhound protector.
When Sonia passed we all struggled but especially Bobby. With a few Macau greyhounds still needing homes and our house already set up for another greyhound Emily joined us in June 2019. It has taken over 18 months for Emily to adjust to living in a house. She was also very shut down when she arrived but now loves coming for cuddles. Congratulations must go to Sir Bobby who has taught Emily to act like a Chihuahua instead of a greyhound.
Their adventures can be followed on Diaries of a Diva on Facebook and Instagram.
DO YOU KNOW A GOOD DOG JOKE?
A Doberman, a Poodle and a Greyhound died and are standing in front of God at the entrance to the kingdom of heaven. God asks them all what they believe in?
The Doberman says: "I believe in discipline, training and loyalty to my owner." "Good," says God, "take a seat on my right side."
"Poodle, what do you believe in?" Asked God. The Poodle answers: "I believe in love and care from my owner as well as peace in the world." "Ah," God said, "You can take a seat to my left side."
Then he looked at The Greyhound: "And what do you believe in?" The Greyhound stood there, looked at him and answered: "I believe you're sitting in my seat!"