Anyone that has spent some time at a GAP activation over the last few years will know Roz Russell and Jimmy.
They’ve been diligently and enthusiastically turning up to events all over the state to talk to people about the joy of owning greyhounds, often spending hours in the car from Shepparton just to spread the good word.
Although Roz had the opportunity to get involved with greyhounds in her childhood home in Wollongong, where she lived a few minutes from the Bulli greyhound track, she admits she never went and it was only seven years ago she met her first, Jimmy.
“Jimmy came to me straight from his trainer, Karen Pitt, and I fell in love with him pretty quickly. After a few months I realised he had a pretty cool personality, so I took him to be trained as a therapy dog.”
Roz and Jimmy were the first therapy dog team in Shepparton.
“We used to go to nursing homes and do all the GAP events at shows and expos. He’s a pretty unique dog. He’s got one hell of a personality.”
“He’s changed my life in so many ways. He’s opened so many doors and presented opportunities I never would have had before.’
One of those opportunities is George, one of a litter from Soul Dancer, owned by Roz’s close friends Liz Breukink and Theo Dahl. Theo offered Roz a share, and according to Roz, “I was pretty stoked and said yes!”
“I was there when the first pup was born. I carried this little thing that looked like a guinea pig and decided to call him George.”
Being a fan of the television program ‘Merlin’, Roz added ‘curlin’, and Curlin’ Merlin was officially named. Curlin’ Merlin – or George – has so far had 69 starts for 47 placings.
Roz is handling the dual passions of racing and adopting very well.
“I think you can do both. You can happily be involved in racing and the retirement side of it to. I love it.”
WATCH: Roz Russell on 7Mate’s Thrill of the Chase on Australian Cup night at The Meadows in February.
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