Haibun: Second Chance


Forest trail near mountains covered in snow under a grey sky


Behind grey prison walls an inmate learns to readjust, to love, to take responsibility at crunch time. He repairs their fractured trust, provides new skills for life and helps retired greyhounds stride into a better future.

flying above the snows
a robin sings

Β© Xenia Tran


a black whippet and a blue whippet in winter coats running on a snow covered forest trail

Many racing greyhounds have only been taught how to race and require rehabilitation and training to help them adapt to a new life as pets. Some ex-racers are rehomed straight from the track with experienced sighhound owners who are happy to do the rehabilitation themselves. Others go into foster care before they are ready for rehoming and some go into prison programmes where carefully selected inmates are trained as dog handlers. The inmates devote all their time to the rehabilitation of the hounds and are making a positive contribution to the dogs’ lives as well as to the wider community where the dogs are ultimately rehomed.

The Greyhound Inmate Experience is one of these programmes and you can visit their website if you are interested in adopting or wish to browse through their photo gallery and read some of the inmates’ letters. The stories of transformation and redemption are very inspiring and a great example of what can be achieved with a positive vision.

We wish you all a very happy Monday and a wonderful new week!

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx


Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, settings: f/4, 1/640 s, ISO 100 and f/4, 1/1000 s, ISO 100.


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Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

68 thoughts on “Haibun: Second Chance”

  1. That’s amazing! I didn’t know anything about the inmate dog handing scheme. What a great idea – hopefully it will help the inmates as well as the dogs πŸ’– You’ve really got the snow now, looks fabulous. Evior and Pearl look like they’re enjoying it too πŸ™‚ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cathy, these programmes are a great help for the inmates too and if you have time you might want to read some of their letters on the website. There are similar programmes in other locations and this one stood out for me. There is still a lot of snow and Eivor and Pearl are loving their snow zoomies. Hope you are having a great day too and much love to you and Finn :o) xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is inspiring and a very good programme. Nothing reaches your core faster than being responsible for a beautiful creature like this. The transformation, I can imagine would be permanent.
    Love changes everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is wonderful. I did not know about this. we have a neighbor who has two ex-race track greyhounds. What a wonderful program for the inmates. I know in the US there are similar programs involving horses. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is a wonderful book, “Weekends with Daisy” about the inmate/dog training program. I used to volunteer at two different prisons and I love that the inmates are given such a wonderful responsibility like this. They really do have a lot to offer. Great post, Xenia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Lois and I so agree. I used to volunteer at a women’s prison where many inmates were prone to self-har. A carefully managed programme like this would have been an amazing second chance for them and the hounds. Thank you so much for suggesting this book – I have ordered it and look forward to reading it soon! β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful pictures and Haibun. Also, I love to hear about prison programs like this – ones that will actually make a difference for the inmates and the dogs they are helping. No snow here yet, but it is supposed to turn a lot colder in the next 24 hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Vicky, this programme has such a positive impact all round and will hopefully inspire others to follow their example. Hope you all stay warm and much love to you and Tippy β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my God, Xenia. This is amazing. What an immense program to learn to give love and speak kindly to ourselves and to those (in this case dogs ❀ ) in need. Thank you for contributing this for Forgiving Fridays. I am touched, honored, and blessed. Love and Light to all those involved! And love your haibun. Really love it. Blessings, Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

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