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Sweet-natured companion Danielle Paulson with former racing greyhound Buddha and son Noah, aged 2. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

A Rangiora toddler has overcome his fear of animals thanks to a greyhound.

Buddha, a former racing greyhound, was adopted from the Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) adoption agency by Rangiora’s Danielle Paulson.

She gave the 7-year-old sweet-natured hound a forever home a year ago, initially to help her son, Noah, now aged 2, overcome his intense fear of animals.

“I did some research on what animals would be best to help Noah and greyhounds kept coming up as therapy dogs,” she says.

“Within three days of adopting Buddha, Noah went from being utterly terrified of him to being incredibly confident around him and other animals.” Buddha was able to help Noah because he has a calm, gentle and relaxed nature, Danielle says.

Although the family initially adopted Buddha to help Noah, they got to know a community of like-minded dog lovers involved in GAP.

“You don’t just get a lovely family dog, you get to know an awesome group of people within the GAP community who support one another by taking their dogs for walks together, dog-sitting for each other, and even fundraising in one case when a dog needed expensive surgery,” Danielle says.

The GAP agency was established to find caring homes for greyhounds after they finish racing. “Greyhounds are sweet, gentle, loving, clean, quiet, and smart, making them excellent family pets,” GAP’s South Island rehoming team leader, Rachel Foster, of Fernside, says.