Greyhounds In The Family

Warning – historical content 1940 to 1980, racist dog name and cruelty to animals – greyhound coursing with live animals.

Nine years ago I adopted a retired racing greyhound named Squizzy. Her racing name is Tears and Rain. She’s thirteen years old now and finished racing when she was four. She loves her retirement, sleeping on my bed or the couch or maybe even her own bed. She also has a staffy best friend named Tess.

Squizzy and Tess asleep on my bed

This is Squizzy’s pedigree from

Squizzy has some good greyhounds in her lineage but that didn’t translate to success on the race track for her. Her paternal grandfather Brett Lee is one such greyhound.

Both my Dad and his brother, Bill, bred and raced greyhounds. Several years ago I got a large stash of family photos which included a photo of my Nan (paternal grandmother) Daphne Willison with two greyhounds – Favorite Chris and Lightning Larry.

Daphne Willison circa 1946 to 1950

In February and March 1948 Lightning Larry and Favorite Chris made it into the newspapers for their wins in coursing. Coursing is not something I agree with however this is part of my family history.

There isn’t a pedigree for Lightning Larry anywhere online that I could find, he may not have been a purebred or perhaps was only involved in coursing. Someone with more knowledge of the sport and the times may be able to tell me why this is so.

Other greyhounds they owned were:

  • Beau Cavalry 1948 – Favorite Chris dam, Cossack Cavalry sire – D.B. Willison
  • Nina Cavalry 1948 – Favorite Chris dam, Cossack Cavalry sire – W.H. Willison
  • Rotisserie circa 1968 – 1970 – dam and sire unknown D.B. Willison
Dad’s dog Beau Cavalry didn’t do very well after several attempts at coursing in 1950
Uncle Bill’s dog Nina Cavalry

Rotisserie was a racer and as far as I know wasn’t competing in coursing. I haven’t been able to find a pedigree for Rotisserie so I don’t know what his lineage was like. Dad always joked about him, saying he was “always getting slowly done” (as in beaten). Rotisserie’s pet name was Nigger. Again, this (using a racist name) is not something I endorse now.

Kylie and Dave Willison with Goldie and Nigger (Rotisserie) Christmas Day 1972

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