Born to Run
‘Born to Run‘ is a touching story about a Greyhound’s life and experiences with his different owners.
‘Bestmate’ is what he is named by his first owner- a young boy by the name of Patrick, who finds this tiny little puppy in a sack along with his other siblings flowing down a canal. Patrick saves them, feels deeply connected with the greyhound puppy, and adopts it. Bestmate lives a comfortable life with Patrick, who shows him much love and affection. But these happy days are short-lived. One day, Bestmate gets stolen and taken to a place to be used as a race dog.
The happy days get over as Bestmate finds a new owner- Craig, who trains dogs for races, and has no affection or attachment for him. Fortunately, there is Becky, Craig’s stepdaughter, who feels for all the dogs and understands their plight. She is the one who names him ‘Brighteyes’ after the beautiful, expressive eyes that he has. Brighteyes starts training as a race dog along with Alfie, a race dog like him. Brighteyes and Alfie become inseparable best friends. The duo wins many one-twos and brings home many trophies and prize money. Unfortunately, Alfie gets badly hurt in one race, and with that comes an end to his racing days. Becky’s worst fears come true as she witnesses how Alfie meets his end in the most dreaded way. Determined to save Brighteyes, Becky escapes with him from the farmhouse. With no money and food, the two roam around the streets and spend days and nights in starvation. Finally, Becky’s mother finds them and decides to take Becky back home. But Becky has to leave Brighteyes behind. She hands over Brighteyes to a new owner, Joe-an old man who is alone and lonely.
Almost immediately, Joe and the greyhound develop a liking for each other. Joe calls him ‘ Paddywack’ after the dog he once had. Soon, the two find love and companionship in each other. With Joe, Paddywack lives an entirely different life as he becomes a mascot for a nursing home where Joe’s wife had got treated before she died. Joe’s wife had loved the place and its people. Now the nursing home faces the threat of closing down. In his wife’s memory, Joe decides to fight to save the nursing home from closing. Paddywack receives loads of affection and admiration from all the members of the nursing home and also gains a great deal of popularity as he comes into the limelight because of the campaign.
Life takes a turn again and leads Paddywack back to Patrick. But now Patrick has a new dog for company and doesn’t recognize his ‘ Bestmate.’ It’s a happy moment for Paddywack as he finally gets to see Patrick after so many years, but sad, too, as Patrick doesn’t recognize him. He accepts life as it is, and he returns with Joe.
Both adults and children can enjoy reading this heartwarming story. The author makes the reader go through the experiences from the dog’s perspective- The feeling of love, The pain of losing his loved ones, and his helplessness because of his inability to talk and express himself. It imbibes the virtues of being more considerate towards these beautiful creations of nature. It is also a story that teaches us to always keep our hopes high and move on.
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