An article from Greyhound Racing News ...by Mark Richardson
HUNNY, GREYHOUND RACING’S MRS MARCOS
March 31, 2020 12:01 pm
Mark Richardson’s curiosity of the greyhound breed not only took him to an adoption day at The Meadows in November 2018 but saw him drive home with a shy, reserved, timid fawn female called Hunny.
Hunny, who raced as Ballymac Chick, did not leave her legacy on the track after having three starts without a placing. Unbeknown to Mark, her legacy would be something far more purposeful.
With greyhound ownership new to Mark, he took to social media in a display of pride and admiration of Hunny, to inform others of her quirks, her antics and her post racing life that resonated far and wide with not only the Greyhound pet community, but racing enthusiasts alike.
However, the discovery that Hunny had corns on the pads of her feet that were so debilitating, making walking painful. This sent Mark searching the globe for suitable doggy footwear, most resembled oven mitts.
Mark’s attempts to modify them along with consultations with Hunny’s vet Dr Bec Goode, resigned both to the fact that custom made boots were the only option, and “with a fair bit of prompting from Dr Bec, I ended up creating Hunnyboots,” Mark said.
On RSN’s Cracking The Codes Mark, who is an industrial/graphic designer, said Hunnyboots had taken him “on an absolute ride.”
He was slightly embarrassed to admit that Hunny has about thirty pairs of unsuitable shoes in her wardrobe, and likened her to the “Imelda Marcos of dogs!”
Mark called on the greyhound community predominately through FoGap (Friends of Greyhound Adoption Programs) for measurements of their dogs feet to enable him to design a prototype boot, given that “greyhounds feet are directly opposite to that of any regular dog, they’re broad at the back and narrow at the front.”
Mark also got out the tape measure and physically traced many greyhound feet, the results showing correlations between their weight, size and sex, with data collected from over 200 hundred responses within the greyhound community.
“The level of interest has been very, very high” he said.
The initial concept of a boot for Hunny looks to become the launching pad for greater things.
“Because I’m doing this, for really for the love of the breed, and the fascination I have for three dimensional things and constructing things, we’re building prosthetic implants, to go into the shoe, or a totally remodelling a, shoe so that it fits dogs with extreme problem feet’, Mark said.
Mark has seen this project from concept to web building, sewing, graphics, all under the watchful eye of Hunny in his home office. “It’s very rewarding’, he said, “my night job has rapidly turned into my day job, and it’s taken a significant career to actually turn around and say I’m finally working on a project that has my whole heart in it”.
“The global interest has been breathtaking, the largest customer base by far is the States, and we’ll be shipping products to Sweden, Nova Scotia, all over Canada, with half of the 500-item initial order already committed.
Hunny’s feet may not have left an impression on the track, but her “new” footprints will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy.
BY Simone Fisher