Meet the very handsome Noah who is a Saluki and his best friend is Michael Thompson our very valued Ambassador who lives in Old Windsor. Our 2022 virtual calendar features animals who gave service and sacrifice in war, and over centuries the Saluki has certainly played its part. Evidence traces this hunting dog back to at least 5,000 years ago, and images of Salukis (also known as the Persian Greyhound) have been found on seals, mosaic sculptures and tomb paintings at archaeological sites in many areas of the Middle East. It is the world’s oldest dog breed. During the 12th century, they came to Europe by soldiers returning from the Crusades, and officers returning from the Middle Eastern theatre of WW1 brought their pet Salukis home with them. However, it was not until 1920 they were established in England, and the breed was officially recognised in 1923. But by the 1930’s interest in the dog weakened, and during World War Two many Salukis were euthanised to prevent them from dying of starvation. Happily some survived the war, but in their native lands numbers have dramatically decreased – replaced by guns and jeeps.

Michael tells us “ We lost Biff, a Staffi Cross 15 months ago. As they say a house isn’t a home without a dog, so the missus registered with a number of dog rescues but we never heard why we had not been accepted, despite being dog owners for a number of years. Finally Battersea, Old Windsor, came up trumps and in September last year we became proud owners of Noah, a Saluki. I have to admit it’s a breed we’d never heard of and was not on our wish list!!

Despite being keen to have another dog, we considered his needs – he needs exercise and lots of it – we expressed these concerns. The breed dates back several thousand years and is known as a sight prey dog, capable of 40mph! That’s faster than a greyhound, and with more stamina.

Two Salukis [modern title], painted by the Xuande Emperor of China (1399–1435).

“Noah’s history, one of mystery, even for Battersea as he was taken in from another rescue centre. Now five years old, due to his instinct can’t be released on open ground as he has no recall. He has enough exercise in our secure back garden, and he has adapted well to domestic life. He is quite friendly with people, but barks at other dogs. We wouldn’t be without him. It’s amazing how quickly animals become part of the family.”

We agree Michael.


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