Alice in Wooferland is a retired racing Greyhound. Her career was cut short and like so many Greyhounds globally, she was discarded. But Alice was one of the fortunate ones. She was rescued, unlike many more that are killed.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Alice has fans all over the world who follow her adventures on social media with her owner Suzanne Hopping. Although in the last few days Facebook closed down Alice's account, this only led to increased interest and an influx of new supporters from the online dog-loving community.
Having pawed her way back on the social network, Alice has taken a break to speak with me about her life and plans for her upcoming book, which although written in "Greylish" can be understood by all breeds of dogs and humans too!
Alice and her alter-ego Mini-me on Sydney Harbour
Alice, you used to be known as Suddenly Trendy when you raced, which sadly is an apt name. Can you share a bit about your life back then and what happened?
Mine life woz kompletely different den. I be livin in a cage owtside wif a concrete floor an I be spendin most hours ov de day trainin on a treadmill so I culd be runnin farster. Mine bottom an legs be kompletely bold from lyin on hard surfaces. I be kwite unhappy fur meny reasons. I nevva lernt to play, had no reel contakt wif a hooman who be luvin me, only a trainer hoo wanted me to run farst. Anuvver reason being, dat befour racink, houndies ar starved so dey run farster, it obviosly didn werk fur me, eben tho mumsie be collin me a greedy guts. So az u can be imaginin, I woz not at oll happy wif dis scenario. At de age of 3, I be unserimoniously diskarded, wen I woz pronounced not gud enouf to be winnin rases. I be bery luky coz most greyhoundies find demselves goin ovva de rainbow bridge at dis time, but I did surbive. I be findin a wunnerful lady dat be puttink me into kare wif a fosta family til I culd be findin mine furevva home. I had to be learnin to do oll sorts ov fings dat eberywon be takin fur granted, such az, relatin to hoomans, livin in a home, eben climing stares wos a grate ackomplishment - I had nevva, evva seen stares befour an I be very skared ov navigatin dem at first.
Alice eating a home-made dog biscuit. (This is the photo that was chosen for the My Human Family photographic exhibition)
© Suzanne Hopping
So how did you go from being a racer to becoming a writer?
Dis iz wen I be havin a life-changin eggzperience. One day mine fuchure muvva an farvva did be turnin up to mine foster parentals home in de Blue Mountains, an be takin me to deir home in de big city ov Sydenknee. I started writin when mumsie did join a group colled 'My Human Family' to raize awareness ov de plight ov reskue doggies. She be sendin dem a foto ov me, an it woz selected fur a fotografic eggzhibition witch be toorin around Ostralyia. Den My Human Family be arskin members to be writin a diary where we had to fill in pages, den send it off to de next family so dey culd be continuing de diary wif deir doggie's story. Dere were about 10 diaries travellin round from home to home. Wif de help ov mumsie I be doin mine diary like a big magazine artikle wif layowts. Oll de diaries den went on a travellin eggzhibition. My Human Family also be putting mine foto up on deir fasepoop page.
The opening spread of Alice's story for the Dog Diary, My Human Family - four more spreads followed
What led you to create a presence on social media, which is usually for humans?
Mumsie den be joinin fasepoop, an wen she not be usin de komputer I be sneekin in an putting up fotos an littel stories ov mine daily life. I den be slowly gavverin a followink and it be getting bigger by de week. Meny peeples den be arskin, why don I hab mine own fasepoop page? Mumsie did ebenchually relent an gave me mine own fasepoop page so I culd be tolkin to oll mine frends.
What can prospective readers expect from the book you're now writing?
I don't kno if yoo hav herd ov Bridget Jones's Diary but I be formattin mine book in dis manner. It be anekdots an musings ov daily insidents an events, hopefooly ov an amusink nachure. It be ritten in wot I coll Greylish, in a bid to kover up mine dish-lick-sick dishpozishon. It be illistrated wif de soopa fotos mumsie be takin ov me wif her little blak box, in and around Sydenknee. Yoo will olso be herein oll about de local Hilltribe (dey be mine doggie frends on de hill, neer mine plase ov abode) and be taken on meny advenchures to de big, bootiful Centennial Park, witch olso be klose to mine home. It will be makin yoo want to cum an liv heer. I olso hav an alter-ego colled Mini-me, she be a smoll blak houndie, hoo be cuming wif me eberwhere I go an often be appearin in mine fotos.
These are some of the members of the Hilltribe with Alice on the right
© Suzanne Hopping
Is there a message in the book you'd like readers to take away?
De message wuld be bout how much joy can be had between doggies an deir hoomans, an dat houndies be de best ferapy if u be feelin low. Wen yoo reskue a doggie, den in turn it reskues yoo. I olso be believing dat doggies can be givin peeples lessons in hoomanity, if we oll had doggies de werld wuld be a moor joyfool plase.
I know you were very sad when Facebook shut down your profile recently, but would you say it's turned out to be a positive experience?
It be a bery kalamitos ebent wen Fasepoop so roodly be eggzterminatin me, (fanks to a troll hoo reported me coz I be a houndie). But dat did not stop me. It made me moor resiliant in de fase of adversity, espeshally wen dey eradikated me a second time. I made eberyfink rite by openin a Groop fasepoop, witch I colled 'Fans of Alice in Wooferland'. All dis be showin me dat dere be amazin people in de werld, hoo oll be rallyin fur me, an be following me from round de globe. Az we tolk I hab gavvered moor den won fousand followers in less den a day. I be learnin so much about soshal media dis week.
Have you got a plan in place in case "Fasepoop" closes down your account again so you don't lose all your musings?
I be hopin dat dey dont be klosing me down agen az I be writin under mumsie's name, even tho de Groop haz mine name attached to it. I now be takin konstant screen shots ov oll mine postinks. Sadly, I did be losin so meny ov mine daily musings from de past munfs. I be feelin like fasepoop be stealin a bit ov mine life.
Alice and Mini-me at Bare Island - about 12 kms from home
© Suzanne Hopping
If people are thinking about getting a dog, would you recommend they look into adopting a Greyhound?
I not be at oll biased but I culdn't be rekommendin a greyhoundie enuf. Dey don't be collin us 45mph couch potatos fur nuffink. Kontrary to poplar belief we don't need much wolkin, 20 minits a day iz enuf, alvo mumsie be takin me owt fur much longer. We olso be gud at livin in apartments, az long as we be taken owt so we can be chekin owr wee-mails twice a day. An sum ov us be eggztremely kwiet an don't evva be barkin, (mumsie haz nevva heerd me bark).
For people who'd like to help end the cruelty suffered by Greyhounds, what can they do?
Dey can be getting in touch wif deir local MPs (not shore wot yoo coll dem in de Yoo Kay) an informing dem ov de plite ov de greyhound. Dey can be joinin de meny houndie groops round de werld to be raisin awareness ov de kruelty dat goez on behind de sceens ov de racing industry, witch be makin lots ov munny owt ov gambling wif owr lives.
Dere be a sayin heer in Ostralyia: YOU BET WE DIE.
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