A BLACKBURN man says that owning a greyhound has helped him stay focussed and positive through the lockdown.

Forty-three year old Badar Zaman said he acquired Goldie six months ago and helped to nurture the animal back to full health.

“It has been really good for me mentally. I have enjoyed taking care of the animal.”

Badar is the son of the late Palwan Qamar Zaman, one of the most accomplished kabbadi players in the UK. He admits that he had gone through tough periods in his life.

“I remember when I was a young child in Pakistan and saw animals. Ever since I always thought it would be great to own a dog.

“I came across Goldie and I thought I could do something nice and help the dog back to full fitness. 

“The reason I took on a greyhound is because they are racing dogs.

“The whole process of taking care of Goldie helps to de-stress me. When people get into depression it is because of tensions in their lives and people don’t always understand why this is. It could be due to many reasons.

“I think only owners know the feeling you get from taking care of an animal in this way.

“During lockdown I kept myself focussed and it is keeping me occupied and happy.

“You have to spend a lot of time taking care of the animal and I am enjoying it.

“I have spent £1,500 to insulate his kennel and on other goods.”

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Goldie is two-and a-half and has not been able to race in recent months due to the lockdown.

Badar said: “The last time he raced was before the lockdown and that was before I owned him. We take him to Doncaster for trials. During a trial he won against another dog by a comfortable margin. So he has got potential.

“I am looking forward to April 5 when we are able to take part in racing again. I think there are a lot of dog racers like me who are hoping for things to get back to normal.” 

Badar added some people found it unusual that he owned a dog. “I know I am not the only Asian who owns a dog but it is not something you see all the time.

“I think people should understand the benefits and the work that goes into taking care of an animal such as this.”