A greyhound is helping injured police officer Matthew Butcher recover from injuries received in the line of duty during an incident outside a Joondalup pub.
By his own admission Constable Butcher, 32, knew nothing about greyhound racing up until a few months ago.
So he probably doesn’t know quite what to expect when the greyhound he owns with wife Katrina, On The Case, goes around for her first start at Cannington on Wednesday night.
On The Case is prepared by veteran trainer John Carmody and will be one the early fancies after an impressive win in a qualifying trial last week.
The Butchers have come to greyhound ownership in unusual and unfortunate circumstances.
In February this year Matt was severely injured on the job after an incident outside a Joondalup pub, which left him in a coma and fighting for his life.
When Katrina’s former employers heard about Matt’s plight they organised a benefit to raise money for the stricken policeman’s recovery.
With the support of various Perth businesses and individuals, as well radio station 6PR, the evening was a huge success generating more than $120,000.
One of the “items” auctioned that night was On The Case, donated by Greyhounds WA.
The greyhound was purchased by Tony Rompotis, the managing director of the private investigation firm Australia Wide Investigations, who has generously shared his ownership with the Butchers.
Matt received the news of the fundraiser when he regained consciousness and was overwhelmed by the generosity displayed by people who were complete strangers to him.
It was a positive story in what is otherwise a grim picture.
Matt will have to deal with the lifelong impact of this incident, as will his wife and family.
Despite making a steady recovery, Matt’s injuries have left him paralysed down the left side of his body.
Although he hopes to regain the full use of both his legs he is currently wheelchair bound and faces a long rehabilitation program and an uncertain future in regards to his employment prospects.
In some small way his involvement with On The Case will aid his recuperation.
Matt describes his introduction to the chaser a couple of months ago as “love at first sight” and although he’s excited about seeing On The Case perform on the track he’s even more excited about the prospect of having her as a pet after her racing days are finished.
“The plan is that Katrina and I will go and kick the footy (at the park) and that the greyhound will come running with us,” he said.
Courtesy : James Broadhurst, Perth Sunday Times