Greyhound
Hampshire Greyhound Rescue

Dog Tales

 

 

We have always said to any number of greyhound owners that we could write a book about the exploits of each of the greyhounds that found a forever home.

Yes, it is quite true we get to hear some amazing things that these loveable rogues get up to, but rather than us tell the story we thought it a great idea for you to write to us and we will include your tale.

Just email us your story and pictures and we will do the rest.

Our friend and ex-colleague Sandy has put pen to paper and given us a real tribute to their first Greyhound Tina.

 

Greyhound ownership  (A Tribute to Tina)

 

 

Tina was our first Greyhound.  She came to live with us in August 2000 when she was  2 years old.  When we first met her, she was trying to hide in the back of her racing kennel which she shared with Henry, a big golden boy.  Tina was a black greyhound, extremely nervous and we were advised that she would probably find it difficult to settle and, yes, this proved to be the case!

However, over a period of time she eventually came to love us and us her.  A lesson here, if you are thinking of homing a greyhound, please do not expect them to understand what it is like to live in a home straightaway.  It is a completely new experience to them, so much to learn, but with patience and kindness you will be well rewarded.

Tina {racing name Athena} was, at first, wary of just about everything.  When we first took her home, she didn’t want to go through the front door and then once in didn’t want to go out!  Eventually she overcame her fears, although she always had her own ideas on what she liked!  Fireworks and the sound of guns going off were definitely NOT on the menu.  Although sleeping in the bedroom WAS a priority, on her own duvet on the floor.  She just wanted the reassurance of us being near.

Tina was quite a character, which we would never have discovered if we had not given her a chance in the early days.  She insisted on bedtime at 10 o’clock by doing a little dance and asking to go out and then straight upstairs.  She was always there when the kettle was put on, waiting for her biscuit and she had the habit of hiding her head between your legs!  Yes, sounds strange, but it was her way of loving and putting her trust in us.  She also pretended, if you were stroking her and stopped, to open her mouth and make out she was going to bite you – she never did, it was just a means of getting more attention.

Over the years, she went everywhere with us, especially enjoying her runs on the beaches in Norfolk and Devon, enjoying her  trips in our Motorhome, where she used to watch the rabbits through the window when we used to park in a Dorset caravan park.  Yes, she would have chased them given the chance – she was, after all, a greyhound and they do love to run and so graceful when they do.  If she saw us getting our suitcases out, she knew we were off somewhere and watched us very closely to make sure we didn’t leave her behind!

Eventually Tig and Maggie came along and she was happy to accept their company and derived a sense of comfort out on walks with them, although indoors she was the matriarch.  Tig was never allowed to make his own bed, without her assistance!  Maggie was also informed who was the boss, but they were the best of friends.

Tina was 14 years of age when we had to say our goodbyes, a good age for a greyhound, but it broke our hearts when the decision had to be made.  She is now running free over Rainbow Bridge with all the other greyhounds, those who were lucky enough to get the chance of a loving home and those who sadly never got the chance.

 

oooOooo

 

If on reading this tribute to our beautiful Tina you wish to take on a dog, please give a homeless greyhound a chance of a place in your home.  They might not be perfectly behaved at first, but with patience and building up trust, you will have a beautiful relationship – ask any greyhound owner!

 

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'Gentleman' BoB and his sidekick Paddy 'Digger' Hudson

 

    It was September 2012 I think, I decided we had to have a dog. I think it is called empty nest syndrome, that I needed someone to care for who always needs me.

     So I rope the family into getting a dog.

After a lot of research, we decided a greyhound would suit our family (as I work from home I needed a dog that would fit in with the madness). I also wanted to rescue a dog as I felt the need to have someone who wanted a home with lots of love.

 

So after a google search along pops up Hampshire Greyhound Rescue.

And oh look, they do a meet and greet. So dragging the family in tow off we go.

After plugging the people at the rescue via the walks with lots of question, we ask wether we could meet some of the dogs that needed homes forever to see what dogs would suit us. After a short time, we decided we wanted Bob to join our family. So after our checks, we were planning on having Bob which was after Christmas due to our family commitments.

But could I wait that long?

Nope, I couldn’t. So at the begin of November Bob came home!!!!

 

 

Bob settled down real fast and took to family live as if it was meant to be.   He found the TV confusing when he first came home, but after he got used to it he was fine.

Bob has learnt to play fetch, do a 'jimmy riddle' on command and to 'wait' when told. The only thing he has not the hang off is to come back when off the lead. He tends to forget his name at this point.

But was one enough!

Fast forward a couple of months after Christmas.

Paddy had been returned as was not settling in his new home. He looked all sad in his kennel, and loved the attention he got from Madeline.  Bob was not too fussed either with Paddy. I just happen to walk him alongside Bob on the Kennel walk.

 

And before I knew it, he just looked so good together in the boot of our small car with Bob.   After a long chat and a phone call to James, Paddy came home for a weeks trial to see how he got on with us all. 

Then there was two, and no more!   (so husband says);

 

 

So after a couple of weeks, we did the paperwork for Paddy and he became ours.

Oh and did I mention a bigger car for the boys!

Bob and Paddy love to play, more Paddy then Bob.  Bob loves to play with me but will just stand there when Paddy barks to say “play with me”.    They share the same bed, eat out of each other food bowls, wee on each other heads when out and about. 

You name it, they share it. 

Paddy is only 6 mths older then Bob and likes to plod along in his walk and sniff to see who has been about.   He can walk off lead and comes to you when called. He loves to sleep and won’t get out of bed during the day whereas Bob loves to check that all the children are here and to makes sure the toys are still there in the correct places.

 

    You could in fact forget we have Paddy, and only realise you got him when he comes up for a cuddle.  He loves his ears and chin been stroked and will lean into your hand for more.

Bob loves his tummy tickle and will be glad to make sure his tummy is in full reach in order for you to do this task.

    All the children love the boys and help walk them on the school run. They are also good listeners for all the children and are now important part of the family for everyone who comes to the house to enjoy.

    Would not be without them and would gladly have more.

 

 

                        Bob and Paddy.

 

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Jean's account of her journey to greyhound ownership

(A Tribute to Ceilidh)

Living in Kent with two young children - and a mortgage - I decided to look for part-time evening or weekend work to augment the family income. I found myself working on the Tote at the nearby Crayford Greyhound Racing Stadium twice a week so I came to see these elegant creatures racing round the track regularly.

I could not help but admire them but not once did the thought enter my head that I would end up owning even one of them, let alone three.   I must admit that at that time I was very wary of dogs and would cross the road to avoid going near one of any description.

All that was to change when one cold, very wet night my son found a dog outside our home (by then we had moved to Hertfordshire). He told me we could not leave her out all night. She smelled to high heaven so I would not agree until she had had a bath. When wet I could see she was not as big as she had appeared and we christened her Scrap.

We then set about trying to find her something to eat including defrosting food from the freezer as she was famished. Later we did manage to glean some information about her background and she did return home for 24 hours but then we received a phone call saying her owners didn't really want her back.

Lost on purpose we believe because we were told they had four children (one being a young baby) and a cat. Needless to say I was soon converted by this affectionate, intelligent and obedient creature (we believe she was a cross between a bearded collie and a poodle). So much so a while later we took in another dog (another Bitza - bits of this and bits of that) direct from the Police Station one Christmas as all the local dogs homes were full.

We called her Honey. What a misnomer! A right little madam she was. A Houdini of a dog. Would escape from anywhere. Still not put off, a couple of Christmases later when we saw on the TV that Battersea Dogs Home was bursting at the seams we added a third. A right 57 varieties this one. No idea what Kiri was. Do not think she had ever had a run in a green field before. It was so rewarding to see her enjoying herself.

So when I retired in 1996 and moved from Herts to Hampshire I brought my little troop with me and they had a great time. A garden to sit in (I'd been in a flat before) and the occasional trip to the coast.


Sadly, just as she was coming up to 15 years of age Scrap was put to sleep as she was suffering from lymphoma. I was heart broken - she left such a great gap in my life.

A few days later, feeling really miserable, I thought I would pop down to The Ark at Stubbington which I had seen on TV and look at the dogs they were trying to home. No intention of getting one at that time you will understand.

I saw this beautiful greyhound which they had named Kayleigh. I called to her and she got out of her bed and came over to me immediately. After a return visit, to introduce Honey and Kiri to her, which went surprisingly well, and a home check we adopted her a week later.


Now I cannot say that Kiri exactly welcomed this tall stranger into the home. However, after a while she settled down and they lived quite companionably together until Kiri's death. When Kiri's eyesight was failing and she was less mobile Ceilidh protected and guided her.

In the picture Kiri has her back to Ceilidh - but it was early days!

One regret - as she was Irish born and bred I decided to use the gaelic spelling of her name - wouldn't do the same thing again. You can imagine how many times I had to spell it out when booking her in for treatments.

In my view Ceilidh was one in a million. I suppose having been with the RSPCA for three months she had got to see many other types of dogs, which greyhounds straight from racing usually have not.

She gave me no problems at all in that direction, so after a few days she went out unmuzzled. Ceilidh had been with us less than a fortnight when she took her chance and slipped her collar in the park. Off she went at top speed. I was panic stricken. An ex-racer, unmuzzled, no collar - what if she ran out of the park to terrorise the local cats?

I quickly decided there was only one thing to do. I ran away from her.

She immediately galloped after me. I held out her collar and like a little lamb she let me put it back on. What a relief! However, I was quite soon able to allow her off lead the majority of the time we were out.

She took such a delight in running it was a joy to watch her.

Now no dog is perfect. Ceilidh's failing? No two ways about it - that dog was a thief! Woe betide me if I left my breakfast toast and marmalade unattended. It certainly wouldn't be there when I got back. My night time milky drink also had to be moved to a high point before leaving the room. If I forgot a long tongue wiped the mug dry.

The funniest thing was her first Christmas with us. Now Scrap liked a walnut. She would crack it with her teeth, pick the edible bits out and leave the shell. Not Ceilidh! Overnight she devoured every single brazil nut I had left within reach - shells and all. I found two little presents on the kitchen floor that morning - the only time she ever did that. She was also rather anxious to get into the garden that morning as well, where she performed twice again - and twice more on the 9.00 am walk in the park. Her little tummy must have been bursting.

Being so food orientated you will not be surprised to learn I often found that she had left my side to speed over to the other side of the park to see one of her human friends - usually the ones who always had treats in their pockets. She was a firm favourite with many there and more than one shed a tear when we had to say goodbye to her in September 2006.

In 2002 I had met Mark and Lynda and taken in another greyhound, called Annie. On her arrival Ceilidh really blossomed. It was quite obvious that having another greyhound in the home made her life complete. Having heard about the Sunday walks I had been joining them as often as I could with my two.

When I phoned Lynda to say I had lost Ceilidh she naturally asked in a roundabout way if I would be getting another dog. I said I was thinking about it but not to rush out to find a suitable one.

If you know Lynda & Mark then you know they have never been known to miss an opportunity, four days later when I went to join them on the Sunday this little black girl called Annie was produced. You will see from the Rogues Gallery that she had a quick name change to Melody and is now my constant companion.

She is special in her way. Although the most nervous dog I've had she is better with cats than any of the others (and that includes the Bitzas) and has even been known to watch a rabbit run across the road without getting too excited.

Melody really enjoys getting together with the others on a Sunday.

In fact that is the only place where she will not get back into the car to go home without some persuasion. Lynda has been known to have to lift her in for me - she is so reluctant to leave.

I am so grateful to Ceilidh for introducing me to the pleasures of greyhound ownership.

 

 

 

 

Greyhound