FREDDIE'S FIRST YEAR
WITH FIONA AND JEREMY
Nov '19 and a visit to Emley to the Sunday morning greyhound gathering. What a morning; everyone so incredibly helpful, kind, with dogs a plenty; our minds were made up.
From there, much research undertaken, every greyhound YouTube video watched, and a home visit from Kath completed. Fast forward to Feb '20 and a life-changing visit to Clipsall Wood kennels. We didn't have any prerequisites, not particularly fussy whether adopting a girl or boy; colour, age etc. wasn't an issue, we just left it with Kath to work her matchmaking magic. Kath introduced Freddie to us, and the rest as they say is history.
We'd never owned a greyhound before, I remember our first week with Freddie being a tad daunting, perhaps a kin to newby parents bringing their precious new born home for the first time. Kath (midwife) and Richmond Vets (the hospital) were both on speed dial. Absolutely no issues with house training, separation anxiety, destructiveness or anything like that, but we remember Freddie being so reserved when he initially came to us, he really didn't know how to be a dog in a home environment. We now know this to be common to most if not all newly homed ex-racers. As the saying goes, softly softly catchy monkey, and it took perhaps a good three months before the true character of our loving boy really shone through.
So, one year on and we couldn't be happier; best decision we've ever made, Freddie is perfect for us and he's loving life. He's settled in fantastically well, we can't imagine life without him. His cheeky inquisitive character is in full bloom, he's taken everything in his stride without a problem. He's taught us such a lot as well.
He's very friendly and gentle with humans, but not so much with other dogs until he gets to know them. We know he has quite a keen prey drive, and this is very much work in progress. He likes a long walk first thing in the morning, then breakfast, cuddles and maybe a short nap. He loves to ride in the car, ideally to the park, and usually gets another two shorter walks before tea and settling down with his toys.
He's such an affectionate boy, loves attention, and yes we spoil him. However he's still retained an independence to his character, he likes to chose his own route for his morning walk, he much prefers his own bed to our settees, and is particularly vocal if he feels we've overstepped the mark with a delayed feeding time.
Would we recommend rehoming a retired racing greyhound? Yes, yes and thrice yes; Freddie's enriched our lives tenfold, we're so fortunate to have him, and incredibly grateful to Greyhound Trust West Yorkshire for making this happen; what's not to love?
ABOUT ADOPTING CURTIS
I'd grown up with a dog and always wanted another one, my husband wasn't quite as keen as he'd been bitten a couple of times as a child. We'd looked at different breeds and liked what we'd heard about greyhounds so I headed off to Crown Point to meet them one morning and have a chat with the Trust volunteers to find out what living with a greyhound is really like.
From there, we arranged a home visit which I admit I was a bit nervous about. We knew we had to get the garden fences sorted out before we could take adoption any further but the Trust volunteer who came to see us was very supportive, she answered all our questions (even the silly ones J ) and also told us about the Northern Greyhound Gathering.
The NGG was great fun and it sealed the deal about whether we were looking at the right breed of dog for us. Everyone talks about how sweet natured these dogs are and that day proved it. To see so many of them in one place, some newly homed, some who'd been homed for many years and pretty much all of them completely chilled out was the confirmation we needed.
After a frustrating few months of sorting fences and fixing walls we were finally ready, so off we went to the kennels where we met Kath and a couple of the dogs, one of whom was Curtis. In the end, he was the one who did the choosing, he won us over very quickly, just by being himself.
He's a naturally cautious boy, a little shy, so coming home with us was a big change for him. It hasn't all been plain sailing as we learned to live together (there were a few 'discussions' over who was allowed on the bed and who wasn't!), but nothing we couldn't sort out with time and patience. House training was harder for us than for him! It took him a little time to teach us his signals for when he wanted to go out, the very few accidents have been our fault because we've not understood him.
Watching him come out of his shell and learn about living with a family has been brilliant. It took him less than 12 hours to manage going upstairs (The first night, his reaction was 'What?! You want to leave me down here in the dark on my own?!!' when we told him good night and switched off the light. He scrambled straight up those scary stairs on the first try (there were legs everywhere!). Coming down next morning, was a different matter - he needed some help, but once he mastered it, he spent the rest of the day using the stairs as his racetrack, and it only took about a fortnight for him to take over the sofa.
Watching him gain confidence has been very rewarding, from the first time he climbed on the sofa to the first time he came and asked for a cuddle and the first time he walked confidently through a busy car park.
He's been with us for 6 months now and he makes us smile every day, I honestly can't imagine life without him. None of this could have happened without the help and support of the Trust volunteers tho'. Everyone we've met has been friendly, helpful and enthusiastic about the dogs, whether that's on a meet and greet at a store, at the Emley socials or at the kennels. Knowing that there was expert help at hand should we need it was another factor to us adopting a greyhound.
And the slightly less keen husband - had a grin a mile wide when walking Curtis the day after adopting him and after a couple of months said 'I know I'm not going to live this down, but why didn't we do this years ago?' A very good question!
WE BROUGHT DEXTER HOME A YEAR AGO TODAY. IT'S BEEN A JOY TO SEE HIM COME OUT OF HIS SHELL AND TURN INTO THE BOUNCY, HAPPY, CLEVER PUP HE IS TODAY.
Here we are practising some of his newer tricks.
LOVED MORE THAN SAUSAGE BUTTIES!
5 years since Rose came to live with us. We are still so grateful to Kath for letting us have her. She is such a clever little madam, still so eager to learn even at nearly 10 years old. She has spent the day so far, hunting squirrels in the woods with her best friend Jet and plans to snooze the rest of the day away on anything remotely soft that needs picking up from the floor with maybe a bit of kitchen counter surfing in between. 😍
In the words of her little human brother, we love her more than sausages butties.
THIS MESSAGE FROM TINA AND CHRIS - CELEBRATING THEIR FIRST ANNIVERSARY AS GREYHOUND OWNERS!
Just wanted to say it’s 1 year since we 1st got George. He’s come on so much in that past year, he makes us so proud. He’s very well behaved but he still has a cheeky side which makes us laugh everyday. We couldn’t love him more, he brings us so much joy & happiness. I just wanted to say thank you because I genuinely believe you couldn’t have matched us with a better dog. Here’s some pics of him from last year to now 💕. Xx
STAR AFTER 6 MONTHS
A quick update from Star (previously Colin) which we have had for 6 months now come next week. He is doing very well, he has developed a joy for playing with squeaky toys, he loves his walks, snoozes, cow ears and snoozes. And walks. He is a adorable little soul, and we are so happy to have him in our family. Perfect dog!
Lassie has been with us a whole year. Kath definitely helped us pick a greyhound that would fit our lifestyle and she couldn't have got it more spot on! Thank you so much for all the work you do for the greyhounds who you rehome and all the lucky people who get to home the greyhounds.
LORNA AND ANDREW RECENTLY ADDED KING (NOW PICO) TO THEIR FAMILY
This is their homing story
We had thought about different breeds for ages, but as soon as we started reading about greyhounds, we thought we'd found the right breed for us.
We came to a meet and greet at Emley and spent two hours being amused, entertained and relaxed by a small room full of a lot of hounds - it confirmed that we'd made the right choice.
Somebody we met there described them as "dog hardware running cat software" - perfect for us as we are a family of dog and cat lovers.
Kath from WYGT came to see us for a home visit - really just a chat to make sure we'd thought about certain aspects of dog (and specifically greyhound) ownership, and get to know us and our lifestyle so that she could help us find the right dog for us. WYGT really pride themselves on being able to match dog with owners. Kath (and the other Kath, based at the kennels) really took the time to get to know us and we think we've ended up with a perfect match.
As I type this, our greyhound Pico (previously King) is fast asleep on the rug in the lounge, happy as larry. We've had him for 5 weeks now, and we already
can't imagine life without him.
The first three weeks were certainly a challenge, but a fascinating one.
We felt like we had a different dog each week -
the first week he was very placid as he anxiously processed his new surroundings
the second week was all about testing the boundaries as he settled in - he pulled on the lead a fair bit, and we learnt very quickly to keep some things in the house out of his reach!
The third week we felt like we'd finally met our dog, and he's been the same total legend ever since.
Somebody said it's like a book gradually opening up - and it's been amazing to see that happen before our very eyes.
Now, everywhere we go, people tell us how handsome he is, and how happy and healthy he looks, and we couldn't be happier.
SEE WHAT JESSIE'S FAMILY THINK OF THEIR GIRL ...
We didn't choose Jessie - she chose us.
As parents of two young boys we wanted a breed we could trust, that wouldn't be high-maintenance, and would be quite adaptable.
After a phone chat and a home visit we had a look at dogs on the website and were immediately smitten by Jessie, mainly because of her wonky ears...
We went along to the kennels to meet her and a lovely big greyhound boy, but as soon as they came to meet us, Jessie had clearly decided that we were the ones for her!
She settled into life with us very quickly - she took less than a day to get the idea that the garden was the place to do her business, and whilst initially a bit wary about household items, particularly the hoover, she adapted quickly and without fuss. To this day she still will not go upstairs without persuasion, and, as she hasn't figured out how to jump, sofas remain our domain. It does mean that despite being the second fastest animal on land, she has to be unceremoniously lifted into the boot of the car when it's time to go somewhere, but we're working on it!
The thing which surprised us the most was quite how lazy she would be - two 20 minute walks a day and she'll happily curl up and snooze for the rest of the time, apart from when she reckons it's time for her meals, or that a walk may be on the cards, when her tail wags with a ferocity that has to be seen to be believed. But she's also happy to walk with us on longer forays, and has recently returned to running (although at a pace that she would probably barely consider more than a brisk jog) at our regular Saturday morning 5km parkrun.
And a year and a half later ...
... it's almost impossible to consider life without Jessie's graceful, elegant and loving presence. We benefit from having her around as much as she benefits from having a caring family home to call her own, and it's fair to say that we'd never consider adopting any other breed ever again!
And a mere year and a half after we adopted her, Jessie has finally figured out that the sofas are her domain too...
THE PERFECT PET FOR ME
Karen said - I met Bruno and I can honestly say that I completely fell in love with him. Kath from GTWY had discussed what I required in a pet and agreed that Bruno would be perfect for me. The team at GTWY were amazing and were always just a phone call away, answering my questions and following up on Bruno to ensure that he was doing OK.
Bruno is the perfect pet for me; and after 11 months with him, I decided to adopt a second dog - Poppy - and yet again the team at GTWY matched me with the perfect dog for both me and Bruno.
ANY OF OUR GREYHOUND OWNERS
WILL TELL YOU THIS IS A GREAT IDEA ....
If you are thinking that cuddling your own greyhound sounds right for you, give
Kath a call - 07723 027995 & find out all you need to know about homing.
When restrictions are lifted you could be cuddling your own greyhound .....