WE LOVE GETTING NEWS OF
GREYHOUNDS IN THEIR HOMES
HERE ARE SOME OF THE STORIES WE HAVE RECEIVED RECENTLY ...
See what new homers, Holly and Jack, think of their boy Wilson ... though the heading is a bit of a giveaway!
What's black with white spots and sleeps 25 hours a day? Our incredible new addition, Wilson AKA 'giant horse' AKA 'sweet angel baby' AKA 'flappy gums.'
BAM! LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT(HOUND)!
Since adopting Wilson 3 months ago, me and my fiancé's lives have changed immeasurably for the better. We have both always loved dogs and had them growing up. However, due to living in a small flat in Wakefield centre, have never been able to be dog-owners ourselves. My partner Jack has always loved the breed and knew a lot about them. He told me they were lazy, gentle, sweet, and didn't need hours of walking. Stupidly, we started looking up beautiful greyhounds on the West Yorkshire Greyhound Trust website and I saw Wilson and BAM! Love at first sight(hound). The next logical step? We moved house.
ADAPTING REALLY WELL
Wilson has adapted really well to life in a modest mid-terrace. He loves nothing more than to cuddle up to us on our corner sofa and quickly established his own throne- his prized leather armchair. He sleeps soundly at night (particularly impressive considering he does so much of it in the day) and very rarely barks. He still tugs a bit on the lead sometimes but only because there is so much to smell! He is friendly with other dogs, already has a greyhound friend from WYGT too- darling Scampi- and his very own girlfriend- Hattie the Beagle!
COMPLETELY ENRICH YOUR LIFE
I adore dogs but I had no idea how much they have the capacity to completely enrich your life. Wilson wants to be with us wherever we go- even intently watching us wash up or hang clothes. He has already learned some commands- 'paw' 'touch' and 'stay' (not for long periods just yet!) He has some adorable little idiosyncrasies like flapping his gums when happy (or hungry!) And 'harumphing' so loudly when relaxed he sounds like a disgruntled pelican.
THE BEST DECISION EVER
Suffice to say he was the best decision we've ever made. I would have two in a heartbeat if we had space! If you are on the fence about choosing a greyhound takes the splinters out your bum and do it!
(It goes without saying all this would not be possible without the incredible work of everyone at West Yorkshire Trust and Clipsall Wood Kennels- thank you so much!)
2 YEARS WITH GRACIE
A LONGER TERM PERSPECTIVE FROM AMY & PETER
Adopted December 2018 aged 5.
I grew up having a dog in the house. They were all rescues (incidentally always called Barney) and mostly Labrador types. Buying our own house opened up the opportunity for adding a dog to the family. Despite working part time and being happy to get a dog walker, most rescue centres wouldn’t allow us to adopt. After extensive research, I found the Greyhound Trust and the idea of getting a greyhound took root.
Everyone at the trust is so helpful and a few weeks later we were at the kennels to choose our dog. Little did we know that our dog would choose us!
Grace wasn’t on the list of dogs for us to view but a chance decision meant that she was brought out to see us. Whilst discussing the dogs that we had the pleasure to meet and walk, she started leaning on our legs like we were her people - and it was clear that our new friend was coming home with us. She became Gracie before all the paperwork was officially signed and fell asleep on the car ride home.
Gracie has been part of the family for just over two years now and has really helped with getting us out and about. We found that a comfortable bed covered in blankets and placed to keep an eye on what is happening throughout our house helped her settle in. It took a few weeks for her to come out of her shell and start to push the boundaries - she learnt quickly what she was and was not allowed to do. It was a steep learning curve to own a dog that can see something moving quarter of a mile away. She initially struggled with loud road noise but we got there slowly, with her taking cues from us. Her personality developed over the first few months. She’s a diva who doesn’t mind wading through mud and puddles and she’ll find the comfiest spot available and claim it as her own. Her main motivations are squeaky toys, anything moving at speed and peanut butter. She loves going on holiday and exploring new areas (and she'll happily sleep in the pub at the end).
Her antics make us laugh constantly but she also spends a large amount of the day asleep which makes her a really easy dog to have around. Never underestimate the incomprehensible positions that a dozing greyhound can get themselves in and she will do anything in order to get belly rubs.
We are definitely greyhound converts and I’m not sure I’d ever own another breed now.
TOUCH AND GOLDIE
SOMETIMES THERE IS A GREYHOUND WHO NEEDS SOME EXTRA HELP - THE KIND OF HELP THAT ONLY EXPERIENCED HANDS CAN GIVE.
THIS TOUCHING HOMING STORY IS AN EXAMPLE - A CHALLENGE WHICH IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, BUT WHICH CAN COME WITH GREAT REWARDS FOR BOTH GREYHOUND AND HOMERS.
THE FIRST GREYHOUND
We adopted our gorgeous boy, Touch, back in January 2018. We’d recently lost our oldest dog and, having been a two dog household for many years, had been looking on rehoming sites for another dog for company for Stella, our then 15 year old cross breed. Having read up about the characteristics of greyhounds, we thought their calm, lazy personas sounded much more suited to live with an older dog than a full on ‘in your face’ puppy. We went along to a WYGT Meet & Greet to chat about the breed further and within a few days we’d had our home check and been told about Touch, highlighted as a potentially ideal match for Stella. Of course, we fell in love with him as soon as we met and couldn’t wait to bring him home. Touch settled in straight away, he took everything in his stride. He’s a loving, laid back boy and was roaching on the settee within 24 hours.
A BIGGER CHALLENGE.....
Touch and Stella got on really well –Touch loves zoomies and Stella would try to keep with him as much as her arthritic legs would allow but sadly 18months later we lost her. Again we had a dog shaped hole in our family so went back to WYGT to look for a new friend for Touch. We were advised to adopt a female this time and we took Touch along to choose and Goldie seemed to be the one he liked best.
Goldie was quite nervous and we were told she was unsure of men so we knew that her transition to life with a family including 2 men (my husband and grown up son) might not be quite as straightforward as with Touch, however, there have been a few more challenges than we expected at the outset!
EARLY DAYS WITH GOLDIE
For the first few weeks Goldie chose to hide behind the settee in her ‘safe space’ and progress was incredibly slow. Housetraining was difficult – the usual method of rewarding toileting in the garden was a real struggle -she couldn’t even be lured out with tasty treats and, when she did rarely make a mad dash outside, she’d run back inside so quickly, unable to relax to take a treat.
Getting Goldie out for a walk seemed impossible at first when she was terrified of stepping out of the door. She eventually came to like going out in the car so now gets so excited if the car is there. Even now, getting her out of the door can be hit and miss but we’re getting there slowly.
Meal times for Goldie were difficult – it took many weeks before we could persuade her to come into the kitchen to eat and even then she was on edge all the time. Any sudden noise such as putting a lid on a food container would send her flying out of the room and up the stairs!
A NEW APPROACH
We loved Goldie and really wanted it to work but there have been many times when we worried if she’d ever be truly happy with us. After a few months of trying different strategies, we decided to try a strict routine with her to see if it would help – breakfast, tea and walks at exactly the same time, 7 days a week. Lockdown and furlough really helped as we were all at home so able to stick to it rigidly, though it did mean never any opportunity to have a lie in! This seemed to pay off and we gradually saw her confidence increasing.
Almost 22 months after adopting Goldie she is now so much happier – not only did she get brave enough to get on the settee, she will now choose to come and join us for a cuddle. She loves going for a walk with my husband every day (by car of course!) and (as a result of months of positive association using cheese every time he came through the door) she is no longer wary of our grown up son – in fact she absolutely loves him and gets really excited when he comes home and, hard to believe from where she started, he is the only one she play bows with!
It’s taken almost two years and Goldie is still making progress, we’re delighted with her and can’t imagine life without her. We’ve had great support along the way from WYGT and would say to anyone considering giving a home to one of the less confident hounds, do persevere, they are so worth it.
SAFE TO SAY THAT GOLDIE (AND TOUCH OF COURSE) HAVE FALLEN ON THEIR PAWS -
- THANK YOU TO KAREN AND FAMILY FOR THEIR LOVE AND COMMITMENT AND FOR LETTING US SHARE THEIR STORY.
LIVING WITH ZEB
THANKS TO JEAN AND STEVE FOR SHARING THEIR STORY
NOVEMBER 2019 – A MEMORABLE MONTH FOR US ...
That is when we decided to explore welcoming a greyhound into our home. A chat with Kath at GTWY soon saw us at the next greyhound social in Emley where we were completely won over by the numerous dogs and their families. The next week Kath visited us at home and answered our many questions about living with a greyhound and a few days later we were off to the kennels to meet Zeb who we had spotted on the website. Having said we wanted a quiet and calm dog we were taken aback and slightly doubting Kath's sanity when he appeared from the kennels extremely excitable and leaping all over the place!
ZEB WON US OVER THAT DAY!
Of course Kath was right – Zeb won us over that day and the following week we returned to bring him home. We read up as much as we could about rehoming a greyhound and introducing him into a home environment so were expecting a few settling in problems. We needn't have worried – from day one Zeb just slotted into his new life – with all it's different noises and activities.
We quickly realised that boxes of tissues and pencils were very tempting and best placed out of reach as well as any food on the kitchen worktops! Zeb's many soft toys have needed repairs after the squeakers have been extracted by him and he quickly stopped hiding his toys and burying them in the houseplants once he realised we wouldn't take them off him.
Zeb loves his routine and knows exactly when certain things happen. He enjoys any opportunity to go for a walk and still gets quite excited about going out – even barking if he thinks we're taking too long to get ready! He also can't wait to get into the car if we're going further afield. He still has that strong prey drive but has settled into just watching and not chasing.
CAN'T IMAGINE NOT HAVING ZEB IN OUR LIVES
His other favourite activities are seeking out the best position in the house or garden to catch the suns rays and cleaning out yoghurt pots. We definitely can't imagine not having Zeb in our lives now and really looking forward to meeting up again with the other greys and owners post lockdown.
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 ...
... AND THEN ADDING VOXY!
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!
A FEW MONTHS LATER ....
We’d been talking about homing a second greyhound for a while when there was an appeal on the WYGT website to find a home for an older dog, Sid (now Voxy). He’d been living with a WYGT fosterer during the first lockdown so a lot was known about him and he sounded like he’d fit in well with us. The now totally-won-over-by-greyhounds husband rang me to suggest adopting him, so I spoke to Kath. This is when I found out that the Trust don’t usually home two greyhounds of the same sex together, as there can be friction between them. We were disappointed but it’s the well-being of the dogs which matters the most, which we appreciate.
A while later tho’, Kath rang me back to say that Voxy had been living happily with Chris’ mixed pack with no issues and if Voxy and Curtis got on ok, then we could adopt him. Yay!
We met up with Chris and his pack at the kennels and after carefully introducing them to each other, Curtis and Voxy had some off-lead time together in the run. I’m delighted to say that there were no problems and as we talked about the two dogs, Voxy just sounded more and more like a good fit for us.
He’d sadly lost his original home but it meant that he already knew about houses, vacuum cleaners, sofas and all the other things an ex-racing greyhound needs to learn about. He was very shutdown when we met him and the first day he was with us, he was very quiet. He watched everything going on around him, especially when we were with Curtis. The following day, he walked up to my husband, chattering his head off and asked for a cuddle! That was a moment to treasure. In the six months he’s been with us, he’s become a complete cuddle monster and a champion chatterer. Did you know a greyhound can chatter at the same time as carrying a dentastix? We didn’t, but he somehow manages it!
Two dogs is obviously more work than one (more paws to wipe for one thing) and we’ve had to make some adjustments, things like sorting the car so we could transport both of them safely, a bit of furniture moving to fit in extra beds and another feeding station. Luckily, we can feed them both in the same room at the same time. One of the house rules is that if one dog gets a treat / food, then the other does too so they’re pretty relaxed about it now. Walks now take longer, both boys enjoy sniffing everything and between them would happily sniff every inch of the way. Some days it can take a while to get anywhere, especially as they’re not always heading the same direction!
By far the biggest issue we had to deal with was that Curtis could get a bit jealous of Voxy, he wasn’t so keen on sharing his mum and dad to start with, not surprising really. That lasted a few months but we made sure that they both got the same amount of love and attention and Curtis has settled down. This was definitely the biggest adjustment we had to make, making sure that they both got the time and attention they need. We’ve all benefitted from it tho’ and Curtis has learnt a lot from Voxy, especially about cuddles!
There also seems to be an unwritten rule that you need at least as many sofas as greyhounds. We only have one sofa, so there’ve been occasions where one dog is stood on the floor telling the other to “get off, that’s my sofa!” They both ignore the other when this happens so whoever’s complaining (usually Curtis) often comes looking for me to sort it out (“Muuuum! He won’t get off the sofa! Tell him!!!”). I find it really funny but it soon blows over, so I don’t get involved.
Voxy is almost 11 now, so would we take on an older dog again? Yes, we would. His attitude is ‘been there, done that’ but he’s still very interested in everything that’s going on and very little upsets him (apart from not getting a cuddle or walk when he wants one!). He and Curtis get on well together, they’ll keep an eye out for each other and will play together. Voxy much prefers to snooze, but he’s quite the ringleader when he wants to be!
So would we change anything? No, it’s that simple. Adopting both of them was a very good decision for us and we haven’t regretted any of it. Life changed a lot for us when we adopted Curtis and it’s even better since we adopted Voxy. They both make us smile every day and spending time with either of them is the best part of the day.
So we think a massive thank you is due to everyone who volunteers for WYGT in whatever way, large or small. You make a big difference to both the dogs’ lives and to the people who adopt them.
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.