Greyhound Friends

Walks were interesting too, Hippie was terrified of other dogs, cats, cars or people so it was extremely difficult to go anywhere but as the days went on there was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

I was bringing her back after a walk one Sunday afternoon and we were almost home without incident when a car pulled up just in front of us. A man got out and went to the rear of the car – Hippie stopped walking and stared as the man got a beautiful greyhound from the hatch of the car. His owner stopped to introduce the dog, not himself you understand – this is grey hound world.

‘This is Fox’

Fox was a lovely boy with one leg bandaged, he was polite and accepted a fuss from me, then he started to sniff Hippie – I was amazed, she just stood there – so I chatted to the owner. Apparently he’d had Fox from a few weeks old, so called because at that age he looked just like a fox cub. This was his second greyhound and he was having a few health problems – Fox had woken up one morning some months before and though he could move his head, his body was completely paralysed. It was a problem with his spine and so far had cost £4000 to put right. Thank goodness for pet insurance!

Top tip – Always insure a greyhound they are prone to accidents!!!!!

Well by the end of our chat the dogs were sniffing friends, what a breakthrough!

A Greyhound is not just for Christmas

Christmas was fast approaching and Hippie who charged through the house like a whirling dervish, was fascinated by only one trinket on the tree – she would run into the lounge and leaving the tree still standing, remove the small felt ‘Harrods’ stocking which had been bought by my daughter on a recent trip to London. Very carefully Hippie would unhook it and carry it off to her bed. The presents under the tree held little fascination, she only had to be checked a couple of times.

The other big love of her life was a big black and white stuffed cat toy, almost life size with a warming pad inside. It was Max’s of course but as he rarely lay on it – it stayed on his radiator bed.

Not for long.

Hippie’s daily task was to remove it and put it in her bed at every available opportunity. Even when it had just been taken back she would be there picking it up and taking it out again. She didn’t rip it up – but then she never really had time.

A Rescue Greyhound? Why not?

I think it was the sight of the rear end of a greyhound rushing through my bungalow on the way to her bed with a nice warm freshly baked baguette clutched between her jaws and sticking out either side of her front end that made me finally get around to writing this.

 

Hippie has been a part of our family for almost ten weeks now and this epistle is set to dispel all the rose coloured rumours put about by the people who want you to adopt a greyhound. Don’t get me wrong we love her dearly but oh boy has it been a journey so far!!

 

To begin, let me take you back several months to a time when my daughter and I were ‘dog free’ in our small bungalow. We have a six-year-old cat, very large and very beautiful, name of Max (on a good day), he rules the house as all cats do, but we love him.

 

Then there is Hendrix the guinea pig, small and quite friendly although I don’t find him very interesting (he’s my daughter’s pet) – all he does is warble when I open the fridge door because he knows the carrots are in there and he does like a carrot.

 

We live a quiet life, or we did until my daughter decided to ‘pin me down to a dog decision’.

 

I had always said that after the death of my fox terrier some years ago the only dog I would entertain in my home would be a greyhound. Why? Forget the size, I had been told that they do not shed their coat, bark very rarely and have no oil in their coat so no ‘wet dog smell’. I do believe that the animals that live in our home should be ‘home friendly’, and that means nose and ear friendly. But I was unprepared for my daughter’s insistence on the new addition.

 

We were on holiday with my son and his wife last November happily sitting by the bar when my daughter asked me yet again if she could get her dog. I gave all the usual excuses, Max, the cost, the cleaning up after it, but nothing stopped her. Eventually I turned to my son and asked him what he thought of the idea and my objections, I was hoping for some common sense but should have known better – he thought it was a brilliant idea. Fuelled by alcohol we drew up a contract whereby my daughter must clear up after said animal and pay for all related costs and have no more tattoos or piercings for the next ten years. The contract was signed and witnessed and the only part of it that haunts me now is the related costs bit – we returned home and the search began.

 

We looked on the internet and learned that all rescue greyhounds are ‘couch potatoes’ that sleep for sixteen hours a day, only need two ten minute runs a day instead of hours of walking and can live with cats. It all sounded marvellous – too good to be true?????

 

My daughter, who was very aware of her contractual obligations, started to buy items for the new arrival. A large space was cleared in a corner of her bedroom and a double duvet with covers was purchased (greyhounds need soft bedding – they get sores from lying on hard surfaces). She also bought a raised feeding bowl set; the breed cannot digest their food properly if they eat at floor level.

 

She approached some greyhound rescue establishments and we were invited to one of them in Nottinghamshire to be ‘checked out’. The people that owned the centre were more than cautious of our lives and suitability to re-home one of their dogs, we told them we worked all day but that we would go home at lunchtime to check the animal. But they were less than impressed; they did, however, let us walk one of the hounds and arranged for our home and garden to be checked out.

 

The dog we were given to walk was six years old and I voiced my reservations to my daughter, saying that it would be better to have a ‘younger model’ if she wanted to enjoy the fun side of the animal’s nature.

 

This, too, seemed to be frowned upon by the owners but they did say they would look for a young female for us if our home checked out okay.