These were the words David and I said at the beginning of last August when we lost our German Shepherd named Axel, and then fate stepped in and everything totally changed......
David and I couldn't bear the sight of all Axels food and things going to waste so we decided that there had to be some dogs that could make use of them but we didn't know what to do with them. Suddenly, everywhere we seemed to go there were things about the Greyhound Rescue - Morrison’s, the market, even the Building Society had a collecting box. We said that we would take everything there but we wouldn't stop, just drop everything off and leave. Famous last words as the expression says!
When we got there everyone was really busy but they still had the time to stop and talk to us and make us feel really welcome. They told us all about the dogs and how we had completely the wrong idea about greyhounds - they were gentle loving dogs who just needed affection and a good home. Well, of course we had to go and have a look in the kennels at the dogs.
Our first impressions of the kennels quite amazed us, the kennels were immaculate with none of the smells or noise that you usually associate with kennels and it was perfectly obvious that all the dogs were well looked after and beautiful. Well, that was all OK but we were never having another dog!!!
We went over on a number of occasions after that to take contributions and to walk the dogs, every time we went away feeling more and more that we needed another dog in our lives. Finally we came to the decision that it had to be a greyhound so we asked to have our home checked as we didn't want to choose a dog and then not be able to take it home.
By the time of the check we had both worked ourselves up into a right state!!! We had put up some new fencing; we had cleaned the house until it couldn't be cleaned any more. We kept telling each other we were being silly as we were used to dogs, the garden was fenced but you never know had we missed something! Karen finally arrived and said everything was fine and we had passed. We asked her loads of questions and she was really patient with us. One of the questions we asked was " How will we choose a dog?" and she said you will just know!!
We went on the Saturday and by the time we got there we were both feeling sick with nerves but Alison met us and was lovely and calmed us down. She told us to walk around the kennels and choose three dogs to walk which we thought wouldn't be easy.......and then we saw him!!!!! Those big brown eyes just looked at us and we just knew he was the one for us. We took him for a walk and he leaned against us and cuddled up. David and I say he chose us we didn't really choose him! When we went back Alison asked us which dog we wanted to walk next but we said none of them all we wanted was Smila. Karen had been right we just knew he was the dog for us! Alison told us his background and that he had been rehomed before and ended up back at the kennels through no fault of his own. We decided to collect him the following day as we wanted to make sure everything was perfect for him in his new home.
When we brought him home he was very nervous at first but he soon settled in. It was clear that he had never been up stairs before as every time we went up he stood at the bottom and cried so that was the first thing we had to teach him, but it didn't take long for him to learn. He didn't like being left alone at night and he cried a lot, even though he had a lovely big basket and we left the radio on to keep him company, so we put an old duvet at the bottom of the bed and he slept on that and we all managed to get a good nights sleep after that!
Smila is a lovely dog with a wonderful personality who loves meeting people. It is like taking a superstar out for a walk as everywhere we go everyone stops us and wants to fuss him and ask about greyhounds. He is a particular favourite at the sheltered housing complex were David's mother lives and as soon as we get there, her neighbours are knocking on the door wanting to see Smila and he is so gentle with them for such a big dog it is as if he knows that some of them are quite frail and he has to be careful not to knock them or push them.
David and I would like to thank Alison, Andy, Karen and all the rest of the people at the kennels for giving us the chance to be part of this wonderful dogs life and we have certainly changed our minds - we can't be without a dog in our lives!!!!
Love to you all and David and I hope that you find a special dog like we have.
Feel free to send us your stories about how you found the process of homing your new hound to: firstname.lastname@example.org