Registered Charity 269668

Adopt a Hound!

As a child we had dogs in our lives most of the time - my Mum had West Highland Terriers. When I separated from my ex-husband early last year, my daughter Grace (9) and I moved to a new home and settled in really well but I missed having a dog around and with working part-time and having a young child I really didn't fancy going through the puppy stage with a new dog. I decided that I would only have a dog from a home or trust and had often looked up on the internet sites about greyhounds. There was just something about their beautiful faces that said they were gentle and loving dogs. It was important to me that whatever dog I chose my daughter would feel comfortable around as over the last couple of years she had begun to get afraid of dogs because when she visited her Dad's farm there was always so many dogs jumping up at her and more often than not they would begin to fight to sort out their pecking order. I made up my mind that as I was having a fresh start and chance to be happy again I would like to give a greyhound the chance to enjoy their retirement from racing.

My brother offered to take me and Grace to Monmore Green Retired Greyhounds Home. I hadn't decided whether I wanted male or female and hadn't considered which colour to choose. We walked along the row of kennels and laughed to see most of the hounds fast asleep but as we got to the end a huge black dog slowly stretched itself and came to the door of his kennel. Everywhere that Grace placed her hand on the door the dog would follow and sniff. His tail was wagging crazily. His kennel name was Falcon Style. We were asked if we would like to take him for a walk and when he came out of his kennel my brother said "That's not a dog its a pony". He seemed huge to us after only ever having little terriers. He was fairly nervous to start with and kept looking back at the kennels. Grace asked one of the ladies if she thought the dog would play with her. She explained to Grace that this greyhound didn't really know what playing with toys was like and that she would need to teach him. With that we passed a football on the ground and I kicked it. The hound immediately jumped around and tried to catch the ball with his front legs. We decided there and then that this was the hound for us.

We wanted to change his name and initially Grace thought Shadow would suit him because he followed her everywhere. I wasn't so keen on that and said we didn't want anything too jazzy for him and Grace said "OK then we'll call him Jazz".

Jazz came home with us the following weekend. He was quite nervous and when I left the room he would follow me. He carried the remote control for the t.v. around for a while but showed no interest in his own toys. When the television came on for the first time he stared at the screen and then kept looking round the back of it as if to see where the noise was coming from. When both me and Grace were upstairs one day we heard such a thump, thump, thump and it was Jazz running up to us. He looked like Bambi on ice and after we eventually persuaded him to come back down he rarely ventured upstairs again. After a few days he wasn't so jumpy and settled in. In fact within a couple of weeks we could hardly remember a time without him.

I cannot stress enough what a wonderful pet a greyhound makes. Jazz is so gentle and loving. If you put your hand on the side of a chair he will come and nuzzle under it. He loves his walks but spends most of his time asleep or being fussed.. He gets so excited when we get back from school and work and howls until we open the door. Our neighbours say they wouldn't even know we had a dog he is so quiet but they always know when we have arrived home. He has never been any trouble to us - although we are going to fence some garden off for him as my lawn now resembles a race track where he goes round and round the back of Grace's summer house and swing and skids to a halt by the back door!!!

Jazz is such a wonderful hound and we are really privileged to own him. I cannot imagine not having a greyhound in our lives now. Although he still doesn't play with his indoor toys, Grace wraps him up at night and puts his cuddly reindeer (!!!) in with him. He loves to run after his stuffed sheep in the garden and will play football with Grace. My Mum walks him most mornings when I am at work and he always lets us know when her car pulls up outside by whinning and running to the back door. He's lucky they are still friends because at Christmas he cocked his leg on her Christmas tree - it's an artificial one as well. We didn't have the heart to tell him off too much - it was Christmas after all !!!!

If anyone who is reading this is still considering whether to adopt a hound or not we say do it now!! You will not regret it and will get so much pleasure from these wonderful animal who in return just ask for a comfy bed, couple of meals a day and a lot of fuss!!!

Mandi & Grace - Proud owners of Jazz (aged 7 and a bit!!!)

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