American Quiz Night raises over £1000
To everyone who came to the quiz last night or supported in other ways by donation etc, a huge thank you. We're still a bit shell-shocked but think the total raised will be around the £1000 mark. That total makes us forget the pain ! Sally and team were worthy winners, if only because they seemed to enjoy themselves SO much. We like enthusiasm !!
Can I add particular thanks again to:
Linda Slough, who flung herself into Diner waitress role with aplomb (bit disappointed about the roller skates though)
Nikky Cussen for the Orchids she donated to the raffle
Val and Ken and granddaughters Charlotte, Courtney and Channon, for their fantastic hard work in ensuring that everything ran smoothly.
Ken deserves a medal for keeping that Elvis wig on all night and Val and Ken's jive was a sight to behold. Finally, to John, for weeks of quiz compiling and for battling on through heckling and rising levels of rowdyism (you know who you are) !
Thank you all.
AMERICAN QUIZ NIGHT RESULTS
I thought that those who attended the American Quiz Night might be interested in the results which I didn't have the chance to give out in full on the night.
1. (89.5) Utter Yankers!
2. (85) All the B's, American Beauties, Form Eighters and Darcy's Friends
6. (83.5) Them Over There
7. (82) Limeys
8. (79.5) Last Man Standing
9. (75) The Pooches
10. (74.5) Odds and Sods
11. (56.5) Hot Dogs
We made an error in marking the picture quiz which brought Darcy's Friends score up to 85 (from 5th to joint 2nd) so we owe you a bottle of wine.
The scores were remarkably close with a range of only 15 between 1st and 10th and 3 between 2nd and 7th. The kennel team (Form Eighters) filled their customary runners up spot but might have won if not let down by the Geography Round (I don't think they can have read the cryptic clues).
The usual criticisms I get are that my quizzes are a) too hard, and b) too rooted in the past. The very high scores out of a total of 106 would suggest that, if anything, this one was too easy, and, as the average age of the winning team must have been (at least) half that of the other teams, the second criticism seems a bit unfair.
You Just Can’t Share a Chair – Victoria Kingston
The following photo was captured at top speed by David. He still acknowledges a debt of gratitude to Liz Coleman to helping him to choose that wonderful long lens, which meant he could record this little escapade from a discreet distance.
It happened like this. Joey, feeling a desire to spread out languidly on the sofa, proceeded to hog the entire space with no thought for the four girls.
This left a shortage of chairs for them. Sarah and Penny – who are, in every sense, very close and mischievous, simultaneously dived on the same chair.
And she looks pretty triumphant. She plays on the fact that she is still regarded as the baby – even though she is four! Anyway, see what you think. This will be very familiar to lots of you.
Photo by David Bowman
A Day in the Life
The mystery of life at the kennels is revealed ...
Birthday Bash at the kennels Sunday 14th April 2013
The sun shone, I whittled myself down to just 2 layers of clothing (as opposed to the 6 I’ve been wearing since goodness knows when) and at the appointed hour after a frantic morning we were ready. And you didn’t disappoint us, did you?
I’d forgotten how good it is to see so many familiar and friendly faces, to once more be reunited with our hounds and, after all the hard work, to just enjoy the moment.
Thank you to everyone who came along to help us celebrate this our 13th birthday here at the kennels and to those who worked so incredibly hard to organise this event, especially as we were up against it with the weather.
And thank you to all our fantastic friends and supporters who donated, created and manned the stalls on the day.
Between us we raised an amazing £1,492.60 for our hounds – vital to help us continue doing what we do and very welcome after what seems such a long winter.
You are amazing people. Thank you so much
Photographs of the Birthday Bash are on MadAboutGreys.
Let them eat cake ..
By Victoria Kingston
Actually, Marie Antoinette didn’t really say that, but it has a nice ring to it – and it certainly rang true on Saturday 9th when Linda, Julie and Nikky held a wonderful pre-Mother’s Day sale of luscious cakes, truffles and biscuits, stunning flower arrangements, candles and gifts – all suitable for the mother, grandmother or good friend in your life.
Oh, you could also get a cup of tea or coffee – vital on the day because the weather was very, very cold.
It was hard work for the trio, and not just on the day. All three of them had spent the past two days baking at home, round the clock, until the early hours of the previous night. Nikky was up till past midnight doing her lovely tulip arrangements in bowls – and their kitchens were filled with coffee and walnut cake, cupcakes, chocolate sponge, fruit loaves, ginger cake – many of which were ordered in advance.
All sorts of “mothers” reaped the benefits: David bought me a rather elegant Laura Ashley sweet bowl filled with Julie’s truffles – a Mother’s Day gift from our five greyhounds. They never pay up though – they always promise to reimburse us, but then they plead poverty. It’s the thought that counts, they say.
Norah and Mary came in from next door and spent all their pocket money, Sandi bought a rather fine, ceramic watering can, overflowing with spring pansies – her mother loved it all the more because the proceeds were going to the kennels. Visitors piled in to buy goodies – and a great time was had by all.
Denise had this to say:
“Once again, Nikky, Julie and Linda have done a marvellous job. They’ve worked so hard. And some of our regular dog walkers and kennel staff have chipped in too, making some lovely cakes.
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard, including Janie who gave up her day off to perform the unglamorous task of scrubbing the tea room – to make it meet our very high standards!
We’ve had a lovely day, so thanks to everyone who supported the event. It raised over £300 – and I am pleased to announce the kennel staff are totally caked-out!”
Photographs by David Bowman
Dusty Comes Home
The phrase “getting a dog” had been bandied about for a long time. There were lots of things to consider, not least of which was the type of dog that would fit into our lives, and that our lives would fit around. I had heard that greyhounds made good pets, were good with children, and were fairly laid-back characters on the whole. We needed a dog that would be kind to us, not having had one as a family before, being ‘learners’. I did a lot of research.
We got the fencing fixed (needed to anyway, as next door’s dogs were always getting in), but now we had an incentive.
I found, and went to, Hersham Hounds. I walked a few. I went back with the family, and we all walked a few. Then we walked Dusty. That was it, really. She was the one. Late in December she came for a sleepover and knocked us all for six. Two days after Christmas we brought her home for good.
You always wonder when people say wonderful things about something you know nothing about, whether they are ‘gilding the lily’ somewhat. Surely nothing can be that good? Dusty is. She has settled beautifully into our lives and brings us immense joy. She has not batted an eyelid at the various kitchen appliances which beep, whir, clunk and ping and lies on the floor while I Hoover around her. I’m sure if I asked her to lift her paws up so that I could Hoover underneath them she would do so.
She eats well and does not bother us at the table when we are eating. She has taken over the kitchen sofa as her own (which it was probably always intended for) and has learnt that other sofas and chairs are ours.
She had no problem going up stairs (or coming down) and after a few days when we wondered how we were going to stop her following us upstairs, and decided that we would just have to keep telling her to come down, naturally enough she decided that she wasn’t going to bother going upstairs again, and hasn’t.
She pays no attention to cars, lorries, diggers, helicopters and takes them in her stride. What a girl.
We are lucky to have a large garden which she loves racing around. She has chased out a fox who dared to show his face and caught a rabbit the other week which she presented to us with a smile on her face. I’m not so sure the rabbit was too impressed (it was fine, by the way, shocked but unharmed). The other next door’s cats have been noticeable by their absence (hurrah!). She is brilliant at using the garden for her ablutions and we have had no problems with that at all.
We have left her for short periods on occasions and are increasing the time gradually (it’d be nice to go out for pizza!) and she has done really well. She has the kitchen when we are out and doesn’t touch a thing, apart from, occasionally, taking my husband’s gardening boots or trainers and lining them up very neatly on her sofa. If that makes her happy, that’s fine.
She is doing really well out on her walks and seems to love them. We are spoilt for choice where we live with lovely places to go and she has met lots of big and small dogs and largely does fine.
She’s still not keen on small ones (I can see ‘lunch’ written all over her face) and will occasionally snap but we’ll keep working on that. She has also met deer and several squirrels have crossed our path (‘lunch’) but she has not wanted to pursue them. Our children (nearly 15 and nearly 12) took her for a short walk down to the airport the other day and she behaved immaculately with them (and they with her!). Everyone who has met her thinks she’s wonderful (they’re right).
What else can I say? She’s adorable, beautiful, fun, well-behaved, so affectionate and we love her madly. She’s our girl. Thank you so much to Denise and everybody at Hersham Hounds for your help and advice and for allowing us to have Dusty.
You were right. It really is that good.
John, Shona, Olivia and Adam Fahy
Quiz night at The Greyhound.
Our first get-together of the New Year took place on Sunday 27th January at The Greyhound.
It was a great night and as always Frida and her staff took excellent care of us all. Dave the quiz-master gave us a quiz we could all enjoy and managed to find some questions even I could answer.
This is how fundraising should be; an evening’s entertainment, good food, good company and no clearing up afterwards. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported us – together we raised £323 for our greyhounds – a very welcome addition to our funds during a lean January.
An Inspiring Coat Tale – Victoria Kingston
Is this the most expensive dog coat in the world?
This story involves quite a few people and two lovely dogs. And a lot of goodwill, generosity and pure rapture. It’s about a dog coat, made of Harris Tweed – material bought by Liz Coleman, designed and sewn by Phylly Clarke, won in a raffle by Pam Brant, then won in auction by Sharon McLeod – well, Richard to be exact. And finally, worn by Jordi.
An Update on Lilly and Tally
Dear Denise and all my friends at Hersham,
Hi everyone, my Mum and Dad (Val / Kevin) have gone out Xmas shopping so I thought I would update you on my year.
Well I love it in my forever home. The year started very well they got me a partner in crime Tally, and what a partner she is. We share everything. At mealtimes we have our own bowls, eat half and then swap halfway through to make sure we have both got the same. Never seem to have found anything different, don't know why we bother really but it seems to work.
Although my mate has a dodgy back leg she is at present showing me how to walk up the garden on the stepping stones without ploughing through the mud, I don't know how she does it. I've resigned myself to the humiliating paw wipe every time I come in.
Whilst this is okay, the sitting/relaxing on the sofa situation leaves a lot to be desired because at some time after tea time, just when Tally and me are having our after dinner snooze, Val decides she wants to fit on to the sofa as well so one of us has to get down and sit on a dogs bed!!!!
At night it is a different story. We both share the sofa and at about 3a.m I very quietly go upstairs and if I am lucky get to share their bed. They never say anything so I don't think they mind.
Tally and I share the garden. I get on the flower beds and she gets on the rockery. For some reason we are not very popular when we get on these as a hole has appeared in both. Val was definitely not smiling.
We really love our walks. Tally I must say gets very excited when mum opens the car door and sits looking out of the window and me, I get the boot and am not too keen on the car.
We love our life here with our new family they love us care for us and put us first and I have found my new best friend in Tally.
We really have come home. All for now, Lilly x
Watching these two dogs living together it does not matter whether one is 6 and one is 10, they are pals and we would not hesitate in re homing dogs of different ages again. They are treasures and they are our treasures.
Love Kevin Val and Siobhan.
Rudolph goes into Retirement – Victoria Kingston
It all started like this. Fiona, our friend (and hairdresser) arrived on December 29th with bags of cuddly toys for the dogs. You know how we all enjoy these post-Christmas clearing out sessions – and Fiona had blitzed the house. Among the cuddlies was a child’s seat in the shape of Rudolph. Fiona’s daughter, Hannah, is now 16 and doesn’t sit on it nowadays. Would the babes like it to play with, Fiona wondered?
Well, you have all seen Joey. For a fruitless half hour, he tried to drag Rudolph onto the sofa, then gave up and went to sleep, exhausted. But the older girls, Maisie and Scarlett, know exactly how to treat a revered reindeer. So Rudolph has gone into retirement at our house and seems to be enjoying his new life. Joey has ignored him ever since, but you can’t please all the greyhounds all the time.
Photos by David Bowman
WGW Christmas Ball
Dawn is taking a well earned rest but promises she'll tell us more about The Ball in a few days time.
In the meantime I really just to say thank you to Dawn - who came up with the idea and worked her socks off to bring it to life, to everyone involved and who helped along the way, to all those who joined us for an amazing evening and were so generous in spirit and with their money.
Together we raised a jaw dropping £18480.40.
Photographs of the event can be found at MadAboutGreys.Before I forget to mention it, please to all of you who shared the night with us, bought raffle tickets either before or at the event or gave a donation, don't forget to fill in a gift aid form and register your donation.
If you've already registered for gift aid then you just need to confirm via email or at the kennels that you'd like your donation to be gift aided. All those who bid successfully at the auction can do the same. Don't forget that the gift aid declaration has to be in the name of the person who made the donation - so in the case of a cheque - whoever signed the cheque.
After such an amazing event let's make sure we make every penny count for our hounds.
Ellie and Grump in their new home
We fell in love with Ellie after reading the sad story of her nervous nature and a previous failed adoption on the website. My teenage boys then saw Grump on the website and thought he would be a perfect companion for Ellie and they loved his name - so one became two! The first day I called Hersham Hounds Denise was so helpful and said we could come down any day to walk Ellie with Grump.
When we visited Hersham Hounds to walk our prospective new greyhounds we were met by Denise and Carol who checked our credentials and helped us to fill out a form. The rest is history - Ellie and Grump have found their wonderful forever home.
Christmas Lights Party 2012 - by Victoria Kingston
Well, here we all were again – standing in the rain, meeting and greeting friends and fellow doggy folk – and thoroughly enjoying every moment.
There were the usual stalls – you could buy designer collars by Tanja, festive plants by Nikky, cakes and jams, sleeping coats for the cold dog (I bought one for Scarlett – she looks fab in it!) and Denise’s new poetry book, For the Love of A Greyhound, all proceeds going to the kennels. You could buy the new calendar, squeaky toys (just to ensure you wake up early on Christmas morning), Christmas cards, notelets – and much more.
We didn’t go hungry. There was a soup kitchen, with sumptuous soup and rolls. Most of us had seconds. The soup mugs were a good shape for being licked out by lucky hounds.
You could have a go at things: the tombola, teddy tombola, wine tombola, raffles, competitions involving cans of dog food, devised by Paula. Phylly had made a rather dashing Harris Tweed coat to be raffled off, fabric donated by Liz and Nick. That brought in a wonderful £197 – and the winners donated it back to us to be auctioned off at the Ball on 2nd December.
You could have the day preserved forever by Liz – your beloved hound (or hounds) sitting in Santa’s sleigh. Some of them liked having their photos taken; some were less keen, and needed a lot of cajoling by the ever patient Liz. But they all joined in for the sake of us humans. “You have to humour these people,” I heard them barking to each other.
The money raised (that’s the reason for being there – did you think it was just to chat and have a good time?) was pretty stupendous. We raised £2,522 plus sales in the shop of £912. Not bad for a freezing day.
Denise, sporting a pair of pink ears (don’t ask!), was delighted. “All in all,” she said, “it has been a lovely event, with lots of lovely and very generous people.” She’s right but it’s hard to take her seriously in those ears.
Blessing of the Hounds on Hersham Green
A huge thank you to everyone who came, patiently waited whilst we got the hounds out, gave them all such a lovely outing (for many the first trip away from the kennels) returned them all safely and then joined us for hot drinks and mince pies.
You are all such lovely kind people.
Thank you for giving the hounds your precious time at such a busy time of year.
Photographs of the event can be found on our Events Page
One Hundred Day Challenge
One of our WGW supporters came up with a fund raising idea of setting a challenge of raising £100 in 100 days, by various means. Five guinea pigs took part in the challenge, with a target of finishing their various tasks before Christmas 2012.
- Helen Vangrove raised her money by getting her running shoes on, only taking a brief day off to marry her partner.
- Philly Clarke and Sharon McLeod were already committed to the great greyhound walk and increased their sponsorship drive to raise additional funds and committed that money from the walk to the 100 day challenge.
- Linda Slough baked, washed, ironed and offered other domestic services to her near family.
- Dawn O’Brien when not organising the Winter Ball, was providing a VIP service to her husband Keiron, by charging him to remove his socks when it was a hot day (not much raised from that service), and other jobs, probably sheltering him from the rain included
- Robert Boswell raised his £100 by various methods, a track challenge at Wimbledon Stadium raised £40.00, keeping his eyes down gained a further £15.00 (the streets might not be paved with gold, but sometimes they are, with paper money), and then he became a bit stuck, finally completing his challenge by holding his own bucket collection.
We may try this again next year so look out for the appeal, we are not limited to only five people.Talk to one of the Hersham Five and find out how easy it was, and how much fun it was.
WGW Winter Charity Ball, 2012
When I originally had the idea back on a very wet day in January 2012 I think Denise must have thought I’d lost my marbles but I wanted to do something that nobody else had done before. I was sure that with the right approach it would be possible bring together all aspects of the greyhound industry to raise money for WGW. I wanted to make OUR ball for OUR homeless hounds a National event to raise both money and awareness.
Having found a venue that would cater for our needs and paid the deposit in February there was no going back ........ the rest, as they say, is history. Read about the behind the scenes goings on as Dawn fretted, sweated and I'm sure sometimes regretted organising WGW Winter Ball which raised over £18000 for the hounds.
Pippa Completes Basingstoke Half Marathon over £550
The Basingstoke Half Marathon took place at 11:00am on the 7th October 2012. There were 1311 finishers; the quickest runner took one hour and four minutes, the slowest three ours and twenty minutes. To date, I’ve raised £555 for WGW in the process. Roll on a full marathon!
Many thanks to all my sponsors, but especially Mark Chapman for getting me through, and Debbie Chapman, Sophie Chapman and Cleo Chapman for letting me loiter round your house for hours after training.
Finally, special thanks to Jimmy, Lassie, Rio, Princess and Claus.
An update on Susan
Susan (now Susie) has been with us for just over a year and she continues to be a source of delight to us and all our extended family and is equally happy to be adored and fussed over by children as well as adults.
She is very good with the hens - they are 4 quite feisty ladies so she treats them with a healthy respect after she had a peck on the nose.
We now have some sheep in one of our paddocks and although initially very interested and was kept on the lead to walk through she now seems to be totally uninterested and as the ram is quite large and she stays very close but is still on the lead just in case.
Pampered Chef Show in aid of WGW raises £335
May we thank family; friends and above all WGW supporters who gave up their Saturday afternoon to support this worthwhile event. Not only a fun social gathering but in doing so (yet again) raised much need funds for WGW. A half-time raffle, with prizes being donated by WGW stalwarts, friends and ourselves bagged £130, with this added to the charity cash donation percentage on each Pampered Chef purchase, it brought the grand total of cash raised on behalf of WGW for the afternoon to a staggering £335.00.
A fruitful fund-raising
It’s hard to imagine a more profitable weekend than the 29th and 30th September.
On the Saturday, the invincible fund-raising trio of Julie, Linda and John organised a Meet and Greet, complete with dogs, duvets, cuddly toys, treats, banners and buckets.
This was followed by a truly magical End of Season Party at the kennels on Sunday evening.
Read the full story of the weekend, written by Victoria Kingston accompanied by photographs from MadAboutGreys.
CHRISTMAS (MONSOON) MUG SALE
Despite an inauspicious start, i.e torrential downpours, an amazing £670.25 was raised at Linda’s Christmas Mug Sale today. It’s become an annual fixture at the kennels and thanks to Norah giving up her tea room next door, there was no danger of soggy merchandise.
A huge thank you to everyone who put in so much work sourcing, knitting and wrapping up the goodies and especially Linda, Julie, Nikky, Victoria and David.
Bless you for your continuing invaluable support and thank you to everyone who came down on such a miserable day to boost our coffers.
1000 Greyhound Walk
When I saw a notification of an attempt at the Guinness World record for the most single breed dog walk I was immediately hooked.
The potential of participating with 1000 greyhounds was just too tempting.
Although only 300 greyhounds made it to the start line, a greyt day was had by all and over £650 raised for WGW.
On 23rd September a small but select band of volunteers went to Ham Polo Club to run their fun dog show, our third year there. The morning started with a frantic phone call from Emma at the club to say that they had been broken into the night before, the police were on their way and the buildings had meanwhile been sealed off for forensics. All the equipment for the show was inaccessible, not to mention kitchens and all the catering. What to do? We decided to go over anyway as Emma needed more support and was certain that people would turn up for the dog show. We would decide what to do when we all got there.
To add to the challenges, the heavens opened (earlier than forecast) and a deluge worthy of the Flood started. Undeterred, the HH team put up the run for Fastest Recall, coloured netting which caused some of the polo ponies to have a good stare and a skitter, but they are sensible creatures and the alarm bells were turned off pretty quickly. Meanwhile we had abandoned all ideas of putting up show rings outside, which was lucky as we still couldn't get at the equipment. Instead we moved the whole show into the big marquee which is permanently up at the side of the clubhouse and ran the classes one at a time.
The marquee rapidly became crowded as more and more people and their dogs turned to to register for and compete in the classes, Prettiest Bitch, Most Handsome Dog, Veteran and Puppy classes, Waggiest Tail and Fancy Dress before the finale class, Dog The Judge Would Most Like to Take Home. Helen and Nicole ably handled the pre-entry chaos and thanks also go to Janie, Amy and Dawn for judging the classes and for keeping control as, to coin the song "the boys watched the girls and the girls watched the boys" with spectators more or less at one end and the contestants parading at the other. It began to feel like a slightly bonkers village fete and it wouldn't have surprised me if a body had been discovered and Barnaby and Jones called in!
Despite the appalling start to the day and the equally appalling weather it all went off really well. There was a much higher number of entries this year, largely thanks to the efforts of Emma and the team at Ham who had relentlessly publicised the show in the preceding weeks. The dogs behaved themselves, for the most part, as did the humans, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Special mention must go to Russia the cocker spaniel who used her good looks to win the prettiest bitch class and then used her gun dog training to win fastest recall in an amazing 3.52 seconds! Also worthy of mention is Rupert the rescue lurcher, who came into the fancy dress ring dressed as a pirate, complete with parrot, looking at us all reproachfully and as though he heartily wished he were Elsewhere. The epitome of the expression "hang dog". It was all worth it though, as he won the class. The fancy dresses were all so impressive and
mention must also be made of Admiral Rascal, who came as a lighthouse keeper, complete with lighthouse on its own rocky island!
My thanks go to all our volunteers, who got thoroughly soaked, putting up and taking down the recall lines and who remained cheerful all day. We raised a very satisfactory £192 as well, something we would never have predicted at the start of the day. The polo was abandoned due to a very slippery pitch, but we can safely say that we did our bit.
August Bank Holiday weekend saw a cast of hounds, hawks, horses and Henry VIII re-enacting a royal hunting parting arriving at Hampton Court Palace to find a Tudor Fayre in full swing.
Filled with a warm glow from a successful hunt and the love of the new woman in his life (Anne Boleyn), Henry gives his permission for the fayre to continue, giving the assembled throng a chance to meet and greet the Royal Hounds.
The title says it all!
Thanks to David Bowman for the photographs.
Reach the Beach 2012 Photographs
To all those who contributed to this, our 6th Reach the Beach, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The pictures say it all. Smiling faces and happy hounds. Denise.
Photographs of this greyt day out are now on MadAboutGreys and Liz is generously offering everyone who attended a free digital image of their choice, to thank people for braving the traffic to give one of the kennel hounds a special day out. Additional images in return for a donation to you as usual.
This is a really late thank you to everyone who helped out at our annual 8 day event in car park 10 during The Wimbledon Tennis Tournament earlier this year. I’ve been so very remiss and have forgotten to give to give this marathon event a mention on our website.
Everyone on the team worked so incredibly hard and threw themselves into the spirit of this very special event. A truly record breaking £3034.89 was raised to help support our hounds.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated and made this such a success and our thanks as always to The All England Lawn Tennis Club, the staff, stewards and volunteers who allowed us to visit and were so very helpful.
Italian Quiz Night a huge success
A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the Italian Quiz Night - an amazing £1000 was raised.
Biggest thank you goes to Julia and John for taking organising and managing the event and their hard work and generosity never ceases to amaze.
Pony Club raises over £500 for Hersham Hounds
On Monday 20th August the trusty volunteers from Hersham Hounds gathered in Richmond Park for what we thought would be a pleasant couple of hours' marshalling for the Pony Club riders as they made their orderly way around the park on a sponsored ride in aid of the kennels, navigating the bridle paths with our help, if necessary, starting at 11a.m. and coming through at 5minute intervals. Simple ..... or not as it turned out.
You can still donate to Hersham Hounds for this event at Alexandra's JustGiving page.
We had a fantastic weekend at The Chertsey Show last weekend. For me it was a break from the kennels and a chance to get back to 'grass roots' meeting and greeting. It's always good for the soul and a healthy reminder of why we do what we do (something so easily forgotten when you're up against it at the kennels and wrestling with a greyhound that's trying to break your nose whilst you're getting it's lead on!).
It was hot, very hot and for the most part we had to take refuge under the gazebo with our hounds. But we did our homeless hound parade in the show class ring on Saturday and Sunday and then we were invited into the main ring for an impromptu parade of hounds, accompanied by a 'cobbled together' commentary from me hastily scrawled on a notepad at the last minute. It was all very well received and appreciated by the crowd but maybe that had more to do with the fact that we were more entertaining than an empty arena. Who knows?
Thank you to everyone who came along with a homeless hound, to those who came along with their own hound or hounds, to all the lovely people we met at the show and to the organisers of this wonderful event who made us so very welcome.
A special mention in despatches to Neil for being bloody wonderful and putting up with me for 2 whole days, to Ann Del-Pizzo for keeping an eye on us, making sure we were okay and presenting every homeless hound with a rosette, and to Janie for coming in on her day off to pack up the shop, gazebo, tables and all the equipment we needed for the event.
We collected £220.44 in our donation buckets and took £104.40 on our shop. As always a great team effort.
An update on Ariel
Ian and Kimberley have been having a lot of fun with Ariel and Tigs and have sent through a great summary of our first few months together.
Our thanks to WGOA and Ross Banner.
Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare would like to take this opportunity to thank WGOA for their very generous donation of £1000 which was raised during their annual dinner and dance and auction night on Sunday May 6th 2012. Our thanks also go to Ross Banner of The Norahmac Racing Club who kindly added an additional £100 to this figure.
We have just recently installed a new water main into our homing kennels and made necessary alterations to our waste water system, including a new pump. It’s not very exciting but you’re welcome to come and see how your donation has been spent.
As always, our heartfelt thanks for your ongoing support.
A coffee morning with Victoria
It started out as a simple idea really – hold a coffee morning in aid of the Hersham Kennels and invite some friends and supporters.
Then it snowballed, it became more ambitious, people threw in ideas of making it bigger and better – and that’s how David and I ended up having 35 people in our kitchen and garden, and signing a cheque for £840 for the kennels.
Thank you ....
Bob Boswell, who heads up WGOA ( Wimbledon Greyhound Owners Association) was at the track the other night and a lady came up to him and handed him £37.10 - her winnings and asked if he would give it to WGW for the retired greyhounds.
Bob has no idea who the lady was, but we would like to say thank you to this lady and and confirm that her donation had been passed on to us.
In praise of our vet
"It was the last day of our holiday. The phone rang. Not another marketing call we thought (yes…it happens over there too!). I picked up the phone, mumbled a disinterested “hello”, only to be knocked sideways when the Irish voice at the other end said 'Hello Mr Ball, Daniel Doherty here, don’t worry!'
DON’T WORRY????? Easier said than done.
My heart sank. I listened intently with my heart beating like it was coming through my chest. Daniel explained that Phoenix has collapsed at the kennels that afternoon, been rushed to him by her guardian angel, Carol, and that our little Phoenix was still with him at his surgery."
Bob and Carla write in praise of their vet, Daniel Doherty - read the full article here.
Mississippi & Louisiana Greyhound Rescue
Paula and I met up with the Mississippi & Louisiana Greyhound Rescue whilst we were in America.
They use the same locations as over here "Petsmart" where they do a meet and greet every second Saturday in the month. The big difference being that outside it was 90+%, and the hounds were inside in the air conditioning. They do not attempt to raise money, and there are only about a dozen greyhounds homed in Louisiana, as they only started in that state about a year ago, but at least eight of those turned up for the meet & greet.
All the dogs are "fostered" whist they wait for a home, and of course just like here, sometimes they never leave the foster homes, somehow finding just that little space required, to fit in with the existing hounds. They have an excellent relationship with the trainers, who supply them with all their dogs Pro-Plan deliver a truck load of dog food whenever they want.
RAIN WILL NOT STOP PLAY!
Ah, the great British summer… The day may not have dawned bright and blue but thanks to the sterling efforts of the early-bird work party, we were ready to go at 10am, all the while looking up anxiously at the gathering rain clouds and trying to work out whether the wind was blowing them in our direction or not. As it happened, we weren’t as lucky as the kennels, which apparently escaped the showers but all in all, I hope it was an enjoyable day for everyone.
Some images will stay with me for a while to come: Denise flapping her way round the ground, trying to keep a wreath and a sheet in place and grinning from ear to ear; men trying to dress their partners and giving the impression that they’ve never dressed themselves successfully, let alone someone else; and three men hurtling down the length of the ring as if their lives depended on it, each clutching a furry animal.
I know I always say the same thing but it does need to be said – there wouldn’t be a kennel for the dogs without your support and it means so much to us when we see your faces at our events year after year, whether it be helping to take the strain on the day, joining in such nonsense as The Grympix, or just coming along to say hello and spend some of your increasingly-precious money. So thank you one and all for your efforts and enthusiasm and a special thank you from me to everyone who helped before, during and after the event – you’re all stars!
The total has come in for the show and it's £1,452.35. Well done to you all for your hard work. Thank you from us all at the kennels.
Liz Coleman has kindly posted photographs of the day up at MadAboutGreys.
Jubilee Party by Victoria Kingston
"It was like most social events – utter chaos just before and rain threatening overhead – and then suddenly, miraculously, everyone arrives and it’s wonderful."
Joey at School – by Victoria Kingston
It may surprise some of you to learn that Joey leads a double life. Most of the year, he is at home with David and me, enjoying his many leisure hours, but every year at this time, he goes to school. David works at a local secondary school as a Science Technician, and during this summer term, Joey goes too. Not as a pupil, as a special guest. The entire thing was the idea of Stan Labovitch, much loved biology teacher, who asked David to bring Joey to school to meet all his Year 7 (eleven year olds) classes. It was such a success that they have repeated it for a few years now. Joey does six or seven appearances, but only one a day because he tends to get tired.
At the end of the sessions, Stan buys Joey a gift to share with his sisters: some biscuits, some chews, so Joey is well paid. Stan has grown very fond of Joey: “It’s wonderful that, after breaking his leg on the race track when he was so young, Joey has successfully relaunched his career as a Canine Science Assistant and now he gives critically acclaimed performances in the lab to Year 7 pupils.”
Not only do the children learn about greyhounds, it is also scientifically educational. Stan shows the class a dog skull and the children examine the teeth and also take samples of Joey’s hair to look at under the microscope. Stan is teaching them about Adaptation, how, through generations, animals’ bodies and behaviour adapt to their environment and needs. He explains to me: “All the different breeds of dog have been selectively bred from a common wolf-like ancestor: the wolf is Canis Lupus and the dog is Canis Lupus Familiaris. With his long legs and streamlined body, Joey has been bred for speed.”
Of course, Joey isn’t often seen at his speedy best. His favourite pastime is lying on his duvet, watching TV. He also likes sunbathing. And being admired by people. For Joey, one of the highlights of the school visits is that the children line up in an orderly fashion to stroke him. He remains modest about it though. When asked about his early injury, what it was like, he merely replies: “Ruff!” and leaves it at that.
At the end of each Joey lesson, Stan asks the children to give him a special round of applause, which Joey enjoys. The Year 7 classes have adopted him as their mascot and frequently stop in the playground to ask David how he is getting along. How Joey is getting along that is, not David. It must be said that Joey has a way of hogging the limelight.
Thank you to Victoria for the article and Gnana Kumar for the photograph.
Pets at Home - Wimbledon
On Saturday 9th June WGW held a meet and greet fundraiser at the new Pets at Home store in Wimbledon. Not only were the store kind enough to arrange this meet and greet with us, but they also made us their chosen charity for the week at their check-outs. In total we raised an amazing £202 pounds.
Our thanks go to Liz Phillips and her wonderful team of helpers for making this day such a success and to Pets at Home for making us so welcome.
Sandown Park - Meet and Greet
May ended with a flourish as the greyhounds went to the races, back by popular demand at Sandown Park for the biggest evening meeting of the season there, featuring top class racing. The crowd and staff were also top class, showing lots of interest and amazing generosity. So much so that a record amount for a racecourse Meet & Greet was raised, over £1,350. Our thanks go to all at Sandown and to the team of hounds and humans who were there, who were tireless in their meeting and greeting and who were also absolutely Top Class!
Here are some of them with one of racing's media stars, Mike Cattermole.
Allie and Liam in the New Forest
Great to see two of our older Greyhounds - Liam and Allie - rehomed to enjoy a fantastic retirement in the New Forest.
A huge thanks to Helen and Christopher.
50 days of Dennis
Simon and Karen describe their first 50 days with Dennis.
It starts in a strangely familiar way .....
"We had never planned to get a dog, too busy, didn't want the mess, busy jobs, not fair on the dog, all the usual reasons, coupled with the fact we both have never owned a dog before either. "
Thanks to everyone
Bit of a busy weekend one way and another last weekend. In fact it was a very busy weekend with our hounds and helpers out and about all over the place.
Charlie’s Angels were in Kent for the weekend running the fun agility at Only Paws and Horses and their efforts were rewarded with a magnificent £280 in the bucket which was topped up with an additional £200 donation from The Hop Farm.
Paula and Bob headed up the Epsom street collection on Saturday morning with Angela providing cover for the afternoon shift, ably supported by her team of helpers and their hounds. The kind people of Epsom donated £282 to WGW.
Saturday evening team Hersham were at the stadium for the Greyhound Derby Final. They worked like Trojans, walked miles and wait for it…………..collected a best ever sum of £2218.80
But hold on, no peace for the wicked, and Sunday saw WGW at Stoneleigh Fun Day – all thanks to the efforts of Olga Nitsche and her hound Lilly. Thank you for organising this one Olga and thank you for raising £120 for our hounds.
Sunday afternoon we thought our hounds and helpers deserved a rest – so we only sent them up the road to Waitrose where they entertained the crowds, persuaded people to put their green tokens in our slot, and raised the princely sum of £240.70
And an update on the sponsored walk - sponsorship money raised is now over £1950. Wow. What a result.
What magnificent people you all are. The time and energy that you give so generously and so willingly is awesome, and our darling greyhounds have no idea, do they? Without you and without the kindness and generosity of so many people there would be no food in their bowls, no beds to snuggle up in, no treats, no walks, no cuddles, no homes – no future.
As I’ve said before, probably best that they don’t know. Long may they take us all for granted.
Special Appeal for Gemma (Dames Jewel, born May 2001)
Here we have another Lady of a certain age desperate to get her home comforts back.
Gemma had only been in her last home for 10 months when her elderly owner fell ill and was unable to keep her. She had been adopted from the Retired Greyhound Trust and we don’t know much about Gemma’s past other than that she had run 98 races at the Portsmouth track between 2002 and 2005.
Gemma does not do well in kennels. She has probably never been a greedy eater, but now the noisy comings and goings at the kennels distract her so much from her food that she is losing weight rapidly. She really needs a calm and secure environment to regain her strength.
This little girl is such a pleasure to have around the house. She is clearly used to living in a home and knows what sofas are for!
She can go up and down the stairs and walks steadily on laminate floorboards. Gemma is spotlessly clean, sleeps through the night without a beep and is generally quiet as a mouse. She loves going for walks and her tail goes into a helicopter spin when the lead comes out.
During her stay with us she got on great with our own greyhound and whippet girls. She is friendly with small dogs and only showed curiosity when meeting our cats. After appropriate introductions she would be able to live with a confident feline.
Gemma is a very loving and undemanding girl. All she asks for is a quiet home where she can get the individual attention she so deserves.
With some care and encouragement her eating will improve and she will develop into the most loyal and rewarding friend anyone could wish for.
Kiko Home Report
Kiko came home with us for a stay-over, his first time away from the Kennels.
We headed out enthusiastically from the Kennels and on reaching the car Kiko happily jumped into the back without hesitation. He travelled well in the car throughout without any whining or pacing though his preference is for facing forward with his eager little face hanging over the back seats to take in all the sights.
Once we arrived home Kiko was inquisitive about everything, giving every room on the ground floor a good sniffing and with support and encouragement he managed to climb our quite difficult flight of stairs so that he could carry on exploring. We introduced him to his water and food bowls in the kitchen and the access to the garden where we straight away encouraged him to have a ‘wee’ and apart from a couple of initial mishaps he was clean in the house.
We had already laid down a duvet for him in a cosy corner of the living room at the end of the sofa and he happily settled in, gathering together the toys we had given him to play with. During the evening we were entertained by the sight of a stuffed elephant followed by the other toys sailing into the air above the sofa arm before being pounced on. Kiko was tireless at playing fetch in the garden with a rubber ‘Kong’ and although he hasn’t yet quite grasped the idea of dropping it for it to be thrown again, he gave it up willingly when it was taken from him.
At mealtimes he went straight to his bowl and generally cleared everything he was given. He enjoyed tuna, sardines and sausages, was less enthusiastic about chicken but was happy to sample most things he was offered (including on one occasion a chunk of fresh pineapple!) and took titbits and treats gently without snatching. Once he had mastered the stairs Kiko happily slept on a duvet on the floor at the foot of our bed, sleeping soundly through most of the night and only waking at daylight to shove a wet nose in my ear as a suggestion that it was time to get up.
Kiko is a bold and confident dog and when on our first walk on Epsom Downs we encountered a very large noisy tractor, a host of horse riders, cyclists and joggers, he didn’t turn a hair. He showed that he was a real people dog with adults and children alike and a visit to the local pub had his tail wagging constantly at every new arrival.
Sadly Kiko’s amiability does not extend to the canine community and his animosity extends to every variety, large or small. He can be strong on the lead and does prefer to be to the fore though he will respond when he is checked.
Kiko is a sweet, affectionate, handsome lad, quick to learn and with boundless curiosity and enthusiasm for life and sometimes still shows a puppy-like outlook in spite of his 6 years. He will need some more experience of the outside world and lots of socialisation with other dogs so that he can realise his potential as a loving family dog.
Val & Tom Vernon
Sunday 20th May 2012 - Annual sponsored walk.
A huge thank you to everyone who came along to annual sponsored walk at The Vyne. Thanks also to David and Karen for making us all feel so welcome - you really were stars.
Thought you all might like to know that we raised £876 plus £50 shop money on Sunday. Well done everyone.
I know that they'll be more sponsorship money trickling through over the next few weeks, so keep watching and I'll keep you updated.
Quiz Night in Ashford
We all must thank the organisers for a wonderful evening, which was lively and fun and a lot of work for them.
And the best of it is, it raised an impressive £700 net for the Hersham Hounds. As Julie said, “You could say it was this is our best total yet for a quiz night.”
Read the full write-up by Victoria Kingston.
Chestnut Sunday Parade
More than 10,000 people visited Bushy Park on Sunday May 13th to enjoy the Chestnut Sunday Fair and Parade.
The event was a huge public relations success for the greyhounds, made even better by the £252 raised for the kennels.
THANK YOU to everyone, dogs and humans, who spent a long day on their paws and feet championing WGW and doing wonders for the public image of our wonderful hounds.
Tottie One Year On
Tottie (AKA Buds Tot) came to stay on her trial weekend at Easter 2011. We brought her home and introduced her to our tiny one-bed flat in North London. She was shown around the house and shown her bed we’d set up for her in the living room. She then went and plonked herself on the rug in a different part of the living room, which is where her day bed has been ever since. She was roaching within an hour. When the weekend was up we reluctantly took her back to Denise at Hersham Kennels, arranging to collect her the following week.
We took Tottie home permanently on the 2nd of May. She seemed to settle in quite quickly. It took her a couple of weeks to learn to go toilet on her lead and it took about two months to get her diet right. Funny how the consistency of your dog’s stools can become main topic of conversation for weeks…
Tottie is a quick learner. From the outset I had decided I didn’t want her sleeping on our bed. We found her on the bed twice and a sharp ‘no’ was all that was needed to get her down. She has not been on the bed since to our knowledge! She is always eager to please and ‘no’ is all that is needed to prevent her doing something she shouldn’t. She knows not to go beyond the two thirds of the shared garden we use. There are no physical barriers but she learned immediately not to go beyond our section.
A very nervous girl to begin with, it didn’t help when she was attacked by three out of control Staffies, one of which took a bite out of our poor Tottie. Since then though her confidence has grown. She doesn’t shake much anymore – a new surrounding or waiting for Denise to clip her nails will usually cause the trembles.
We can now let her off her lead. We will only do so where we feel there is enough space and it is safe. She spent a week in west Wales with us and loved the beach and spotting rabbits on the way there at dawn. Once on the beach we would take her off the lead and watch her charge round. She even went swimming on the first day but that was probably just due to the excitement of being on the beach.
Tottie comes to us when called and is very happy to go back on the lead. She appears to have overcome her fear of other breeds and now wants to play with most dogs especially if they look anything vaguely like a greyhound. She is also a bit nervous of our four year old niece but slowly getting used to her.
Bringing Tottie into our lives has been such a pleasure. She is a gentle loving girl who loves a cuddle and is easily stroked to sleep. She loves to be groomed and is so well behaved when having her teeth cleaned or nails clipped.
She loves to go for a drive in the car and will spend the first few minutes sitting looking out the back window (to make sure we’re not being followed) before settling down and sleeping for the journey.
We love her little oddities; she gives a low satisfied grumble (almost like a purr) when relaxed or when being given a light shoulder massage (which usually sends her to sleep). Tottie has a very strange relationship with her cuddly toy, Mr Frog. We have never seen her play with Mr Frog but he moves round the flat on a regular basis. Our girl is a mysterious girl sometimes….
David and Olivier
The A to Z of Greyhounds
Bob and Carla have put together this great A2Z of Greyhounds.
Tally and Lilly
Another of our older ladies, Tally has recently found her forever home where she has settled in with Lilly.
As Val says:
"It’s not always the younger dogs that give back so much. Try the older boys and girls - they are their equals, just older and wiser and just as much fun."
Allie finds her forever home
We feel so very privileged and lucky to have been able to adopt Allie, who settled immediately into our home and with her new brother and sisters.
She retired from her racing career in 2005, and was recently handed in to WGW after only 10 months in her last home, so there are nearly six years of dear Allies' life unaccounted for, but it would appear that she was passed around quite a bit. Nobody in their right mind could ever give this bitch away or mistreat her, but she was underfed, crawling with fleas and had a bladder infection.
Yet despite all this, she is so kind, gentle and loving, how these dogs have such an ability to be so forgiving, I will never know. All we want now is for her to feel happy, loved and secure, and this special girl will have nothing but the best from now on.
Helen and Christopher
The Doors come to Hersham
Well, it had to be done.
The old doors had reached the point of no-return and battling to open and close them on a daily basis was wearing us all down.
Sticking bolts and catches had left our hands battle-scarred and were fast becoming a safety issue for our hounds. Eve, who runs the sanctuary, set the wheels in motion in February when she was deciding on this year’s colour scheme.
As she so rightly pointed out “these doors are way beyond painting and it’s going to be a waste of time and paint to do them now if there is a chance they can be replaced.”
An update regarding the Imberpark Kennels Easter Eggstraviganza Open Day
As mentioned in the original posting we raised £135.00 at the WGW stand. However with the help and generosity of the manager Mr Neil Harris we have had a further donation from a 'Charity Photo Fund Raiser' held during the course of the day.
This now brings the total monies raised for WGW to: £190.00
Thank you once again to Mr Neil Harris at Imberpark and all his staff or inviting us to take part in this worthwhile event.
Active and Agile
When Denise mentioned that the theme for next year’s calendar was active hounds, and asked if I could do some agility training with a few, I leapt at the chance (no pun intended!) and then spent some sleepless nights wondering how I was going to achieve the objective.
Obviously with the greyhound’s athleticism and power, getting from one side of an obstacle to the other wouldn’t be a problem, but achieving direction and control just might be! For most agility dogs the lessons learned at formal training are reinforced by play sessions, exercises around the house and garden and when out on walks (although if it’s done properly they don’t notice and just enjoy the games and interactions). This would be out of the question with kennel hounds, but any training periods would have to be short enough not to cause boredom and loss of focus, particularly bearing in mind a sight-hound’s attention span.
Progress was going to be slow!
Find out which hound was chosen and how they are getting on - download.
An update on Robbie
I was devastated to lose Jack in September. He was my first dog and everybody loved him. Indeed he was quite a celebrity in Twickenham, where I live.
I was in two minds about whether to get another one wondering if I would ever find such a wonderful dog. But by the end of November I decided that I missed the companionship and walks too much. Robbie was the second dog I walked - I loved his spirit, his single mindedness and of course he is a very beautiful dog.
I took him home just before Christmas and we immediately went up to Scotland for 10 days. The first night he was very anxious running up and down the stairs and yelping if we left the room. But after a few days he made himself at home, selecting the nicest sofas to sit on, much to my parents' dismay. Fortunately for me, a dog trainer lived next door, so I booked a couple of lessons just to make sure I got into the right habits early.
Now a month and a half later, Robbie's becoming more and more affectionate. When I get home from work, he gives me a great welcome and likes to bounce from one carpet to another. He's also put on 2kg and loves his food.
He enjoys playing golf and walks beautifully on the lead. I did let him off the lead on the golf course last week, but more training is required as he ran through one of the bunkers and just as I had raked it, he decided it was such fun, he would have another go. I wasn't too popular with the other golfers. I have also seen how fast he can move in my garden when a naughty squirrel appeared and tried to eat the bird food - I don't think the squirrel will be trying that again!
All in all, Robbie is settling in very well and I think I have another wonderful dog.
Thank you everyone for attending and making the day such a great success. A Grand total of £1768.53 was raised thanks to everyone's generosiity.
You can see photos of the event at MadAboutGreys.
Imberpark Kennels Eggstraviganza M&G
To let you know that the grand total monies raised for WGW at the Imberpark Kennels Easter Eggstraviganza Open Day, Shepperton on Saturday 31/03/2012 was £135.00
A promised additional top up from the Imberpark management regarding an 'aside' photo fund raiser to follow. A fantastic turn out for the Imberpark kennels and for WGW - with local families seeking a sunny morning out.
A big thank you to Mark & Nikki with M&G stalwarts Bella & Pearl, and making her debut for WGW - that lady of a certain age Betty - who earned her dog biscuits by looking elegant and getting the ooooh, aaaah vote. Julie with WGW Kennel dog Tom - what a charmer (Tom that is!) - the most gentle, and unfazed hound in the face of yappy and poorly handled dogs (and owners) of all sizes and temperaments who were visiting the stand. Elaine with her dog Kenny - by lying on his side, on the hard floor for most of the proceedings, he looked like a photo finish re-enactment of the 21.30 at Wimbledon Track!, Kath & hubby (husband - not dog!), and lastly the family (sorry forgotten names) who have taken as a weekend foster WGW kennel dog Tally with their hound Lilly. Both Tally and Lilly working the crowds as high ambassadors for the breed.
A thank you to all once again. Well done.
Thanks to Paws Pet Food
Our thanks go to Darryl and 4paws pet food for very kindly donating 2 pallets of their special chicken and rice complete food to our greyhounds.
It’s lovely to be able to give our hounds a change of diet and of course financially such a generous gift is very welcome.
You can read all about 4 paws pet food by using this link http://www.4pawspetfood.co.uk/
Yogi and Phoenix
“We’re sticking with one!”
“No, we’re not getting another one”
That was just some of the things we said, and swore we’d stick to, since we lost our beloved Bandit at the end of the year.
“You’ll get another” said a very knowing Steve, just four days after Bandit passed.
And so it came to pass .... read the full article here.
Bessie and Smurf Reunited
It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone with the good fortune to possess one greyhound must be in want of another. We'd had Smurf with us for nearly four months when we made the journey to Hersham to pick up his sister, Bessie, for what we genuinely intended to be for a weekend stay just to try things out. Problem was that no sooner do you look into her beautiful eyes, the same ones that stare out at you on the front page of the HH site, you realise that there is no way that you are going to allow her to fall back into the clutches of Denise and her cohorts, admirable though they all are.
Though both of us had already fallen deeply in love with Smurf we knew that he would want one of his own kind to spend his life with. Since she is Smurf's sister (the only two of the litter born on 1 May 2008), Bessie was the natural choice. We were really pleased to have the encouragement of Julie, was racing owner to both of them during their short lived careers on the track, who was very keen for them to be rehoused together. Julie is one of those truly dog loving racing greyhound owners.Thanks to her we know all sorts of stuff about their histories and been able to view their entire racing careers on beautifully presented DVDs. Both of them had their moments of glory on the track and it was great fun cheering them home on TV.
When Bessie first arrived at our house she was a bag of nerves and panting heavily for hour upon hour. Smurf was much the same upon his arrival. I made films of them both on their first day in our house mainly so that in later life we will be able to look back on what are for us are momentous occasions.Here are links to them; It is nice to see in the second of these films how relaxed Smurf had become in contrast to Bessie's obvious anxiety.
At time of writing Smurf has been with us for six months and Bessie for two. I can't say that Smurf was overjoyed by Bessie's arrival. For the most part he took it in his stride but he did have the odd moment of irritataion. He does not like being bumped into and Bessie can be a bit clumsy. We've come to realise that it is wrong to get too misty eyed about them being brother and sister. Just as with their human counterparts it is no guarentee that they are going to get on. Generally they rub along quite happily together but there is the odd skirmish between them. There's no doubt about, it though he has his own moments of madness, Smurf is a more straighttforward dog than his sister. Bessie had gained a reputation at the kennels for being a bit bonkers and I can now see why. She is prone to the odd nervous fit. I have seen her do a series of about fifty pirouttes on the bedspread, spinning around a full 360 degrees each time. Her turns have the natural effect of starting Smurf off so we have had the odd moments of pandemonium here but nothing very serious or long lasting and certainly nothing that outweighs the joy that having both of them brings to our household.
We've seen greyhounds described as 40mph couch potatoes. Well yes they do like to lounge around a lot but there is never a time when they are anything less than chomping at the bit to get out there are discover what is going on in the world. They may be lying about in the loft room but the merest tinkle of their leads from two storeys below is enough to cause an avalanche of greyhounds. They are both now well acquainted with the streets and parks of earlsfield and are helping me fend off the onset of middle age spread; my feet are hurting a bit though!
They sleep in our bedroom at nights and often when we wake up it is to both of them wagging their tails and doing their yogic limbering up exercises in readiness for their morning walk like the true atheletes that they are. It puts a smile on your face even if you are faced with the dismal prospect of a day working for HMRC. When you get back from your daily ordeal in the tax office there they both are at the door wagging their tails and bouncing up and down like madmen. What could be better than that. We've found one or two places in the vicinity where we can let them off the lead safely. What a thrill it is to see them going at full pelt.
Here is some video evidence of it you if you want to see. It also features Smurf doing his Michael Jackson moonwalking routine which is one of his favourites.
There is hardly ever an occasion when we are out walking when some passer by does not stop to compliment the hounds. As one fellow south londoner shouted out to me yesterday "Oi, mate, that's a lovely pair of dogs you've got there!" I replied, as I always do in such circumstances, "thank you very much, that's what I think too".
Betty - an update on home life
Betty has now been with us for 6 months, and has defied the Vets health prognosis that she would not see it out.
Apart from continued poor blood results in respect of her Kidney disease she has continued to progress from strength to strength.
She has always had problems with her teeth (a condition of the disease, or a cause? - chicken & egg syndrome) and has needed regular gentle cleaning, coupled with dental chews which thankfully she enjoys to eat.
However at the end of February the teeth issue came to a head, and a large abscess developed in the gum above one of her main canine upper fangs. After two weeks plus of different types of antibiotics Daniel Doherty Vet extraordinaire decided as a last resort, to operate and remove the tooth. Due to her renal failure he was reticent to do the operation as she may not survive the anaesthetic.
The day before the operation Betty had the best the day could offer - in respect of food and walks - It was a beautiful sunny day, and along with her two 'sisters' off we went to Bushey Park.
24 hours later I was collecting a shaky and disoriented hound from the Vets for the journey home.
12 hours later I was washing the piles of 'murder scene' blood stained bedding and blankets - while three divas looked on disgruntled that they had been shoved off their duvet heaven!
However as the pictures show, the two 'blues' were the most attentive to sickly Betty overnight - and snuggled up along side her on the beds while sniffing at her mouth knowing that something was not right.
Betty is back to strength, and seems to have a bigger 'pasta' appetite (soft for the gums!). The squirrel population in Sunbury Park is back on alert and the pack is together once more.
A Tia Catchup - Chinny
Chinny (formerly Chenoa) has been with us for 6 months now and you’d never guess she was the shy, unsure girl that first arrived home with us. She was one of the girls brought down from Tia back in January of this year and had only spent a few weeks settling into her new home with the Hersham Hounds before we discovered her and fell in love. Because she was so new to the kennels, Denise reminded me (before I took her home) that really no-one knew that much about Chinny so it would be up to me to discover her character, traits and demeanour. We have a house full of small pets (including chickens, rabbit, rats, budgie, mice) so it was quite an important task to ensure Chinny would settle in well. Initially she was so shy she didn’t dare look at any of our little furry friends and Denise warned me that once she got more confident she might be a bit of a scamp around them!
Because of her nerves, we had to take things slow – all sorts of things could stress her e.g. A cyclist passing us on a walk, big trucks, hoovers, stairs and the tv. Because of her stress levels, she had violent episodes of diarrohea and she needed lots of reassurance to accept domestic life. All this sounds awful now in hindsight but we were all so smitten by her gentle, soft nature that nothing could break the bond we felt and there was never any question of returning her to the kennels. When Chinny was relaxed and happy inbetween, we could see what a wonderful girl she truly was and that with time she would realise she had landed on her feet. Another stressful matter for her were the stairs, which she refused to climb up. This meant she couldn’t discover the luxury of our beds for a while. However, once she got the confidence to give it a go (with all of us sitting on the top step calling her name over and over) she clambered clumsily up and then proceeded to dive bomb onto our bed and has never really left it! This was the turning point for Chinny, because I think she understood from then on that this life in a home with people was a good thing.
And as far as the other pets go, she really couldn’t be bothered by them. In fact, she will gently sniff the rats, or mice when we are handling them or snort at the chickens when they pass by. She has even accepted the budgie landing on her head a couple of times. The finale to this story so far is that last week I was able to let her off the lead for the first time in an enclosed park where she proved to me what an amazing girl she is. There were several small dogs running around and she was so friendly and playful with them. She had an absolute blast of a run and then came straight back to me. A week later, we have been going to the park every day, and each time she meets new dogs and is as friendly and playful with each and every one (no matter what the breed). I would like to thank Denise for putting her faith in me again and allowing me to take Chinny home. We had to put our greyhound, Wish, to sleep at the beginning of the year and I missed her terribly but realised very quickly that we could not be without one of these gentle souls. Finding Chinny was a very healing experience and has made me appreciate more than ever what a wonderful breed of dog Greyhounds are.
How Mrs B came to stay
A heart warming Christmas tale regarding a few months in the life of a Hersham Hound Volunteer, or a short story of how Mrs. B came to stay.
Looking back in my diary September 3rd was the day planned for our summer holiday. Weeks of nothingness in glorious sunny and empty Southern France. It was two years since we had spent such a lovely time there. The two Hounds; Bella & Pearl had their pet passports, and the vast fields of sunflowers were nodding their heads, beckoning for us to come again.
However the builders turned up with only a few days notice, after months of waiting. The noise of power tools are still ringing in our ears. No holiday now – But had fate taken its deceptive course?
Feeling very un-useful in my newly retired state, and no holiday on the horizon I implied to Janie at the kennels - ‘Why not use me to help with the Vet runs and stuff?’ I have since been gainfully employed on a weekly basis, travelling to Veterinary Practices in and around Southern England on behalf of the poorly Hounds of Hersham. I am now on first name terms with all of Daniel Doherty’s Veterinary Staff, and I have been invited to their Christmas Staff party - only joking!
Anyway – in among the excited, anxious or just plain frightened hound cargo that was my weekly trip to the vets, there was one very quiet and unassuming little lady, black with grey goggles and muzzle.
I think her story is well known now, but due to human problems at home she had been returned to the kennels after many years. She is Betty an eleven-year-old little poppet pocket rocket; her racing name is ‘Calculate’. Her teeth were like concrete, her breath could take your breath away (!) she was as thin as a rake, and you could tell that she was very, very, very un-happy. Even if she could with those teeth - she wouldn’t smile. Denise and the kennel staff were concerned and had booked an appointment with the Vets for a dental and general check over. As normal I trundled off with her and another sick-note hound called ‘Chappie”. What a poor little girl she was – a urinary infection was diagnosed and this had to be cleared up with antibiotics before the teeth could be tackled. Daniel felt that she might have underlying renal problems that could be better checked once the infection had gone. Blood tests after three weeks of return appointments confirmed our worst fears - Betty had renal failure that would not improve.
Every time I collected her for the vets, or on a visit to the kennels she looked so down, depressed and sad. She would cuddle up against me in the vets waiting room – and even with two of my own hounds at home, she is the first Hound to have given me a lick in affection. The kennel staff had done a fantastic job on her teeth in the intervening time between vet visits – although she would still benefit from a dental procedure – a good kennel cleaning allowed her mouth to feel better. Daniel commented on the good work, but ruled out any attempt at a general anesthetic due to her other serious health issues. On my last visit to the vets I had collected her a day early to make transport arrangements easier with her co-sickie who was being collected from foster care. On previous trips we had made a stop over at my house for a little walk and to meet my two Hounds in an effort to cheer her up, and give her some change of surroundings from the kennels. As normal my Bella & Pearl were very accommodating and made her feel at home. So I knew that they all got along.
After Daniels bleak diagnosis I was in a dilemma, I felt so sorry for little Betty, what was I going to tell Nikki my wife? Once I had let the ‘cat of the bag’ so to speak – I knew that Nikki would not let me take her back to the kennels. But I had two hounds of my own to think of, I wasn’t happy to take on a third. I decided to go back home with Betty having dropped Chappie back to his foster family, and I rang Denise… Then I rang Nikki… Then I rang Eve at the kennels. I arranged to return Betty to the kennels the following morning…
It is now the end of November; Betty is under my desk in a heap with my other two as I write. She is back to being he most beautiful, obedient, playful and happy hound a family could wish for.
I know it is still early days, but after an initial week of feeding her small amounts of food (mainly scrambled egg) from my hand, and making sure that she was able to access the garden for a wee, she is now established herself in the pack order of the house, (one above me!) and is eating normally with the others. I am proud to report that Betty’s general well being has improved immensely. She appears to have increased energy levels; she is eating a part normal, and part renal diet. She destroys dental chews as if they are going out of fashion, and this morning completed a circuit of the park with Bella & Pearl at full racing speed, while wearing her fleecy coat.
All the staff at the kennels, and my family know that the prognosis of Betty’s illness is very poor. However we have all entered into this homing arrangement with eyes wide open, ensuring that Betty will have a safe, warm, enjoyable and loving home for the duration. The kennel staff is on hand to offer us practical and knowledgeable advice whenever needed, and with this support we feel that we can cope with the care of this great little girl.
The moral of this tale is, spare a thought for the ‘oldies’ at the kennels. If there is room in your life (and on a duvet in your home), please consider adopting ‘an oldie’. There have been quite a few lately, as Denise will testify in vets’ bills.
Although of advanced years, generally they will make such fantastic companions, as all the hard part of initial settling in at home has already been done. They already know the ropes.
These poor hounds, now returned to kennels through no fault of their own, had thought that they had found the ‘forever sofa’, - now only to find themselves without a friend or home comforts after many, many years of both.
I know that we as a family have done the right thing by taking Betty into our lives, even knowing that she may not be with us long. It will be upsetting, but we already know that it’s worth it, to see the mischievous twinkle return to her once dull eyes and feel the warmth in her thank you cuddles.
As the weather gets colder – please remember the oldies – They double-up as great feet warmers.
Bah Humbug – I’m such a softie!
Mark, Nikki & family.
Valentine's Day Raffle Winner
The Winner, with winning ticket green 486 was Bev and Graham Constable - regular visitors to our kennels. They collected their prize today and very kindly donated the chocolates to the kennel staff - yummy! A fantastic £150 was raised for WGW.
Thanks to everyone who participated.
Thank You Everyone
I was just going to write a thank you to everyone who joined us for our Christmas Lights celebration, to those who couldn’t join us on the day but sent in gifts and offerings, and to everyone who helped make it happen by decorating the yard, manning the stalls and helping to set it all up and tidy away after the event. It was, as always, the loveliest of events and heart-warming to see so many familiar faces and happy much loved greyhounds; in fact a timely reminder of what WGW is all about.
We’ve had another tough year. A year when we’ve all had to work incredibly hard to keep WGW in the public eye and cover the ever increasing cost of caring for 80 plus greyhounds every day of the year. It’s a big commitment and a commitment that we couldn’t make without your unstinting support.
We have so much to be grateful for and I don’t think a day goes by when we don’t count our blessings. Whatever happens, when things go wrong, when things make us sad, something will happen that will bring a smile to our faces. Inevitably it is an act of kindness by you; our friends, our supporters.
So thank you. Thank you for the thousands of ways that you show your support and your belief in what we do. This poem was written by me many years ago when I started working at the kennels, and I think it holds as true today as it did then. Enjoy.
Tonight I ran my final race,My future’s in their hand,
They do not know I’m listening,As quietly I stand.
“She’s done her best",“She’s had enough",”Hasn’t she been great?”
What happens now? That’s down to you – you decide her fate.
I know no other way of life, My heart is full of fear,
As I recall my kennel mates,Who’d simply disappear.
But there’s a place I’ve heard about,A special place to be,
And I believe that someone said,It’s meant for dogs like me,
I think some of my friends went there,I really hope that’s so,
From what I’ve heard it’s wonderful,I’d really like to go.
My owners came to say goodbye,But why are they so sad?
They’ve given me this chance of life,They really should be glad
For here I am – that special place,I can’t believe I’m there,
All I know is on the door it says“GREYHOUND WELFARE"
Some people come to see me,I really love the fuss,
And someone told me yesterday,“Come home and live with us".
Now I’m only a greyhound,It’s all I’ve ever known,
So please can someone put me wise,And tell me “What’s a home?”
Merry Christmas to you all, and don’t forget to pop down on Christmas morning to walk the hounds. It wouldn’t be the same without you.Denise xxx
Consider A Boy
Boy Oh Boy
So, you have decided to share your life with a beautiful greyhound. Excellent choice! You have done your research and you know that all the usual prejudices against this breed, i.e. need a lot of exercise, expensive to feed, not suitable for urban living, unsafe around children etc. are simply untrue misconceptions. Fantastic!
Here is just one more myth for your consideration: "Greyhound boys are too big, too difficult and less affectionate than girls."
This view leads to many boys waiting for a new home far too long. They see girlfriend after girlfriend going home with their new families whilst they are stuck right where they are, in a kennel!
When a greyhound (boy or girl) enters your house for the first time it will feel as if you have invited a small horse into your home. After a couple of days, when the dog has settled down, found the best place to snooze and you all have got used to each other the very same dog will appear to have shrunk quite considerably.
In fact, the dog will continue to shrink to the point that after a little while you may consider fitting in a second one (needless to say it does not always stop at just two!). Whilst many boys are undeniably larger than some of the more dainty girls, they often make up for their size with a lazy and relaxed attitude to life (and of course they shrink in a home!).
Boys also often don't sell themselves very well to prospective owners. The opportunity to go for a walk is far more exciting than a run in the paddocks, and their enthusiasm can get the better of them. Once out, the smells, sights and sounds are of more immediate interest than the person on the other end of their lead. If you invest a little time to get to know them you will find that they are as soppy and cuddly as the girls, some say even more so, and they become very, VERY attached to their families.
They also tend to be less 'macho' than males of other breeds. Two greyhound boys in the same household often become best of friends and this can work out better than adding a girl (who will always be the boss!) as a companion for the resident boy.
Whatever your circumstances, it is important that you find the right dog for you. Don't limit your chances by discounting 50% straight away just for being male. That large, goofy (dare I say black) boy may just be the rough diamond waiting for his chance to brighten up your life.
Don't miss out!
Quiz Night raises £250
The Quiz night at The Greyhound (Sunday 29th January 2012) was a great success, and raised just under £250 for WGW. Thanks to Frida and everyone at The Greyhound for making us so welcome and to everyone who joined us, our heartfelt thanks.
The winning team was Universally Challenged - which just proves that the kennel staff have beauty and brains!!!!
Here is Minnie aka Skinny Minnie, Minnie Mops, Mopsey, Sweetheart, Poppet, Gorgeous Girlie ..... and more !! She really is a dinky pretty little girl (well we think so ! ) ... one of the "Tia" girls .. a lovely and loving quiet little girl who likes nothing better than to be stroked and tickled .. in fact she'd like that all day long if she could !
Also, having her bottom up against a nice warm radiator and her head tucked into her paws is her idea of bliss. "Couch potato" is a good way to describe Minnie although maybe "floor potato" is more apt as she never gets onto the furniture - not for the want of encouraging her - it's just that she prefers her four paws firmly on the ground, and so she has a bed in just about every room !
She enjoys going out in the car, in fact gets soooooo excited when she hears the car coming out of the garage as that must mean an outing ! She travels really well in the car - lies down and never makes a fuss - always "Waits" when we tell her to either before jumping out of the car, or at kerbsides when out for a walk. When she is feeling energetic she has a great time whizzing round the garden in complete mad circles - clods of grass and mud flying every where......whooppeeeee !!
She's very sociable and loves meeting up with other dogs large and small and has beautiful manners. We have 5 grandkids who all absolutely adore her - and she them. We feel she must have been used to little ones in her "previous" life as she's not a bit phased by them playing or their noisy chatter -
Minnie is just such good company for us - she's not fussed about going for long walks which suits us as we are getting older - and she is so loving. Sadly we lost our other wonderful greyhound girl last July, and in September Minnie came to share our lives, and she has filled the heartbreaking gap we all feel when we lose a much loved dog.
We are so pleased to have found her.
Mothering Sunday Tea and cake afternoon
At our Mothering Sunday "Tea and Cake" afternoon, we raised a total of £211!
An enormous thank you to Nikky who organised it and ran it with Linda, who together with Julie and Emma, also supplied goodies, both for humans and the dogs. A wonderful effort and a very tidy sum!
Our little Phoenix
We’ve had Phoenix, our little girl for nearly 18 months now. In this busy day and age, we thought we’d write this little article about her slightly differently, in fact we thought we’d make a list of the things that make us laugh, and that we love about her. We are very lucky in that, if there was a list of things that infuriate us, it would be completely empty. In fact that last statement would be another thing for the things we love about Phoenix list!
Anyway, here goes. Some Of The Things We Love and Laugh About Phoenix List
- The chuntering of her jaw
- The endless cuddles
- Her snoring, and breaking wind loudly
- Having to hunt for our missing (but undamaged) shoes
- The pile of cuddly toys that start downstairs, and end up in a pile on our bed upstairs, often with the “missing” shoes!
- Her mad 5 minutes, when she sprints in and out the house, and up and down the stairs non-stop
- Her dreaming
- Her excitement at walk time
- Her pre poo, Poo Dance!
- Her selective hearing.....unless her favourite treats, Muddles, or dental chews are coming out of the cupboard
- The way we all helped each other when we lost Bandit
- The way that her personality is growing every day
- The way she sprints...her super scurry!
- Her supersonic snood, that last weekend kept going when she slowed down and stopped, slipping over her face, hilarious!
- Her lovely and gentle nature
- Her happiness to see us when we get home from anywhere when we’ve had to leave her at home
- The fact that all who meet her, like her (what an ambassador for greyhounds!)
- Wondering what’s been moved when we have to pop out and leave her at home for a while (see also missing shoes above!)
- The way she lays on the bed snuggling between us for 10 minutes every night, knowing exactly when to go to her bed
- After I’ve left for work, the way Carla wakes up to Phoenix laying on the bed next to her with Phoenix’s head on my pillow!
- The way she takes herself upstairs and talks to herself in the mirror
- The way she shouts at toys that fall off the bed when she’s playing with them
- And so much more, but most importantly,
- The fact that she is our very own little Phoenix!
Carla & Bob x
An update on James
Our wonderful greyhound boy Becker became ill over Christmas and was tragically diagnosed with leukaemia on New Years’ Eve and we lost him a couple of weeks later. We were all devastated including our little greyhound girl Midge, who had become terribly stressed and unhappy during Becker’s short illness to the point where she gnawed a chunk out of her shoulder and reeked destruction throughout the kitchen. Sadly, once we knew Becker wouldn’t recover and that Midge wouldn’t cope by herself and we started talking to Denise about options and when the time came Denise and the team welcomed her back to Hersham with open arms. However, there was no way we were going to give our little girl up for good so the only alternative was to find her a new boy as quickly as possible.
So, although it felt very odd to us at least we started the process of “Greyhound speed dating”! We’d checked some hounds out on the website and lined up some dates. Irrespective of what we wanted the new boy had to be mainly Midge’s choice. She made it really clear she didn’t like a few of the hounds but she and James seemed to be polite to each other at least so he was allowed a second date in the exercise paddock. As that went well Denise moved them into the same kennel!
A week later, and anxious to fill a very quiet and tidy house with greyhounds again, we returned to pick them up. Needless to say having a human James and a hound James in the same household has proved complicated and the “goodnight Jim-bob” routine from the Waltons got wearing , to some of us at least, after a couple of days…..
James is such a lovely, happy little boy with fabulous ears! There were a few teething problems to start with – he peed over absolutely everything (including the clean laundry), howled at night and there were a few arguments between him and Midge.
However, three weeks later and with hindsight he really gave us no trouble at all and has slotted right into the family as though he knew he belonged there. Because of the circumstances of losing Becker we think we subconsciously expected him to just walk in and be Becker but of course he didn’t. He’s a hound in his own right and a hound who despite a couple of weekends away from the kennels had never spent much time in a house and learnt real routines.
He’s happy and inquisitive about everything and within about 10 days was trustworthy in the house, doesn’t pee on anything, doesn’t get on the sofa, eats what he’s given, plays with Midge and sleeps quietly in the hall at night. Mainly he’s relaxed, adores attention and loves to play which is amazing bearing in mind the short time he’s been here.
Midge had improved dramatically – she’s stopped hurting herself, is eating again and her coat is starting to regain some of its former shine. The builder has been in and repaired the damage to the kitchen and we’re optimistic that she’s feeling much happier.
It is hard because although James is in fact very different from Becker, when he’ sprawled out on the floor he looks so like him. He also has all sorts of funny greyhound mannerisms which remind us of the old dog. We do miss Becker dreadfully but there’s nothing wrong with that and James is such a lovely, happy hound it’s impossible not to love him in his own right.