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My Own Dogs

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BRIAN(67 KB) - Jan 1999 When my beloved Ben was put to sleep I knew that I had to obtain another greyhound instantly to fill that gaping hole in my life and to honour his memory. Plus I like three dogs!
I took both of my bitches along to choose a new member of the family. We had a choice of fifteen dogs which I whittled down to four for their approval. Charlie - as he was then - was an instant hit!!. We went for a test drive in the car - no muzzles! - They ALL jumped on the back seat of my saloon and didn't move! At home he fitted in as though he had lived there forever!! Yet this was a dog that had NEVER been in a house in his entire SEVEN years though he did take longer to master the dog door than Beauty or Ben. He has really changed the "pack" for the good - Now they are always found in a heap sleeping together rather than on separate beds!! See bottom photo!!

BEAUTY (103 KB) - After working at the kennels for about eighteen months. A bitch was carried into the kennels being too petrified to walk. The dog was placed in a kennel where it fell to the floor in a ball shaking with fear. She had probably been badly traumatized as a puppy in Ireland as we know the present owner/trainer always treats his dogs well. She was a beautifully marked cream brindle (Technically a Silver Brindle), a rare combination. As she collapsed into a quivering heap every time a prospective adopter approached she was not likely to be adopted. For the first three weeks she would only walk backwards on a lead with me (no one else could get her to move) at the kennels. Eventually, however she did walk normally. The other kennelhands suggested I should adopt her as I was the only one she bonded to! At home, she was happy with the other two dogs but she was petrified of everything during our walks!! Now, she is a bundle of happy energy pogoing all over the place and licking my face. She now shows her true nature! She was a very expensive pup of superb breeding but ripped her thigh muscle severely. A superb watchdog - she is great fun and a very rewarding experience. She was whelped in May 1996. Because of her light colour any greying of her muzzle doesn't show!!
BAMBI (49KB) was a four year old, very successful, fawn bitch that I chose in Dec 2001 as my new dog when Bessie died. I took Ben and Beauty along to meet her - Ben approved! - Beauty was indifferent - Beauty and Bambi have bonded well often sleeping together - even Ben has been known to share a bed something unknown before. In fact Bambi has made my little pack far more complete! She is also the one that wants the most pets and cuddles. I have found her clean, active, very alert, and friendly. But because she tends to be keen she is more difficult on the lead than the other two, wanting to forge ahead to get to those things she sees in the distance. Cats are a problem!
------------------------------- IN MEMORIAM ----------------------------
BRUTUS (1977 - 1997) (40 KB) was the first dog that I owned as an adult. He was a German Shepherd Cross. I nearly rejected him as too old when I went to choose a dog at the Dog's Home Battersea (he was 3 or 4 years old) At the time Battersea Dog's Home was a warren of wire cages containing 400 dogs of all sorts with no identification on the cages!! After choosing a dog three times and not finding my way back to the correct cage with a kennelhand I decided to "forcefully" take one with me on my next quest! She was actually quite willing! Brutus was the first dog that came to the cage door when I put my fingers through the wire. When told his age I nearly decided he would be unsuitable as my cheap burglar alarm! On the way home he was violently but quietly sick on the back seat! At home he immediately pooped over the living room carpet! I found very soon he was completely not housetrained! After some readjustments and training I found that he was the kindest, gentlest and nicest dog I ever had the privilege to know. He even looked after 2 kittens when their mother died! When he was about 10 he started to slow down and I thought he was about to die (I thought all dogs died at 10 or 11) - by this time I knew I couldn't live without a dog - so I obtained Bessie. He immediately perked up and lived another 10 years!! I really miss the old lad.
BESSIE(1989 - 2001) (65 KB) had a brindle Greyhound mother and a black Labrador father. I met her mother when I picked her up at a NCDL rescue centre. The mother and eight pups had apparently been locked in a cupboard to starve to death!!! I expected her to be tall and slim like her mother - but she turned out to be a short haired fat thing!! She was the cleanest dog I've known. She was housetrained in 24 hours at the age of 8 weeks! She never messed in the house - even rushing out through the dog door to be sick. She always whined loudly and painfully when excited. She became excited if a leaf fell or a fly flew!!! Bessie was an adorable cuddly lump.Sadly she lost the use of her back legs and so I reluctantly had to put her to sleep.I miss her cuddly presence.
BEN (Jan 1995 - Oct 2006) (67 KB) - When my beloved old dog Brutus was finally close to death I knew that I had to obtain a companion for Bessie my other dog as she had never been alone for long and became destructive if left. Plus I like two dogs! Ben (racing name A Brighter Lad ) was my introduction to the joys of pet greyhounds! . I first met him in the kitchen of the Kennel bungalow - where he sounded like a steam train sniffing at everything! He then lifted a paw to me and leant on me! My first thought " oh what a large dog!!!" . The second "What have I let myself in for!!" I took him on a month's trial. He jumped in the car and went to sleep! At home, I introduced him to Bessie without problem - although he rapidly made it clear that he was to be the top dog! He raced at Walthamstow with 5 wins 2 seconds and a 4th, but broke his left wrist on his last race. The injury stopped him racing but like most greyhound injuries has no effect on him as a healthy companion dog. He was funny, friendly to everyone - but a good watchdog. An absolutely superb companion dog. I was so impressed with Johanna's speedy home check and follow on phone calls and the superb condition and temperment of the Retired Walthamstow dogs.(I used to work for the NCDL rescue centre in Shoreham)
My favourite memory of Ben was his "Lap of Chaos" at Dog Training classes. I was trying to get him to "SIT" - something almost unknown with greyhounds. Well.. after many fruitless attempts over several weeks - I was forlornly trying again, holding a treat over his nose in the approved manner - when he glanced at the dog on the right - then the left - A sudden wonderful smile appeared and he sunk - slowly - quiveringly - to a SIT - A great scream of delight from me - followed by a louder scream of delight from the greyhound savvy trainer who rushed over - Ben lost it!! - He stormed round the hall at a rate only a greyhound can do - causing absolute pandimonium total chaos - amongst the rest of the class - hotly pursued by me!! On closer inspection it wasn't actually a sit but more of a crouch - but it was the talking point of the class for the rest of the course!! :-)
Sadly - Ben was found to have Plasmacytosis a VERY rare problem (only 30 cases studied) sited very near his anus which only affected him when it was too large to remove and he was put to sleep during the operation on 12th October 2006. He will live forever in my memory - an unforgetable companion and friend.

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