Meet Charlie! He's our new 4 year old ex racing greyhound, he's been living with us for about a month now and I decided to write a little bit about the process of adopting a greyhound as well as our experience so far.
Sam and I have lived together for a year and a half and we've always known that our home wouldn't feel complete until we got a furry companion! I promise we actually do like each other, we didn't just sit pining whenever we were alone in the house. ;) In October we started frequenting our local greyhound rescue website and allowed ourselves to think of the what ifs. On November 17th we got the approval from our landlord and on 30th November Charlie came to live with us!
The process for me, as an anxious person, was nerve wracking every step of the way from landlord approval to picking Charlie up!
How it worked for us::
::We spoke to one of the ladies who works for the greyhound charity who asked us a few questions about our lifestyles such as working hours etc. Once she was happy that there were no red flags we could arrange to meet some dogs! (We thought there was a red flag when we said we both work full time+ hours but I get to come home for my lunch so Charlie isn't ever alone for more than 3-4 hours).
:: We arranged to meet Charlie who was the dog on the site that had really caught our eye, the Dumfries and Cumbria charity is unlike a lot of them in that they don't have a premises, their dogs are usually fostered in homes or staying in boarding kennels.
:: After deciding that Charlie was the boy for us (and us for him, he spent nearly our whole visit leaning on one or the other of us!) we had to arrange for a home visit. This was again, so nervewracking for me as I'd really set my heart on charlie and I was worried the rug would be pulled from under my feet! All they were worried about is that he wouldn't be able to escape (high walls in the yard) and there were no secret children or pets that we hadn't disclosed! It was in this visit that they also asked about vets we planned to use and what insurance etc we would get. I've heard lots of stories about rspca and the like being so scrupulous with home visits, looking in cupboards for un-dog friendly items and things but it wasn't scary at all once we got into it! We just had some really good chats about greys and how we were so happy to give charlie a home for christmas!
:: A week and some adoption fees later, he was home!!
Age: 4, born August 2012.
Racing name: Autumn Charlie (why? he was born in August!)
Likes: Walks, toys, stealing clothes and hoarding them on his bed, the sofa, Radio 4 (what he listens to overnight!), ear and belly scratches, the smell of pizza (he's never indulged!).
Nicknames: Charlie boy, Charles, Sir Charlesworth, Charlie Lemon Barley
Greyhound tendencies: LOTS.
Roaching: as pictured above, he's done this a handful of times and it makes me so happy.
The howl of death!: He had to have an antibiotic jab and he genuinely screeched for 2-3 minutes solid, luckily the vet knew about greyhounds and knew it was a greyhound panic attack!.
Hoarding: He steals our clothes, socks, shoes doesn't steal them just keeps them close by!
Sensitivity: We've run around and play and I've patted his rear end pretty heavily while we were playing but if you raise your voice or speak sharply he will sulk, heaven knows what he'd be like having a tap on the nose! I don't think he'd ever forgive us!
Laziness: Charlie loves walking, we walk about 45 minutes twice a day with a few 10 minute outings through the day however he literally sleeps for the entire rest of the time bar when he's eating.
Ex racing quirks: Charlie had never lived in a home before ours, he is petrified of the stairs, he was very confused by the TV to start with, he had never had a toy before! :( He knows what to do with toys now and has a little collection that he stores on his bed but the stairs are still a daunting mountain to him, it means we can go to bed without the need of a baby gate though so thats a bonus. Ear tattoos, Charlie has tattoos in both of his ears (poor thing) which are used to trace where he raced etc. We also have his passport so we knew all this info without his ink!
Although I've had a few wobbles with being upset at how much he barks at other dogs we now can't imagine our home without him, he loves people and is so eager to please. We just need to get him socialised a little with other dogs as living in kennels means he only knows what greyhounds and people are, little furry things are for chasing only!