Beautiful sunshine made our day just perfect. On Sunday 9th April, surrounded by our friends and supporters, we celebrated our 17th birthday at these kennels.
As always, after what seems like a long winter, it was lovely to see so many familiar faces and to meet up again with our greyhounds lucky enough to have found homes. We've now reached the stage where it gets harder and harder each year to keep the kennels looking respectable (one of the reasons we’re investigating the possibility of buying our own kennels) but once again our amazing staff and volunteers worked their butts off to clean, paint and tidy so that on our birthday the kennels were positively sparkling in the spring sunshine. Thanks guys and thanks also to everyone who donated paint, the essential ingredient.
To everyone who baked, crafted and donated, to our willing stall holders, to all the hardworking people behind the scenes who organised, set up then cleared up, thank you. And last but not least a very big thank you to each and every one of you who came along to celebrate our birthday ( I'm sure you could have been catching up with the laundry, mowing the lawn, visiting the local diy store or dusting off the BBQ for the first time this year) but instead you came along, supported us and reminded us just what an amazing and special organisation we are.
It's hard to put into words just how much we value your support, not just financially but as a measure of how we operate as a charity and whether we still have your trust. Believe me, during those long, cold winter days when everything just seems harder and takes longer, when we would gladly swop places with the greyhounds snuggled up on their thick beds, legs akimbo (okay, maybe not that bit) tummies full, and without a care in the world, we all have our moments of self doubt.
Your continued support is what makes it all worthwhile and from the bottom of our hearts we thank you. Of course, there was plenty of cake to eat on the day but the icing on our cake was the official adoption of Blind Ben from our Sanctuary. Maureen, who works part time caring for the Sanctuary greyhounds fell under the spell of this special lad and decided he needed to go home with her.
She’s had him home on a trial basis for a while (snigger, snigger)to ensure he settled and got on with her greyhound girl, Mo. On Sunday she signed on the dotted line. Thank you Maureen. Ben is where he needed to be, in a home and enjoying life as a much loved family pet.
Don't forget, we’ve got loads of events lined up throughout the coming months and we need your support. Don't be bashful, each and everyone of you can help in one way or another and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how much fun it can be. Keep an eye on our website or fb page for more information.
Almost forgot, we raised a little under £1400 at our Birthday Bash (including shop sales) so a brilliant start to our fundraising season and a well deserved pat on the back for everyone involved.
Just thought I’d give you an up-date on how Bossy Boots (Peter) is doing.
He has been with us 4 months now and he is settled right in, he is absolutely perfect, you couldn’t ask for a sweeter boy, he is brilliant with Bella, he tries hard to get her to play, but this is below her and she can’t possibly be seen playing with a dog, she plays with humans only.
He is more gentle with her than Slug used to be, so they do run together now she knows he isn’t going to shoulder barge her.
He loves the farm, he is brilliant around the cows and horses. He is brilliant around kids too. He loves being off lead in the field and charging around playing. He has been to the beach also, we had a cove to ourselves so he was able to be muzzle free and he loved it. Playing in the water and digging holes in the sand.
He is loads better with other dogs, never now barks at all. He is still very interested in small dogs but he can be on a slack lead and allow an off lead small dog to sniff him and he doesn’t lunge at them anymore. He is always muzzled and will never be trusted without it with other dogs around, but we are working up to him being able to be off lead with other dogs. Big dogs he is loads better with although as he has decided he can’t eat them he now wants to hump them instead!!! Nicer of the two I suppose.
At home he is brilliant, took him a while to realise he was allowed to eat his food next to Bella in the stand, it was delivered to his bed for a few months, but he has the hang of this now, he knows which side is his too. He has put on weight again now. Looking really good and shiny. His little white spots really show through now.
He loves going in the caravan on holiday, we have been loads since we have had him and he loves it. When we just go and check on it, as soon as we open the door he’s in it and on the sofa. Off to the Isle of Wight with them tomorrow, so he gets to go on a ferry.
He is a total dream. We are so pleased that he found us.
Sam, Marc, Boss and Bella.
Sanctuary ‘Joe’ has finally found his forever home. Now a 10 year old greyhound boy with a charmingly grey face, Joe came back into us in 2014 from his home of 4 years, as he had been unwell for some time. His owner, unable to cope, signed him over to us so we could care for him.
We put him in the Sanctuary to be looked after but he was not himself at all, worryingly quiet and lethargic. Subsequent visits to our greyhound vet, resulted in a diagnosis of severe inflammation of the bowel. A course of antibiotics and steroids and a careful diet, allowed Joe to recover and start to look and act like the Joe of old. He still needed a maintenance low level of steroids and for that reason, was placed on the sponsorship scheme, as realistically, pre-existing medication makes a hound more difficult to home.
A popular hound with our regular walkers, Joe has been a joy to look after in the Sanctuary, but as an anxious dog, he has always been wary of and therefore unpredictable in our noisy kennels yard during walking times which has also made him seem more difficult than he actually is. On walks away from the kennels, he keeps himself to himself and minds his own business! Fortunately for him, experienced greyhound owners, Steve and Jan, have been visiting Joe since he came back into us and when they lost their own greyhound boy, took Joe out on foster weekends, to ‘Reach the Beach’ and to our sponsored walk at Kempton Park racecourse.
Arriving back from their latest foster break with him, Steve and Jan were beaming with happiness, as they announced - with Joe looking on adoringly – that they would not be bringing him back again! Having known how difficult it is to have loved and lost your own special hound, it is always harder to take on an older dog you know you are not going to have as much time with as you would like.
However, they had lots of love to give Joe and took into account when making their decision the ongoing commitment of his steroid medication and related blood tests. Joe won their hearts over when they first met him and we know he will be in safe and capable hands with them.
We wish Steve and Jan – and Joe – all the very best in their new life together. And the moral of this tale is….. to never give up on a greyhound finding a home, no matter what it’s needs are. This is one of the reasons we have our special Sanctuary at the kennels. Carol (The Sanctuary) September 2016
It was Fab Friday at the kennels today when 10 year old Sanctuary girls, 'Coco' (on the right with her new owner, Mark,) and 'Dee-Dee', (pictured left with her new owner, Julie), finally found their well-deserved forever homes.
Six years ago, we thought the girls who had previously lived together, had a home for life but sadly it seems that was not to be and several months ago, they were suddenly returned to the kennels through no fault of their own. Given their age, we looked after them in the Sanctuary.
Both sociable and loving girls, they were soon a favourite with many of our walkers, although lheir story tugged at the heart strings of those who got to know them.
Whilst we kept them together, they were not by nature 'joined at the hip', so when longstanding supporters and greyhound owners, Mark and Nikki and Julie and John wanted to give them both the opportunity of a life at home with their other greyhounds (they both already have a girl and boy greyhound at home), we were quite simply over the moon.
Chances of a home are few and far between for older hounds but they have both been given that chance and we know they will both be in good hands.
'Coco' and 'Dee-dee' will still meet up, as their new families both often go for walks together. And so, thanks to the kindness and generosity of Mark and Nikki and Julie and John, a new chapter begins for these darling girls . We wish them all the best.
Carol (the Sanctuary) - 5th August 2016
Best friends, Laura Markham and Olivia Hantow, raised a grand total of £60.20 for 'Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare' (the Hersham Hounds) with their own initiative of setting up an orange juice stall.
Their kind donation was made in memory of Laura's beloved greyhound, Chinny who sadly, passed away recently.
Although much missed by all her family and friends, Laura and Olivia wanted to do something special for us in honour of this very special lady.
Thank you both for all your hard work and for helping Chinny's memory live on in all our hearts.
Pictured are Laura and Olivia with their stall information they put together themselves, with WGW's 10 year old homeless hounds, Dee-Dee and Coco, looking on.
A huge Thank You to everyone who helped out at Wimbledon this year and for all the donations. We'll have more information on the amount raised soon.
A big thank you goes to the new Pets at Home in Walton-on-Thames for arranging a free pampering session for some of our greyhounds last week.
Thanks to George at head office and Bekki at The Groom Room, Pedro, Mister and Biggles, all recently homed by Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare, celebrated their new found happiness with a special grooming session.
Our thanks also go to Pedro, Mister and Biggles and their new families for being such brilliant ambassadors for all the greyhounds here at our kennels in Hersham.
Pets at Home can be found at:
1-5 Terrace Road, Walton-on-Thames KT12 2SS.
Deano - Born June 2009
Deano is such a beautiful, gentle lad with the sweetest nature. Unfortunately this side of him is something that he doesn’t show everyone he meets as he can be an anxious lad with people he doesn’t know and in some new situations.
He finds a busy kennel yard quite worrying but is gradually overcoming his fears and now has quite a few regular walkers who are enjoying getting to know him better and seeing this improvement.
An experienced ‘doggy home’ would suit Deano to the ground, especially if there’s another dog in residence to show him the ropes and reassure him that there’s nothing to worry about.
He has been to the park and met other breeds without being overly-interested, so if you’ve room in your home and your heart for this special lad then please let us know.
Mason - Born March 2013
Everybody loves Mason. He’s a delight to be around and tries so hard to please.
He does have an anxious side – which we tend to forget as he’s so cheeky with the staff that look after him.
Still very puppyish in many ways he’d probably benefit from having another dog for company who could show him the ropes.
Reports so far show that he’s fine with other breeds.
Rowley - Born April 2012
What a strange little boy we’ve got here.
It has taken him time to relax and come out of his shell but we’ve turned a corner and the playful, cheeky side of him is becoming ever more evident.
He’s bright as a button, loves people and would most likely suit a home as an only dog. He’s been to the park a couple of times and though quite alert to other dogs at a distance he’s not really had the opportunity to meet them at close quarters, so his social skills with other breeds are still a bit of an unknown – something we’ll try and remedy asap.
Roy - Born April 2013
Still our baby boy at the kennels, he really is very puppy like and likes nothing better than to thieve anything we happen to leave lying around.
Excitable and nippy when it’s walk time but once out of the kennels you couldn’t wish for a more happy- go- lucky lad.
He’s a great favourite with our walkers and reports so far are that he’s fine with other breeds.
Roy was rescued by a trainer who stepped in to prevent him being put to sleep after he broke his leg, so he’s been given a second chance at life as a family pet.
It’s been really hectic at the kennels recently, so we haven’t had a chance to update you with news of some of the hounds we have re-homed recently.
We know everyone enjoys sharing our delight when a hound goes home, especially those who have been with us some time.
So here’s a quick round up of just some of those lucky enough to go home and we wish them all a long and happy life in their new homes.
We thought Stumpy might be with us forever and it was so hard to see her at the kennels, month after month, year after year. She had so much love to give. Luckily, Jemma and her family got to know Stumpy really well over this time and saw what everyone else was missing.
What can I say? Just another big black lad who waited so long for a home.
Thanks to his new family for giving him the chance and to everyone at the kennels who cared for him and walked him whilst he was with us.
Hover the mouse over the photo of each hound to read their story
Great news! A pair of 8 year old greyhound girls, Queenie (black) and Gemma (brindle) went home on Wednesday 20th April with Michael, a long-time supporter who has had several greyhounds from us over the years.
The girls came into us at WGW as a rescue pair with a suggestion they would be best kept together as a ready-made pair. When Michael had lost his last greyhound girl, Kimmy, a few weeks ago, (an older lady well known to those of us who have attended the Wimbledon tennis tournament collections over several years), he asked us to look out for a suitable hound for him or a pair, if possible.
And so, Queenie and Gemma were put forward to Michael for him to meet. Not surprisingly, he turned up the very next day to meet them. If you knew them, you would know, there was no way Michael could not have wanted to take them home then and there.
He took them on a home trial for a week but before the week was even up, he came back to the kennels with them to sign the paperwork to permanently adopt them.
Naturally, we were delighted, both for the girls and for Michael. We know these 2 little imps will keep Michael on his toes and that he is more than capable of the challenge!
He is over the moon with them, (although a little exhausted!), and they look extremely happy and at ease with the excitement of the world they have started to explore outside of a kennel.
Congratulations, Michael, on a happy future with dear little Queenie and Gemma.
Thank you to everybody who came along to our show on Saturday and special thanks to Dawn for the tricky job of judging all of the lovely greyhounds that entered!
We raised £114 for our current homeless hounds.
Congratulations to Dottie, Clara, Tai and Holly for winning their age groups.
Clara went on to Win Best in Show with Tai a very close runner up.
Not so many years ago when we organised our first End of Season Party, it did mark the end of our fundraising season here at the kennels. Apart from our Christmas Lights event it was on the whole a time to take a breather from the merry-go-round of events that had started early in the year, to put to bed the gazebos, tables, leaflets and sashes and for the kennel staff it marked the time to go search out some extra layers of clothing in preparation for the colder weather and dig out the winter coats for the greyhounds.
But nowadays, we, like many other charities, cannot afford to rest on our laurels and wait for spring. We've got a kennel full of greyhounds that are depending on us to keep them safe and warm whatever the weather. And so we find that our 'End of Season' party really isn't an 'End of Season' party at all and in fact October is looking quite busy as well. This coming weekend, 10th October we've got our Retired Greyhound Show at Shield Stables, there's a Meet and Greet at Kempton Racecourse on the 18th, Fright Night at our local cinema club (an indoor event, yippee!) is on the evening of the 23rd and just to wind up the month we've got a Meet and Greet outside Morrison's in Wimbledon on the 31st.
We've got a coffee and cake morning at the kennels organised for Sunday 25th October so do come and join us, give the hounds a walk and then warm up with a hot drink and some lovely home-made cake.
Arrangements are underway for our special Greyhound Blessing on the green in Hersham, a very popular event and for some of our greyhounds their first ever experience of a trip away from the kennels. This is planned for November and as soon as we know the date, we'll let you know.
Life being what it is, I'm sure there will be other last minute events right up until Christmas so do keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page.
When I started writing this it was headed ' A short article for the website about our End of Season Party, and look what's happened! I've barely given that a mention at all......
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to each and every one of you who have worked their socks off this year at our numerous “meet and greet” events, our own events and at assorted locations far and wide. Thank you to our wonderful supporters who have organised their own events, to our regulars at the kennels who donate whatever is needed and support us come what may. Our End of Season may not be an End of Season Party at all but it's a lovely opportunity to say thank you for all you do for us and our greyhounds.
So lovely to see the kennel hounds enjoying their day at the seaside.
An enormous thank you to all those very kind people who picked up a kennel hound (or two) and gave them a day to remember, to Clem and Sue from the kennels who headed up the event, to Helen, Matt and Piper who organised the games, to our stewards who kept an eye on things for us and to the hardworking kennel staff left holding the fort and who worked a 12 hr shift to ensure the hounds were ready to leave on time and were fed and tucked up in bed to dream about their special day once they'd returned safely.
We couldn't do it without you.
Well done everyone and thanks to the Guildford shoppers we collected £1046.90
We did it! 52 greyhounds, 2 Whippets, 1 Lurcher and a Tibetan Spaniel walked for a mile around Kempton Park Racecourse to raise a massive £1500 for our homeless hounds!
Thank you to everyone who has sponsored, those who came along and to those who brought a kennel hound out for the day! It was so lovely to see Lauren, Banksy, Minky, Socks, Dan, Mervyn, Sky, Rosie, Blind Ben, Joyce, Benjamin, Jim, Marge and Vicky getting used to life outside of kennels.
I'm sure they're going to bed tonight with bellies full of sausages and cheese smile. Our sincere thanks to our friends at Kempton Park for having us.
Hersham Hounds received a visit recently from Marc Abraham and Victoria Stilwell (pictured with Moni and Scooby respectively). Marc will be familiar to many as the resident vet on a number of TV and radio programmes and as an animal welfare campaigner, particularly against puppy farms (founder of Pup Aid). Victoria is the well-known dog trainer, author and TV presenter (It’s Me or the Dog) and an advocate of positive, reward-based training. They both champion the cause of rescue dogs and are self-confessed sighthound fans.
Despite some horrible weather lately, the sun shone for their visit and the kennels (and hounds) were in full bloom. With their busy schedules, Marc and Victoria were unable to get to the kennels during the normal opening hours, thereby missing the usual hustle and bustle and the chance to meet the regular walkers. However, things being relatively quiet (apart from various hounds clamouring for attention) meant there was more time for them to learn about the charity, the hounds it helps and the general routine.
As well as having a full tour of the kennels, a number of hounds were introduced to our guests ‘up close and personal’- very personal in Joyce’s case, as she enthusiastically mugged Marc (in the nicest possible way). Victoria fell for the quieter charms of Johnny, although to be honest she had to be gently prised away from any hound she came into contact with!
We appreciate both Marc and Victoria’s interest in Hersham Hounds and for them sparing the time to come and see everyone in person. Naturally, there is an open invitation for them to return whenever they wish. We also send them our very best wishes for their work informing and educating the public to improve standards of animal welfare.
Following on from the success and fun had by all last year, on 11th July we held our second coffee morning for the hounds!
The response from the invites was very high and donations started rolling in, even if unable to attend these generous people wanted to support the event. My ever supportive husband and daughters and amazing friends made sure the whole morning ran like clockwork, once again donning aprons and becoming baristas for the morning. (Thank you so much guys).
Our conservatory and garden was adorned with bunting, pretty tablecloths and dainty crockery. Boxes of books, dvds and plants for sale, from Geraniums to Parsnips! Cookies, chocolate, carrot and coconut cakes all washed down by copious amounts of coffee, whilst catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. At the end of the morning the raffle was drawn, some lovely prizes were won all generously donated.
The morning flew by and everything went without a hitch, teapots returned to their lids and dogs reunited with their owners. All accounted for once again except for those tea cosies! What is it about them Darcey? I think she just loves dressing up!
The total raised was an amazing £722.55, plus gift aid. It has been a unanimous decision that the coffee morning for the hounds will now become an annual event. Thank you to everyone involved for your help and support, see you all again next year.
Anne and Darcey
Stumpy came for an overnight stay with my family on the 11th July.
She is a very sweet, affectionate dog but she was quite anxious in her new surroundings and paced around the house for the first hour.
Then she discovered the sofa. I think she felt safe up there as she settled down and seemed more relaxed, enjoying a fuss being made of her.
Once Stumpy is comfortable it’s quite difficult to get her to budge! However, she did enjoy her walks on Chobham Common and along the canal.
She is nice to walk and doesn't pull on the lead - unless she spots a moving dog. When the dogs are up close she doesn't appear to show any aggression, so I believe that her reaction would calm down over time and with more exposure.
She was clean in the house and ate everything that we fed her. She didn't beg for food while we were eating.
Stumpy reacted very well to our young children and didn't seem worried but their noisy antics. She actually wanted to sleep on their beds with them!
She slept on her duvet in our bedroom at night with her legs up in the air. She didn't move or make a noise.
Her morning greeting was as if we'd been parted for years. She was so happy, dancing around with her little tail wagging at 100mph.
She did seem slightly more relaxed on the second day, but understandably liked to stay on her safe sofa.
It will take Stumpy a while to feel totally relaxed in a new home, but she is such a sweet, loving dog it will be worth the wait to see her sweet character blossom. She has so much love and happiness to give her new owner. She's been at the kennels a long time and is more than ready to find a family and sofa of her own.
Good luck Stumpy, it was a pleasure to have you to stay.
The Thorne family.
Rooster (1 November 2001 - 1 July 2015)
Our darling 'Rooster' has sadly passed away. At nearly 14 years old, he was the oldest resident in our Sanctuary. On the hottest July day on record, he was finding it very difficult to cope with the heat, as it was always something he struggled with at the best of times and being an elderly chap, we had to make the sad decision to let him go, as he just could not get comfortable and his heart was being put under incredible strain from the sheer effort of trying to cope.
I still cannot believe he has gone and the Sanctuary is so quiet without the sound of his distinctive 'cuckoo' call , which was his musical bark when he was demanding to go out in the paddock, have his breakfast or go for a walk. He was always a strong, happy boy, although this last year, he has wanted less walks, preferring instead to lay at the side of his favourite paddock, happily watching the world go by.
In his heyday, he would often lead any walker who didn't know him, a merry dance, darting unexpectedly from side to side to sniff a favourite bush or to go in a completely different direction. Rooster knew his own mind and if you just went with the flow, he was happy as Larry. He was a sweet, happy and gentle boy who was lovely to look after.
Those of you who did not know him very well or at all, will not have seen the incredibly loving, affectionate side of dear 'Rooster'. If you were saying goodnight to him in his kennel, he would offer his outstretched paw, as if to hold your hand. He was so sweet. As he got older, he loved a cuddle or would run away from you in the paddock, so that when you eventually caught him up, he could have a special cuddle.
When he first came into kennels, he was wary of loud noises, thunder and people he didn't know. However, he was lucky to have had a lovely trainer who looked after him and brought him into us, and he became more confident as he got older and was a thoroughly happy, loving and cheeky chap.
There will only ever be good memories of 'Rooster' , dashing down to the very bottom of the paddock with his distinctive 'bounce' as he did every morning, even on his last morning with us. In what turned out to be his final year, he went for walks with 'Rebel' regularly, who we also sadly lost recently. 'Rooster' was my special friend too. It would be lovely to think that Rebel and Rooster are walking together again and, like the. name of the beautiful rose I bought for the Sanctuary garden recently as a tribute to 'Rebel' they will now be 'forever friends'.
It is quiet in the Sanctuary without you, Rooster, but my memories of you will always be happy ones.
Carol (the Sanctuary) 2nd July 2015
10th May 2003 - 21st June 2015
On Sunday 21st June we lost our dear Rebel, one of our much-loved who lived in our Sanctuary residents. At over 12 years old, Rebel never did find his home out of kennels but had, I hope, enjoyed a loving home amongst his adopted family and friends at the Kennels where he had lived for nearly five years. I was fortunate enough to be one of his carers in the Sanctuary and hope he found comfort in my being able to be with him at the end.
Rebel had always loved his walks and a cuddle from those he knew and when he refused point blank to go for a little walk yesterday afternoon, when he had seemed a little more like his old self that morning and the previous day, we suspected his health may have taken a turn for the worse, as that was so unlike him.
Over the previous week especially, he had been getting a bit slower after cutting a foot pad, then gradually was losing appetite, therefore losing weight, although difficult to determine if the sore foot was the cause as he was such a sensitive dog and very delicate over any foot problems, exacerbated by his intolerance to heat, given the hotter days recently.
On the Sunday morning his energy levels were depleted , his breathing rapid and his limbs were swollen. The greyhound vet in Kent I took him to today, confirmed all facts considered, that he believed the heart was struggling because he suspected he had fluid on the lungs. Rebel did not even have the energy to go for a walk. We decided the best thing for Rebel, given he would have been very stressed being handled, inspected, x-rayed etc with no ability to recover at this stage in his life and the incredibly laboured breathing that had also developed, was to let him go.
It is never easy making these decisions and you can never get used to losing a hound. But I can honestly say he had a peaceful end and just fell fast asleep next to me, whilst I stroked and talked to him. He was calm, relaxed and at ease.
The Kennels won't be the same without him. On a personal note, I will miss his half cocked head looking out at me, asking to go out, first thing in the morning, his little teddy at his side. I will miss his soft football in his mouth , squeaking it to ask for a walk or to demand his breakfast. But most of all, I shall miss his little kisses he always gave as he came out of his kennel and the trust he showed in me and others, given that trust had been abused at a previous time in his life.
He loved his life and was loved by everyone who met him. After all, what was not to love about dear Rebel? Kind and gentle to the end. We will all miss you, Rebel, but know you will be remembered for the sweet lad you always were.
Carol (the Sanctuary)
Glorious sunshine brought crowds of people - big and small - along to our Open Day on Sunday 7th June.
The Open Day aimed to attract local families in to find out what we do and get to know our hounds - and the face painting, games and stalls were certainly popular with the children.
We saw lots of new people, many of whom intend to come back to walk greyhounds, along with some of our regulars.
Thanks to all those involved in running and organising the event and baking cakes for our cake stall. We raised over £550.
Dear Denise and all at Hersham Hounds,
I thought you would be eager to hear how Paul is settling in. Firstly, and I hope no one minds, he has been given a new name. it was felt that he needed a more stylish name and one to reflect a more distinguished lifestyle so ‘Mr Monty’, it is.
He had a big first day, was shampooed and pampered and given his posh new collars and tags and a soft new bed.
The journey home to Devon went via a walk in Swinley Forest. He behaved beautifully. He hasn’t quite got the hang of getting into the car, however, didn’t complain when he was helped in.
On arriving at Hoopers, he was shown around his new home. He was greeted with the sound of cows and pheasants and took it all in his stride. He wasn’t interested in eating and was a little restless on his first night but finally settled. His second night was much better. He is also regaining his appetite, as expected.
His manners have been impeccable and he has shown to be very responsive to the rules of his new home. His first full day was very quiet, allowing him time to adjust to the new sights, smells and sounds. On his second day, we went on a favourite walk around Fernworthy Forest, on Dartmoor. He met up with my friends young spaniel, Boo. She is over excitable but very friendly. It was a controlled meet and went perfectly, with only a few minor initial corrections needed. They went into a stream together and shared a Cornish pasty picnic and sat together in the sunshine in a stone circle. It could not have gone better.
It was felt, that as things had gone so well, to help with Pauls rehabilitation, to keep Boo with him. So at the end of the walk into the car they went and I can report that there have been no incidents. In fact Boo keeps checking on Paul as he relaxes in his bed and he seems quite happy with that.
On day 3 there was playing in the paddock and a 4 mile walk. He is not too sure about playing yet but the wayward spaniel did her best to show him the ropes, or how to chase a ball to be more precise. The walk was without any problems, not even a grumble.
It is, of course, early days but so far he has been a star. I feel sure that he will go from strength to strength as his confidence grows and he becomes more familiar and comfortable with his new life.
It is probably no surprise to Paul’s fan club, if I say he is a gentle, affectionate, sensitive boy and I feel privileged to have him and overjoyed that he was given a chance because of all of you at Hersham. He really is settling in very well and far better than I could have hoped at this stage.
I will keep you posted of his progress and adventures.
From all at Hoopers Farm.
Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but May certainly left me reeling! So much going on; events every weekend and on more than one occasion on the same day. I’ve lugged that gazebo up and down the range more times than I care to remember, so much so, that we’ve got to know each other very well and are on first name terms.
But we did it. Between us we got to every event that was lined up and once there we showed them what an amazing charity we are. Our hounds and handlers were brilliant; they met up with old friends, made new ones and generated a lot of interest in our work as well as initiating people into the world of ‘greyhounds as pets.’
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for coming up trumps time after time and smiling through, even when you and your hounds were way past your best. I’ve listed below some of the events we attended and what was raised on the day. Of course, Charlie’s angels not only supported some of these events but also headed up their own, as they do, so I’d like to say a special thank you to them. Last but not least this is our chance to also say a very big thank you to all those people who gave us permission to meet and greet and to those passers-by who saw us, came and spoke with us and donated so very generously.
Chertsey Meet and Greet £144.94
Chestnut Fair £194.13 & £49.30 shop sales
Richmond Fair £661.83 & £117.00 shop sales
Windsor Meet and Greet £876.30
Wisley Meet and Greet £320.64
Weybridge Meet and Greet £333.54
Dog Show £208.71 & £223.30 shop sales
Deal Car show (Debbie Ladd, who had a last minute touch of genius and headed out to this event with her greyhounds, a bucket, sash and coats for the hounds) £140.14
In case you’re wondering why we’ve listed shop sales separately, it’s because these are items that we purchase in, so there is a cost to these sales.
Total raised (excluding shop sales) is £2880.23 and just to give you an idea of how far this money will go at the kennels, in April (my latest figures available as I type this) our bedding, feed, refuse disposal and 2 week’s rent on the homing kennels came to £2876.37. I’d like to think that at this point our kennel hounds are sitting up on their (paid for by you) beds and cheering as they thank you for keeping a roof over their heads, food in their tummies and disposing of their waste – but I very much doubt it! They haven’t got a clue, have they?
If I’ve failed to mention an event then please do forgive me – as I said at the start, May has been a whirlwind of a month.
And in case any of you are having withdrawal symptoms, we’ve still got plenty of events lined up throughout the summer and into the autumn with new ones being added all the time. So do keep an eye on our website.
See you all soon,
A short note to say thank you to all the kind WGW followers who supported my efforts in the Sunbury & Shepperton Rotary Club 10km walk which I have just completed today.
The kind donations in sponsorship on the 'Just Giving' Page have raised a staggering £240 plus £52.50 in gift aid, a grand total of £292.50 for WGW.
Many thanks to all the volunteers and hounds who turned up on Sunday 17th May for the M&G at RHS Wisley Garden. The weather was kind and, in the morning, we benefited from coach loads of people coming to visit the Garden at the beginning of Chelsea Flower Show week.
Many visitors were local and we gave out almost all the Kennels Open Day leaflets we had. Let’s hope that will contribute to an enthusiastic crowd at Open Day.
We also bit our bit for international relations by holding out a hand (or perhaps, paw) across the sea to several overseas visitors, including a group of dog-friendly Austrians.I know that several of the volunteers had spent the previous day at an M&G in Windsor. The kennel hounds are very lucky to have such devoted human friends.
We are devastated to say that our darling ‘Sena’ had to be put to sleep on 31st March, 2015 at our greyhound vets in Kent where she has been since Wednesday.
She had developed a rare and aggressive form of meningitis which was not responding to antibiotic or steroid treatment. She had only been with us a matter of months but had been fit and healthy until she had slipped at the kennels a couple of weeks ago. We rested and restricted her in our Sanctuary but over the course of the next few days we recognised that she wasn’t recovering as we would have expected and was in fact getting less mobile.
From the symptoms described and upon examination and x-rays the vet diagnosed neurological spine damage and inflammation, which steroid treatment should be able to alleviate somewhat. But the extent of nerve damage would not be known until the accumulative effect of 4-6 weeks treatment would be properly felt. Sadly within a matter of days she had become worse.
Whilst steroid treatment by its nature is slow and requires patience to see gradual improvement, we recognised that her mobility should not have deteriorated as it did. Carol rushed her to the specialist orthopaedic vet in Kent. A spinal tap was performed to investigate, amongst other things, whether she had a bacterial or viral problem or a tumour. To our dismay the results showed that she had developed meningitis – although only aggressive steroid and antibiotic treatment would determine the type of meningitis she had developed.
When Carol visited her at the vets on Saturday she was as bright, alert and happy, as she had been throughout, and devoured the offered roast beef and roast chicken greedily. However her body was letting her down and by Monday when Carol re-visited with further supplies the vet confirmed her system was not responding to treatment and she would only get worse hereon in.
We did not want her to suffer and so, with heavy hearts, we made the decision to let darling ‘Sena’ go. Carol held and cuddled her one last time and gave her a kiss from everyone who was lucky enough to have known her. We will never forget what a truly brave and special girl ‘Sena’ was who loved every minute of her all too brief time with us.
On 8th December, an appeal was forwarded on to us via Facebook. It was an urgent appeal about three greyhound bitches living on an allotment in the north east. They were losing their home and had nowhere to go; they had to be out by the Friday.
Without a rescue place for them we were informed that they would be put to sleep ...
A huge thank you to all our volunteers and hound owners who supported us at our Christmas Annual event (30/11/14) held at our kennels in Hersham. You helped us raise a magnificent total - in excess of £2,000 (including our WGW shop sales). We would not be able to look after the hounds without you all, so it always means so much to see familiar faces and catch up on our mutual doggie news, especially at this special time of year.
Whether you helped run a stall for us, donated or made by hand prizes or goods to sell, or spent money on a stall or on a photographic portrait session of your hound/s or via sponsorship of a Sanctuary hound, you helped us yet again by embracing the spirit of the season and taking time out of your own busy schedules to do your bit to help the Hersham Hounds.
The lights in the kennel yard and on the Christmas tree (thanks Gil and Carol) turned the yard into our very own Christmas Wonderland.
It added a magical feel to the afternoon and will also help us through the increasingly cold evenings ahead of us during the festive season.
The dedication with which you have all supported us, be it by painstakingly crafting handmade goods or throwing heart and soul into running your stall, or being a generous customer for the day, helps lift spirits and reminds us why we all get together for these fundraising events. To help these wonderful, trusting, loving greyhounds until they can either find their forever home or to help look after those special greyhounds for whom our Sanctuary will be the only home they will ever know.
We never take your support for granted and we try to make every penny count. We hope you enjoy the photographic memories of this year's Switch on the Christmas Lights as much as we do.
To all of our supporters who attended and for those who could not, but have been sending us wonderfully personal Christmas cards and donations in the run-up to this Christmas event and since, a massive and truly heart felt thank you.
We picked up Dan (Now affectionately known to us as “Danny”), on 30th Sept this year, and we celebrated his 11th birthday on 28th Oct.
In those few weeks he’s become a firm favourite with all the family and settled in as if he’s always been with us. It’s a joy to see how relaxed he is with us, and indeed everyone else.
A big congratulations to Pip and Max who completed the Basingstoke Half Marathon on Sunday. So far they have raised an amazing £425 for WGW, far exceeding their original target. Our thanks also to all those lovely people who sponsored them and encouraged them to keep going.
Read more at: roanrider90.blogspot.co.uk.
To sponsor Pip and Maxx, please go to: www.justgiving.com/PipandMaxx
Over the school summer holidays I did a sponsored book read and managed to read a grand total of 30 books. I decided that I would like to give half of the money raised (80 pounds) to Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare as I think its a fantastic cause and you do a wonderful job.
I would love to have my own retired greyhound when I am older.
Love Emily Jepson (aged 10 years)
Tony Knight did a class in Wimbledon with some of our greyhounds and their owners/carers. Everyone who attended said that it was a really positive experience. Tony is looking to organise some more dog class weekends so if anyone is interested they can contact him via his website http://www.tonyknightdoglistener.com/ to find out more. He has also written an ebook about greyhounds (The dog listening guide to greyhounds) and has offered a donation to WGW for each ebook sold in August.
The weather was kind, the curry delicious, the quiz good fun and the people that supported us, as always, amazing.
I like to think that everyone enjoyed the evening, I know I did, all the more so because I actually knew the answer to a question or two. So thank you to everyone who helped to make it happen and to everyone who came along. Between us we raised a ‘not to be sneezed at’ £462.00 for our greyhounds.
Thank you to each and every one of you.
Kempton Park’s All Weather Track is the one of the busiest in the country and we were lucky to be given the freedom of the circuit for our inaugural Sponsored Walk and Reunion Picnic on a glorious Sunday 20th July. Many an equine superstar has graced the polytrack surface but none would have had as much enjoyment as the 67 retired hounds, their handlers and 4 Companion breeds did on the day.
Having safely completed the 2000 metre circuit at their leisure, hounds were presented with their rosettes courtesy of Lynn Peel then it was time to retire for refreshments on the lawn in front of the grandstand. With sole use of the fabulous facilities, it was nice to take a moment to absorb the atmosphere watching everyone enjoying themselves and to just sit back and relax with our hounds with no horses to watch out for and no bucket collecting with the crowds which we so often do at Kempton Park.
With supporters being so generous in taking part and paying £5 to enter the walk, others who made donations and those who gained sponsorship helped raise a staggering £1655 for our homeless hounds. Our heartfelt thanks must go to Kempton Park Racecourse for being so kind and supportive of us, to those kennel staff who gave up a day off to help, to Helen and Tanja for their beautiful photographs which captured the day and of course to everyone who came and supported the event. I really do hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as Doc and I did.
PS! You can see the pictures here. We can let you have digital copies of the pictures for a small donation to WGW.
It was something I had planned to do for a while. A fun get together with my family and friends for coffee and the odd slice (or two) of chocolate cake and raise money for the gorgeous hounds at Hersham!
With this idea cemented in my mind, it all got under way, whilst out on walks with my beautiful hound Darcey, my friends and I handed out invites to people that up until this point we had only known as Fido’s mum or Rover’s dad!
The response was amazing and donations started rolling in, even if unable to attend these generous people wanted to support the event. The morning drew near, the weather forecast was not good, so a gazebo was ready on standby, luckily we need not have feared and the British summer was on the side of the long tails, it was a gloriously sunny morning.
My ever supportive husband, daughters and amazing friends made sure the whole morning ran like clockwork by becoming baristas for the day. (Thank you so much guys)! Coffee machines, matching crockery (the likes our house has never seen before) began arriving, cakes were being baked and the raffle I had organised had turned into a very grand affair, with wonderful prizes being donated.
Our conservatory and garden were adorned with bunting, pretty tablecloths, dainty crockery and posters of Hersham Hounds. Boxes of loved books that had been ready to go to the local charity shop were now arranged on the garden table waiting to be purchased.
As people began to arrive delicious cakes were the order of the day all washed down by copious amounts of tea and coffee. People chatted and laughed and became properly acquainted with Fido’s mum and Rover’s dad.( great to finally get to know you Jane and Paul!).
The morning flew by and soon my guests were making their merry way home some with their winnings from the raffle others with books tucked up under their arms and some green fingered friends even left with some of my plants - every penny counts and it saves me the job of planting!
Everything went without a hitch, all cups were returned to their allocated saucer, Tupperware pots reunited with their lids. All accounted for except for the tea cosies! I wonder where they could have possibly got to……DARCEY! (see photo).
The coffee morning was such fun to organise and hold and so well worth doing an amazing £700.00 was raised! Plus gift aid. This is an event I will definitely be repeating thank you so much to everyone for getting involved in supporting our four legged friends!
Anne and Darcey
It's all booked!
The 2014 WGW Charity Ball will be held on Sunday 7th December at the Holiday Inn Kingston South and we're pleased to announce tickets are now on sale for the same 2013 price of £60 per adult and this year Children under 16 are invited at just £25 per head. Tables of 10 are on offer for an amazing £550!
In 2013 guests were treated to a 4* night of dining with a scintillating performance from National Hunt Jockey Colin Brown as the Guest Auctioneer and topping off the night featured Beat It Disco lifting the dance floor. This year promises to be even more entertaining with Colin again our auctioneer for the evening and One4luck providing a fun casino.
Throughout the evening there will be a chance to win a £500 holiday Voucher from Oakhurst Travel in our opening game of Red or Black plus the chance to win some fabulous prizes in the raffle and as always, raffle tickets can be purchased beforehand or on the night. Dinner will conclude with an entertaining live Auction, which last year raised £8000 alone. If you prefer to bid in secret, then don’t fear, a silent auction will also run alongside the night.
Once you've collected your prizes, you can either try your luck on the casino tables or hit the dance floor to celebrate this wonderful evening and the work of WGW.
If you would like to support us even further then there are some great benefits to be gained from corporate involvement with WGW fundraising which can form part of your sponsorship responsibility and hospitality strategies. F
Some of you may remember Pip wrote a beautiful and touching article a couple of years ago when her family lost Rio - a brief biography of Rio Jones. At the time Pip also ran the Basingstoke Half Marathon to raise funds for WGW.
Well, Pip is at it again. We have an update on her Life with Greyhounds and she is running the Half Marathon again and this time has managed to persuade, cajol or otherwise encourage her partner to join her this year.
"I’m committed to fundraising for Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare for several reasons. It’s heart breaking to see so many hounds who need a forever home, knowing what perfect pets they make. It’s heart-warming to see how passionate Denise and her team are about re-homing and caring for every single hound at the centre. Since 2006, we’ve adopted 3 greyhounds from WGW, and they’ve all brought us so much joy that this is my way of giving back. I could go on.
I think we can all agree that greyhounds are the most superior of all dogs - kind, affectionate, misunderstood, gentle, playful, clean, surprisingly lazy, individual and, above all, loving. I think we can also agree that once you go grey, you never turn away.
There’s no charity I would rather fundraise for, so please sponsor my partner and I – we’re running Basingstoke Half Marathon in October (you may remember I ran it in 2012 for WGW) and hope to raise £300."
For updates on our training progress, and to read the full story of my life with greyhounds, please go to: roanrider90.blogspot.co.uk.
To sponsor Pip and Maxx, please go to: www.justgiving.com/PipandMaxx
The latest Tia arrivals! They have came such a long way to be with us.
I hope we can do them all justice and find them lovely homes. In the meantime we'd just like to enjoy them for a little while. Thanks Deb (from Tia Greyhound Rescue) for doing that marathon journey to get them to us safely.
Pictured to the right is Tish; the baby of the bunch. She will be 2 in September and is full of beans. She would hardly stay still enough for a photo.
Thank you to Helen Baldwin for all the excellent photographs.
Not to be confused with Candice. Sena is 5 years old.
Candice will be 3 next month.
Everyone is already singing about her. Layla is 7 years old.
Delilah is 5 years old and seems to be the calmest of the new girls.
Elfie is just 4 years old an is quite anxious. We think she will need some extra TLC.
Ania is 6 years old and looks like she will be the troublemaker!
Jane will be 4 in September.
“Yes it’s on…..no there isn’t an inspection…………yes all fourteen teams will be there……….great see you in an hour. Bye.”
I must have sounded confident at 7:30am on a very wet Wednesday morning as everyone who had rung at the ungodly hour concerned about the damp conditions turned up at Ashford Manor Golf Club for the inaugural Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare Charity Golf Day. It was a close call however as any more rain that morning would have seen the ‘rain stops play’ signs being displayed by our hosts.
With military precision the gazebo was erected beside the 8th green, the volunteers arrived with hounds in tow and we were ready to welcome the 56 golfers who would be the integral part of today’s fund raiser. One by one they arrived to register, in small groups to start with but soon there was a queue of eager golfers in a multitude of colours waiting to pit their wits and skills on the beautifully prepared course. No one was late, no one had forgotten any equipment and every one of them took a moment to stroke the welcoming hounds. The odd squirrel made an impromptu appearance but soon disappeared back up the tree from which it came.
With bacon sandwich and coffee consumed the golfers were called to gather for a group photo. Everyone was smiling, some were even nervous when they realised who they had been paired with. It was time for the games to begin. The shotgun start. Now a shotgun start is a bit misleading, there isn’t a shotgun. It’s actually a horn that can be heard anywhere on the course. The first tee shots were struck in unison from fourteen different starting points and the next four hours would reveal one winning team.
Bernard’s Bunker on the eighth hole caught out at least two handfuls of players at £2 a time and everyone paid up. It’s unusual for a crowd to cheer when a shot goes in the bunker, but this was no ordinary golf tournament and the crowd had a suspect sense of humour. Having negotiated this hole and the baying crowd it was time for a team photo and the chance to grab some refreshment from the volunteers before making their way to the next hole. The inclement weather that had been forecast threatened briefly to put a dampener on proceedings but the showers were light and intermittent. Nobody really notice or cared, the players were too busy trying to win.
A load roar from the sixth hole could be heard from around the course as a ‘hole-in-one’ was achieved by Chris Bird. That was going to cost him a small fortune in the bar afterwards. With each team finished their round and reminiscent of a scene from the end of the film ‘Field of Dreams’ players made their way back to the clubhouse from four corners of the golf course. To coin a phrase from that same movie, ‘put on a charity golf day and the players will come.’
We finished the day with steak pie dinner in the clubhouse, a raffle and the trophy presentation to the team winners Colin Lane, Steve Cretchley, Graham Cretchley and Steve Chasty and all the other individual winners. At the end of proceedings we had raised a fantastic sum of just over £1,400 from entry fees, hole sponsorships and the raffle. The feedback received on the day and subsequently has been excellent and already people are asking what date they should book off in 2015.
By Kiaran O’Brien
You can find thumbnails of the golf day photos here.
If you would like more, then please make a donation to WGW of £1 per image using the Donate Button on the home page.
I brought Bella home last winter. That’s after I’d managed to get her in the car. She’d resolutely refused to budge so I got a crash course in how to get a greyhound into a boot, front legs up first then hauling their substantial bulk in after.
After initial reluctance, she now springs upstairs to her favourite spot on my bed whenever she fancies a spot of sunbathing. She has commandeered the sofa as her own, and has been a great foot warmer all winter.
A boy stopped to stare at us in the street the other day, as I was scrapping the copious poo off it. “You have a lovely dog” he said.
Yes I do. And yes, I have fallen in love.
We’ve got a project or two……
Usually at the kennels we keep maintenance work to a reasonable level. Doing what has to be done like repairs to the fabric of the building, drains, kennels and fences. It’s a never ending task and without the help of Neil Hagon, well, it just wouldn’t happen. Neil is our Mr. Fix-it and it is thanks to his many skills that the kennels are still standing, the toilets are still flushing and the greyhounds are where they are supposed to be.
Often though, at the end of a long day at the kennels, we talk about ‘The Big Things.’ The things we would do if we had the money and frequently the topic of conversation is the paddocks. As soon as it rains they become flooded and very quickly muddy. Throughout this winter and last winter when we had months of rain, in fact make that every winter since I’ve been here, we have had to wash off muddy dogs or change the beds more frequently because the dogs have brought half the paddock in with them. Most frequently heard comments are;
“If only we had a hard-standing area we could fence off when the paddocks are really bad it would make such a difference and stop the greyhounds cutting their feet.”
“It would be lovely to have a hard standing area in the bottom paddocks so that we could restrict the dogs if they are injured, rather than having to move the dogs up to the top of the range.”
“If we could fence off the paddocks when they’re muddy we’d have more grass in the summer rather than dust.”
Well folks, this year we are planning ‘A Big Thing’ all thanks to the kindness and generosity of Catherinea McSweeney and Betfair.
Betfair have just given us a donation of £2000 for a project. They have been very good supporters of us in the past and this year have decided that all our hard work for the greyhounds should be recognised. They know we won’t spend the money on anything ‘frivolous’ and that we will use it to give the greyhounds in our kennels a better standard of care.
So thank you Betfair – your donation really will make a big difference and if there’s anything left over after the hard standing areas are done we’ve got plans for that as well. The ditches in our walkers’ field (which were cleared last year) need to have new bridges across them. Work is already underway in making these bridges (thanks to Neil) but undoubtedly there will be costs for materials. The walkers’ field is so important to our greyhounds and the people who come and walk them and new bridges to cross the ditches will mean that everyone can walk all the way round the field safely.
So I promise you the money is already spoken for and it will make a really big difference to everyone here at WGW. I cannot explain to you just how lovely it is to have some extra money that we can spend on a project without feeling guilty because we haven’t used it to pay a vet bill or buy bedding or food for the greyhounds. It really is like getting an unexpected windfall and being told to go out and treat yourself to something special.
This is my chance to say thank you to each and every one of you who supported our Birthday Bash at the kennels on Sunday 13th April.
I can assure you that the run up to this event went surprisingly well considering that Janie, who is usually about to keep us all in order and write endless lists of what is needed, had other commitments which limited her time at the kennels. So Dawn, Carol and I were given free-reign to indulge our love of chaos whilst telling anyone who asked that it was all in hand.
Thus the week prior to our event the only thing that was ‘in hand’ was a paintbrush or six, as we attempted to make the most of the lovely weather and spruce up the kennels. Everyone who was willing and able joined in this mammoth task and we even allowed Carol to participate (closely supervised of course!) Too many people to mention by name but you know who you are and you know we are very, very grateful for all your hard work.
The bonus to doing all this painting was that whilst we had nothing before us but miles of woodwork waiting our ministrations, we were able to discuss all the other ‘loose ends’ and arrangements for the day itself and thus by the Saturday evening we felt we were indeed ready. I like to say ‘indeed ready’ but others trying to finish off the last bit of painting in complete darkness prefer the phrase ‘past caring.’
Sunday morning arrived and so did the sunshine. At the appointed hour our supporters, friends and volunteers came through the door and once again, after a long, dull winter, our yard was filled with laughter and excited voices as old friends greeted each other.
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who helped to make this event happen. The Birthday Bash is an important event for many reasons. It marks the start of our fundraising year, tells us that winter is behind us and perhaps most importantly, it reassures us that you really do care and that what we do really does make a difference.
Between us we raised a magnificent £740.20 on the stalls and a further £312 in our greyhound shop.
What a wonderful way to kick off the year.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on our website or follow us on Facebook to see what other events we have planned for the coming months. It looks like it’s going to be a busy year.
Suzi has come along way since her arrival from Tia. Congratulations to Brenda and Suzi on all they have achieved and all the fun they will bring to so many people in the future.
Hi everyone, especially Alex. I thought you might like a copy of this “Selfie” which shows me in my new home. My new life is certainly exciting! I’m up in London during the week for work. I have a basket in the Directors’ Suite and after a few days of productive toil, we “Reach for the Beach” at weekends. Of course, I am well aware of my responsibility in following in the distinguished paw prints of the legendary Pharaoh and Ramesses, who, like me, were members of the Hersham alumni.
There is so much to learn but I am taking it all very seriously and they all seem pleased with my trademark circular wag and morning kisses. I am a really good sleeper, take pride in keeping my quarters clean, and have a hearty appetite.
Antonia and John appear to disagree with me on the subject of squirrels and I don’t think I am going to persuade them. Apparently, this is something to do with my safety so I may have to compromise, but I think it will be worth it.
I have been much admired by visitors who tell me that I am “A very handsome fellow” and this brings me to an important message for all the super visitors to the kennels with generous offers of a forever home.
Please don’t overlook my special mates, the other lovely big black hounds with gorgeous, kind, grey faces. We are not, as someone once said, “boring”. We have wonderful personalities but only get to show our full potential when we are invited to join a family. I was in kennels for more than a year before I was chosen and I know that many others are waiting for a similar chance.
That’s the serious bit out of the way. Now, do I smell sausages cooking?
I will be back to see you all soon.
In the meantime, love you all lots and lots, Pete xxxx
This fundraising opportunity of a lifetime is being coordinated by Julie Collier with proceeds going to the RGT and WGW. Everyone who participates will be jumping from a light aircraft 13,000 feet high - that's 2 miles and a 50 second free fall! Plummeting towards the ground at over 120 mph is sure to get their heart racing!
You can make a donation here but PLEASE make sure you mark in the "Personalised Message" section that you state that "Sponsorship is for Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare".
We picked up Petra for another long weekend with us on Friday. This little girl is very pretty with a soft, healthy coat that feels just like velvet! She came with us enthusiastically and managed to jump into the car with ease and settled well for the journey back to our house in Ruislip.
Petra had no problems walking on the laminate flooring whatsoever and it was great to see her exploring the downstairs, making herself very much at home. She was able to go into the garden, managing the patio doors and the few steps that lead onto the lawn and she knew straightaway that going to the loo outside was the right thing to do. Petra has been with us for 6 nights over 2 visits and not once did she have any accidents.
Petra has no issues with domestic appliances. She is not bothered by the washing machine, hoover or the hairdryer. She did not attempt to jump on the furniture or climb the stairs and settled down very well overnight when we went to bed and was clean overnight.
And the report is that Flash is staying at home with Dave, Peanuts, Tia and Charlie.
We all just need to start a fund to allow Dave to purchase a larger sofa!
We had been looking forward to having the lovely Tai with us for another foster over Christmas 2013, but were delighted to find out he would be going to his own forever home instead, so with a week to go it was time to decide which dog would be joining us for the festive period.
I had been walking Ally twice a week for a few months, basically every time I went to the kennels, so Dawn suggested we should take him.
Ally is the best dog to walk, he is full of life and the happiest hound I've ever known, he wags his tail constantly and is always turning round to rub his head on your leg whilst looking up adoringly at you. He walks a little ahead of you at the start then slows down, he wants to say hello to every person and dog you pass on the street or in the park.
I had been a bit hesitant to take Ally home as he is such a boisterous and exuberant boy, I was worried he might throw himself around the house and come to harm.
We collected Bailey from the kennels on Friday morning, to come and stay with us for a couple of nights to give him his first experience of being away from the kennels and in a home.
He jumped into the back of the car quite happily and lay down even before we reached the end of the lane. He stayed there until we got home so it’s safe to say he’s quite happy in the car.
We went into the house and straight into the back garden, so he could have a wee and familiarise himself. Back in the house he checked out the downstairs rooms quite casually and seemed to settle quite quickly. I was able to make lunch with very little interest from him at all. He then decided to have a little wee up the curtain by the front door, but I only mention this because it happened and I want to be honest.
I don’t want this to reflect badly on him as this was absolutely the only time he did this and I truly believe it was just due to the excitement of being in the house and he was perhaps a little unsure and overwhelmed. Other than this incident he was clean and respectful whilst in the house for the remainder of his stay.
The Music Magpie appeal reached the amazing sum of £1,003 in 2013, so a big thank you to all of those who donated their unwanted CDs, DVDs and Games to enable this target to be reached. I've sent 1573 items to Music Magpie and taken a further 50 items to CeX (who often pay more for DVDs and Games).
It may be that the appeal has now reached a natural end as most of you who had items to donate have now donated, but we will be keeping the appeal open. Why not have a New Year declutter and donate all those items which you are no longer going to play or watch. We've only had a few Games donated but these usually pay really well, so raid your children or grandchildren's PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox Games - they'll never notice!
Buster’s about 4 years old and a big, handsome dog with a lot of warmth who we had to stay for a week over Christmas.
We were told that he’d not been in a house before so was rather an unknown quantity in that respect.
We’d not met him before but he leapt into our van with alacrity and was quite unfazed for the next hour on the journey home.
There were no toilet accidents of any sort during the whole week - not even territory marking, and there have been other dogs in the house.
My old auntie Maggie had many sayings, most of them clichés, and one of her favourite idioms was “handsome is as handsome does” and I would agree with her on that.
However that doesn't prevent me from appreciating beauty when I see it and Tai is one of the most beautiful hounds you will ever see.
Fostering Tai was more like caring for someone's pet than looking after a kennel dog, he behaves so beautifully in the house, he's clean, loving and affectionate. I had a lump in my throat taking him back to Hersham and am missing him every day.
Can you offer Tai his forever home? Read the full home stay report.
Where did the week go? I can’t believe that our Christmas Lights event has been and gone so quickly; time just flies by here at the kennels.
After weeks of planning and preparation, the final push to put up the Christmas Lights and decorate the yard and the frantic last minute gathering of everything needed for this event, I think we all heaved a sigh of relief when the day actually dawned.
I have now taken these two kennel mates (separately) for an overnight foster.
They complement one another well. Stumpy is delightful in the home, quiet and affectionate. At night she chose a place to sleep at the foot of the stairs and remained there all night.
Don on the other hand is a bit of a rascal. He’d hardly been through the door before he’d stolen slippers and tried to remove a pair that still had feet inside them!
Read Judith's full foster report here.
We had planned on our first Windsor Meet & Greet being a fairly low-key event - just us, a few helpers and a handful of hounds.
We were only able to obtain one Saturday in the entire year, 3rd August, not ideal given the strength-sapping heat of a couple of weeks earlier. We were lucky with the weather, very lucky.
We were also lucky, due to the kindness of Town Centre Manager, Paul Roach, to be given a prime pitch outside Marks & Spencer in the pedestrianised main shopping street, and permission to have the shelter of a gazebo. This was never going to be a low-key affair. It seemed from the moment we arrived at 9am to set up, to 6.15pm when the last piece of equipment was loaded wearily into the car that we were surrounded by people eager to talk about, admire and touch our Greyhounds as though, in the middle of that busy summer shopping street, the natural tranquillity of those hounds could be theirs, just for a moment.
By Victoria Kingston
Well, here we were again – the second annual coffee morning was held on Sunday July 14th – and our kitchen was absolutely heaving with friends and supporters. It was a truly stupendous event – the result of much hard work from quite a few people who never let me down. The cakes were marvellous – many thanks to the guests who brought their special cake – David immediately bought Joy’s lemon drizzle – yes, the entire thing. And Gina bought Jo’s banana loaf – yes, the entire thing.
A huge thank you to the Cake Sisters, Linda, Julie and Nikky, who were baking for days beforehand, and who spent the entire morning serving cake and taking money. Joy did the drinks again – coffee, tea, juice or iced water. She was aided by Sue, who has put her name down for the same job next year – and Cathy.
They also found a moment to admire the coats Sue has knitted for Spain – and I believe she has sent the pattern to Joy already. My new neighbour Beth was on door duty, greeting everyone cheerfully and giving them their name labels. Even baby Isla, the youngest guest, had a label, though she did try to eat it later, so it had to be stuck to her pram, just out of reach.
She had a set of maracas, so I showed her how to use them, as I sang a loop of “I’m gonna say how it’s gonna be / you’re gonna give your love to me.” I had forgotten the rest of the words, but Isla seemed okay with that. She grabbed for the maracas and did her own version. Some people felt it eclipsed mine – but that’s show biz, isn’t it? Hard to compete with the appeal of a performer who is nine months old and very cute.
A HUGE thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who helped collect at this year’s Wimbledon, to the dogs who put up with lying about, being stroked and having their photographs taken and to the stewards, the AELTC and the Parks Dept. of Merton Council. None of this would have been possible without you.
There’s something special about this event; it’s always wonderful to see someone come in contact with their first greyhound and marvel at how calm and gentle they are or meet up with old friends from the other side of the world, who seem to look forward to seeing the dogs every year as much as they do the tennis!
Dear All at Hersham,
It's hard to believe that it's been a year and a half since Annie came into our lives and the cocktail sausages took residence in our fridge. To me it seems like yesterday but to Annie I'm not so sure, she's too busy drooling into her favourite pink blanket to answer...
Before we chose to adopt Annie (or is it vice versa?) we were torn between adding another dog to our household or leaving things as they were. Our elderly Patterdale terrier, Scruff, was no longer able to go for walks and we missed the daily routine of a walk through Ashtead Common and the excitement a young dog could bring. Not just for us, but for Scruff too. But before we could decide, we had a few things to consider. The most important being that the dog would get along wit h our elderly dog as well as tolerate young children who would visit regularly.
We held our annual Meet & Greet in Staines High Street on Saturday, 21st September. As usual the people of Staines were remarkably generous and we collected an amazing £872. Thanks to all the people and dogs who helped out; I won't list them individually - suffice to say it was the mainly the usual suspects - but special mention should be made of first-timers, Andy, who stayed until the very end and Maureen and her recently acquired WGW dog, Charlie.
Donate your unwanted CDs, DVDs and Games to WGW for turning into cash.
Items must have barcode and should be complete with all discs and artwork. They should also be undamaged although minor wear and scratches are usually acceptable, and don't worry about the condition of the cases.