Did you know, April is National Adopt a Greyhound Month? These beauties make a graceful, and gentle companion, yet they can find it really difficult to find a furever home. To celebrate, our Explorer Luke tells us what it’s like to own a Greyhound from his experience with the adorable Lucy.
Adopting a Greyhound - Lucy's Story
I’m Luke and this is our rescue Greyhound Lucy.
She is currently four years old, she shares the same birthday as Bette Midler which is obviously where she gets some of her diva behaviour from – we are still slightly annoyed she wasn’t born a day later and be able to celebrate in a truly appropriate way – by dressing in a red catsuit singing Oops I Did It Again all day long (aka miss Britney Spears).
Did you know the greyhound is one of the oldest breeds in history? These noble dogs have been traced back over 4,000 years to early cave drawings and are the only breed mentioned in the Bible. Who wouldn’t want a lovely ancient artifact as a pet? Completing Lucy’s family tree would take a lifetime.
Myself and my boyfriend Richard have both been dog obsessed since we were younger and both had dogs in our family homes growing up. Richard had the beautiful Golden Retriever Rosie and I grew up with a mixed breed dog called Samson, and then in my teenage years – a feisty Jack Russell called Poppy and a brindle Greyhound called Hannah. Both were rescue dogs from my home town of Shrewsbury.
We decided to adopt a Greyhound after doing our research on the type of dog that would be able to fit relatively easily into our lifestyle. We live in South Manchester and are surrounded by parks, bars and restaurants – luckily a large selection of these are dog friendly. We both work full time and from my history of Greyhounds, understood that they are renowned for being rather lazy – 45mph couch potato couldn’t be a more perfect description.
We adopted Lucy in September 2017 from the Lancashire branch of the Greyhound Trust. There are a few steps to go through before adopting a Greyhound, as the rescue centre needs to make sure you are ready for a Greyhound and search for a Greyhound ready for you. There is an initial phone call with the adoption team, they will arrange a home visit and then you are able to arrange a date to visit the Greyhounds and find the one (or two) for you. This is process we followed adopting Lucy but every centre has their own process.
Adopting Lucy has been absolutely wonderful, she makes us smile and laugh every day. She has a cheeky, fun and sometimes sassy attitude, and can hear the rustle of a packet opening within a mile radius. She’s a cheese lover, although she’s not at all fussy which one she gets. She enjoys her walks around our local area of Chorlton in South Manchester.
One of our favourite places to visit is Globe World Kitchen and Cocktails here in Chorlton. They have homemade peanut butter biscuits for Lucy, which she loves and she always gets at least one every time we visit. The normal menu suitable for humans is excellent, they have a menu inspired by trips around the world, their Vietnamese beef skewers, and the halloumi fries are something we can never resist.
FAQ on Greyhound adoption
Greyhounds can be quite a mysterious breed to those who have never met one or ever researched into adopting one or two. I’ve broken down some of the biggest misconceptions of Greyhound adoption:
“I wouldn’t adopt a Greyhound as they need loads of walking!”
We are asked this question nearly every time we talk about Lucy or are out and about with her on walks. Greyhounds might be able to reach up to 45 mph during their racing careers but actually, only require 2x 20 minute walks a day.
“Are greyhounds good with children?”
All Greyhounds are as good with children as with any dog breed. They have a natural calm and gentle character. During their kennel life, they have been around people all of their lives and are usually incredibly people-oriented. A lot of Greyhounds are used at Pet Therapy pets and visit inpatients in hospitals.
“Do all Greyhounds need to be muzzled?”
All dogs are different but as a general rule, greyhounds do not need to be muzzled all the time. The recommendation from the Greyhound Trust is that you keep your Greyhound muzzled while out and about until you feel confident in your dogs behaviour around breeds of dog. We muzzled Lucy for the first seven days while she got used to our local area.
“Will I always need to walk my Greyhound on a lead?”
If you feel you need to let your dog off the lead, a confined space and the wearing of a muzzle is recommended. Most rescue centres will provide a collar, lead and muzzle with every greyhound as part of their adoption process. We have colourful collars and leads for walking Lucy to make up for not letting her off the lead.
“Will I need a big bed for a Greyhound?”
Greyhounds absolutely love anything cosy and soft to lie down on, they will take over your own bed if given half the chance. Lucy has a single quilt and covers for her bed upstairs and the same in the living room. She also loves being on our sofa – luckily it’s large enough to fit us all on – until she tries to stretch out and kick us both off.
“How about other dogs, cats and small pets?”
Lucy is a very sociable dog and loves the company of other dogs, owners, and children. Most Greyhounds will get on well with all breeds of dog and happily live with another dog too. The rescue centre can discuss how to introduce the dogs and share tips on how to get your new Greyhound settled in your home environment.
We joined Dog Furiendly as Explorers in August 2018 and really love spreading the ethos, that you never have to worry about leaving your four-legged friend at home. We are always visiting local and not so local dog friendly cafes, pubs, restaurants, hotels, attractions, shops, walks and the occasional Dog Furiendly cave.
I have created my own Dog Furiendly walking groups to meet up and connect with local dog owners for a walk in and around the Manchester area. Use the #lucyinvestigates to find the details on Facebook and come join us.