Update on our foster dog Kev :-)

Monday, September 28, 2009
Our foster dog Kev (Matrix Hero) has been adopted by Trisha and her family in Auckland, and is a new friend for Trisha's kids: Henry (6.5 years) and Lola (3.5 years).
I am so happy he was placed in a family with kids (well done Sonja and Irene!! :-) as he just loved kids when he was with us...
It was such a pleasure and priviledge to foster Kev, and it is just precious to see him so happy with his new family!

Trisha says: We had been on the waiting list with GAP for some time, as we really needed a kid and cat friendly dog. It is wonderful to get to know Kev, frisky and playfull, doing high speed laps of the back garden or just lazing about being a total sloth. He is just gorgeous and absolutely fab with Henry and Lola, and we are beginning to really appreciate just how lucky he and we are.
Bring on spring and all those long walks!

Visiting ex-racer Gemma in Elizabeth Knox retirement home

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Above: Gemma (left), staff member Lua, and Louie

Today, Louie and me went and visited ex-racer Gemma at the Elizabeth Knox rest home and hospital in Auckland (in Epsom). This rest home is adopting the 'Eden Alternative' in rest home care which was developed in the USA and it is a very different way of rest home care. In the States they identified the greyhound as the most suitable dog to live in these homes, as they don't bark, sleep a lot, and are the perfect height :-) The home is looking at a ratio of 1-30 dogs to residents. Gemma is the first dog to join them, and hopefully they will be looking for another couple of dogs soon as Gemma has fitted in so well!

Gemma has been there for 3 weeks now and she has certainly fitted in well! She has a lovely bed in one of the resident's rooms, and she is free to roam the home and the gardens freely. She lives with two resident cats and is great with them.

Regan Sharp specially trained Gemma to live in rest home environment, and Gemma has taken to it like a duck to water! Regan did an amazing job - Gemma has had no toilet accidents since she arrived, is completely cat-safe, is very friendly and gentle with residents and has settled in nicely. She has also learned to steal food from trolleys, which the staff find absolutely adorable!!!

Residents and staff simply adore her, as you can see from the pictures. :-) Louie loved her too :-) A couple of residents came over and asked whether Louie was their new greyhound!
We really enjoyed meeting residents and staff, and hope more homes adopt this concept. It was wonderful to see pure joy on some of the residents' faces! :-)

A walk with Louie's ex-trainers :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009
A few weeks ago, we went for a walk with Pam and Denis Schofield, Louie's ex-trainers, who run busy greyhound kennels in Huntly.
They live in Devonport and we do meet for walks as often as we can. One of many great things about adopting Louie is that I got to meet lovely Pam and Denis (and their son David)! They both are just gorgeous and great company, and needless to say, we love hearing about our dogs' racing careers.

I took many pictures as the day was nice, but they mostly turned out out-of-focus
On the picture below (you can click on it for full size):
Denis (sitting down), holding my Louie (Charlston State), followed by 3 of Pam and Denis' pet hounds (the ones with coats :-))) and Helen with her hounds Cruzer (Charlston Kid, Louie's litter brother) and Enzo (Micro Benny).

Helen has had Cruzer for 2 years, and recently adopted Enzo, who looks so like Cruzer! :-) Helen now has two perfectly matching hounds! :-)

Want a lap dog? Get a greyhound!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Irene and her Wolfie (Ratchet) :-)

Two greyhounds on Trademe, free to a good home

Monday, September 14, 2009

They both look lovely, in great condition, and are in Levin. There is a tan one (above) and the black one, very similar to Louie :-)

The Trademelink is here:


Rosie, Sharon and Lance

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today's feature story: Rosie (Memphis Angel), Sharon and Lance.
Sharon and Lance emigrated from the UK 1.5 years ago, and recently, Rosie joined their family...

Sharon says:
After having sighthounds of some kind, for most of our lives to date (with some border collie thrown in along the way), and leaving our two beautiful lurchers, Tigger and Polly (greyhound/ saluki crosses) with our friends back in the UK, when we emigrated to NZ last year, it was an obvious decision for us to adopt a greyhound from GAP.

We had been without a dog for almost 18 months, when Lance suggested it was time for us to add to the family, and apparently it would be someone for Reuben (our 3 year old son) to play with, and thankfully didn’t involve me giving birth again. Lance had scoured the NZ newspapers/ internet looking for a lurcher, only to find out a sighthound-sighthound cross didn’t really exist in NZ, and neither of us were keen on taking on ‘pig dog’ with a 3 year old around the house.

Ironically when we re-homed our first dog, Tigger from Battersea Dogs Home ( he was 5 months old), we had considered a greyhound, as according to Battersea the breed would be an ideal companion for a working couple. However with the option of a puppy or 6 year old ex racer, on that occasion the puppy won the day. Later though after he had ate my architecture books, disconnected the telephone line twice, and upended our plants, maybe the greyhound would have been the better choice.

So our relationship with GAP began, our first meeting with Louie (and Fatima of course) sealed the deal, that a retired greyhound was definitely the right choice for us. Even though Louie was as tall as Reuben, he wasn’t scared at all by this gentle giant strolling around our house.

Some months later on a rainy Sunday morning, we first met Rosie. She was smaller than we had expected, but most definitely perfect for us (a bit shorter than Reuben). Almost 2 months on, she is a delight to have around the place, and is starting to show her true character more and more each day. She is playful, loving and a complete thief, especially when it comes to 3 year old’s toys, much more interesting than the dog toys bought especially for her! She likes to help out around the place, good at clearing up after me, not so good at not eating the hedge clippings/ compost during one of my gardening bursts! Out and about she is the most friendly dog around, and tends to just wag her tail at everything (even the local cats!), on the beach though she changes into the racer she was trained as, and her particular favourite is kite surfers, and the odd seagull if they don’t move quick enough.

Adopting a greyhound was a great choice for us all, we’ve joined a community of like-minded people, Reuben has a self confessed new best friend, and Lance has his soul mate for those strolls along the beach in all weathers. And for me, I have another girl around the place, so the odds are now even!!

Beaches in Auckland are STILL not safe for dogs

Friday, September 11, 2009
Better safe than sorry! Check out the The Herald article below:


Boxer, Disco and Jo

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today's feature story: Jo's Boxer (Allegro Comet) and Disco (Gazza's Delight). Their proud Mum Jo says:

Why a greyhound? I have no idea - must be something to do with the fact I saw them around our village as a child as we had a track...not that I ever went!!!

Once I got settled in New Zealand I thought it was time to put down roots, get some responsibilities so I started looking - SPCA only had adult dogs for experienced owners - definitely not me - so somehow ended up on the GAP website. Liked the idea of a non-smelly, fine featured angular kind of dog, and of course it had to be black (me being an architect!).

Got a call whilst in Wellington for work saying they'd found me a dog and could I pick it up. One rental car and cancelled flight later was on my way to the GAP kennels. Well...got there and there was a huge beast of a hound in the office - luckily not for me...Boxer came out and was put in the rental car - we spent the next few hours looking at each other warily in the rear view mirror.
He took a while to thaw out, I took a while to get the hang of dog ownership - all very much by the book but we got there in the end.
You can take him anywhere, he is so cruisey, laidback and calm - he's even loving if you can read the subtle signs :-)

Above: Jo and Boxer at Big Gay Out

So... after two years I decided I'd best get another, and what did I do? Ask for the opposite kind of dog!!! Hmmm...not such a bright idea - in she came, Miss Disco, all nerves, cheek but super cuddly and affectionate. She's scared of lots of things, traffic and lawnmowers particularly, and she's not a café dog at all - BUT she is a keeper.

Below: Disco all tucked in :-)

The two dogs have taken time to become a pack, but we're there now and it's a total joy to see them running together or playing with their toys.
Can't imagine being without them now.
Below: Gorgeous Miss Disco ( I love how Christine's little boy Jamie pops up in all sorts of greyhound pictures :-))

Picture of the day: Boxer relaxing :-)

Monday, September 7, 2009
Boxer (Allegro Comet) with his matching cushion! Isnt he handsome? :-)

Jin and Carol

Friday, September 4, 2009

Today's feature story: Jin (Groovy Again) and Carol

Carol says:
When I lost my beloved Border Collie Penny on July 6th 2007 I was absolutely devastated and wondered if I could ever have another dog. However deep down I knew I would it was just a matter of time.
I heard about GAP via a friend and became intrigued. I did some reading & learning and decided to check out the website for a possible adoption. When I saw the picture of Jin (then Cambo) my heart was pulled and I just had to meet him. I was a little nervous at first however Jin gradually relaxed into his new family comprising Jypsy ,Ann’s adorable border collie, and three cats. Greyhounds are the most amazing pets and I swear Jin thinks he is a border collie and runs around the garden at high speed while Jypsy hides under the deck. Watching Jin run is just extraordinary and I know he is a very happy dog having learned how to be a pet and how to relax.

Picture of the day: Definition of retirement!

Thursday, September 3, 2009
Definition of retirement:
A warm house, a full tummy, a soft bed and, of course, a colour coordinated pillow! :-)

Picture above: Regan's foster dog Amber (Little Gymnist) and the cat pillow :-)

The Simply Grey Project - www.simplygrey.co.nz

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
On 1st January 2009, over a few glasses of orange juice (or so the story goes), Simply Grey (www.simplygrey.co.nz) was born. Cate Marshall (Photographer / GAP Southern Regional Coordinator) and Sonja Bright (GAP Kennel Manager) had a vision to celebrate the greyhound through photography. Within a matter of weeks a website was built, a bank account opened and a Gallery booked for the first exhibition. There was one small hitch – no funding to get the project off the ground and images on the wall! Being two determined women with a like-minded passion for greyhounds and naturally, photography, Cate and Sonja were determined to make the dream a reality.

Cate is a familiar face on the Addington race track (photographer, dog handler for trainer Gary Cleeve and GAP spokesperson) so the team (Cate and Sonja that is) approached Club Secretary Tony Music of the Christchurch Greyhound Racing Club unsure of what his reaction would be to an artistic project about greyhounds. Quite simply, he loved it! Sonja – Festival Producer and Event Manager in years gone by - dusted off the cobwebs and drew up a sponsorship proposal: the club accepted it, presented Cate with a cheque at the Auckland Cup (Cate was there with her GAP hat on) and the Christchurch exhibition was a reality. A similar proposal went to NZ Greyhound Racing which was accepted and funding given for a series of exhibitions around the country. Finally, Kirsten Wylie of Total Veterinary Services came on board as a sponsor and Cate started creating work in a 3 day shoot in her home studio with a small group of eager models, and trackside at trials and race meetings.

Above: Cate at work

The stunning exhibition at the Christchurch Arts Centre attracted an audience of over 600 including trainers and racing owners (many with a tear in their eye), GAP owners, dog lovers, photographers and other artists, regular Arts Centre visitors and the general public, many of whom had seen Cate on Canterbury TV with Grace draped over her lap. Simply Grey is an avid supporter of GAP and close to $1,000 has been raised thus far through donations, a national raffle and merchandise sales.
The dust hadn’t settled post-exhibition and Sonja had a photo shoot organised for Cate in Palmerston North (thanks to GAP owner Kevin Darling of Gribbles Veterinary, who provided an empty warehouse big enough to drive a Mini in. But that’s another story...), an idea for a 2010 Calendar and exhibitions for Palmerston North and Wellington. A staggering amount of work was created at the recent shoot where the team were driven by a tight schedule on a miniscule budget and too much caffeine. Just as Cate was about to head home to Christchurch to start editing, Ashoka Pandey of the Manawatu Racing Club got wind of the project, invited Cate and Sonja along to the track for coffee and a sandwich and promptly named a race The Simply Grey Project Middle Distance at a recent meeting!
Eight months on and Simply Grey is much more than just a dream. It is a living, breathing celebration of greyhounds: as athletes and retired athletes; as loyal racing dogs and loving companions. And it’s coming your way... In the meantime, there are some amazing shots at the website: http://www.simplygrey.co.nz/

The 2010 SimplyGrey calendar is about to be printed and you can order it via GAP.
Simply Grey donates a minimum of 10% of proceeds to GAP (15% from calendar sales) - so order yours now!

For further information or higher resolution images please contact
Sonja Bright, Project Manager, Simply Grey
(027) 266 2406 or sonja.b@inspire.net.nz

Orphan Assassin and Two Clouds