Meet Lucy (Leumeah Miss) - "Simply Grey" greyhound

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A very special greyhound has just arrived to GAP Kennels in Sanson and is up for adoption: Lucy (Leumeah Miss), who has recently retired (after having a very succesful racing career with Canterbury trainer John McInerney). She is a gorgeous blue fawn girl, with the cutest smile :)

But that is not all!

Lucy is also the dog on the rails (far right) on this Simply Grey ( image:

Cate Marshall, greyhound handler and photographer responsible for this and other gorgeous Simply Grey images of greyhounds, recognized Lucy while handling her on the track , and has just written a diary of the "Dog on the Rails" for my blog! (Thanks a million Cate! BTW- I have writen about Cate and her own hounds before, in one of my previous posts here)

Cate says:

It started as a typical Tuesday in Christchurch...a kiss for Joe, Grace & Flynn and off to Addington for a day of racing. With 20 races ahead of me, I knew it would be a busy one - just the way I like it. Minutes before race 20, feeling exhausted, hungry and covered in mud, I agreed to help out a trainer and handle one of their dogs. She was small, but strong with a quiet confidence. I collected her from the race kennels and as I put her race cover on she gave me a smile which was infectious and something felt, well strange -I couldnt put my finger on it. So off we went - out to the track, into the boxes and away she went. A winner!!! What a great way to finish my day of racing.

It was some weeks later when her trainer asked me again to handle her as she "seemed to run well for me". Of course I agreed and a funny thing happened...we all realised that this little dog was in fact the "dog on the rails" in the Simply Grey image ‘Track to Sofa’! Meet Leumeah Miss (Lucy). I had goosebumps on my goosebumps. What are the chances of Lucy and I meeting on the track?

I was thrilled when her trainer and owners agreed to put her on the GAP list and this past week Lucy officially retired from racing. I brought Lucy home to the "Know More Kennels" to meet Joe, Grace and Flynn and the fun began. Lucy learnt that the pots and pans cupboards are for climbing into, that licking that stuff called "soap" in the bathroom is NOT nice and the sole purpose of fences are for sideways trampolining. I stood back one afternoon and watched four dogs make the most amazing race track through my house, into the kitchen, through the shed and back into the house.

Below: Lucy with Flynn, Joe and Grace

Last week I got a call from Sonja and Irene at GAP that there was a space available for Lucy and with a tear in my eye (yes, I could have quite happily kept this wonderful girl), Lucy set sail on the ferry to meet Fatima in Wellington. After a great breakfast and a comfy ride with Fatima, Lucy met Sonja and Irene at the GAP kennels.
Today, Lucy has passed her temperament testing and is now available for adoption. She is happy as ever and running round the kennels and enjoying the start of her retirement.

I feel very honoured to have met Lucy and to have handled her in her last win of her career. Simply Grey wishes Lucy all the very best in her new home and thanks everyone who has been involved with her adventures (so far!).

Louie and Lucy pass the Canine Good Citizens Assessment exam!

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Last weekend was HUGE in our household: Both Louie and Lucy have passed their Canine Good Citizen Assesment! They have been training for this with Rachel for a while now. We adopted Lucy in January 2010, and she started training pretty much straight away. Louie has been training for a bit longer.

A bit of a background of 'Canine Good Citizen' assesment background:
Since the 1950s, Dog Obedience Clubs have been at the forefront of dog training throughout the country. Clubs provide basic Domestic Dog training classes for responsible dog owners. They teach the owner how to train the dog while showing people how to ensure their dog becomes a great lifetime companion.

'Canine Good Citizen' goes a step further. Dogs are trained and then tested in simulated everyday situations in a relaxed atmosphere. Dogs and their owners are identified and rewarded for the training and demeanour to be reliable family members. Canine Good Citizen ensures that dog can be a respected member of the community because the dog is trained to be well mannered at home, in public, and around other dogs.

Testing requires an assessment by a recognised New Zealand Kennel Club Assessor.

Dogs passing assessment gain a nationally recognised Canine Good Citizen Certificate (we are expecting Louie's and Lucy's to arrive in the mail -and yes, they will be framed and displayed! :-)

Some examples of basic aspects tested (as part of Canine Good Citizens assesment) include:

Appearance and grooming (dog should welcome being groomed and examined by an appointed person)
Food manners (food being consumed by strangers in front of the dog, who should not react; also handler has to demonstrate the 'wait' comment when giving food
Accepting friendly strangers (dog has to be patted by a stranger -head and body -WITHOUT breaking the positon selected by the trainer( sit, stand or down)
Walking in a controlled manner with distractions and through people (to heel, on lead, including the HALT command)
Remaining calm while tied up (Tied supervised separation; dog tied up in a
selected position (sit, down , to ve left for 5 minutes while the handler converses with a group of people at least 20 paces away; upon handler's return, dog should not jump or be over-enthusiastic with greeting)
Control around other dogs
Recall to handler
Supervised separation (handler leaving the dog with a stranger in a selected position and going out of sight for 2 minutes)

NZ Kennel Club officials were very impressed with Louie and Lucy, and their performance at the test. So far, they are the only greyhounds in NZ to get this qualification! NZKC will do an interview with Rachel for the June edition of Kennel Club Gazette, and Sonja Bright (from GAP, and Simply Grey) will be doing a greyhound Breed Supplement for the same issue!
This is just wonderful for GAP and greyhounds in general, and we hope it will dispell the myth that greyhounds can't be trained in obedience etc.

We strongly suggest to greyhound owners to enroll their dog in CGC course in their local dog club.
To find out which clubs offer the course, as well as to find out more details, please go to NZ Kennel Club website:

NZ Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen webpage (click here to open in a new window)

Beryl's Mum Sue has taken many pictures of the test - for both Louie and Lucy. Thanks a million Sue! (this means so much to us as neither Rachel nor myself were capable of taking pictures that day -but Sue came to the rescue!)
Slideshows are below -please have a look! (and make sure you have the volume up - Sue's music choices are perfect, as always :-)

Lucy's test:

Louie's (Charlston State) test:

Cate and her three greyhounds :-)

Above: Family portrait, clockwise from the bottom left: Flynn (Crafty Flynn), Grace (Two Clouds), Joe (Light Pockets) and Cate in her rabbit suit!

Cate Marshall is best known to all of us for her gorgeous images taken for Simply Grey (
Cate is a greyhound lover extraodinaire, and also a dog handler for Gary Cleeve and Gaylene Turnwald's greyhound racing team in Canterbury.

Yesterday was a very special day for both me and Cate: both Louie and Lucy have passed their Canine Good Citizens Assesment Exam (a BIG blog post about that coming up soon!) and Cate celebrated that it had been 2 years that she adopted her first greyhound, Grace (Two Clouds). :-)
So I thought today would be a good day for Cate to write the story for my blog. Thank you Cate for the writeup and gorgeous images!

Cate says:
The kennel managers said she was "quirky" and "needs an owner with a sense of humour". Her foster carer said "she can tend to be a bit naughty" and "she really is lovely". I said, PERFECT!! Two years oday this naughty, quirky, gorgeous and lovely greyhound called Grace (Two Clouds) walked into my life and thus started my love affair with greyhounds.

Below: Grace relaxing :-)

Portrait of Princess Grace:

A few months after Grace arrived, my home saw the arrival of a "foster" dog called Joe (Light Pockets). HA - A foster carer? They saw me coming. Needless to say this stunning, cheeky and slightly dorky boy did not stay a "foster" dog for long. Joe walked into my home, declared his bed, declared his bowl and declared me "his" person. He stayed, I was smitten.

Below: Joe having his Christmas ice-cream! BTW- Joe is Louie's half-brother (they have the same father). Explains the obsession with food!

In the following months I met Grace and Joe's former trainers and owners at a GAP event. Today, we are all very good friends and see each other on a regular basis. I now leave my hounds at home one day a week and head off the race track to work on Gary Cleeve and Gaylene Turnwald's racing team.

And this is where I met Flynn (Crafty Flynn). :-)

Having worked with him on the racing team and been the recipient of many many cuddles at the track I decided to "foster" Flynn when he retired. Yes, there is that "foster" word again! My big baby with the "i love you" eyes saw me become the worlds worst foster carer. He stayed, I was smitten.

Below: Handsome Flynn :-)

With three greyhounds, I felt it prudent to have a kennel name and thus the "Know More Kennels" was born. Complete with sign on gate! Two years down the track (no pun intended) here I sit with 3 greyhounds happily snoozing at my feet in my photography studio. The Simply Grey Project dream is now a reality and my life, everyday, is about greyhounds...and I wouldnt have it any other way.

Mitchell (Trendy Moment) : South Island trip with his parents!

Saturday, April 24, 2010
Mitchell (Trendy Moment) was adopted a year ago by Nina and Brian from Porirua.
I have never met Mitchell but he sounds like the coolest hound! He was a very successful racer too - he had 62 starts , and made $20,000 in stakes. I love all greyhounds, but I do have a soft spot for good racers like Mitchell :-)

His Mum Nina sent a lovely writeup and photos (Thank you Nina!).
Nina says:

We can’t believe its been a year since Mitchell came home with us for the first time. One year! This is him on day one of his life with us:

We’ve learned so many things, and had so many adventures together -
like our recent trip down the South Island. The Big Red Dog didn’t seem that sure what it was all about to begin with, until his little suitcase came up from downstairs. Yes, Mitchell has his own little suitcase, complete with name tag. He needs one! By the time you pack his raincoat, a set of jarmies, his promo rug, muzzles, brushes, comb, bowl, treats, poop bags, shampoo (in case he rolls in a dead seal), and the two toys he picks out himself (this time, Rubber Chicken and Squeaky Orange Thing) – a supermarket bag is just not big enough!

Anyway, with car, caravan and dog packed, we eventually got underway. First thing noted: Mitchell was not at all keen on being left in a kennel on the ferry. I mean a kennel of all things. Those are for dogs. Not Greyhounds. But he was good, and did as he was asked. There was just a bit of unhappy barking when we walked away, and a lot of happy barking when we returned.

Landfall was made, refreshment stops were had, and The Great Southern Road Trip 2010 was on! Our first stop was Murchison, where a lot of old hands of the road watched in great amusement while the three new chums got to grips with things like backing the caravan, putting up the tent, and falling all over each other in a reasonably small space. But Mitchell charmed everyone he met.

We spent the next three days moseying down The Coast, stopping in Hokitika, Pine Grove, and finally at Haast Beach. Second thing noted: Mitchell does not like sandflies. We had a lovely day-trip down to Jackson Bay to partake of delectably good fish and chips at The Cray Pot. The Red Peril had a lovely time being off the leash on Haast Beach. Zoomies extraordinaire! Paws flying, mouth agape, sand everywhere, including all over the tongue. Bliss! It was great to see him so happy, and to see him coming back when called after rapidly disappearing over the horizon! Mum took photos and did arty things with shadows. Check them out:

After that, we popped over Haast Pass and down into Central. We stayed a couple of lovely nights in Luggate where Mitchell continued his lessons on the finer points of trout fishing with Dad on the Clutha River. No fish were harmed. And he discovered rabbits. How could he not, there were thousands of them! Oddly enough, he became very aware of the changing landscape i.e. bright green land (dairy conversions) means NO rabbits and one can scooch down to take a wee snooze, but rocky brown land means rabbits and one must make funny noises and try to get out the window. I kid you not! We nicknamed him The Cylon. But he charmed everyone he met. :-)

Then we went over the stunningly beautiful Lindis Pass and into Omarama. Dad did another spot of trout fishing on the Upper Ahuriri River where more fish were not harmed. Mitchell kept a constant lookout for unwary rabbits! Mum took photos of Dad not catching fish. Third thing noted: Mitchell virtually disappears when he lies down in the tussock. Mum discovered this when she got bored with taking photos of Dad not catching fish, and started taking photos of The Cylon instead.:-)

Down to Oamaru where he met Mum’s Sister, Brother-In-Law, and Mum’s Mum. They were, in turn, in-love, amused, and completely wrapped around the big meaty paw. But he was very good at Grandma’s place, surprisingly gentle with her, and not surprisingly, emptied the back garden of somewhat stunned cats. We all had the most fabulous day out at the local A & P Show. Mitchell donned his promo rug and worked the crowd as a GAP Ambassador. He met a lot of people, including Levi Vaoga, “Mr Mega” and Professional Strongman. They were all charmed.
Below: Mitchell with his Grandma :-)
Leaving Oamaru all too soon, we spent a quiet night at Glen Tunnel. The next day we visited with Mitchell’s former owner/trainer (Rosemary Blackburn) who very kindly spent a lot of time with us. We talked about Mitchell’s clearly beloved mum Missy, his racing career, and his new life as a travelling companion Hound. She showed us around the training complex, talked about the dogs in work, and I got to play with some greyhound puppies. I’d never seen a greyhound puppy before! We also met three very lovely dogs waiting to go into the GAP Programme. Finally she gave us some photos of a very young Mitchell with his brothers and sisters, and a photo montage of Mitchell’s first race, where he of course came first. Then, with Brian completing one final frisk to make sure I hadn’t concealed any puppies about my person, it was time to move on.

Below: Remember me? Mitchell with his ex-trainer Rosemary Blackburn :-)

That night, we stayed at Cheviot where Mitchell met a flock of chickens and some sheep. He didn’t seem to know quite what to make of them, but wasn’t at all concerned about their nosing around the camp. Later on he and Dad very carefully stayed within the 50 km speed limit when out for their evening jog.

Mum took photos and did more arty things with shadows. :-)

And finally to Blenheim, where we realised we were now dab hands at backing the caravan, putting up the tent, and not falling all over each other in a reasonably small space. The next day it was back on the ferry, into that jolly kennel thing again, and a last wee drive.

Mitchell took everything in his stride and proved to be a wonderful, easygoing, travel companion. Aside from loosing a bit of weight, we had no problems with him at all. Big thanks go out to all of those truly wonderful people who were happy to help us holiday with our dog!

When we got back home, he was quick to recognise familiar surroundings, and was very keen to get out of the car to check things out, but it was not until his little suitcase came up the stairs that he went absolutely berserk with bliss. Apparently road tripping in The-Mobile-Kennel-De-Wheels is ok, but whether up North, down South, or East, or West, Mitchell knows home is BEST.

Home again!

GAP in the North Shore Times today :)

Friday, April 23, 2010
Good promotion for GAP in the North Shore Times... and pretty good picture of Reuben & Rosie too!! Thank you Sharon! :-)
Click here to read the article!

Biggles and Gizmo having fun at Long Bay beach :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010
I got these lovely photos from Lynda that she in turn got from Biggles' Dad Patrick(Thanks Lynda and Patrick!) - the beach is Long Bay, Torbay, Auckland.

The Team:
Biggles (Icy Biggles), Gizmo (Call Me Gizmo) and Biggles' brother Dielsel The Dalmatian :-)
I cant tell the differnce between Gizmo and Biggles -they have such similar coloring LOL!!!! Check out the gorgeous pictures:

Whiskey (Chivas Regal) in his new home in Auckland

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Whiskey (Chivas Regal) is a true racing veteran -he had 100 starts, successful racing career, and now is enjoying well-deserved retirement with his new parents David and Claire and four feline friends in Auckland.

Last week I got an update from Whiskey's new Dad David , who says:
Whiskey is a cracking lad!
It's been two weeks in his new home and we think he's settling in well.
The first week he was on his best behaviour, fairly shy and generally minding his own business. We take him on a decent walk morning and evening to let him meet as many people/other animals as possible, down to the beach where I sprint and he canters in an vain attempt to stretch his legs a bit (still on the lead). He's very well behaved, a bit timid with the fast snappy little dogs, but generally he's coping well ( I keep forgetting to put his muzzle on, so I'm thankful he's so weel behaved).

He's seen all the cats - from a distance mainly - as they don't get too close, he's totally disinterested in them, he manages to lift his head for a few seconds to look and then lays it back down and continues sleeping. It's more their problem than his.

He's coping well with the inside stairs, goes down them with me and comes up by himself, he can go down the outside stairs - the little ones to the back door rather than the steep one straight to the deck but he shakes like a leaf on the way down those, but he's trying, bless him.

This week, he's come out of his shell a bit more. He's starting to respond well to the 'come' command around the garden and house (I try and get some distance from him and call, and he usually appears. He's starting to play in the back garden with me and his toy running around and enjoying himself (keeping me on my toes as well). We were surprised when a young lady tottering down the right of way got his attention, he lifted his head and gave a bark!, just the one and that's the only time he's spoken.

We're being greeted more and more by a waggy tail in the morning and when we've been out and returned. He's been sleeping in the lounge on his bed or the rug which is where he spends most of the day/evening, however, he's discovered the delights of the sofa over night. I found him on it a couple of mornings ago, told him to get off a couple of times and now he knows not to do it - while we're not in the room, cheeky devil!!! We even filled the sofa with a giant Peekachoo and Red Devil cuddly toys but he just pushed those off and made himself comfortable!

Claire's got a novel way to pick up his doings on a walk, when he's about to do a 'number 2', she quickly places a couple of sheets of kitchen towel under him which he poops onto, and then she picks up the doings in the paper towel and pops it into a bag - genius really but I still laugh when she does it! :-)

Anyhow, enclosed are a couple of photos of him with his choice of the day - bed or rug - so hard to choose, also one with Claire introducing him to Rufus the ginger cat (who's under that table).

GAP Manawatu walk at Tangimoana beach -17th April 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Yesterday, to start off my new role (GAP Coordinator for Manawatu), i organized a greyhound walk to one of my favourite beaches - Tangimoana.
We had a great turnout, weather was on our side, and doggies had a blast!

Beryl's Mum Sue took video below, check it out!

And as always, i have stolen the photos from Sonja's Facebook page! They are gorgeous, see below;

Below: Beryl (Winsome Deluxe), In-D (Thrilling Alex) and Fish (Thrilling Fish)

Below: In-D (Thrilling Alex) and Bull

Below: Bull always gets the ball first!

Beryl (Winsome Deluxe)

Below: Bull and Beryl

Below: Ellie and Bull

Below: Bull always gets the ball first!

Below: Beryl (Winsome Deluxe) -check out her muscles!

Below: Get the ball! Get the ball!!!!!!

Bull and THE ball again! Isnt he just the cutest hound? :-)

Below: Ellie and Chase

Below: Harry's (Harry Phoenix) Dad Shane with the hounds :-)

Little Daniel and Roache (Awesome Enforcer) :-)
Beryl, In-D, Bull and THE ball!!!!!

Below: Sarah with her Harry (Harry Phoenix) and Ellie with Chase