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!