Manawatu GAP walk today :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

We went to Manawatu monthly GAP walk today, which is held every last Sunday of every month, in Ashhurst Domain. Weather was lovely today, and we had a nice turnout. I took some pictures:

My beautiful Louie (Charlston State) made a new friend :)
April (April Reign) and her Mum Amy
My beautiful boys Cobby (Cawbourne Snowy) and Louie (Charlston State) ,
making a new friend
 This is quite amazing...Louie tolerates children, but usually, there is no big love there...
 He loved this little girl tho; her family came along for a walk as they are keen to adopt a greyhound :) This little girl was amazing with the dogs -many of them just went to her... I did not get her name or anything, but i think she will turn to be a great dog handler...
Same little girl with Smiler (Five Kay Kat)
Polly and her gorgeous Spider (Fancy Spider)
Stanley (Chile Will He)
Stanley again :)
Lucy loves water :)
Lucy :)
Pretty Cara (Thrilling Paris)

My beautiful Louie making new friends :)
Cute Smiler (Five Kay Kat)

Update from Monty (Harka Lee)


Monty (Harka Lee) now lives in Auckland with Kerry, Gene and Taylor. 
Kerry just sent us this update:

Monty has now been with us for 4 months and is more than anything we hoped for when we decided on a greyhound as a pet. When we first brought him home, he has a stitches in his foot after having a corn removed, had just had a tooth out and at 40kg was slightly overweight, so he was understandably feeling a little bit sorry for himself!!
It took him less than 20 minutes after the long trip back to Auckland for him to stop panting, find his bed and settle down for the night.
He has since lost nearly 3 kg and now has a waist, his missing canine tooth doesn't stop him from chewing on big bones and although he does play the symapthy card by limping and holding his paw up when he wants a foot massage - he is doing very well!!
He walks beautifully on the lead and always stops and sniffs curious people who want to touch "a real life track dog"!!
Monty is the most placid, loving dog we could have ever imagined and was definitley worth the wait - even our 2 cats think he's ok!!
A big thanks to Irene and Sonja at Sanson for matching him to us and for the whole GAP team for all the great support.

Update from foster care: Smiler (Five Kay Kat)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cute Smiler (Five Kay Kat) is currently in foster care in Palmerston North, with Cynthia and her gorgeous Corgi Monty.

Cynthia says that Smiler is a really fun dog,  always chasing his toys or a ball or just bouncing around. He is very affectionate,  sweet boy who loves his cuddles.  But, his bed is still the absolute favorite ! :)

Reposting - we need your help

Friday, January 27, 2012

I posted about this a while ago -some interesting facts and ways you can help with finding greyhounds their forever retirement homes. I thought to repost -as the post is still very relevant:

Spring 2010 edition Greyhounds As Pets newsletter 'Fast Friends' featured an excellent article written by  the previous GAP Director Jacqui Eyley (who has moved on , but is still a member of GAP Board of Trustees).
I have been thinking of featuring this article here for ages -finally, here it is. Have a read -  gives a food for thought, interesting statistics and also tips on how to promote adoptions of our gorgeous hounds. I have highlighted some of the most startling facts.
Here is the first part of the article (in blue):

Occasionally people ask me whether we’ve reached saturation point. “Does everyone who might want to adopt a greyhound now have one?’ Well I’ve always thought that couldn’t possibly be true because everyone who likes dogs would have one! Not to mention all those people we’ve met who told us they don’t really like dogs but have gone on to adore their greyhound. But my Board like me to come up with facts so I’ve been doing some maths.

According to a survey undertaken by a pet food manufacturer, New Zealand has around 600,000 dogs and, according to the internet, the average lifespan of a dog living in the western world is 12.8 years. The same site tells us the average age for a greyhound is 13.2 years, so longer than average – that’s good news! So by my working that means 46,875 dogs are bought, adopted or otherwise acquired each year in New Zealand. If just one percent of those dogs were greyhounds then we’d be well on the way to caring for all of the greyhounds needing homes each year. If we could make it two percent then we’d be haranguing trainers to give us their dogs as soon as they were looking the slightest bit slow.

So there you go, it can’t be that hard can it? It’s not like we’re trying to find homes for the Chinese Crested!
Our greyhounds are beautiful, sleek and elegant. They have a long and noble history as the favoured pets o pharaohs and the kings of England. They’re intelligent and affectionate. They are capable of breathtaking speed (18 metres per second according to Wiki) and can out-race any dog, paws down, at the park; but they’re happy to snooze when we’re busy. Perfect!
So here is our challenge: just one percent, ladies and gentlemen."

I always knew that the number of ex-racers retiring every year (and needing pet homes) was very small (in fact negligible) compared to thousands of  puppies in puppy mills and thousands of poor cross breed pups who are product of owners not desexing their dogs. The number is also negligible compared to number of purebred dogs from legitimate breeders who sell their puppies to the market.  Nevertheless, it was great to see some concrete numbers.
One percent ! It is amazing. If we reached 2% - I think GAP would need volunteers at every greyhound racing track, waiting after the races and taking slow dogs to the adoption programme THEN AND THERE. This is quite often the case overseas, where ex-racers are known as great pets. My own estimate is that if we reached two percent, we would have problems getting enough greyhounds off the trainers to satisfy demand! 

Remember - GAP greyhounds are NOT 'rescue dogs'. Their trainers actually pay GAP to enter them in the programme and find them a forever, retirement home. Greyhound Racing Association in New Zealand heavily funds GAP, in fact, most of the major operating costs of GAP are paid for by greyhound racing industry in New Zealand, with huge support from greyhound trainers (some of who, like Ben Craik, actually sponsor GAP kennels in Sanson) . I have seen many trainers cry like babies when dropping their greyhounds to GAP kennels. :( Grown up men and women -in tears, worrying where their dogs will go, and whether their retirement homes would be good enough for them :)
When you adopt a retired racing greyhound, you adopt a much loved , top athlete, who was trained and dearly loved by its trainer.
Certainly in the past in New Zealand, greyhounds have not been considered when choosing a pet , unlike in Europe and the USA, where they have been known as great pets for decades now.
In New Zealand, as greyhound adoption is relatively new concept, there are still lots of misconceptions about the breed. I am sure that many of GAP owners have been asked hilarious questions by others: whether greyhounds needed hours and hours of exercise every day, whether they were agressive because they race muzzled, whether they would bite children, whether it was safe to have a greyhound living with children,  whether they needed loads of outdoors space and huge sections, whether they are able to live inside the house (!) etc.
It is up to us, greyhound lovers, greyhound owners and greyhound trainers, to try and dispel these myths. In the second part of her article, Jacqui has some excellent tips:

Take your greyhound with you.
Our best advert is the hounds themselves so if you’re going somewhere dog-friendly then take your hound along
. He’ll enjoy the outing and people will become more aware that greyhounds make great pets. Dog-friendly cafés are an ideal spot and sipping your café latte is a great way to carry out charitable work.

Wear your vest with pride.
We’ve sold a lot of our little blue promo vests but is everyone using them? Putting on your dog’s vest when out walking will help him get noticed and makes you more approachable to people who might want to know more. Obviously make sure your dog is behaving himself when wearing it!
is the best advert in the world – please make the most of him.
Pretty Beryl wearing her GAP vest :)

Give out our GAP cards.
Ask your Area or Regional Co-ordinator for our business cards and make sure you take a few with you every time you go out with your hound. The cards have a greyhound image on one side and the website and
space for your local contact’s details on the other. Next time someone asks about your hound, give them a card and tell them to visit the website.

Pin leaflets and cards up on noticeboards.
Staple GAP cards to your supermarket’s community noticeboard cards. Just write ‘Homes needed for retired greyhounds’, the website and your co-ordinators telephone number above the
image. Ask if you can pin a leaflet or a card on any noticeboard you see. It could be at the vet’s, the pet shop, a café, a community centre, the possibilities are endless.

Tell us about events.
If there’s an event in your area at which you think we should have a GAP Stand, then tell us. Local markets and street fairs are often just as effective as big Expos and are lot cheaper. You could also help at the stand for an hour or two which would be even better!
There are many ways we can promote our hounds but your help is invaluable. After all, your greyhound is the best advert in the world – please make the most of him."

I would also like to add some tips of my own:

Power of Facebook is huge if you want to raise awareness on any issue. Why not post a link to GAP website on your status once in a while, with a note that it features many lovely doggies looking for homes? You never know - a friend of a friend (...of a friend... ) might be looking to adopt a dog, and might find out that greyhound is exactly what he/she needs! :)

Dog Clubs.
Dog Clubs are places where dog lovers meet. They attend various classes with their dogs, and network between themselves and other clubs. Take your greyhound to a dog class to your local club. We need more greyhounds present in dog clubs (classes) in order to raise the breed awareness.
Yes, greyhounds are very trainable IF you choose the right class. I highly recommend 'Canine Good Citizen' (CGC) classes, which are perfect for greyhounds as they are nothing like old-style rigid dog obedience classes which hounds typically hate. Both our greyhounds have CGC certificate (Lucy even has Bronze and Silver level, she is currently training for Gold).
I have written about Canine Good Citizen classes before,  you can find all the details you need here.
Post about Lucy passing Gold and Silver CGC exams is here.

Rally O (Rally Obedience) is another class I would recommend. Our greyhound Lucy has a Silver Medal in this and loves the classes! You can read about it in one of my previous posts, here.
If you have any questions, or want to have a chat, do email me on

Luna and Kiza feature in "Kapiti Mail" :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Gorgeous girls Luna (Moon Dancer) and Kiza were featured in an awesome article in yesterday's Kapiti Mail :)
I have just stolen the scanned article off GAP Facebook page , for those of you who are not on Facebook. Just click on it to see full size :

New NZ-based greyhound blog!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update your bookmarks: we have another New Zealand based greyhound blog! YEY!
We always get SO excited when this happens - we need more exposure for greyhounds , and this is an awesome way to do it!

Our ex-foster boy, Solo, has his own blog now! :)) Here is the link:

Solo was bred and trained by Tracy and Wayne Steele, big supporters of GAP and awesome greyhound trainers. Solo arrived to GAP at only one year old as he was too slow for racing. However, he is not slow in adjusting to his pet life! :)
We are so proud of how well he has settled in with his new Mum and Dad in his new home in the Coromandel, and are looking forward to many posts from him in the future!

Meet our new family member!


Our gorgeous, precious, amazing foster greyhound Cobby (nee Snow, racing name Cawbourne Snowy) has joined our pack for good :)))

We have fostered Cobbs for a while (as you can see from the posts about him on this blog) -and after long discussion (over a couple of months), we realized that this was his home. He loves it here, with our other greyhounds, and we think he considers our house his home. :) We realized that we were also too bonded to him, and could not really let him go elsewhere.
Also - Cobby is a great show dog: during his time with us, he has already casually trained in Obedience, Rally O, Agility and Fly. He loves all these classes and does so well in them -and we think he will be great dog for competitions! So watch this space for updates on his dog shows and competition achievements ! :)
He has already had his first Obedience competition in Levin this week -and he did great! 
Our big passion is getting greyhounds out there, to dog shows, to dog clubs and dog community, to obedience shows, Canine Good Citizen classes, agility, fly competitions etc. Some greyhounds LOVE to do this, and are great promoters of the breed as pets, and also as dogs to have fun working with!
True -greyhounds ARE couch potatoes, BUT many of them do enjoy dog classes and competitions, just like any other breed.  Overseas, greyhounds are stars in agility, CGC, and obedience competitions. We want to make this happen in New Zealand aswell :) Our Lucy has been very successful, and we have great hopes for Cobby :) 
So, as I wrote above, watch this space!

Update from Tess (Turnover)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Donna from Wellington just sent us an update on her lovely little Tess (Turnover):
My husband and me adopted Tess in September last year, and couldn't be happier with her. We initially were a little hesitant to take on a dog who hadn't been fostered, but have found it relatively easy to train her, and get her used to home life. 

She has eaten well, and has been in great health ever since we picked her up from Sanson GAP kennels. 

She LOVES going for walks and playing with her toys... specially any balls she finds... and of course loves sleeping on her special pillow... a lot!!! :)  We got Tess as my husband works shift work, so we find we are at home by ourselves a lot... We love having her there to keep us company in these times... don't know what we did without her! :)
Look at that smile :)

We've found Tess is also great with kids ... which is good!  I didn't realize, but when we picked her up, I was pregnant!!! :)
With her little friend :)

Romeo the beach doggie :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Romeo (Arctic Romeo) loves his beach runs :)
His Mum blogged about it on  her blog today - click on the link below to see the full post and gorgeous pictures:

Chase and Senso make it into the finals of FourFlax label competition!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
FourFlax Oil ( have been running a Photo competition: the winning photo will appear as a cover photo on their Canine Flax Oil bottles and promo material , for a year! 

Amazingly: two greyhounds have made it into finals (consisting of only 6 photos)!!!

So,  Chase and Senso -congratulations! Look how gorgeous they look:

Chase (Eleanor Bright's CGC certified greyhound)
Senso (Royal Aker), who was adopted from GAP,
by Milena and Aaron
So now, all we have to do is to vote for Chase or Senso, or both of them ! It would be awesome to have a greyhound on the label! :))))
There are two ways to vote:

1. e-mail the name of the dog (CHASE or SENSO, remember? :)))  you want to win to 

2. If you are on Facebook, first  'Like' Fourflax page here:  and then,   to vote for your favorite,   'Like' the individual photo of the doggie you would like to win. But be warned, votes only count once!! And of course -forward this link to other greyhound lovers please!! 
Also, our good friend's Sue's photo of her lovely kelpie x Frankie made the finals too!! Sue is very gifted photographer - well done and good luck Sue and Frankie!!! xxxx 

Update on Senso (Royal Aker)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Milena and Aaron from Wellington just sent us an update and some gorgeous pictures of their Senso (Royal Aker):
Senso has been with us now for 4 months! We love him lots and I think we can finally say that he truly believes this is his new family.

At first, when we brought him home he was a very serious dog and quiet as a mouse. Although he took to all the new things he was experiencing with relative ease (especially the stairs - Irene and Sonja would be proud), and was a happy waggy dog occasionally, his overall personality was conservative and at times he would just wander around or check to make sure that there wasn't anyone at the door to pick him up and take him back to Greyhound Land. 
Cuddles with Dad :)
'Senso the Serious' was the happiest on walks and would try to say hello to EVERY person we passed. I think he also found great comfort in knowing that other dogs still existed and would whimper loudly as soon as he saw one! Always the perfect gentleman, we would greet dogs brave enough to come close with happy cues no matter what shape and size they were. Although cats are another matter...and deserve Senso's full and undivided attention. That stare could melt lead. The first time we heard him bark, was when a cat lost the staring contest (I don't blame him) and bolted.
Wearking his Haloween T Shirt 
Senso is a very clever dog. He was told from day one that he must wait at the entrance of the kitchen while his meal is being prepared, and he is only allowed on our bed if he is invited or if we are at work. He has never made any attempt to get on our couches and hasn't destroyed anything (except his crate door!!!). We also taught him several useful 'tricks' like going to his bed, sit, stay, lay down, stop and come...and some less useful ones like pig nose (where he pushes his nose up against a finger), jump (into the air) and bang (play dead). At obedience class Senso met Mila (Bronze For Macos) and Zaha (All In One), and practiced his sit, stay and come in a whole field of distractions. We are fairly certain that he is smitten by Zaha, because he lost all his composure whenever he saw her and his little chops would quiver violently! Good thing she was in the class after ours or we would never have been able to teach him anything! But he graduated with flying colours and now sits down all by himself whenever he is asking us for something :)
Senso all dressed up, with a little jockey
and saddle on his back :)
Senso has also been on several other adventures. We registered for last year's 'Strut Your Mutt' walk/race. Senso (who wore a little jockey on his back, see the picture above!) and I won 'first team across the finish line' and he got to take home a whole box of goodies! 
We also took our lil' man with us to Napier after Christmas and stayed in the pet friendly Fern Motel. Everyone is very impressed with what a beautiful and well behaved dog he is. He loves going to Lyall Bay beach, the velodrome and to the trails of Mt. Vic. and usually walks 3+ times a day!

Now, Senso's personality has blossomed into a very affectionate and silly hound. His new nickname is 'ham'. We are still trying to teach him how he can play with his toys for longer than 30 seconds, but he seems to be more care-free now that he knows what to expect in his new life. He also knows that getting into the car means great fun and that yawning loudly in the morning usually makes us get up to walk him. We get greeted with an enthusiastic tail and happy dance every day after work and often receive Senso cuddles during our weekend sleep-ins. We are so happy that he came into our lives :)
Cold nose, warm heart :)

A very special greyhound up for adoption: meet famous Hailey's Agent

A very special greyhound has recently arrived to GAP kennels in Sanson: an amazing racer, incredible athlete, Cortez (Hailey's Agent).
He had 89 starts and impressive racing record, and made $66,000 in stakes. He was a 'stayer' - ie. usually running in longer races, over 500 meters. 
He was trained by Ben Craik , a big GAP supporter and an awesome greyhound trainer.

I met Cortez the other day and he is just THE CUTEST, smiling , shiny black doggie :) Just look at this face:
Cortez (Hailey's  Agent), in Sanson yesterday :)
Picture taken by GAP kennel manager Sonja Bright 
Here are some of his photo finishes (you can click on the pictures to see full size):

As many of my readers will know, I love all greyhounds, but I have a special place in my heart for top racing dogs, my beautiful Louie (Charlston State) included :) 
For me, their temperament, attitude and demeanor is just amazing. They are very very special dogs, who are a joy to adopt.
Cortez, like many top racing greyhounds, is also cat-friendly. This is, contrary to popular opinion, quite common. Chasing a sheepskin lure and winning a race has NOTHING to do with prey drive. Winning depends on competitiveness, drive, strength and of course speed. 
Many top racing greyhounds (now retired), like my Louie (Charlston State), Powerful Enemy, Olympic Ace, Sexy Babe, Winsome Show and many more are perfectly fine with cats and some of them are even fine with rabbits! 
On the other hand though, when I take my Louie (almost 9 yrs old now) to the greyhound racing track, he goes MAD for the lure, even just seeing it stationary, just being there!
 (This is why I have stopped taking Louie  to the greyhound racing track btw -it is just too upsetting for me not being able to let him chase the lure and race; he does not understand why and gets very sad :( 
He still gallops like a lunatic across parks and beaches -but for him, it just is not like racing itself.  Louie is still so competitive and keen to race -he would gladly go and literally break all his legs just to win one race just once more! :) I keep explaining to him that he cannot compete against 2yr - 3yr old greyhounds, but he does not care, and keeps racing EVERY single one of our foster greyhounds, whenever he gets a chance :)

Update 22/01/2012:
On Friday, Cortez arrived to our place to be fostered :) He has pretty much settled in. He thinks he looks very pretty and loves posing for photos!  He also grins almost constantly and loves cuddles and affection :) (you can click on photos below to see them in full size)
Aren't I pretty? :)

Yes, I can pull off a pink collar! :)
He also helped with gardening and met Sam The Samoyed:

The big white blob on the right hand side is, believe it or not,  A DOG!
But, despite having quite unfortunate looks,
the giant lure-like dog is quite cool....
Check out my profile ...:)
...and my teeth! :)

And he also had a run with Louie and Ben The Corgi:

Ben chasing Cortez, with Louie in the foreground :)