Update from Kenzo (Awesome Voyage)

Monday, October 29, 2012
Kenzo and Pat :)
Gorgeous Kenzo (Awesome Voyage) now lives with Patricia and her four cats in Taumaranui, Waikato.

We just got an update from Pat:

I first became infatuated with greyhounds quite by chance: I was working in the local garden centre when one day a van pulled up out the back. I could see dogs in it so I asked the lady what sort of dogs she had in her van.  She replied that they were racing greyhounds -and of course I asked if I could see them. That was it, I was totally totally smitten after being licked to bits by Pinup Puppy, a huge beautiful blue hound raced by Jennifer Harland and Grame Clarke (famous Clarkie :).

Jennifer suggested  I had a look at the Gap website and then it was all on!  Sonja and Irene at GAP were amazing and matched me with Kenzo. I picked him up in March 2012 and brought him home to Taumarunui. He had several homes already, mainly as he didn’t like small children, but neither do I so it was  a match made in heaven haha!!

It took him quite some time to settle, we had issues with a sensitive stressy stomach, but now he seems to have realised that he is staying here for good and he has relaxed so much and is really enjoying life. He lives with four cats, the two older ones just ignore him and sometimes sit in the doorway and won’t let him inside( the meanies) but the other 2 younger ones are great fun to chase, until they stop and turn around and face up to him, then he skids to a halt and wanders off as if to say “well, I wasn’t chasing them really”. He is the most loving and adorable hound, he is very polite and calm.
He just adores his spot next to the log burner and won’t go to bed without his jammies on. He has a huge toy collection which he keeps in his bed, woe betide any that escape, they are rounded up and brought to heel.
Kenzo's toy collection :)

He is also a dab hand at counter surfing, (the theif!!), and steals the cats bikkies too!  I cannot imagine life without this wonderful hound, he gives so much and asks for very little in return. He is a much loved doggie. 

Kenzo's new car (click on the photo to see full size and check out the license plate)

Modelling new pyjamas :)

Cobby and Senso racing!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012
I have been planning to post this video  for a while now but always run out of time somehow.
So here it is finally: Senso's Mum sent me this video a while back -thanks a million Milena!

This race video is of my beautiful Cobby (Cawbourne Snowy) and Senso (Royal Aker) racing in Auckland, before they retired :) This was a couple of years back :)
Also, famous Blondie from Wairarapa (Fancy Kate) is in this race and finishes fourth. Bonnie (All In One) is in this race too -she is now retired in Wellington. Senso won, Cobby came third. Well Cobby led pretty much most of the way, but my boy was not a crafty racer :)

All of them have one thing in common tho - they all had the best time.

This is what pure joy looks like:

And here are the boys today:

Cobby - nowadays his favourite pastime is posing and looking beautiful....
...and sleeping :)
And Senso (Royal Aker) has become an accomplished model (unlike Cobby!) and he was the face of the Canine Flaxseed Oil product last year, here are his pictures:

PS: I did not want to waste my time on it initially, but I decided to put a few notes about the latest TV3s attempt at attacking the greyhounds and their love of racing in last night's '60 Minutes' programme. 
To be happy, a greyhound needs to race and chase a lure - it is a genetic need present in this breed of dog that I adore. Furthermore -there is actually a higher chance of a greyhound getting injured running around a park, beach, farm, forrest etc than a track. Such places are uneven, have hidden obstacles and can trip a dog. Going at the speed greyhounds have, they can be severely injured at any time they're exercising -anywhere. I speak from experience -one of the most frequent questions I get via this blog is regarding injuries of PET GREYHOUNDS. 
Yes, my retired greyhounds got hurt many times while running at the beach. Some owners opt to keep them on lead at all times  - I don't. Yes, my greyhound Cobby (Cawbourne Snowy), who had no racing injuries, hurt himself terribly while running at Tangimoana beach, after he retired. He cut the webbing of his foot on a seashell,which resulted in surgery under general anaestetics, having toe webbing cut off, stitched and foot bandaged, followed up by a lengthy recovery period. Did I enjoy this? No. Would I let him run there again? Yes - absolutely. Some people might not agree - but I believe in  QUALITY of life for animals, and them  doing what they love and enjoy. This is only one example -there are numerous ones out there.

Back to the sad excuse for the investigative journalism segment, unfortunately, NZ Greyhound Racing was not served by having a quiet  gentle old chap as its spokesman, when all that was needed was someone able to brush aside the idiotic criticism of a very biased journalist. In his defence, Jim Leach was visibly shaken by the fact that the one race recorded with the journalist was one where a greyhound broke its leg and was put down.
It is also very telling that a sad excuse for a journalist was so incredibly biased that she did not even mention GAP (Greyhounds As Pets) adoption programme. It is truly unbelievable  and so nasty but makes sense. GAP has been established and is largely funded by the racing industry - the biased reporter could not afford to mention that really, it would not work as part of her biased message she was trying to put accross to unsuspecting viewers.

The move for the mockumentary was that a clown by the name of Aaron Cross believes that greyhound racing is cruel and should be banned. If it was not ridiculous, it would be sad. 

People like Aaron Cross live for their 15 minutes of fame. I feel he would be much better served if he tried to do something about the tens of thousands of pets dogs and cats put down each year by animal shelters and SPCAs. And that's tens of thousands every year, in NZ alone. Why no disgust at that? Oh wait -there is no publicity in that. That has been done many times over, by Tom, Dick and Jerry, with no big results. 

Majority of dogs euthanised in this country are unwanted household pets, non-greyhound breeds. The statistics are easy to find and the SPCA for one regularly publishes their figures. In their case the number exceeds 30,000. Also the number of cruelty and attack cases prosecuted are without doubt, non greyhound related. Pet owners population in general own the absolute worst statistics in relation to animal welfare. Puppy mills are rife, supplying pet shops, where people buy the puppies.
Working dogs and pedigee dogs have been all but destroyed by breeders, sad shadows of their ancestors, ridden with genetical deformities, bad hips, unable to breathe because of exeggerated flat nose, bulging eyes etc, to name just a few of the health problems that affect their lives. Even if they are healthy, they are stuck in back yards and lucky to get any exercise, let alone exercise that their breed needs and requires. 

I don't want to see the day when people would have to do a hip score on a greyhound. That would be the end of this amazing breed as we know it. And guess what? For show greyhounds overseas (non-racing ones), hip scores are ALREADY done. No surprise there. :( We have seen it all before, with other working breeds, who have been all but butchered on the hands of  breeders. 

Racing greyhound is beautifully bred for work, for solid confirmation  - hip scores do not even exist for racing greyhounds. They would make no sense; racing dogs are bred beautifully, to be solid and healthy. Genetic defects are bred out. This is the way it should be, for any dog breed.

As we all know, retired racing greyhounds make WONDERFUL pets for today's pet owners due to their nature, temperament and low exercise requirement - that is for me, the most important message. Sadly, the reporter on this show called them 'powerful beasts with huge prey drive -you would not want them running after you'. After SUCH description -who would want to adopt one?! What upsets me the most is that this biased reporter did not say ONE WORD about GAP and what lovely pets retired racers make. So sad - and so biased. I feel sorry for the reporter in some bizarre way -it must be awful to be that sort of a person.

But at the end of the day -we will race and love our doggies, both racing and retired ones. And at the end of the day, truth will prevail and publicity-seeking clowns and biased reporters will be exposed for what they are.
Greyhounds love to race - let them race. And then adopt a retired one smile x x x

Picture of the day

It was a warm day in Wanganui today, and racing greyhound Blackie (Chemically Free) took some time to relax:

Meet Tino (Request Funding)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Tino (Request Funding) is a lovely dog, currently being fostered by us. His owner and trainer, GAP volunteer Anthony Stone, was kind enough to send me the following about Tino's time as Anthony's first and much-loved racing dog:
I have been involved with GAP for about 4 years now, firstly as a volunteer and currently as Area Co-ordinator for the Hutt Valley and always wondered what it was like on the “other side”; when I say the “other side” I mean greyhound racing. Sure I had seen lots of retired racers enjoying their life after racing, but what was it really like to own my own racing dog? 
About 18 months ago I got my owner trainers license and was on the hunt for a dog - shortly after I purchased Tino (Request Funding), a 32kg black and white boy owned by Tony Valentic and David Scott. Tino's trainers were Nathan and Angela Udy, and Hayden McCracken.

Tino had trialled at the racetrack a few times and was nearly ready for his first race.
On the 4th of May 2011 Tino had his first race, I think he was a bit shell shocked at all the commotion and ended up coming 5th, even so watching your very own dog race makes your heart pound, the speed, the power is amazing.
Tino continued to race regularly until the 3rd of August 2012 till he retired due to an ongoing niggling minor injury. Altogether Tino had 55 races. Of these he won 9, came 2nd four times and 3rd five times, with prize money of $9,133.50

Tino relaxing in his kennel thinking about his next race!

Tino is not the only dog I have trained and raced, I also have Lucy (Ya Gunna) who I retired to the couch on the 18th November 2011. Here she is with Tino:

Tino and Lucy

I thoroughly enjoy greyhound racing and am planning to breed a litter next time Lucy comes into season, this way I get to name my own racedogs! :)
 Anthony's daughter Samantha helped with handling and training Tino, and she wrote this about her special boy:
 Tino is a very special dog as he was our very first racing dog. He has been used to living in the lap of luxury -- as well as performing on the racetrack he lived in the house with us along with our pets. He was very easy to housetrain and he has never had an accident inside.
Tino is a lovely dog, who will fit well into a family. He is smart, cuddly, affectionate and extremely handsome. Tino will happily sleep all day on his bed while everything goes on around him. He’s a dream to walk on a lead and could even be walked around the block by me whilst I was on crutches (he’s just that easy). Tino would live happily as an only dog or with another dog as he is very social and loves to play. His favourite toy is his "Squeaky Mallard Duck" and he especially enjoys throwing it around and fetching it at the park.
I’ll be extremely happy to see him go to his forever home and the family who adopts this gorgeous boy will definitely have something special!"
Tino's a confident boy who loves walks and geting out and about

GAP Misses the Mark for Millie

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My name's Millie (Millie Swanson), and last week a good friend of mine, Horse (Whanganui), decided to try out pet life and entered GAP.
Me in my kennel next to Horse, wondering just how this was all going to play out...

He's kinda cute, so after a little consideration, I decided I'd go along too. Even though I knew I'd miss my mum (trainer Jen Harland) and all my friends at home.

Well, the kennel wasn't quite what I expected. I *did* meet a lot of hot guys, but none of them were interested in settling down. They were all WAY more excited about meeting their brand new families than they were about ME. Can you imagine???

Me, wondering just what a girl has to do to get some service around here...

I passed my test with flying colours (of course) and I even made friends with the cats. Although they were a little haughty, I thought Bailey might give me some shampoo tips… she's so soft! While my own coat's beautiful, I've been trying *forever* to find a conditioner that really, really works.

It was on day two that the reality of the situation set in. This was no day spa – I was here to be rehomed!! Naturally I didn't cry (who wants running mascara on her white face, hey?) but you have NO idea how relieved I was to be summoned to the office.

Irene's a great listener, but no-one can replace Mum!

The girls had news for me! My mum missed me so much, she'd asked for me back!
Naturally, I agreed immediately. I've heard many greyhounds find lovely new forever pet homes, and good luck to them, I say.
Don't worry Mum!! I'm already packed!

I caught a ride to Wanganui track with nice Fatima from GAP, and it didn't take me long to find Mum! Thanks, GAP, for a fun adventure. But for me – I'm staying home with Mum from now on.

Me and My Mum at Wanganui track

Back home with my best mate Bronze (Dreams of Vision).

Update from foster care: Sugar (Kaitoke Princess)

Monday, October 1, 2012
Beautiful Sugar :)
We just got an update from Janet and Tony from Lower Hutt, who are fostering gorgeous Sugar (Kaitoke Princess):
Sugar has been with us two weeks now and is the most graceful, gentle, beautiful dog. She will make someone a very gracious companion. The old adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" doesn't apply to this lovely lady - she learnt in only a couple of days that the dining room and kitchen are out of bounds, she learned (or was reminded) very quickly that 'pulling' on the lead is a no no and she comes to her name. Our own greyhound Pluto is still a little put out about her presence, but they are great together and look absolutely gorgeous, walking shoulder to shoulder on their dual lead.
If ever a dog deserved "the best" home, this one does! :)

Smells good in the kitchen but I know I am not allowed :)
Sugar (standing up) and Pluto
I am REALLY good at sharing!
He loves me really :)
....and how could he not?! Just look  how sweet I am :)