I have been a dog lover and owner for as long as I can remember and I think the longest time without a dog in the family home has been 5 weeks. Sight hounds have been my preference since rescuing an Afghan hound way back in the 70's, she spend her day in a car.
About 18 years ago I rescued my first greyhound straight from the track, never having lived in a home and used to all the usual domestic appliances, television, traffic and even going up and down stairs. Ziggy opened my eyes to how wonderful greyhound are, forgiving, undemanding, gentle, loving and easy to care for.
The satisfaction of volunteering.
Since 2009 I have been a Volunteer for the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary. Our aim is to rehome greyhounds all over Scotland and sometimes further afield like Orkney, the Shetland Isles and even a couple to Jersey in a wee private plane.
Being part of an organisation has given me a new passion. I have met and made friends with so many caring and unselfish people who give their time, sometimes not even free time, to helping these vulnerable dogs.
The work we do.
The work I do can involve many things, phone calls to potential adoptees, people giving up a dog, knitting dog items, cooking doggy treats for fundraising plus generally trying to match the right dog into a potential home.
This has been so rewarding and has opened my eyes to so many different genres of people who just have the same common denominator - wanting to help a greyhound or lurcher.
Sometimes it doesn't always work out as planned and it can be soul destroying but we never give up on any dog we have taken into care and in 2012 rehomed over 100 dogs, quite an achievement from such a small circle of Volunteers, most of whom have either full or part time work and children and give up time for fund raisers like can collections, Awareness Days, transportation, fostering and Home checking to name but a few.
One of the best fund raisers was a 24 hour Knitathon that raised £1400. We all chipped in with wool. food and entertainment. A brilliant night/day and then we sold off the spoils in an online Auction.
I can't finish without mentioning Reggie my own greyhound. His picture is at the top of the page. He was a seriously stressed, skinny boy 5 years ago but now is the most loving, gentle, funny and wonderful boy to be around who is totally amazing with all my grandchildren. You can't ask for more than that can you?
I got involved in SGS by accident. I had heard through friends that the SGS were needing foster parents for dogs and me being me thought 'I could do that' and told the friends.
A few weeks later they came to my door and said 'remember you said you would like to foster, well !!!' My big mouth came and bit me.
A few days later Jackie and Jaimsie arrived with a huge red greyhound called Rooney and that was it, I was hooked. I fostered altogether 5 dogs, all different, and then came Hamish and he had to stay, as He just fitted himself in to my home and heart.
He came to SGS after a large collection of dogs had been found in horrendous conditions and SGS got 6, all in a mess. Hamish was bleeding from his mouth and had to have all but 5 of his teeth out.
As I can cope with one dog and want to help with fund raising I make jam and marmalade and help with the catering at any show SGS have, one around Easter and the other for Halloween, great fun is had by all owners and dogs who have a giant following and support group
I also like to help with home checks and take Hamish with me as he senses whether he is welcome or not, it also lets potential owners see a greyhound in the flesh. I am also knitting hats for cold ears.
I used to think about retiring and what would I do to put my time in, when the time came and now I have Hamish, life is never dull, you have to get up in the morning, whether you want to or not.
We all need an incentive to keep living and that's what I have in my Hamish.
For more information please go to the website http://www.scottishgreyhoundsanctuary.com/