Greyhound Rescue, Lincolnshire is one of the shelters Greyhound Compassion supports and we asked them to update us on their activities.
Well, here we are with our letter to you which normally comes from our sponsor dog Freya who has been very good over the years at writing them and letting you all know what has been happening here at the rescue and keeping you informed on all her pals.
As you may have already seen, Freya was taken from us suddenly after a very quick and unexpected illness and we can only say that life in the kennels has not been the same without that remarkable little girl’s presence.
She was a joy to be around, always happy and skipped out of the kennels every morning and teatime. We miss that skip, that love she gave us back in bundles.
So to you Freya, a big hole in our hearts and a massive emptiness in a very full kennel block young lady. What an impact you made.
So we have to do your write up with tears running down our faces as we remember you and how all the other dogs were so worried about you…and we remember also Solo, who was a lifetime kennel dog who we lost on 23 December after a short illness. She was in with her 21 year old mum Opal, who is now coping well again after getting her new kennel mate Gem.
With rescue comes sadness, heartache, as much as reward. More so. We must not dwell, Freya would be saying, and all the others that went before her. But we are only human. Just the same as our owners…we just don’t get the same time to grieve.
We have to carry on for the others and the next one that is going to fill that empty kennel, however hard we find it.
And sometimes even we don’t know how we get through it. It can become clockwork for a while and we just ‘stop thinking’ for a time.
You cannot show the others how you feel inside, we still have to sing to them, play with them and have fun with them, or what is the point for them… Just as we did for Freya and Solo when they lost pals.
And so that is what we did, and will continue to do…for all of them.
We have been struggling with various issues as happens from time to time, we had the boiler break down and needed a new one to which Greyhound Compassion came to the rescue to help fund it, which we and the dogs thank them so very much. We are also needing the roof inside sorting, with boarding out which will provide extra warmth for the dogs as a lot of heat is lost though there.
We are in desperate need all year round of good old fashion (big bed) blankets for the kennel dogs. We also need to do a bit of cosmetic work inside the kennels to freshen it up and there are a lot of works to be carried out in the grounds which Karen and myself used to do ourselves but due to Karen’s illness, she can no longer carry out herself.
All this unfortunately comes at a cost which we are not used to having been more self-sufficient and this has had a knock on effect on Karen as she feels saddened by this even though she has done it herself for the last 38 years or so.
Karen managed to come out fundraising on Sunday 11 March for a couple of hours. Now Karen is by no means doing nothing, believe me when I say she is an amazing lady who even with this illness and with fractures down her spine and a break in the base of her spine she still refused to stay in hospital and came home and got herself to the animals to do what she could and she still does. She never stops even on crutches constantly now and have to say she still puts me to shame and tells me to ‘jog on’ we have work to do!!
Karen is struggling with walking now and this is how it is but in her words ‘it is what it is and I will continue to do what I can for as long as I can’…and as I know Karen, while ever she has a breath in her body, she will…and will never let any animal down.
Karen continues on crutches to care for the animals and as always they adore her interaction with them! She does tell me however she can no longer pick up poo!!! That’s ok though as I have a certificate in poo shovelling!
We have decided to have a singalong in the afternoon with the dogs as Brindy in particular enjoys this and Linda. These two really get the others joining in! Edgar has a dance and we all have a good howl, including Karen and me! I am not actually sure if the dogs aren’t trying to drown out my beautiful singing voice but I think they enjoy it!
We have had a good year with re-homing and are looking forward to another and hopefully our online website shop is moving in the right direction now with sales on the handmade martingale collars and hand painted pyrography leather collars Karen is making. She is also doing a range of harnesses and fleece coats (nightwear) too! So all good.
We also have many greyhounds for sponsorship which can be found on our online shop. We appreciate all your continued support.
Linda and Lucinda were here with us when we lost Solo. We would like to say a thank you both for your support and to Lucinda for all the help with Solo and the kennel dogs on that sad day.
We have had some losses yes and we have had some new ones in. Welcome Jack, the new sponsor dog. Ben, Linda, Billy all ready for adoption and Olga who has just been reserved. The kennels are full to busting as always and always another waiting.
Edgar our blind greyhound who was from the Romanian circus is making fantastic progress with trust and plays now. He loves toys and treats and dancing while we mop! He also loves my singing which is quite something! He always gives us the ‘once over’ by sniffing our hair and face to check it is us before he ‘let’s himself go’ but he is still very nervous of new people coming in and out of the kennels which is understandable with what he has been through.
Whether he will ever be able to overcome this is something we will continue to work on with him. After being hanged and surviving that and then the trauma of being rescued in Romania and transported for five days by van to the UK to us, it is no wonder he is taking some time. He deserves so much credit for ever learning to trust a human again and we consider ourselves to be very lucky and honoured he does.
Jack, the new ‘sponsor boy’ is also doing well. He still has a way to go but he has put weight on and is looking a lot better. He still has a few issues with nerves but again Karen is working with him and he is a lot more settled. He is a very big lad and very loving and needy. Very handsome.
Brindy is getting older but still as noisy as ever when it is treat time of any kind of food time! He is such a ‘different’ kind of greyhound to the normal! But still, he tells us he is just misunderstood!
Lobo & Blanca are still thinking they are puppies even at nine! They are still very beautiful loving greyhounds although have been a bit of a handful over the years!
Opal is now 21 years old and we have just put her daughter Gem in with her after the loss of her other daughter and kennel-mate Solo. It was a very sad time for Opal but Gem has cheered her up and they often cuddle up in bed together.
Roger, our lurcher is also doing well. Cheeky boy, very cheeky boy! He loves to play and loves all the other dogs. Such a friendly boy. He now trusts and loves human contact too but is still very scared of big open spaces and checks where we are.
Pandora and Apollo are still like an old married couple and cannot be apart from each other! They have been in love from the start, although Pandora can sometimes be the ‘grumpy lady’ and puts Apollo in his place! He certainly knows his place!
Drac and Helsin, the saluki cross greyhound. Ex circus dancing dogs like Edgar from Romania. These two are so very loving and rely heavily on each other. They are like big babies but take some handling. They are like rockets and anxious when people visit for fear they are being taken away. Again, they have simply been through too much trauma.
Ilona is doing well. She came to us at three months and is now 21 months old! Finally growing up!!! Max is getting older, he’s now eight and says he is feeling it. He has not been the same since he lost his companion and our own girl Beau last March. We often do not realise just how close they really do get.
Willow is still a little monkey although a lot better than she was. She is a lovely black greyhound who will be with us for life and is now a new companion for Max.
Patch is 15 and lives along with West and Ilona. She thinks Ilona is her pup and we cannot tell Ilona off when she is naughty as Patch will tell us off!!! Patch has never taken to any other dog as much as Ilona! Ilona also adores Patch!
West is now about 14/15 and we have been worried about him as he is not in the best of health now although he is not in pain. He has been a very difficult lurcher in many ways and came to us from a family break-up. He has trust issues and does not like many people although gets on with the other dogs and adores all cats! He is very sensitive.
As you can see there are many reasons why some stay with us for life. Some due to illness and many due to trauma they have suffered.
We would like to again thank all of those past and present that have sponsored any of our dogs and especially those who sponsored our beautiful Freya, who has taken a piece of our hearts.
Ruth and Lesley are two of our trustees. They have 2 of our dogs, Harry and Jade. We had a stand at Heckington Show at the end of July 2016 with myself, Ruth, Lesley and Christine and of course Snowie, Bonnie and Max. We had a lot of fun over the couple of days we did it. Putting up a gazebo was stressful, where Ruth and Lesley were laid underneath it flat on the floor with the roof on their heads at one point. I don’t think we were understanding the instructions very well!
Ruth, Lesley and Christine were all amazing as were all the dogs.The show came to a close and we all got back to our own ways of life! A week went by and Ruth called and we were chatting about the show and I asked “Are you ok? You sound a bit rough?” She replied with she had had a bit of an accident on her pushbike. She lives in Salford and she had got the front tyre stuck in the tram line and come off and bumped her head… we told her she should maybe get it checked out and she said she would if it didn’t get any better and we thought no more of it.
Ruth had a CT and MRI scan and what was revealed was devastating to all of us and this is one time we are glad she came off her pushbike as this was nothing to do with the accident. Ruth had cancer – A brain tumour. Read Ruth’s story in her own words.
We would like to thank Greyhound Compassion, Linda, Lucinda, Magic, Petal and Tess and all the fundraisers/supporters for their amazing, continued support over the last year. As you know and have seen, we couldn’t do it without you!
With love from
Dawn of Greyhound Rescue