Spring

Looking at the drizzle and grey clouds outside this morning you would have never guessed what a beautiful sunny day we had on Thursday walking the dogs and an unexpected trip to Wales!

Nikki and Woody had a walk around the park a rarity as it is full of tiny dogs off leads which when they run up to Woody and bark at him and run off proves to much, it’s like being in the traps again and he gets most excited! Therefore when we are likely to meet little furry friends off their lead he always wears his muzzle. It makes us sad at people’s attitudes if while on his lead wearing his muzzle he barks at their unmuzzled of the lead dog…as he becomes the problem dog? Having spoken to other greyhound owners this is a common greyhound problem. 

Anyway we had fun and played beat the street, collecting points for the boys school. Double points and lots of people out and about.

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In the afternoon we had an unexpected drive to Wales for another walk with Nikki and Woody and some amazing fish and chips! Nikki and the boys loved the rabbits in the field, Woody wasn’t as excited by rabbits as little dogs but he enjoyed a second sunny walk.

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Nikki news: Nikki meet Noddy, Noddy meet Nikki..

I mentioned me my last post considering hound number 2! Well we phoned Hall Green RGT and let them know we were interested in Noddy and then I swapped a shift at work so we could go and see him and most importantly do the important Nikki-Noddy introduction!

It was just me, the boys and the dog as Mr P was working. We arrived at about 10.30am and were all really excited to see Noddy, it was also exciting to be back at Hall Green RGT as its a lovely place and it has happy memories from getting Nikki :D. When Noddy came out I had to laugh as next to Nikki he is so stocky, a really muscular boy! He seemed pleased to see us and eager to go for a walk so we set off around the field.

Firstly two dogs takes a bit of co-ordination, which for the first five minutes I seemed to be totally missing, I managed to get myself the dogs and the boys wrapped up on a few occasions! However, once we had all got over our initial excitement we got the hang of it and had a lovely walk.

Noddy was very excited at having his photo take and wanted me to get a close up!

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Nikki and Noddy walked very well together and seemed glued to each other all the way, every time we stopped Nikki leaned against Noddy and they were sniffing around together in the undergrowth, I can imagine they will get into lots of mischief together!

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After a few laps of the field I phoned Mr P who was finishing work and on his way to see us 😀 we went back to the office and asked if we could let Nikki and Noddy in one of the fenced off paddocks together, so I could see them off the lead together to check they were friendly! Noddy at this stage became a bit pre-occupied as it was 11.50am and they get fed at 1pm he wanted food! They seemed to be getting all of the dogs back into the kennels and Noddy must have thought he was missing out. They were fine together though off the lead and we took Noddy’s muzzle off (Nikki doesn’t really wear hers much now) and they seemed to act as if they were used to each other and just played with a toy together and showed no sign of any problems with each other. I mentioned before they had the same owner/trainer and wonder if they were ever kenneled together? I have no idea how it works being a racing dog and do not know if they would mix together?

Anyway I was eager for Mr P to see him, but the kennel staff were putting all the dogs back for lunch, it was only midday though so we were able to keep him out a little bit longer  as long as he was settled back in his kennel before 1pm 😀

We went for another walk and they were lovely together, although Mr P did have a concern as he felt Noddy pulled a lot, he didn’t pull at all for me though? On his website ‘cv’ he is described a gentle on a lead so Mr P was a bit concerned (he is being much more sensible than me haha!). I just put it down to him being hungry, Nikki pulls when she wants to get home – in fact if its cold I usually find I have to drag her a bit for the first half of the walk and then when she knows we are on our way home she pulls me!!

I think they look lovely together :

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We have reserved him although I must say we have come away with mixed feelings and will be going back a couple more times before our planned collection date of 27th October (we have Dylan dog again and feel it would be unfair to bring Noddy back home while he is here as it may confuse him!). I think the difference was when we picked Nikki it was an open day, they were open all the day and not rushing to get the back in kennels for food and they were really promoting the dogs on that day. I think we are the kind of people who need to be reassured  and no one really said much to us about Noddy. With Nikki they were all saying how fantastic she was and she would be perfect for us and they were so pleased she had found a home, she was a lovely dog and she seemed to interact well with the boys etc.  I think this left part of us were thinking, is he really a nice dog? is there something they are not saying? Should we be having another one so soon, do they think its wrong but don’t want to say? I don’t know how to explain it really, it was just a very different experience to when we had Nikki. I’m sure Noddy is lovely and he got on with Nikki which would be our number one concern. We did fall in love with him so I think we just need to stop over analysing the situation and use the next few weeks to get preparing for him coming home!:D

Nikki News: Days two and three and a big day out!

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Day two of Nikki becoming a family dog started very well, as I mentioned in my last update, not accidents overnight and we didn’t hear anything from Nikki all night 😀 We came downstairs at 6.30am (not our usual wake up time on a Sunday but we were too exited to sleep in!) and Nikki was like a different dog. As the boys were still asleep it was just the two of us and she really seemed to come out of her shell, we sat out in the garden and Nikki ran up and down chasing her new toys for an hour. When the boys woke up we went inside and Nikki had her breakfast and then a snooze in her bed whilst we ate and got ready.

Mid-morning we set of to see Dylan dog. When we arrived Nikki did really well, new house, new people, another small person and another dog and she took it all in her stride! We had a cup of tea whilst the boys played in the garden and the dogs had a sniff of each other then we set of for a walk around Warley Woods. It was not somewhere we have been before, but it is a lovely place to walk dogs and very big! Nikki walked really well on the lead and seemed much happy in a park setting rather than the pavement walk the night before. Dylan and Nikki got on really well and Nikki didn’t seem to show any interest in the other dogs we went past (there were lots!). Our walk was cut a bit short as some people came up to us and said there was a dog loose ahead who seemed quite nasty and had apparently attacked another dog, we didn’t see or hear it but made a quick exit from the woods as that was definitely not an experience I wanted Nikki to have! After our walk Nikki was quite happy to lie on the floor by our feet while we sat and chatted with Dylan’s Mummy and Daddy. We were very proud of her doing so well with so many new things going on in one day. Unfortunately my camera battery went flat and I have no pictures of Nikki and Dylan together!

In the evening Nikki was exhausted and nothing in the world was going to get her off her bed to go out for a walk so we let her rest in preparation for Day three!

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Monday was Bank Holiday and we decided to make use of our National Trust Membership and find somewhere to visit where we could walk the dog. Brockhampton Estate is a huge estate just outside Worcester and looked like a good place to visit. It was a little bit drizzly and not that warm when we arrived to we got Nikki all snuggled up in her coat with her bandana on 😀 The car park was quite full of people and the cars did make her very nervous and jumpy, but once we got out into the fields she was happy again and leading the way for us! There were a choice of different length walks and we chose the red one which I think was about 3 or 4 miles, but felt longer as there was lots of mud and A being the smallest kept getting stuck in the mud!

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As we had lots of fields to cross Nikki soon got to discover sheep!!! Again, she was not in the slightest bit bothered by then, although they were quick to run off from us.

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After the fields the track led us into woods with a variety of different sculptures along the way which kept the boys entertained.

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In the middle of the woods we found a den which the boys played in for a while while we sat on a log and watched them, Nikki seemed fascinated by them playing and I think if she hadn’t have been so shy she would have been in there with the boys!

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After our walk we were all worn out so we returned to the car and ate our picnic while Nikki had a little nap in the boot! After we had eaten we drove the mile down the drive to Little Brockhampton which is a lovely manor house surrounded by a moat. Obviously we couldn’t take Nikki in the house but we went into the grounds, first the boys played cricket and football by the moat.

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Then we went into a lovely little courtyard where the tearoom is and we had a cup of tea and sat with Nikki whilst the boys played with the outdoor games which were set out; chess, skittles, hula hoops and archery.

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There were some ruins of a chapel which we had a look around and then it was time to head off home! I was surprised at how much there was to see and do there despite us having Nikki and not being able to go in the house it was still a full day out, definitely somewhere I would recommend to visit.

Nikki News: Day One

So yesterday was the day we had been waiting for, for so long “Nikki Day”!

Everyone was up extra early for a weekend, we had breakfast and set of for the Hall Green Retired Greyhound Trust  . When we got there it was very busy, people and greyhounds everywhere 😀 We filled in the paperwork and then they bought out Nikki! It was so good to see her again, like last time she was a little bit nervous, but that’s to be expected with 5 excited faces all wanting to stroke her! We had Nikki weighed and she is 29kg, heavier than both J and A, we also picked out two coats for her, a waterproof summer one and a nice cosy winter one 😀 Then it was time to say goodbye and get Nikki in the car for the journey home.

Nikki seemed to love the car and was having a good look at everything going and resting her head on the boys shoulders!

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On the way home we stopped at Baggeridge Country Park for a walk, it turned out to be a very short walk as there was a storm coming and Nikki was a bit spooked by the thunder so we thought it best to get her home. On the way back to the car she was sniffed by a big Beagle who was of their lead, she wasn’t too keen but was very good and just stood still until the other dogs owner came and got him!

When we arrived home we took Nikki into the back garden first and she went to the toilet on the grass straight away! We were very pleased and gave her lots of fuss. Next we introduced her to the chickens, but she didn’t seem very interested, although there was a lot of unsettled clucking in the chicken run! Then back inside and we gave her a tour of her new home. The toys we have bought were a huge hit especially a big pink squeaky strawberry cake, after lots of squeaking it Nikki decided to try out her new bed and seemed to approve of that as well. Nikki was definitely quite nervous but was still very friendly and was enjoy fuss and cuddles. We had a visit from her new Nanny and Grandad and she got up to greet them and have more fuss!

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After a busy afternoon of meeting new people and learning how much fun toys are that squeak Nikki had a well earned nap whilst we ate our dinner, unfortunately she didn’t seem to want any dinner herself, but we were told to expect this on the first day.

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After dinner Nikki was back up and about so we decided to take her for a quick walk (as it looked like rain) in her smart new blue raincoat (no photos as my battery went after taking too many photos). Walking on pavements next to busy roads is an obvious new thing for Nikki and she was glued to my side for all of the walk, I think it is going to take a lot of reassurance until she gets used to it.

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We came home and put the boys to bed and had a lovely chilled out evening with Nikki, I expected her to be scared of the television, but after her initial bemusement she really didn’t take much notice.

At bedtime a huge part of my wanted to take her upstairs, as I didn’t want to leave her alone, but I managed to hold back and we left her cosied up on her own bed downstairs and went up to bed, fully expecting to be woken up by her in the night.

At 06.30 this morning we both woke up and hurried downstairs to a fast asleep Nikki and no mess!  She woke up very happy and we let her out for the toilet and were so proud that she had, had no accidents over night 😀 So far today Nikki is a different dog, much more happy and lots of tail wagging and following us around from room to room. Breakfast of her greyhound food mixed with sardines was a huge hit and disappeared in seconds.

Our plan today is to meet up with Nikki’s new cousin Dylan dog for a nice walk in the park. We are looking forward to seeing them together again as Dylan helped us choose Nikki when we first went to Hall Green RGT and they seemed to really get on well together 😀

Nikki news: Ready and waiting, 1 sleep to go!

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We are all ready now for Nikki’s arrival tomorrow! We have a comfy cosy bed, toys (too many!), food and water bowls, bandanas (!) & id tag and food and some yummy treats 🙂 I also have a lot of little bits and bobs like towels/travel water bottles/grooming brushes/doggy bags etc….got a tiny bit carried away in the bargain shops. The only thing left to buy is her coat which we will get from Rgt tomorrow as we need to have Nikki with us to get the right size! So excited I could burst 🙂

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Greyhound!!!!!!

I have wanted a greyhound for a while now. I think it started with reading a link someone posted somewhere about what happens to greyhounds after they retire from racing and then we saw some greyhounds at our local Sainsburys where they were doing an awareness day. I fell in love with them! Totally adorable, I would have had them all 🙂

However at the time it was not the right time for us to get a dog as I was in the middle of uni and the boys were a bit too young.

Dogsitting for ten days this past week made us realise the time was now right, the boys are both at school now and a bit more able to get involved and we all loved having a dog in the family. I looked on twitter and found via the rgt site and their events page that Hall Green RGT were having an open day so we decided to visit them.

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They were very busy and lots of greyhounds which had been rehomed were there, we were the only ones with a non-greyhound dog and he got a few puzzled looks from the greyhounds there, especially the kennel ones who have never seen a non-greyhound dog before!

The boys had some yummy cakes and we had a look at all the lovely dogs waiting to be homed. I had my heart set on a black one, but that didn’t narrow it down much! First off we chose to walk a lovely small girl named Tily, however, just as we got to the paddock the people who walked her previous to us decided to reserve her….I was so disapointed! We then asked if they could find us another quiet laid back, black one and they fetched Nikki out.

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We went around the paddock and I was so surprised how well she walked on the lead, no pulling and was totally unphased by us having another dog with us, infact they got on very well, almost like they had always known each other.

The only thing that concerned me a little bit was her size! She is huge, I didn’t visualise us having one so large, but then I am 6ft so I think we suit each other 🙂

We reserved her and arranged a home visit so they could check out our house. The house check was last night and we passed! I was so nervous in case we didn’t pass, so nervous I forgot to offer then a cup of tea, which is not like me, how rude! I feel terrible!

I have organised some time off to settle Nikki in so we are waiting until 25th August to collect her, which will also give us chance to get everything we need. So long to wait though. Hopefully we will go and walk her this weekend and next so we can get her used to us a bit. So excited!!!!!!

We found out her race name was  Bens Nikita and have been watching her race videos and looking at her stats…unfortunately I know nothing about dog racing so most of it makes no sense to me at all!!

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