28 August 2010

Stan and Shannon explore

Shannon arrived on Thursday, since then my family have been toying with names. They do not want to have two dogs with names starting with "S" they think that we might get confused. So the are experimenting with names, I rather like Yelnats which is Stanley backwards! I think that the family have been reading and watching Holes too much!

I am slowly getting used to having another hound in the house. She is certainly inquisitive and has tried to show me how to play games. I am a kind of take it or leave it kind of guy, although she does look like she is having fun when she is playing, so maybe I will join in more soon. She also likes to get on the sofas and on the beds, which I do not do and my family do not like Shannon doing, but she still does! She has lots to learn. She does do stairs but comes down very slowly. We have been playing musical beds, but it all seems to be fine at the moment, there is always one spare place to flop and now that Shannon has discovered the beds and sofas, she has lots of choices when the family are not looking!

We have been on plenty of walks together and Shannon likes to investigate everything, she even balances on her hind legs to see over things. Shannon has met lots of other people on the streets and they all like to see both of us. Today we were walking and we met two of my regular friends, the Beagles, their owner calls me 'Stretch.' She thinks that Shannon is lovely and the Beagles kept their distance but were friendly too, towards Shannon. Shannon is still working out what it what. My, or should I say, our family took us to St Heliers today for a walk on the beach. There were kite surfers, mini humans, mini dogs, bikes and cars all over the place all of which seemed to be of tremendous interest to Shannon. I guess she is finding it all as exciting as I did when I first arrived.

When we got home we were both zoom groomed, I love this and Shannon seemed to too. Then Shannon showed great interest in a scarf on the hat stand and tried to pull it off. How history repeats itself. I did exactly the same thing just after I arrived! Only when I did it, my family did not notice my attentions and I pulled the whole hatstand on myself and gave me a terrible fright!

26 August 2010

Moon Dancer joins Big Dapto

My family have so enjoyed my wonderful company that they have decided to get more of me!

One of the younger members of the family took me out for walk today, this is most peculiar mid week as they are all usually either working or doing homework. But still, I am never one to miss a walk as they often end in a run, especially when the muzzle comes out.

So today off I was taken on this walk. About 5 minutes into the walk, we chanced upon one of the other members of my family, who had another hound on a lead. This new hound is Moon Dancer, we spent the rest of the walk getting to know each other. I am not the most sociable of hounds, I like to keep myself to myself, but this girl looks like she might be fun, we will have to see.

It is early days, but she came home with me. I showed her round and she started to show me how to play, not sure about that at the moment! It seems like "Shannon" as she is called likes to run, so we could have fun together in the reserve behind our house soon. You can see photos of Shannon running here.

Here is a photo of Shannon and I out on our walk today.

22 August 2010

GAP Takapuna run

My family took me to Takapuna beach today. The weather initially looked a bit bleak, but it did pick up. The great thing about the walk was all the other hounds who turned up. I think I counted 15, but it got very confusing with all the new names. Shame other Stan and Arrow were not there, but maybe next time? Now the list of names that I remember from today are: Boxer, Disco, Hero, Jess, Hoss, Cruzer, Enzo, Bobby, Fitz, me of course! Ice, Titch (Boo!) Ronan and one other black hound whose name I forget!

If there are any of you who I have forgotten please remind me in the comments box.

It was great fun, we were all well behaved and lots of other dog owners came up to speak to us. As you can see from the slideshow below I had a good rest when I got home! My family keep on looking at Thursday on the family calendar for next week, then looking at me, something is up, not sure what, but will keep you informed.

18 July 2010

Just like a bus...

...you wait ages and then three come at once! Three posts in one day should make up for the silence of the last few months, it is not that we have not been doing stuff, we have. We have recorded a lot of it too, it is just that the family have been really busy with work, school etc of which I involved with too, but often means that computer time for this kind of work is put in the 'to do later' pile.

One of the family has been taking me out into the reserve at the back of our house a lot lately for off leash running, I love it! I am also learning to be obedient as you can see from this video. I seem to get more off leash running time if I come back, this is easy to do! It pleases the family too.

My bed of choice

As you know we sleep a lot. I now sport three large beds in the house and follow the sun during the day moving from one bed to another. I really enjoy sleeping! I have been having lots of off leash runs in the reserve behind where I live and I also love the freedom to run! My bed of choice is the one above, it is in the window at the front of our house. A big dog is meant to be a deterrent to intruders, how menacing do I look?

GAP Auckland July Run - Mt Eden

View Mt Eden - Dog off leash area in a larger map

We have been off of the radar for the last couple of months, the family seem to have been really busy and I have been settling further in to the life of pampered pooch!

Still, it was great to meet up with some pals at the GAP Central Auckland monthly run this week. Met my half brother too. You can see his owners take on the event and their images by clicking on the Greyhounds as Pets icon in the map above and selecting the Arrow option.

My pictures are here:

21 March 2010

Bark in the Park

Had a bit of a lie in today, let the family rest for a bit, but not for too long! I need to keep reminding them that I have needs! After they had all done their Sunday chores we went to the annual 'Bark in the Park' event at Waiatarua reserve in Meadowbank.

View Larger Map

When we got there there were hundreds of dogs of all different shapes and sizes. I think that perhaps next year there should be a GAP tent at this event as I was stopped lots of times and asked lots of questions and got lots of hugs. I must get a GAP bib!

The family and I wandered around looking at and meeting loads of new friends. We bumped into other sight hounds who had their muzzles too. We met Afghans and an Afghan/Lab cross, an accident, we were assured. We also met a Lab/Greyhound cross puppy.

My family entered me into a couple of competitions. I entered the biggest dog competition, because I usually am, but I was up against Mastifs and the like and suddenly I looked very small, especially when biggest was measured not in height but in weight!

The final competition I entered was the running! I knew I was a sure fire first prize contender in this event and so did all the other competitors! They all wanted to go in other heats to avoid me! But we met a couple of Whippets and an adorable Italian Greyhound. Best of all, we met up with Maddox an ex racer and GAP adoptee and he was wearing his GAP bib. We were both put in the same heat, which I won! Curiously the prize went to the Boxer and I got a consolation prize, clearly the ref was blind!

Anyway it was a long, exciting day and now that I am home I have crashed in a heap on the floor, I dashed off some dictation in the car on the way home and am getting the staff to edit and upload the images and enter the text.

14 March 2010

Hundreds of little humans!

It has been a bit of a strange week for me. The family has settled into a bit of a term time routine where they leave the house in waves, the first starting at 7:50 and depending on the day the last at about 9:00 each morning. I just lie on my bed watching the coming and going, the forgotten lunchbox, keys, whatever. Normally they start drifting back from about 3:30 onwards and I usually play with the Kong they leave for me and then settle into sleep on my bed.

This week as I said, has been a bit strange. First of all one of the family decided to work from home on Monday so I had company, of sorts, so I just slept at their feet until I was bored of that and found my usual spot. Then later in the week I discovered the joys of sleeping in the bathroom and re-organising the austere layout into a more comfortable arrangement! Then on Friday, instead of watching the family leave in their waves, I was bundled into a car and taken to work with one of them. Now this had the potential to be really exciting and it was.

I spent the day at Wakaaranga School in Farm Cove. Some of the students have been doing a topic on pets and so my family thought that it might be a good idea if I went in. Well I have never seen so many little humans in one place at one time! I was in the playground at lunchtime and it was like a scene from the Pied Piper with hundreds of children following me around the playground!

I met a couple of classes and had my photo taken with them. I got really friendly with one girl and planted a big wet kiss on her cheek! By the end of the day however, I was exhausted and was glad to leave. I am not sure whether I enjoyed the day, it was full on! I slept for hours once I got home, they really are exhausting, I think that I was suffering from sensory overload!

01 March 2010

Hot hounds at Helensville

As the Sun newspaper might roar in the UK: "Phew wot a scorcher!

My family packed me into the car again on Saturday and this time we went for quite a drive. Apparently we hounds were to strut our stuff at the Helensville A&P show for the cause. So after about an hour in the car, complete with roadworks in Parnell, three slow lost drivers in Henderson and a camper van, we arrived at the show grounds. What a cacophony of sounds, smells and animals, it was great!

We ambled up to the GAP tent and said hello to old friends and made some new ones too. Then it was of round the show grounds to promote the increased adoption of ex-racers for the cause. We got lots of hugs and kisses and lots of people are surprised to find out how little exercise we need and how easy we are to care for.

Wandering around the grounds was hot, thirsty work. We came back to the tent often and as you can see from the images below, we found it too hot to work... Even a cat would have been too much of an effort. On second thoughts, I would have not been able to resist the temptation! :)

The car got so dusty from our visit, that my family decided to take the car through the car wash on the way home. It was a new experience for me, but being such an amiable chap, it was not really an issue.

20 February 2010

Audience by request at Animates

My family got an e-mail from the GAP people this week. The Animates store on Mount Eden Road was having a pet expo weekend and wanted as many pets as possible to be in the store. GAP thought it would be good for us ex-racers to be there to promote the cause.

So after I lazed about and watched the family do their chores, (it is amazing how irritating you can be by continually shifting your sleeping position to be just in the wrong place at the right time as they sweep the floor, load the dish washer or sort the laundry. They hate that!) Chores done, the family bundled me into the car. We went for a quick stroll in St Heliers to pick up another member of the family who had completed work and we were off.

When I got there is was a riot of animals. I was in my element! Lots of small furry things to sniff at and of course I managed to get in the way a lot. I have found that it is a great way to get extra hugs, especially in a pet shop. Just stand entirely across an aisle, blocking it, and they all have to pat you to get passed. I was the only Greyhound there, we got there at 1:00 and stayed for an hour. I loved the chooks, the rats and the piglets, oh and the cats, but they were safe behind glass. Now that is not what I call a sporting chance!

I got lots of interest from children and adults alike. I was easily the biggest animal there, that is until I met the goats! It was a bit of a Mexican stand off with them, no loss of face. Then I met a fellow dog, not sure what it was, I wandered up to him in a 'I'm the biggest dog in here' kind of way. I then realised that he was much bigger than me and at that moment I had a sudden urge to find something else to look at, outside the shop. In fact at that moment, the car, home and bed were suddenly very appealing.

On the way out we met a fellow ex-racer on the way in. She had a GAP bib to wear and everything, she looked very smart. We had our photos taken together, but unfortunately I have forgotten her name. Anyway the photos of the trip are below.

07 February 2010

Been out with my mates...

My family have been winding me up again. Several times this week they have been making excuses for the couple of times that we have not been out for a walk twice a day. They have been saying things like, "You will get a big run on Sunday." and "...we're saving your energy for the weekend." So at 9:45 today I was packed into the car with the rest of the family and we went here:

View Larger Map

I met up with all my new mates again and made some new friends too. There were loads of dogs of different sizes on this beach, most were very playful, some were just plain rude. Some of the owners of other dogs were not very happy with us Greyhounds running together, even though we were muzzled, it is that whole muzzle thing again. We were just out having fun. I am still not sure about this water that moves stuff, although the others seemed to like it.

I got the staff to take some images of us at play, the are below hope that you like them. I would love to hear your comments.

Kong update

In my last post I intimated that something was up. This Kong toy is so engrossing that I focus on it and nothing else. Well, in this last week my family has been out a lot in the day, although one of the family is still here, she is always in her room doing stuff with the door closed, so I might as well be by myself. But I have my toys and my Kong to keep me occupied. The puzzle of having to solve how to extract the tidbits wedged into the Kong keeps me focused for hours.

The other day I was on my bed worrying away with my teeth and tongue on a particularly trickily wedged biscuit in my Kong, when members of the family came home. Normally the sight of the car reversing into the garage, sends me into a frenzy of excitement. I race between the garage door, where the family disappear and emerge from and the window where I can see the car reversing; I have even been heard to bark during this exercise, something that I do not do very often.

On this particular day, I was assaulted with a two pronged familial return to base sensory overload. As one member of the family reversed into the garage, another member walked down the drive and entered through the front door. Did I have a heart attack? Did I have a mad 5 minutes running from door to door to window to door to door to window to family members and back again? No! I had my Kong, I barely moved. Sure I went to the window, I saw what was going on and went back to my bed with my Kong. I showed them who and what was more important, I showed them!

The family seemed delighted at being ignored, strange!

31 January 2010

The king of kong

Something is up... I have been given this toy that has kept me busy for ages, it is so engrossing that I did not even notice that my family had left the house today, not that them going is much of an issue, it is just that this toy, called a kong is great!

Over the last few weeks I have been introduced to all sorts of stuff, but peanut butter is a firm favourite! It gets stuck to the roof of my mouth and it takes ages for me to get it off. Today my Kong toy had peanut butter smeared on the inside of it and I loved licking out the contents, then later on I had the same toy but with biscuit treats and peanut butter smeared on the inside, it was while I was engrossed with that particular combination that my family left me and I did not even know! As I say something is up, school holidays end this week and term starts, I think things might be a little different around here from now on.

30 January 2010


These humans! My family were clipping my toe nails today, I did not think that they needed doing and kept pulling my paw away. They have done it before and it was not an issue, but today they caught my quick and it bled, ouch! It bled for ages. Once the flow slowed down and they made me a little plaster...

After that we went into town, to Remuera, to buy dancing stuff for one of the family members, while they were doing that some of us, including me went for a wander. We ended up in Remuera Vets. There were several very posh pets in there. We went in for that powder that can be used to stop blood flow. I caused a bit of a stir, the vet came out to see me, and whisked me off to the treatment room ahead of a cat that was already waiting! I did not need treatment, but she just wanted to have a look at a Greyhound, after that I then saw the receptionist, she made a fuss as did the owner of the cat and finally the owner of the pet accessories place. I walked in, got seen first, was given some product and not charged! All because I am a Greyhound! Result!

Later, in St Heliers, I made a load of new friends, big and small all came up to me to find out all about me, I really like being popular. Finally I met my new best friend, my butcher and he cut up some brisket for me. I am now making very short work of that and my teeth are benefiting too.

29 January 2010

Yee Ha!

Off the leash again and loving it!

23 January 2010

GAP Auckland January run

My family have been saying to me all week that they had a surprise organised for me for Saturday morning. Well after I got them up at 6:00 asking where it was, I kind of moped around looking for it. The surprise was not evident, everything seemed normal, although I was a bit peeved that I was not taken for my normal walk after breakfast. These humans are so mercurial!

Anyway at 9:30 they piled me into the car and took me out to Meola Road Reserve at Western Springs and there I met loads of my fellow retired racers, we had a great time. What a surprise! I really perked up after that. We ambled around the reserve, getting to know each other and then once we had got through the gate into the fenced area, we were let off of the leash and allowed to roam and run. It was great.

Now that I am home, I have spent the entire day recovering, I am exhausted! I loved meeting my fellow ex-racers and can not wait for the next meet. You can see from the video and slide show below that we all had a great time.

19 January 2010

Obedience classes

I have been to my first obedience class... Not that I think that I am particularly disobedient. It was an interesting class! Most of the class were puppies, who kept on yapping and yowling. I was the biggest dog there. There was one other dog there, a Bulldog who was as old as me. I spent a lot of my time just standing and watching as all the pups were quietened down and then taught how to sit. I sit by accident, when I back into something, the trainer regards me as a challenge and has already said that she has not yet had a dog that can not sit by the end of her lessons. We'll see! I lie down really well and by the end of the session this is exactly what I did.

15 January 2010

Some interesting information

It has been another interesting week for me. I am starting to recognise the ebb and flow of my new family and am relaxing into it, I am getting very used to them coming and going in ones and twos or indeed all of them at one time and it is not really phasing me, although I do get very excited when I hear the garage door open when they return.

I have been going out on regular walks again and am loving exploring the local streets and parks, I am getting to know the local dogs, I met my neighbour the other day and went to his house. In fact I had escaped and took off up the drive, long story. Anyway after a short sprint down the street, over all the gardens, I galloped back to my family, who were talking to the neighbours. I started talking to Louie who invited me in, so we went into his house for a run around! Then I met their cat at that point I was removed and the cat was rescued! Red faces all round really. I am a sucker for a moggie! Love them! Trouble is no one else is too happy about my focused attention upon their fur ball!

My family have been in touch with my old trainer and have really enjoyed speaking to him. He told them about all the treats that I love, like a bit of marmite on toast, how I like little bit of tea, that I like milk with my dinner and the dog biscuits that I love. Silly really all they had to do was ask me, but I guess it is knowing the right questions to ask. He told them all about me and how when I was a pup in Australia I was initially sold for a huge amount of money, based on my parents. But there was a snag, like horses, there are particular conditions that I am suited to. I love to run on grass tracks and do not perform well on cinder tracks, apparently I do not corner well on that surface and lose speed. But on grass no one can beat me! Trouble is that there are not enough grass tracks and so I am retired.

I spent 18 months with my trainer, so I have only been in New Zealand a short while, but he used to train me on a running machine for 20 minutes at a time and when we went to the races he would share his chip supper with me and my other mates at the end of the evening. He also suggested ways in which I could be let off of the lead for a run in the park behind my new home.

So this morning that is exactly what happened. I was walked out into the field and my new family armed with treats, toys and bribes let me off of the leash! What joy! I bounded off past everyone, around the edge of the reserve until I heard them call my name and I came bounding back to them at full tilt! I loved it. At the end of the dash I did a face plant on the grass out of sheer delight, just like the Premier League footballers do when they have scored a goal. I am already looking forward to my next off leash dash. Oh and in case you are wondering, yes I had my muzzle on, but would have prefered not to have had it on. Next time there will be video footage of my turn of speed on grass. I am not as fit as I once was and at the end of that 400 metre sprint I was really puffed, so went and had a lie down!

12 January 2010

Woohoo! Wonder if I was this fast?

I found this video on You Tube today! We Greyhounds do 0-45mph in 6 paces...

10 January 2010

A new year a new home

This week has been quite eventful. It started with the new year celebrations, I was not too keen on the fireworks that some of the neighbours let off to start the new year. But as they did not last too long it was not really an issue either.

This week can be summed up by boundaries! I have been pushing the sleeping arrangement boundaries this week, when my new family all retire upstairs I see no reason not to join them, so after about 20 minutes or so, I sneak up and join them, but they keep putting me back to my own bed, I am starting to get bored of this waste of energy and I think that I will just stay put in future, but I will keep the family guessing for a bit longer!

Hooray after the boring food of convalescence I am back on my gruts and some additional extras. I have lost 2kg while I was ill, so now I have to build up some weight and not exercise too much, so my two walks a day have been reduced to a short stroll after the heat of the day. I went back to the vets this week and I was a star, all the nurses came up to say hello they gave me lots of cuddles and liver treats. I am the first Greyhound at the practice and they want me to come back as often as I like, even if I am not ill. They were really impressed that, even when I was at my most de-hydrated and weak, I still had enough energy and drive to have a go at a cat in the surgery. Respect!

The other boundaries that I have been testing this week have been my own. I have banged my head, my feet and my tail a lot this week. I seem not to know my own size, I was out in Waiatarua Reserve the other day, I turned my head and banged it hard into a bench, I have banged my feet into the steps on the deck and have on a number of occaisions walked straight into the door jam of a completely open door ! I think that I am a Whippet trapped in the body of a Greyhound!

Apparently my trainer has been asking after me and how I am getting on. Sonja has relayed the information that I am getting on well with my new family, but he does not have Internet access to read this via his a computer. My new family say that he could read this blog and subscribe to the RSS feed via his phone if it is a 3G phone. Apparently it is really simple to do, but as I have no thumbs to speak and do not txt, I can not comment!

Today's picture is of me in the driving seat! Well not really, I sneaked in to the car and tried to make myself comfortable in the front, but I have to admit that I prefer the back, someone else can do all the leading, I am in for the easy life. I think that I might need to get some wing mirrors fitted to me though if I keep hitting myself. Right when's dinner?

04 January 2010

The Man Room

The only other male of my new family, thinks that I follow him to the garage as a sign of male solidarity! He has shown me his bike that he cycles to work on, not interested in that, his tools, they smell good, his bits of scrap metal make him a bit edgy when I nose in there, he claims they are a bit sharp! He goes in there a lot, referring to it as the man room, he tends to potter and he thinks, mistakenly, that I am interested in all that man stuff. I have a bigger fish to fry. I have been waiting patiently for an opening and today it came! He went to the car to get out a map and before he knew it, I was in there... At last. The purpose of all those trips was waiting for him to open the car door so I could get in, and there I have stayed for hours, quite happily! The car door is open, the internal door to the rest of the house is open, I can hear the comings and goings of the family, but I am happy in the car.

Comments and advertising

You may have noticed that my site has adverts on it. My new family have set up this blog to keep all of you who know me in the loop about my transition from track to blobbing! My new family also hope that this site will help and encourage others to adopt ex-racing greyhounds from GAP and other re-homing organisations around the world for my fellow racers. The adverts have been placed here purposely, the plan is to encourage readers to click on the advertising links. Every time each one of you do, each click will generate money and any and all monies created from the site will be sent to GAP to help them to keep doing the good work that they are doing, so spread the word and encourage the clicking!

In addition my family have also turned on commenting for the site, so now you can all leave me comments.

02 January 2010

What an end to the year!

Well as experiences go, the last few months have been one of continual change. I used to race, now I am slowly exploring the world of my new role, the couch potato! Everything is so new and exciting, my new family would really like to call me 'Parker' after Lady Penelope's Butler cum Chauffeur, whose nickname was 'Nosey.' That epithet really suits me. Every time my new family open something, a cupboard, a drawer, the shed, the tool box... I am there with my nose having a good sniff. I just want to see what is in the myriad new places of my new world.

The newness of it all for both my new family and me, has landed me in a bit of trouble over the last week. My family have been introducing me to the kinds of things that the GAP book says that I can have to eat and I have been eating them with gusto! I have tried pigs ears, I love them! I am getting my gruts and some left overs. I am being enticed to learn new commands with cheese, this family is crazy about cheese, just look at what they had for themselves over Christmas, I did not have any of this stuff, but boy did is smell!

Anyway earlier this week, I woke up, I think that it was Tuesday and was sick. I had eaten something that my stomach did not like. I was a bit quiet all day, then when I went for my walk in the afternoon I collapsed, all a bit worrying for all concerned. As a result of all of this I was taken to the vet who had to look after me all night, I was very de-hydrated, but all the nurses loved me and I sat with them all night. In the morning I had developed a cough and so they x-rayed me, but because I am such an amenable chap, they decided not to sedate me and simply asked me to lie on the x-ray bench, Greyhounds are good at lying down! It turns out that I have pneumonia. So now I have to rest and so for the last three days I have not been out for a walk as the exercise apparently will not be good for my cough, throat or lungs, so what have I been doing, well, check out the video below and you will see the kinds of things that I have been doing a lot of. I am starting to like this new life, especially now that I am getting better!