Forever Hounds (GRWE) Charity Event

With the greyhounds, various groups around the country are always in need of funds to bring dogs into care, get them properly vetted, pay for kennel fees if the group doesn’t have their own kennels, transport dogs to foster homes, and pay for emergency medical costs.

Forever Hounds Trust (formally Greyhound Rescue West of England – GRWE) is holding a fundraiser in London in a few short weeks to help greyhounds and lurchers at their various locations. Most recently, the group came to the aid of over 50 greyhounds in a rather serious welfare case, which you can read about on their website. Due to cases such as this, and the regular dogs brought into their care, raising funds to ensure they have the best help available is paramount.

Fancy a shop at designer L.K. Bennett whilst helping super cute, adorable greyhounds (and lurchers)?

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PLEASE RSVP so they know how many people to expect! Text WOOF05[space]£10 to 70070 and enjoy!

 

 

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Slow Week

I was in the US this past week to renew my driver’s license and visit friends. The trip turned out to be a good time, albeit quicker than I imagined, as suddenly it was time to go home!

I flew on Virgin Atlantic this time and wow. Impressed. Maybe I was just lucky with the crew I had on my flight, but having to get up at a god-forsaken hour of the morning to catch the bus to Heathrow for an early morning flight (I wanted to be in the US at a reasonable time, as when I arrived, I still had a 3 hour – or more – drive ahead of me), the entire flight crew was friendly and pleasant. This started at check-in and lasted until we landed in Atlanta. Like, so pleasant, I actually commented to the crew about it. Something I have not done in *years.* Years! Rental car on arrival was a bit of a kerfluffle, but in the larger scheme of things, the melt-down I had was likely due to stress and being tired.

Ahhh, Atlanta. Your traffic is horrid. Horrid. For a Friday evening, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but well, yeah. And the weather – whilst somewhat expecting warmer temps, I wasn’t 100% sure it was accurate, so I still packed a few light weight sweaters and long sleeved shirts. It was almost 80F/26c when I landed. Over the weekend in South Carolina, it was about 75F/24c! Sunny. Sunny. Sunny. And not a bit of a breeze. But having fun at a dog event and the associated banquet was great!

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Then Monday, driving *back* through Atlanta to Birmingham (Alabama) it was still warm. Passing through three states, however, looked like scorched earth. Asking a few people, it hadn’t rained in months – maybe a bit before the hurricane blew through and maybe a bit after, but literally no rain. The leaves on the trees weren’t brown and coloured due to it being November – they were just dead. The grass was beyond crunchy and hard as a rock.

Alabama. Fun. I got to see friends, ate at a great new little quick Mexican restaurant with sangria and made several huge Target runs, then back to Atlanta and home. Oh, there was a bit of an election thing that happened on Tuesday too. Somehow, I managed to survive the entire trip with no jet-lag until I got back! Unfortunately, I’ve been paying for it for 2 days now. But the dogs are glad to have me home.

Winter is Coming

No really, it is, on 21 December. I’m guessing it will try and creep its way in on and off from the end of October. For most dogs, if you need a coat, they need a coat. Granted, a husky may be more amenable to freezing temperatures, but at a bare minimum, every dog wants to stay dry in the rain, right? All dogs should at least have some basic protection from the rain – plus it’s less to clean up and wipe down after those morning and evening walks.

Greyhounds do not fit “off the rack” coats that most people would get from a local pet shop due to their unique body shape. Narrow bodies, thick necks, long backs, and deep chests make store bought coats impossible. Anything long enough will be too wide or too tight in the chest; fitted in the chest will be too short and barely go half-way down the spine. I will try and spare you my obsession of colour-coordinating and assigning a “colour” to each dog…

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Voyagers K9 coats (top to bottom): winter coat, tummy warmer/housecoat, rain coat

My go-to coat source is Voyagers K9 Apparel in Minnesota. Voyagers makes custom fit coats for greyhounds, whippets, and a number of other breeds so the coat you get will fit your dog. They can even whip up custom coats for your mixed-breed and do custom colours to suit your university or favourite sports team! The prices and quality are excellent, and they all wash up very well if your dogs happen to get muddy like mine. The only downside if you live in the UK is the cost of shipping from the US.

In the UK, there are good choices and brands of custom fit coats for greyhounds, lurchers, whippets, and the like. When I first got Angus, I ordered him a raincoat from GreytSweaters who make custom fit coats for greyhounds and whippets. His is a really bright orange colour you can see from a distance (important when your dog’s natural colouring is cammo), trimmed nicely, and very well made overall. The only thing that’s a bit tough is that because Angus is a very “thick” muscular dog, the neck on the coat could be about 1-2″ wider. For a normal greyhound, it should be fine.

 

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GreytSweaters orange raincoat

 

AK Creations makes lovely custom-fit winter coats, raincoats, and housecoats for greyhounds in a variety of colour options. For standard sized dogs, if you want a coat that can handle the brambles and wet of a countryside walk, I’d chose Barbour. Their dog coats are made from the same waxed canvas as the coat in your closet, so you know it will last season after season. Again, value for money. Mine have their coats and barring some weird accident, they should last for years and years.

And because it gets darker sooner, don’t forget to clip a blinking light to your dog’s collar and/or leash for evening walks! Most can be found cheap for under £5 at the local pet shop or outdoor store. Use them year after year as they only take cheap watch batteries. A safety yellow or hunter orange vest is also a good idea if you’re out in the countryside for daytime walks! The fit on the vests doesn’t have to be perfect as long as your dog can be spotted in the distance; they normally come in stretchy lycra or mesh material with or without velcro closures.

Saturday Morning Greyhounds

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Always having a large yard in the US, such a commodity is rare in the UK at my price point. Accordingly, I rent a paddock for my dogs to run that’s about 15 miles from my house and we go every Saturday morning, rain or shine. (I personally don’t think it’s far, but to most people in the UK, driving about 30min isn’t necessarily common practice.)

Greyhounds typically sleep more than they exercise, but having this field is a great opportunity to practice off-leash recall and to let the boys get a really great run in, even if it seems like they spend 99% of the time we’re there eating grass like a bunch of cows. Sadly, no matter how much running they do, they don’t get as tired as I would like. Ruby rarely goes with us because she 1) hates riding in the car with the boys and 2) she can be a fair-weather dog and will refuse to interact with nature unless it’s on her terms.

The field has also been a place I’ve tried out the fun photo features with my 6s Plus after I took an advanced photography workshop at my local Apple store. After taking that class, I was really intrigued by a clip-on lens for my phone they demoed, but TBH, I didn’t like the idea of paying £60 for it if I wouldn’t use it frequently. Voila! Amazon to the rescue! I found a clip on lens attachment from VicTsing at a much more reasonable £14.99! VicTsing seems like a pretty reliable brand, it has lots of good reviews (including mine) and for the price – even if it sucked or failed miserably at some point, I’m not out a ton of money. So far, it’s working great despite being a bit of a struggle to get on my phone when I want to take a picture of something quickly – rather than 2 micro-lenses, I could do with 1 and a wide angle lens from them for £16.99.