One year ago today, January 18th 2014, we brought home 'Arnie', a retired rescue Greyhound. A couple of our friends had greyhounds and both me & Jane fell in love with their mellow nature.
We'd both grown up with dogs and had always talked about getting one, so after meeting our friends hounds and speaking to our very kind landlady, we very excitedly decided to give a greyhound a home!
We got in touch with the Retired Greyhound Trust and it turned out the nearest branch to us was Honiton in Devon, so one Saturday ago, just over a year ago, we took the trip down to Honiton to meet the dogs! It was the best Saturday ever, we met Vicky who runs the kennels and as soon as she got there, she suggested we meet 'the old boy'. She brought him out and he was an excitable thing, really friendly and as Jane opened her car door to get something out the back - the old boy jumped in!
We took that as a bit of a sign! Vicky told us 'the old boy' was actually called Arnie, and was a favourite at the shelter. He was 9 years and had a bit of a history - Born in Ireland and raced professionally for 2 years under the name of Rockmount Arnie, who then retired (after winning quite a lot of his races!) and went to a Retired Greyhound Shelter afterwards. He was then homed somewhere in England.
All we know is that he lived in his home for about 4 years, before his owner sadly passed away, which meant he went back into a rescue shelter. That shelter was Honiton, where he stayed for 3 months before me and Jane turned up just over a year ago!
So with having Arnie jumping straight on our car, we fell in love with him immediately, and wanted to take him there and then! Unfortunately we couldn't do that right away, so we joined the walkers in taking all the dogs out for a walk, and that was absolutely brilliant. All the dogs walked so well together, each keen to be in front and be the fastest one strolling (including Arnie, who takes great pride in being the fastest!)
On the walk we asked a thousand and one questions to the volunteer walkers, it was great hearing their own experiences as greyhound owners - they volunteer their time because they love the breed so much. There's a lot of retired greyhounds that are unwanted after they race professionally, and there's a lot of dogs that go unaccounted for once their racing days are up. So it's really heartwarming to see places like the RGT that are dedicated to helping dogs like Arnie.
When we got back from the walk, we told Vicky just how much we loved Arnie and that we would love to give him a home! They were delighted to know that 'the old boy' would go to a new home.
So we went away, said cheerio to all the hounds and got everything ready for us to very excitedly go and pick him up the following week, which was exactly a year ago today!
It's been a brilliant year having Arnie, we really don't know what our lives would be like without him. He's an endless source of laughs, always doing something funny and/or weird that's always endearing. He's fairly accident prone too, an accidental slip down a drain grate ended up with surgery, IV drips and months of painkillers & bandages! He's a tough one though, never really barks or moans, even when having to go through surgery and the like.
He's now such a huge part of mine and Jane's life, from influencing our own work to being a part of my engagement proposal to Jane! We couldn't imagine life without him.
So, if you're thinking about adopting a dog, we can't recommend a greyhound enough, do check out what the Retired Greyhound Trust and many other groups are doing!
Thank you Arnie, you're so rad, here's to many more years of hanging out together! I'll leave you with what I do best now... take many photo's of the old boy himself!