I had been living in a small apartment for seven years and it nearly drove me mad! Now at last I had moved into a small bungalow with a garden and nearby woods and parks to explore. One day I met a lady walking three greyhounds and I was charmed by her calm and friendly manner,and captivated by the hounds. They stood quietly as we chatted and I wanted to know more about the breed. These were rescued hounds and Deborah told me a little of their individual stories and explained her role as foster Mum, and how she socialised the dogs and taught them how to live happily as part of a family unit, so that they could be rehomed.
One of the dogs was Boris, a tall, regal looking Fella, blue in colour, who responded to my chatting to him by looking into my face and listening intently. Of course I fell in love with him immediately!
Over the next couple of years I was busy renovating my new home and garden but could not forget Boris, who I would see from time to time as he had now been adopted by Deborah and was a permanent member of her family. I began to consider rehoming a greyhound. After alI I reasoned, I needed a big dog to protect me in those woods and parks which I now had time to explore, but what I really wanted more than anything else was a gentle loving companion who would enjoy exploring with me at a calm, leisurely pace.
I went online and found a sweet female greyhound, Bonnie, a Blue just like Boris, but smaller. I made enquiries, but eventually it was decided that I was not the right Mum for her because of my particular circumstances. I was disappointed but persuaded to consider a little black ex-racer who had just arrived, and Karen thought Lola might be more suitable for me as my first greyhound.
Lola arrived with Dawn and Christine, very bright and inquisitive and seemed confident enough to be left with me. As they drove away we watched from the window and Lola was trembling but never made a sound. We started to get to know each other and Lola was very biddable and enjoyed a short walk around the block, looking very interested in her new neighbourhood. Bedtime came and Lola was very scared by being in a room alone, and strange sounds of owls, foxes, deer and nearby human neighbours. I kept going in to reassure her and eventually she fell asleep exhausted.
Next morning she was happy to see me and accepted that for the time being at any rate, I was to be her human carer.She soon understood the new routine and became eager to please me, and yes, she did enjoy exploring with me. Our walks gradually became longer and more varied. One place fascinated her. High up in the woods was a place that overlooked a low light coloured building with lots of cars and people going in and out, a supermarket. It dawned on me that she was wondering if this was a stadium where all the other hounds were, and she was missing them!
A few days later I saw Deborah going past our house with Boris and Lottie and I asked her to wait as I ran in to fetch Lola. I will never forget the look of sheer relief on Lola's face as she saw the two greyhounds, who stood so sedately and calmly, and then gently and sensitively greeted her. From that moment on Lola completely accepted her new life. Each time we saw them she politely greeted Lottie and resolutely gazed adoringly at Boris. On her first sighthound group walk she followed one step behind Boris all the way. Lola was in love. Boris was a little aloof as he was much older and used to female greyhound company. Lola was gentle but persistent in her attentions and slowly Boris began to show more interest in her, until one day he kissed her and she was ecstatic.
Soon after this Lola was astounded when a female greyhound pup appeared with Boris and Lottie. Lola was not spayed and she suddenly knew what she wanted. Lola came in season twice after that and showed signs of a phantom pregnancy. She had been ill but was eventually able to be spayed and doesn't pine for pups any more. She continues to adore Boris and he is rather fond of her too. When they meet Lola usually ends up leaning her chin on his back, and Boris seems to enjoy her hero worship. As for me, well I still love Boris almost as much as Lola does, and he still looks at me intently as I chat to him even though he is now deaf in one ear, just like me.
By Susan Wright (Very proud & wonderful owner of ‘Lola’) X