Stories

Stories about some of the hounds we have homed

These story pages replace the galleries that were on our old website. We have transferred a handful of the stories across. If you would like to have your hound included, please email photos and write up to sue@trailhoundwelfare.org.uk You can tell us funny stories and experiences, or activities that your hound takes part in. In fact, anything that you think other owners would love to hear about.

Shyla & Shay

IMG_0482Shyla (racing name Girls Aloud) came to live in Lincolnshire in October 2009 when she was two years Shay and toyold. Her name is Hindi and means ‘Daughter of the mountain,’ how apt for a trailhound! Shyla is quite a tall girl and I call her ‘Skinnymalinks’ or ‘Miss Lean Bean!’ She has a lovely nature and especially enjoys being fussed and cuddled. As a true traillie she is also a foodie and there is precious little which she dislikes! when we are out her recall words are ‘chickie’ and ‘sweeties’ (as well as her name.) She loves lettuce, peppers, apples , soft fruits and so on but especially bananas. Whilst I have been abroad she has been to kennels and has made a big hit there, she also came home quite a bit plumper because as they said ‘She does like her food.’

We are practising for the Bronze level KC Good Citizen, I don’t think we shall ever reach the gold level but my first trailhound, Katie, was the very first trailhound to achieve the Gold so we  may have to be content with bronze this time around!

Shay is a handsome boy aged just over two. He left Carlisle in June 2014 to travel to his new home inShay Lincolnshire with his new companion Shyla and new owner Mags.
He is very calm and takes everything in his stride. He loves being stroked and cuddled, snuggling up on the settee (which used to be a dog free zone!) and playing chase with Shyla out in a friend’s field.
He has already been to one dog training class where he met 15 other dogs! His tail never stopped wagging even when one of them gave him a “collie smile!” Of course he worked extra hard when sausage treats were the order of the day.
Already he has had “the operation” and seems to be recovering from it very fast.
He can be a little nervous at first out in the street with lots of new people but after a few minutes he wants to know them, and be stroked. He is settling in very well.

Mags.

Mog

Mog

We have owned, raced and shown Siberian Huskies since 1984,  and now only have 3 ageing Siberians that are no longer a matched team to race so I have taken to bikejoring them to keep them and me fit.

Rather than taking on another high maintenance Siberian I was looking into other dogs that are of a sporting nature. I was looking at the Trailhound Welfare website in 2012 and came across Mog a 2 year old that was being privately re-homed through the site. He had never raced, but had been in training to do search and rescue unfortunately he didn’t make the grade due to his recall. With the intense one to one training needed to become a search and rescue dog his owner decided to re-home him rather than have him sitting in a kennel while he put all his time in training another dog.

Mog settled into pack life very well, our dogs have a flap in the door and are free to wander in and out of the house at will. When the sun is out Mog will be stretched out on the decking sunning himself, but is in the house more often than not where as the Siberians prefer to be out in all weathers. In the evening after dinner the dogs have free run of the ground floor and it is every man for himself for a seat in front of the TV. Mog has claimed his spot on the sofa and will lie there all evening and is reluctant to move into the kitchen when its bed time.

Walking is a pleasure in comparison to the Siberians that pull your arm out, walking to heel around the streets until we reach the park where he takes full use of the flexi lead. When we put a harness on him he turns into a racing machine. The Siberians only know one thing that is to pull, Mog is like having two dogs rolled into one, a house pet and a race dog (Bikejor).

When we first took him into the forest with the Siberians he must have wondered what on earth was going on. When the Siberians are on Mogthe stakeout waiting to be harnessed they are so excited, screaming and howling to go. We stood him back so he could see what was going on for the first couple of times. I then hooked him in with one of the huskies and we set off on the bike. He was a little reluctant and was not up to the speed of the other dogs. After trying this over several days he wasn’t really progressing so I thought if he was ever going to get the hang of it there was only one thing to do. At the weekend when there would be several husky teams training I harnessed him up attached him to the bike and waited for a team to set off. As they turned the first corner he was released, it was a good job I was hanging on as he took off like a rocket, chasing the team that he had just seen going round the corner. So the next time out I set him off but not chasing and this time he ran the course just as we did when he was chasing, that was it, it was as if someone had flicked a switch, it had just clicked with him and now he is too fast to run with any of my huskies. It’s obvious he loves doing it and has even taken to howling like a husky whilst waiting for his turn. In anticipation I had entered a bikejor race local to us on the Windsor Crown Estate . This was a 2 day race but we only entered him for the Sunday as it was his first time and it was only the previous weekend he had run by himself for the first time. This was just over a 5k trail consisting of wide rides and very technical single mountain bike tracks weaving in and out of trees. I was very pleased with the way he ran and responded to all the turns without hesitation we even overtook two others finishing 2nd in class on the day.

The next race was in the Forest of Dean, 2 heats over 3.5k on woodland rides. After the Saturday’s heat we were in 3rd place. Sunday we had some time make up, so throwing caution to the wind and with MTB body armour on we went for it gaining a place and finishing 2nd . I have been so impressed with the way Mog has taken to bikejoring I’m pretty sure if we had taken on an inexperienced adult Siberian he would not have picked it up so quickly.

Dave

www.eekonoo.co.uk

Farah

Salis Farah holsIn August 2012 I finally convinced my partner that it was the right time to get another dog. We had been talking about it for a long time and the only two things which we were certain of was that the new dog had to be a rescue and had to fit in with our active lifestyle. He/she would also need to be confident with other people and dogs as I would be taking the dog to work with me where I teach Animal Management. I also did not want a dog with short white hair, as hovering is not my favourite activity!

On our very first visit to Salisbury Dogs Trust nothing seemed to tick the boxes, except for two very attractive hounds who looked very comfortable in their surroundings. I asked about the younger Foxhound cross, to discover she was a Trailhound – I had never heard of them despite believing my knowledge of dog breeds was good. So, we took Sally for a walk with our dog and we soon realised that she would fit in perfectly – she was calm, relaxed, confident with my impressions of an over enthusiastic young student doing a health check and not at all bothered by a Labrador trying to mount her as a greeting!

We went home and did loads of research – this confirmed the breed was ideal for us.

So, on the day Mo Farah won his 10KM race in the Olympics, our new family member was renamed and began her new life with us. Farah quickly established herself at home, learnt a good recall and settled into her ‘day job’. Our next task was to see how she fared at Canicross – after coming second in her first race we were overjoyed and she absolutely loved it!

After building Farah’s fitness and toughening her feet up slowly, I was due to run the New Forest Ultramarathon with her in March 2013, but there were concerns after some unexplained dog deaths in the area at the time of the race so did not take part. Our new challenge is to run the Brecon Beacons Mountain Marathon on the 11th May 2013; it will be a huge challenge for me though I am sure Farah will find it much easier. Any money we raise will be donated to the Dogs Trust and Lakeland Trailhound Welfare as we have a lot to thank them for and wish to support them to continue their amazing work.

So, in summary, we have the perfect dog and I look forward to the day I convince my partner it’s time for another addition to the family! The only drawback is that I have had to learn to embrace hoovering!

Bob

FoxparkeBillyBob5

Back in April 2008 we visited the Dogs Trust rehoming centre in Snetterton. Obviously we were looking to provide a home for a dog but went with an open mind as to breed. Some 3 years had passed since I lost Tico, a lovable, lively and playful English Springer Spaniel. In the back of my mind I was hoping to find a dog with a similar even temperament but didn’t realistically expect to find one so easily. A major consideration was Tom, my 7 year old son who had grown a little nervous of dogs. After discussing several dogs at the centre the staff strongly recommended Bob, a 14 month old trailhound who had grabbed our attention with his handsome face and gently waving tail. We had never heard of trailhounds but upon walking Bob we were immediately impressed. He seemed such a gentle, laid back boy but obviously had a mischievous streak. A week later we collected Bob and have never looked back. In less than 3 months he had settled in extremely well. The whole family adore him.  He craves attention and hates to think he might be missing something and will get up to mischief if ignored. He loves to greet us with his Scooby style howl and does not shirk from his guard dog duties growling at his reflection in windows!

He loves his walks, especially those on the beach. We can’t keep him out of any water, from the sea to muddy puddles! He has responded really well to training and we can even trust him (to a point) to be let off the lead during his walks and recall is improving provided there are no other dogs to play with within eyesight or families enjoying picnics within a mile or two! He is even learning to play football with his new best mate, Tom. To anybody thinking of re-homing a dog, please consider a trailhound. They make fantastic pets, are lovable, enjoy lots of fuss and attention and have an amazing temperament. We have a friend who is very wary and a little scared of dogs but even she thinks Bob is fantastic. Thanks to everyone at Dogs Trust, Snetterton and to all those that contribute to this informative website especially Eileen who has provided  lots of useful info about Bob. His racing name was Foxparke Billy Bob.

Koshka 1991-2004

KoshkaI stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep. I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear, “It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea, You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore. I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care. I want to reassure you, that I’m not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key. I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said “it’s me.”
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair. I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It’s possible for me to be so near you everyday. To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew, in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide, I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out … then come home to be with me.

Katie 2000-2009

Katie (racing name Spring View) went to live in Lincolnshire in 2002 when she was just over 2 years old. She was very bemused by living in a town but she got quite used to it as well as living in a house and was very quick to learn. She passed all three levels of the Kennel Club Good Citizen scheme in just 14 months and was the first Trailhound to receive the Gold award! She was just my best dog ever and it was a shock when she  became ill at only nine years old. In November 2004 Katie won the Kennel Club’s doggyoke (doggy form of karaoke!!) at Discover Dogs show at Earl’s Court, she then ‘sang’ on both BBC radio Lincolnshire and Humberside, and was also invited to be on the Des & Mel show but was unable to attend. A month later she was the last dog to be awarded the Silver Medal as ‘Pet of the Year’ by PRO Dogs (a national prize) at an award luncheon in Surrey. Sadly the charity folded the following year.

Katie was a wonderful laid back dog; she took just about everything in her stride including travelling on the underground and London buses! In 2005 she came 9th in Drontal’s National Coolest Canine competition. In 2006 Katie’s story appeared in the national part work magazine: The Dog Collection in a special ‘Friends in Need’ edition. She shared the page with a story about Renée Zellweger’s dog Dylan. Later in the year her photograph appeared in the ‘Beagle’ edition.

She was a wonderful girl and achieved so much in her lifetime: she took part in show classes at dog shows, did some heel work to music and competed in obedience classes at companion dog shows. But her main activities were with people.For three years she visited 2 wards in the local hospital where patients, staff and visitors enjoyed stroking her in her role a Pets As Therapy dog. In November 2005,  she qualified as a Blue Cross education dog and accompanied Margaret on visits to local schools & youth groups where she helped to educate the children on how to care for animals. Her last claim to national fame was to have met Matt Baker and Meg at Crufts and she appeared very briefly on BBC TV’s Blue Peter in a film sniffing noses with Meg.

In February 2008 Katie became the first education dog to work for The Irish Blue Cross when she visited 150 pupils and staff at an inner city school in the capital of the ROI, Dublin. Needless to say she was the star attraction!  In her lifetime she met over 11,500 children!  most of whom stroked   her.  If you are one of the many schoolchildren, Guides, Rainbows, Brownies or Beavers who  stroked or cuddled her I hope you remember what a special dog she was. In 2008 Katie became a READ dog,only the second dog ever to be registered for the scheme in the UK . she went into school and assisted children with their reading skills by sitting and listening intently as they read books to her. This was her last public photo.

Sadly in 2009, Katie passed away after a short illness. Run free, Katie, a very special hound.

Mac

Mac

 In late 2006 we packed up our home in Norfolk and moved to the other side of the world and this of course included the family pets, Matty the cat and Mac the Trailhound.

Luckily the process of shipping pets to New Zealand is not to difficult as apart from a couple of blood tests it is the same pet passport requirements as Europe although of course much more expensive travel costs!

Mac seemed to have coped with the 24 hour flight remarkably well with a mid flight stop over in America and after being shipped from the airport in Auckland to our new central North Island home we where reunited although we think he must have been howling a lot as he was suffering from a sore throat, to those that have been to the Trailhound days at Faith you will remember he can be noisy at time!

Then it was just a case of getting him use to the new sights and sounds of a new country and he soon became the source of much admirationMac3NZ as no one had ever seen a Trailhound before. This included the local vets and council as when we registered him (all dogs in New Zealand have to be registered with a yearly fee to pay) there was no listing for Trailhounds so he had to be listed as a Foxhound instead!

Mac loves his walks around Lake Taupo, the biggest lake in the southern hemisphere, where he has plenty of room to run and play although not that keen on the warm geothermal beaches and water! There is also lots of gullies around the lake to explore reminding us that that this use to be a giant volcano!

He has also become very attached to our new kitten Kimmy who came from the local rescue shelter and was very poorly with cat flue so seemed to adopt Mac as her new dad!

Daniel

Daniel and Cob

Daniel – AKA Spot.

As a military dog trainer of over twenty years I estimate that I have trained, supervised or handled over 300 dogs. Some of these were average and some were fantastic but none of them are a patch on Daniel who is without doubt the best dog I have ever had the pleasure of meeting let alone owning.

Dan came to us from WARS in Worcestershire and having previously trained a working Trailhound for the military I was completely smitten immediately. The picture on the website was so similar to my previous Trailhound, Jasper, that I knew he was coming home with us whether my partner, Ceri, liked him or not. Fortunately a quick temperament check and an assessment as to his ability to learn showed he was a loving and bright lad if a little shy at times. On a day pouring with rain we spent over an hour playing with him and walking him before signing on the dotted line. I didn’t even realise it was raining so smitten was I.

Dan was originally called Spot but he quickly settled into his new name and his new environment. We have only ever had one accident in the house and to be fair to Dan it was on the first night and I didn’t realise what he was telling me when he was asking to go out. He did escape out of the garden a few times when we first got him but since settling in fully we have had only had one incident where the garden gate was open and he snuck out. He was found lying outside the front door waiting to be let in! His recall has never been a problem, but to be honest I didn’t realise Trail-hounds could find this difficult so I just trained him the same way as my working dogs and he can now be trusted off leash anywhere and will even walk nicely off leash through the estate.

Dan comes into work with me every day and is often used to demonstrate techniques to the other handlers. He is good with other dogs, and the first order of the day is a two mile run with around nine other Military Working Dogs and his best friend, Cobi, a Husky-Labrador cross. He loves agility especially if there are other dogs around and although his heel-work is “scruffy” his general obedience is pretty good. He is also learning to track, (not trail) on a line and I am pleased to say that despite initially hating the restriction and trying to do it his way he is progressing well.

At home he is a joy, we can leave him in the house, I suspect all day if we needed to, and he is never a naughty dog. He is very affectionate and likes nothing more than a cuddle or play fight on the floor. Ceri has taught him to bay on command and if you ask him if he’s “ready” for a walk you are left in no uncertain terms that he is. He is very well behaved and we take him everywhere – the pub, on holiday (he loves a run on the beach), or shopping and everyone always remarks on how well behaved and calm he is. Extremely gentle around kids or the elderly we recently had him assessed at a Pets as Therapy dog and he is starting to do work in one of the local respite care centers.

He has even won a rosette, and not just in a fun category either! We went to the WARS open dog show in 2010 and for a bit of a laugh I entered him into the hound category of the KC show – well blow me down if he didn’t come third! I suspect I might have upset some people doing this but hey it put a huge smile on my face and Dan loved his prize – tripe!

So should you get a trail hound? God YES! We have had him just over a year now and I have absolutely no idea what I would do without Danny, he is such a big part of our life, and although I would recommend that any beginners get help with some aspects of owning one, especially training the recall, I would say that this is a dog that anyone could own.

Well – at least if you can find one as good as my Daniel.

Chris,Ceri and Daniel 2010

Mel

 

MelWe adopted Mel from The Dogs Trust at Evesham on 18th March 2007 – Mothering Sunday – and what a lovely day to collect such a lovely dog.

We came across Mel at the centre and we knew absolutely nothing about Trailhounds and have been on a crash course ever since – I couldn’t thank Eileen Robinson of the Trailhound Trust enough for all her advice, help, support and guidance.

During the past two months Mel has proved to be an absolute treasure. She is just lovely to have around and has fitted so well into our family. I take her on a good long walk everyday (often resulting in me suffering a few heart stopping moments when I lose sight of her!) and then she spends the rest of the time travelling around with me or lounging on a bed somewhere warm.

As we all come to realise, very quickly, there is not much a Trailhound doesn’t like in the way of food so our kitchen has become exceptionally tidy and efficient because without doubt Mel won’t miss an opportunity to pinch toast (with or without butter, jam or lemon curd she’s not fussy), scrambled egg, omelette, cereals, cake, stir fry or anything else you are daft enough to leave within her very, very capable and far reaching nose and paws!

To date we have taken her to the pub, on a picnic (quite entertaining having a Trailhound on a picnic but there you go – it worked in a sort of frenetic kind of way), out for afternoon tea – couldn’t help herself this time the lemon curd cake was just too tempting and my hubby was ‘persuaded’ to share – (actually

Mel in her racing days in 2005

Mel in her racing days in 2005

Mel snaffled the bottom half before we knew what had happened!). She and I have met up with my friends and their dogs for walks and we have just started Obedience Classes.

I suspect like all new Trailhound owners we have had our share of surprises and antics but all have ended well and most have been quite amusing and let’s be honest they are such lovely dogs you could forgive them pretty much anything.

Mel is genuine, loving, comic, intelligent, fun, sensitive, and always up for a cuddle and fuss and she never fails to spot if you need extra attention because you are feeling under the weather.

I think we are exceptionally lucky to have Mel as part of our family and I also have absolutely no doubt we are going to have some fun times along the way but that’s fine for us – Trailhounds Rule OK!