I was given the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of the Loughborough branch of the Dogs Trust. Basically, that means I spent an afternoon playing with adorable pups and taking their photograph.
After a dog arrives at the centre, he or she is thoroughly assessed by the experienced Dogs Trust staff and volunteers. Many dogs are lucky to find their forever family soon after. To put this in numbers: Just this year over 300 dogs have been successfully re-homed from Loughborough alone!
However, there are also those that have been looking for a while already – often due to no fault of their own. This is particularly true for the greyhounds. The sheer numbers that are churned out by the racing industry every year simply means that the rescue market for this breed is quite satisfied.
The first of two ex-racing greyhounds I met was four-year-old Beau. Just look at his pictures, this boy really does his name justice! Beau is a very friendly and gentle lad who enjoys the company of both humans and other dogs. He has shared a kennel all his life so would prefer to have a canine companion in his new home as well.
When I first met Beau he seemed interested and sociable but at the same time very laid back and quiet – that was until we took him to a big field. After sniffing out the territory and minding his business for a while, he suddenly started for a cross-field sprint at a speed that completely took me by surprise – I didn't even manage to get a picture of it. I completely underestimated how fast these dogs can really run! It is therefore necessary for Beau to have a big garden to exercise in, should the urge arise to relive his racing days.
Beau will need a home that can help him settle into the retired family dog life but I doubt it will take him long. His forever human will be lucky to gain such a loyal and well-balanced character as a friend.
I next met Melena, who is three years old and, too, an ex-racing greyhound. Now, don’t get me wrong: They are lovely dogs, but I’ve never been a particular fan of greyhounds. I just prefer smaller dogs, so this a size I wouldn’t be looking to adopt. However, if I was able to take one of the dogs that I met this day home with me, it would have to be Melena. I was completely smitten with her. She is graceful with character and was such a pleasure to photograph. She struck me as very friendly and curious, always investigating new things.
She will need a home that has the time to give her the attention that she needs to settle into the pet life. Melena has never lived by herself and would love to have a bigger canine companion in her new home as well. Melena has been with the Dogs Trust since April this year, making her search for the forever family the longest out of all the dogs I met. I can’t understand how this gorgeous girl is still looking! If you have the space for a Greyhound, please consider adopting her. And also let me know when you do, so I can visit to play and take more photos…
Finally, my last meet & greet of the day was with four-year-old Pudding, a Staffie cross. If you need to know one thing about Pudding, it is that he loves people!
Like, he really, really loves people and has a huge heart for you all - especially if you play with him of course. Dogs, on the other hand, aren’t really his thing. He can get tense around other canines and should definitely be an only dog. He also does not like to be left alone over prolonged periods of the day.
Pudding seems like a smart boy to me. Although he can become very excited when he makes new human friends and that occasionally causes him to forget his good manners, I’m convinced that he will go very far in a loving home.
If you are interested in any of the dogs above, please get in touch directly with the Loughborough Dogs Trust at 01509 880 070 or drop them an email at Loughborough@dogstrust.org.uk
You can also find out more about them on the Dogs Trust website: Beau, Melena and Pudding.
If you are not interested in any of the dogs above but are thinking of getting a dog, please consider adoption. The Dogs Trust and other reputable rescues have dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages, suitable for various levels of experience.