After returning from Wales I was walking through my local park with Gerry when I came across two ladies. One asked me if Gerry was a Lurcher and said that they’d seen a stray black and white lurcher in the park a few times the week before, but nobody had managed to catch it. I kept a lookout over the next few days, but saw and heard nothing.
Fast forward another couple of days and my friend Jeni who also has two lurchers in our area text me and said her friend had told her there was a stray lurcher on the green that fit the description of the dog the ladies in the park had told me about. I went out to look but there was no dog. I think I was looking in the wrong place.
The next night my boyfriend went to the shops and text me and said the lurcher was on our road, so I grabbed Gerry and a spare lead hoping he’d attract it over. However it was so nervous it ran off immediately and wouldn’t come over for food.
Yesterday evening I was out with Gerry again and I came across the lurcher on the green. A young man walking a boxer stopped to talk to me and said the lurcher had been there for days on the green, and some kids playing there told me it slept in the trees on the edge of the green every night. I stayed put while the man went home to fetch a tin of dog food. We spent about half an hour trying to catch him. He ate some food and I managed to touch his nose but he’d just run off any time we got near. At one point he stood in the middle of the road and refused to move, blocking off the traffic, and the police arrived and asked us what we were doing!!! We gave up and the man said he’d come out the next night at 7pm and try again.
Well I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately so at 5am I thought it was a good idea to go out to the trees on the green and see if the lurcher was asleep there… And he was! I took some food, which he ate, but he kept walking off and sitting or lying down further away from me. It took a great deal of patience, but eventually I sat next to him and petted his paw. He immediately got up and walked off. For about 20 minutes that’s all I did, sat near to him and tried to pet him, then every time he just walked off. Eventually I got to stroke and scratch his neck, head and shoulders properly… but he ran off before I got to slip the lead around his neck. So I had to start all over again, following him, sitting next to him, regaining his trust…. Then BINGO! I got the lead around his neck and he gingerly followed me home.
I called him Stretch, because that’s all he’d do – get up, stretch, walk off, sit down, stand back up, stretch and run off again!
I spent all morning ringing Sighthound Welfare organisations and groups to get him a place in a rescue home. My friend Jane managed to sort one but the only problem then was it was 2 hours drive away down the country!!! I don’t drive and neither do many of my friends, so I had to text, message and ring a lot of people (even people I didn’t know!) to eventually get a lift organised with a girl I'd met briefly before, Hilary, who also owns a greyhound and goes on Sighthound Strolls with our group.
Gerry was very affected by it all and was yelping and howling at the intruder in the garden. I wouldn’t let him out to meet Stretch because he’s been on antibiotics for his skin condition and couldn’t get his Boosters done as a result, so I didn’t want him to catch any infections or diseases from the stray… Not to mention fleas and ticks. So he waited inside and cried! Needless to say, I was also very tired and stressed by the time Hilary turned up!
He was amazing in the car on the way down, very quiet and not at all vocal or fidgetty. He was sick twice and he did a wee too! You can imagine the smell…! I think the sickness was probably due to the copious amounts of treats we gave him to try and coax him into the car, so it was our fault really, haha! In the end we just lifted him in, so they were totally unnecessary! We had yummy vegan treats in the car - bombay mix and popcorn - Hilary didn't even know I was vegan, so it was pure luck she brought some snacks I could eat. She is vegetarian herself, so I guess that was handy!!
Stretch is now safely in the custody of ERIN HOUNDS. An organisation that specialises in rescuing Irish greyhounds and lurchers and rehoming them in the UK. He is at a Kennel in Carrick-on-Shannon where he will be looked after until the time is right for him to go to a new home. He was taken to a stable where he was isolated from other dogs for the night so he could undergo treatment for fleas and ticks. He will later be moved to a pen nearer the other dogs, and eventually he shall find his forever home :)
I am so looking forward to watching his progress! Apparently he has already had his first bath and has been de-flead, wormed and had the mites from his ears removed. Next will be the 8 ticks on his body... not a pleasant job to say the least! He's brightened up and now wants to play, and the redness in his eyes is fading too.
I was so sad to leave him there, he looked so folorn, but I told him it was for the best so I know he will forgive me ;) Once he's feeling heathier and comfier, I know he'll appreciate his second chance and will make someone a lovely pet!