Registered Charity No. 1142778
Registered Charity No. 1142778

Some lovely Castledon 'Happily Homed' stories.....

Please take the time to look at some of the stories sent in by owners of Castledon greyhounds.  You'll see just what fantastic pets greyhounds make!

 

If you have a Castledon hound and would like your story to appear here, please do email us!

Chalky

It was February 2014 and I just happened to look on the Castledon website and saw this gorgeous boy Chalky looking for a home.

I instantly fell in love with his face. I spoke to my family but we all agreed it would not be fair to my ageing greyhound Finn to bring in a younger male dog.

All through the year I would go back to look to see if he was still looking for a home.

Part of me hoped he had found a home and part that somehow he was waiting for me.....

 

In February 2015 I had to make the hardest decision and let my heart dog Finn go to the bridge. He was nearly 14 and went surrounded by love.

Not long after I contacted Jodie and Chalky was still available so she kindly brought him over to meet me. 
What a nervous boy he was but that didn't put me off as having had two nervous ones before I knew what to expect.

Jodie left him with me and thankfully he accepted me and my girl greyhound Bonnie.

I knew we had a long road ahead but I was in no hurry. It could take as long as it took.

I put yellow post it stickers all over the back door in case he got spooked and ran into the glass doors thinking they were open.

I made sure I never made any sudden movements or loud noises and we went to the same country park everyday and walked the same route and met the same friendly dogs.

Day by day his confidence has grown - no more tail between his legs when out walking.

I do try not to put him in any stressful situations and am lucky that mine is a quiet house - just me and Bonnie and Chalky.

He is still very wary of strangers but has bonded with my daughter and we are still working on the rest of the family.

He has a very loud bark if anyone knocks at the door or comes into the house so a good burglar alarm!  

Chalky is a very loving and gentle boy. He gets on well with his mate Bonnie although she is the boss!

 
I thank Jodie for letting me have this very special boy and would recommend anyone wanting to rehome a greyhound to go straight to Castledon. 
 

Edwina Blake-Will

Middlesex

Lacey & Duke (updated)

Where does the time go?

 

How is it possible that Lacey has been with us for over 6 years and Duke over 5?

And how can it be that our dear “Lady Lacey” is now 11 years old?

It seems like only yesterday she was 4 and a half (the half matters to a greyhound)!

 

Time is all too short and has rushed by, but our lovely Castledon hounds have given us so much pleasure, that it actually seems they have been with us no time at all.

 

I guess you could say that we are “experienced” sighthound owners now, but nearly every day one of them does something amusing they have never done before. Greyhounds are amazing in the way they can adapt to anything that goes on around them – as long as they can get to their bed for another little snooze!

 

We are so pleased that they have both taken to our little granddaughter so well. Although we were very careful when we first introduced them, it seems they have accepted her as one of the pack. In fact Lacey is quite motherly towards her!

 

We think that everyone should learn about greyhounds – they are so therapeutic to have around and calm us down if we are stressed.

 

We cannot imagine life without greyhounds – Castledon greyhounds of course!

 

 

Andy & Jan

Abbots Langley, Herts

Keira

Keira came to us in January this year (or more accurately, we came to her!), and from the very start, we knew it was a great decision.

Keira accepted the introduction to her new Greyhound boyfriends, Jamie and Ollie, at the kennels in Castledon, with great aplomb and then wasted no time in grabbing the best place in the back of the Honda for the journey home. 

Once at home she soon paired up with “madcap” Jamie , and fun and games soon followed!

Keira was a little bit miffed when the two boys “confiscated” her personal toys but very soon managed to steal them back again. We’re not yet sure who is top dog, though.

The first night was excellent, with Keira sleeping throughout, despite the two boys insisting on going out in the early hours to investigate any little noise.  Keira is still as good as gold at night.

Keira is not very happy about gunfire (we live close to Army training land), thunder or even rain beating down on the conservatory roof, but with a couple of radios on and the TV blaring she gets by. She really is a lovely dog and so friendly to all visitors and greets them like long lost friends.

Keira is absolutely part of the family and it seems incredible that we have only had her three months. We love her to pieces. 

 

Val & Valerie

Angel

We only ever have one requirement when we get in touch with Jodie, and that is that we can have a greyhound with a 'bit of character' and so far we have not been disappointed. 
Greyhounds are the only dogs we would ever have in our home, we've had retired greyhounds since the mid 80s, their temperament and their natures are perfect for us and since finding Castledon Greyhound Rescue we would go nowhere else.

Angel is the third greyhound we have had from them and they really are well looked after and prepared for their forever homes, that settling them into our home is always a pleasure, more than a chore!

Angel settled in really quickly, once she discovered the sofa it felt like she'd been with us a lot longer than just a couple of hours! Angel quickly learned the routine, and her boundaries and has settled in very quickly to family life. She is slowly being introduced to her new area, and enjoys trips in the car and learning all the new noises she's hearing in the house (even if it scares her initially). We just have to help her deal with thunder (and we suspect fireworks) but thankfully we've had experience with scared dogs, so we are all prepared!

There's rarely a moment that Angel doesn't make us smile, or laugh out loud, greyhounds are just so dopey and entertaining and with each day we are seeing more and more of Angels character come out, which is a joy to discover and in our experience that never ends, greyhounds just love life. Whether she's going crazy with a toy, or showing amazing concentration on every move you make as you prepare dinner, you can't help but enjoy a greyhounds company, even if you do find yourself talking to them as if they understand your every word (that's not just me is it!?) and have I mentioned how greyhounds are experts in doing loud sighs at the most funniest moments? (usually when you are having a serious discussion!) Angel has just started to do this, a sure sign she's settling in just fine!

We are so pleased to welcome Angel into our life, and we will ensure she'll enjoy her forever home.

The Ubdegrove Family
Middlesex
 

Lulu (aka. Mary Lou)

When our greyhound, Billy, passed away in April 2013, we knew we would get another, it was just a matter of when.

We decided in July to go to Castledon and see some of the hounds there. Jodie had picked out three that she thought would be suitable for us. Jodie asked if we were planning on taking the dog home that day, if we decided on one of the three. To which we replied ‘No, we just want to see what options there are first’.

Mary Lou was one of the three dogs we saw that day, and we connected more or less instantly. We took her for a walk, and she was so good that we decided right away that she was the one for us. Still reluctant to take her home that day (we wanted to get the house ready and I wanted to take some time off work), we asked if we could leave it for a week, but noticed that Mary Lou kept looking over at our car, and Jodie suggested that we let her sit in it to try it out. Well, the decision was made for us, and as long as we got to rename her Lulu, we took Mary Lou home with us that day, picking up a new duvet & supply of food & treats on the way.

Lulu settled in to her new forever home really quickly, and is now happily laying on the sofa when she isn’t playing with her toys. She really put the smile back on our faces after losing Billy. She really has got loads of character, and loves running and playing with other dogs of all shapes & sizes

We would recommend that anyone considering getting a dog should give a retired greyhound a chance. They really do make brilliant family pets

Frank, Jan & Lulu
Bushey, Herts

 

 

Thomas

Following the sad loss of our beloved Max in October this year , we were faced with a very sad Misty who could not understand where her partner of almost two years had gone, so we contacted Jodie to see about taking Misty along to the kennels with a view to selecting another companion for her. 

We had looked on the website and went along with Thomas and Diver in mind. Jodie agreed that Thomas would be suitable so we took him for a walk. He and Misty walked side by side from the start and he was such a loving dog, so much came through in that hour or so that we spent with him. 
We asked Jodie if we could take him on a foster basis at first mainly to see how they got on together once at home. They both travelled side by side in the car (just like Max had done with Misty) and once home, it was as though they had always been together. 

Thomas had never been in a home environment before so all things were new to him; sounds of the radio, washing machine, hoover etc he had to explore , he stared at the radio with his ears up and his head going from side to side for a good 40 seconds !! 
He is an avid viewer of the dog whisperer and goes right up to the tv and when the dogs start running around he looks around the back of the tv to see where they have gone!! He has made our home a happy one again and Misty gets along very well with him and it is good to see her settled again. 

People have asked me how could we get another dog so soon after Max passing and my answer is that we will never ever forget Max, he was our introduction to the breed and there are so many out there looking for a home that when you have had two and one passes ,there is room in your home and your heart for another. And also I feared that we may have lost Misty through her grief (it really was that bad). It is still early days with Thomas but he has adapted very well. He is our third dog from Castledon and their rehoming process is second to none. 

Jodie & Sandra really take great steps to match dog and owner because they assess the dogs and get to know their characters so their “matchmaking” skills are excellent and the support continues after the dogs are rehomed, they are always there to offer advice if needed... Long may their work continue!

Babs, Paul
Misty & Thomas

Bedfordshire 

Marley

We are the contented and doting owners of Faith, who has been with us since April 2012. However, waiting in the wings was Marley. With some concerns we decided to include him in our family. 

Our worries proved to be unnecessary. Faith greeted Marley quietly and with interest. You could see the trepidation as she was greeted with a young, bouncy tripod dog that was full of friendship and hope. 
Since that day we have been rewarded again and again as we have seen him grow in confidence and watched as Faith has lovingly accepted him like a younger brother. 

Marley can be very playful and entertaining – as we watched the special Christmas flowers being tossed from the vase and his toys being hurled in the air. What a pleasure to see his ‘Joie de vivre’ despite his traumatic summer when he had a major operation to remove his front leg. Marley’s brave spirit shines through and is so infectious. 
He has such a loving and gentle nature. He loves his walks and likes to run around the garden and play catch with a tennis ball and even attempts to play football with his nose. 

Thank you to Jodie at Castledon and Carly who fostered him during his recovery. 
We are looking forward to the New Year and more pleasurable times with our two special dogs. 

Helen and Carol
Westcliff on Sea. 

Mia & Tink

Beautiful Mia joined our family in April. She had been at Castledon for a long time because she was looking for a home with her brother Polo. Sadly no one had come forward who could take them both so when we told Jodie that we were ready to home a new friend for Tink she suggested that Mia might be just the right girl for him.

Jodie was absolutely right and after a couple of walks together and a trip to the seaside, oh and not to mention 6 weeks of building work at home converting our seldom-used garage into a dog-friendly space, Mia came home.

She’s a lively, fun and affectionate girl who sleeps with one eye open to make sure that she’s not missing out on anything. It’s quite amazing how quickly she is adapting to home life. All the things Tink found scary at first like the TV, washing machine and every day household sounds, Mia sees as a reason to get up and investigate just in case it is connecting with something to eat!

Tink and Mia are getting along fine and she likes to be where he is. He’s definitely showing her the ropes when it comes to living in a home rather than a kennel and she seems to enjoy discovering new sights, smells and experiences each day.

Because Tony, Tink and I have bonded so well and settled into a really easy life together we were a bit anxious about introducing another greyhound into the family. It’s early days but so far so good – far from sharing the same amount of love between two, our hearts have expanded and we have more love, plenty for both of them.

Rose, Tony, Mr Tink and Miss Mia, 
(Bovingdon, Herts)

Faith

On Friday 13th April 2012 a very special and wonderful dog called Faith came into our lives – since that day we have never looked back.

In the few weeks that led up to that lucky and fortunate day, we had met Faith on several occasions; during that time she had visited our home twice. 
She was a quiet and serious dog who was wary of all new experiences and had no reason to trust anyone, except Jodie and Carly! 
They had given her hope and she had been renamed Faith - as she epitomised a new beginning and faith that all would be well, this emerging as a direct result of her courageous spirit.

She had really been through the wars! However, on her visit to our home, following a stroll around Old Leigh, she settled down on the rug and fell asleep.At that moment, she chose us and gave the go ahead, to the possibility, that this could be her new home. 

Since that fantastic and fateful Friday 13th she has grown in confidence and a wonderful spirit has emerged. She is loyal, trusting, and playful; she shows unconditional love. What more could anyone want from a member of the family?

In the summer we took her to Brittany, via the Channel tunnel, she caused quite a stir with the French. She was treated like a celebrity – being referred to as a ‘Champion’ wherever we went. 

We cannot say thank you enough to Castledon Greyhound Rescue for ensuring this was a success. Jodie has always been on hand to give advice and encouragement. 
We look forward to many years of joy and fulfilment from our very special and courageous Faith.

Helen and Carol
(Westcliff on Sea, Essex)

Casper

We had wanted to get a friend and companion for our lovely gentle five year old greyhound Diva, who we had homed four years previously, as she got on very well with almost all other dogs and loved playing with our daughters Labrador Molly and Spaniel mix Stanley.

We had tried Diva with a rescue greyhound the previous year but unfortunately, it didn't work out for Diva who was bullied by the other dog and reluctantly we had to take the other dog back to the kennels she came from.

While at the vets with Diva earlier this year, the vet gave me the telephone number for Jodie at Castledon.

I called Jodie and had a lovely chat to her explaining my worry, that Diva would be bullied again. Jodie was very caring and arranged to do a home check.

Jodie and Sandra arrived, checked our home and made sure our garden was enclosed and met us & Diva. We discussed which dogs we liked from the website and if they were suitable for us.

After a week or so Jodie contacted me to say she would like to bring a couple of dogs to our home for Diva to meet and we arranged for the following Sunday.

Jodie arrived with three dogs, first was Jake a big gentle black greyhound, Diva and Jake sniffed one another and it went well. Next was a beautiful black and white dog, Patch, who I really liked but Diva wasn't interested in him at all, then Jodie brought in Casper a handsome, happy Lurcher boy who had been rescued by Jodie and other Castledon helpers months earlier from a field where he had been left for days, very frightened, with infections and underweight. Jodie said she had decided to bring him along because my husband had mentioned that he liked Lurchers. 

Well, Diva fell in love with Casper at first sight, with his waggy tail and laughing smile, and so did we! Jodie explained that he was high energy and always wanted to play and loved to run.

So we asked if we could take Casper for a weekend and see how we all got on.

We all got on really well, Casper kept close to Diva from the start, a perfect team! they play ball, run and run some more play and sleep together, we go for lots of lovely walks and rambles, which we all enjoy, he loves to play football with with Richard and our grandchildren.

Casper is really funny and still pounces on leaves and shadows just for the fun of it, he and Diva play hide and seek under and around the trees and bushes in our garden everyday and they have us in stitches.

Casper has been with us for six months now and he has learnt so much and come so far. 

For us Casper is the perfect dog.


Marion, Richard & Diva
Rainham, Essex

Misty

"Hello, My name is Misty.
I have found my forever home with Paul, Babs & Max in Bedfordshire.
Max is also a rescue hound from Castledon and has lived with Paul & Babs for 4 years now and it was lucky for me that they contacted Jodie again when they were looking to give another greyhound a home.
Apparently, before I arrived at Castledon they took Max speed dating with four other girlies that Jodie had picked out for them but Babs and Paul couldn't make up their minds and went off on holiday to talk it over with Max.
When they visited again, Jodie told them about me & that she thought I would be perfect so they took me out to the park. Max is a handsome chap and we got on fine on our walk and we went back to the kennels to tell Jodie that they had picked ME!
I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could go home with them as they were having a new fence put up.
I got a new harness for my walks and a brand new coat for those chilly mornings and I love my new home.
I have the pick of 2 beds as I sneak into Max's when he's not around!
We have lots of visitors and I especially like the little people (Bab's grandchildren) as they stroke me and play with my toys with me.
I am very nosey (so Babs keeps telling everyone) - I have my nose in cupboards when she opens them and I know where the cupboard is where mine and Max's treats are kept!
I have settled in very well - it takes us hounds a while to get used to all those strange sights and sounds as most of us haven't lived in a home before.
I miss Jodie & Sandra and all the staff at Castledon but Babs tells me that Jodie sends her emails regularly asking about my progress so that's good - they never forget those hounds that have been lucky enough to find their forever homes. They love to hear from the owners from time to time with tales of their hounds.

Babs is now on the Castledon forum and tells us all the news about our old friends at Castledon.
And we love to hear the news that some of our pals have now found their forever homes.
The forum also helps with fundraising - they have various things going on, some of which we dogs can take part in and we love promoting greyhounds as pets.
Max and I are very lucky as Babs and paul have a caravan that we have lots of holidays in - we love it! We especially like going to The Yorkshire Dales where we have lots of lovely walks and fresh springs that we can drink from.
I am so glad that they chose me and as Babs keeps saying: "Two is better than one!"

Licks to all at Castledon
Misty, Max, Paul & Babs
Bedfordshire

Bonnie

We were already the doting owners of Woody, a big, black, 37 kilo, former heavy-weight champion racing greyhound, who we adopted from an RGT kennels about twelve months previously. Poor old Woody had been homed and returned twice by the time we adopted him when he was six years old (we’ve never discovered why he offended his first two owners ) and we were advised to keep him as a lone dog. This situation may have remained had it not been for a traffic jam on the 127 one day. 

An unfortunate accident on the east-bound carriageway kept my car at a snail’s pace as I passed Castledon Greyhound Rescue and Castledon’s little greyhound pamper parlour/ shop caught my eye. The next time we were passing, we popped in to see what was there. We met Carly and loved the atmosphere and ‘feel’ of Castledon. We left with a bag of goodies and an appointment for a doggy make-over for Woody. 
Woody loved his pampering (especially the sausages) and while we were there, we met Jodie and some of the ‘guests’ who were awaiting homes. Woody, as ever in such situations, was as pleased as punch to be amongst fellow greyhounds and showed no signs of aggression or antagonism.

We left, wondering why the RGT had been so adamant that he should be housed alone. 
The next time we visited, we discussed the issue with Jodie and she suggested we try a ‘trial’ weekend with a little girl, to see how Woody would react with another Greyhound in his home. 
She picked out Bonnie, a two year old blue, and she met Woody in the confines of the pamper parlour – just before he had his bath. He was his normal charming self – the perfect gentleman and we were convinced to try it out. 
Jodie brought Bonnie to us the following weekend and she obviously loved being with her ‘big brother’. In no time at all, she’d settled herself down on Woody’s bed – alongside him! 
He looked a little perplexed by this rather forward behaviour, but tolerated it nevertheless. The weekend was happy but fraught, as we worried if Woody would suddenly turn against Bonnie and whether we would have to return her chewed up and mangled to the kennels. Happily it didn’t happen and I think we were all a little sad to take her back on the Sunday. 

Over the next few weeks, the pattern was repeated. I would pick Bonnie up on Friday evening – she would leap into the car boot with excitement – and we would drop her back on Sunday. It became harder and harder to let her go and we began to long for the Easter holiday when we had decided to take her home forever. The two dogs were, by now, firm friends and our two teenage boys were as keen as us to keep Bonnie. 

So Bonnie came home and we all lived happily ever after! Well, it’s not that simple of course – life never is! We’ve had a few little toilet problems but that seems under control now - and it didn’t do much for Bonnie’s confidence when she was attacked by a little terrier whilst out walking a few days after we brought her home for good. 
She had to go to the emergency vets for shaving and stitching and consequently she became terrified of other dogs. She likes to keep Woody in front when we’re walking now – she feels safer that way. The important thing is, Bonnie is happy, Woody is happy and we are happy too. The whole family love her. 
Our two lovely dogs make our house a home. They pinch our sofas, make bad smells, wake us up too early and make us go out for walks when it’s raining but we love them. We’re greyhound owners for life – no going back! 

Ray and Liz Liddard 
Brentwood, Essex

Katie & Flash 

"When the time came to get some more dogs we knew we wanted hounds, having had one before. Our search took us to the Castledon website. We liked their approach of getting to know their dogs and placing them in households best suited to them, as we'd be happy with any hounds but we wanted the hounds to be happy with us!

Homecheck duly completed, we went to Castledon to meet some hounds. We met five in all, and then came the hard part - choosing just two of them. Flash and Katie chose us as much as we chose them. Flash greeted us with bouncy enthusiasm while Katie metled our hearts with her resemblance to our first hound Sybil (we've since found that they are closely related). So it was that the next time we went to Castledon we came home with Katie fast asleep on the back seat and Flash very much awake in the back, taking in every detail of his next big adventure.

They settled in to our house straight away. On their first day they learned that in this house dogs are allowed on the sofas, that the little people in the TV aren't really in the room with us and that squeaky toys are hours of fun. We barely heard a peep out of them on the first night, and they've continued to make themselves at home ever since. Flash is the happiest, bounciest dog that we've ever known; everything in the world is an exciting adventure waiting to be enjoyed. Katie has really come out of her shell and is the biggest puppy in town, full of mischevious energy... at least until nap time! 

We recently caught up with Jodie and several of the Castledon gang at the RGT Greyhound Extravaganza. As soon as they saw their old friends Katie and Flash both dashed over to them and got lots of fuss and cuddles. 

We've had them nearly four months now and have become a really close, happy pack together. There's nothing quite like having a big group hug with two waggy leaning hounds! We couldn't have wished for two more splendid dogs. Thank you everyone at Castledon, from all four of us!"

Luke & Dawn Cave
Huntingdon, Cambridge

 

Sophie & Ben

"Before Jodie came to do our Home-check we had said we would like a little girl. When Jodie came she told us about the different dogs she had in her kennels, one was a dog called Turbo nearly 8 years old that she had for some months. 
He had lived in kennels all his life and we thought it would be nice to give him some home comforts in his later years. He was due surgery on a lump under his chest so we would have to await the outcome of the operation. Luckily the lump was found to be benign. 
We had decided we would like to have a girl as well. When we came back from our holiday Jodie rang to say she had got a suitable girl, that she had put them together and that they were getting on well together. A few days later we went to see them. We thought they were great and just what we wanted, so the following week they came to live with us.

Turbo became Ben, and Jodie had named the girl Sophie which we thought suited her. Sophie was rather nervous and we had to take her on a lead in the garden regularly as the open space was just too much for her, but Ben loved it and would lay out on the garden lawn sunning himself. They settled down at night and were totally clean in the house.

Over the next few weeks Sophie gradually changed, found she could climb the stairs, and has become a very confident and loving little dog. Ben cant climb stairs and we have had to put small mats where there are shiny floors as he can slip over. Sophie is definitely the boss and Ben is quite happy to accept that. It has surprised us how dogs that have lived in kennels all their lives have adapted to a home life so very quickly. They are both such affectionate dogs and love cuddles and as much love as you can give them. It has been lovely over time watching their personalities develop. They are excellent travellers and love going in the car for days out.

Ben doesnt like fireworks so we have to turn up the television until they have stopped. They are great companions to us & we adore them. We would thoroughly recommend a Greyhound to anyone thinking of adopting a dog.

The thing that we like so much is that Jodie & Sandra know their dogs so well. They really care about each dog as an individual and can match a suitable dog to you, rather than you picking a dog you dont know anything about. They are always there for advice & help if needed."

Derek & Maureen Blake
Braintree, Essex. 

 

Lacey & Duke

"Well, we can't believe it's nearly a year since Lacey arrived and as far as we are concerned, she's been here forever! And has it really been only four months since Duke joined her?

They have both settled into home life really easily and seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Lacey is very much “top dog” - it seems that within the entire animal kingdom, women rule the roost!

We lost our lurcher Jasper nearly two years ago and when we were ready for a new dog we looked into greyhounds and found they are even more laid back than lurchers! Perfect for us!

Having checked us over, Jodie suggested Lacey would suit us and how right she was! Lacey turned up first and we so fell in love with her that it wasn't long before we wanted to get her a companion. Jodie is so careful about placing the right dog in the right home that she invited Lacey to meet a couple of potential “friends”. Lacey and Duke seemed to get on well so we took some time out for them to get to know each other and now they have well and truly bonded as a pair.

It's great to see them playing together and chasing each other round the garden - they really make our house feel like a home once again.

As we have lots of windows, they can see all around the outside of house and enjoy staring out, just in case the squirrel turns up, which he often does, and Lacey thinks this is a good time to get excited and bark and squeal a bit. We don't discourage her from this, as at least we know she still has a bark - she is normally so silent! Duke can't be bothered - he is too laid back!

It wasn't very long after she arrived that Lacey learnt to relax. Within two weeks she was sleeping on her back! And she wheedled her way onto Daddy's lap! Duke's a bit too big to be a lap dog, so he shows his affection by “kissing” us - he will even do it to command!

They are both very well behaved. Greyhounds are notorious for being couch potatoes - literally taking up all the room on the sofa, but we agreed that we didn't want our dogs to lie on any furniture, so we discouraged them both from day one, and neither of them make any attempt to get on any furniture, although Lacey knows that she is allowed only if Daddy's lap is available, which it frequently is! "



"They are both much admired wherever they go and it is just fantastic that they have fitted into our lifestyle with such ease that you wouldn't believe they are still relatively new to us.

Greyhounds make wonderful pets - and Jodie gets to know the character of each and every one of them. Duke and Lacey are proof that Jodie really understands what is right for dogs and owners alike!"

Andy and Jan
Abbots Langley

 

Dixie

"Dixie came to live with me in January 2010. It was something of a whirlwind “romance” – on my part anyway!

Before Christmas 2009 I was thinking of getting a dog, and had heard that a greyhound might be a suitable dog for me. Not wishing to rush into things, I went along to a Greyhound Walk to meet some hounds and find out more. As luck would have it, Jodie was there with Dixie, who needed a home. Dixie is a striking looking big white boy, and Jodie sang his praises but I hadn’t planned to make a decision just yet so I just got contact details at that stage.

I live quite a long way from Wickford, but enquiries with more local kennels met with either a lukewarm response, or my plans to visit were hampered by bad weather. Jodie, however, responded to my emails and came to do the home check on one of the worst days of the winter! She was really helpful in answering my questions and advising me about making the place suitable (I needed to install some fencing). We talked about suitable dogs – a couple of others were mentioned as well as Dixie, but he did sound perfect.

Anyway – following on from that meeting my plan to get a hound in March went by the board and I was keen to have one at home as soon after Christmas as I could manage. We arranged for me to meet some other dogs (and Dixie) on the New Year’s day Greyhound Walk, and I went to the kennels the day after to walk Dixie on his own, and take him shopping for a coat, collar, lead and other essentials. After a few delays with the fence building, he moved in within two weeks.

Dixie made himself at home as soon as he arrived, finding a comfortable spot on the sofa. He settled in very quickly and was soon enjoying his country walks. Within a few days he’d become a “Velcro dog” – following me from room to room, but even so, when I did have to go out and leave him he soon settled down until I returned. He also immediately made friends with his dog walker who takes him out on the days I have to work away from home. He’s a really happy, bouncy dog and loves meeting new people and expects them to like him too. I couldn’t wish for a better dog – he has many of the typical greyhound characteristics: placid temperament (except when he wants his walk!), loves people, and enjoys finding a comfortable spot to catch up on his sleep. He does, however, really love his walks – he gets very excited whenever we get ready to go out (and he often nags me to go out if he thinks he’s slept long enough!) and he will happily walk for an hour or more – sometimes digging his paws in if I try to head back home sooner than he would like! 

He’s soon adapted to country life and loves checking out rabbit holes and watching out for wildlife in the fields. One of his other hobbies is “helping” me unpack the bags when I’ve been shopping – I think he enjoys his treats a lot more when he discovers them, rather than having them handed over!

I know I’m biased, but I do think he’s the perfect dog, for me anyway. It’s hard to believe that he had been homed before by another rehoming kennel but it didn’t work out (through no fault of his) and he was in danger of being put to sleep. It’s good to know how careful Jodie is to match the right dog with the right person to avoid such situations arising.

We paid a visit to Castledon a few weeks ago and Dixie was delighted to see his old friends there again – not surprising since they made a big fuss of him. He’ll be going back there for his holidays in the summer – I only hope I can get Jodie to give him up again!"

Sue Kaer
Suffolk

 

Holly

"When we first saw Holly on Castledon’s special appeal web page, we had just come to terms with the sad and untimely loss of our dear Poppy, (also from Castledon ). 

We had a dog bed sitting empty and Sonny our other little dog was missing a companion, so we decided that perhaps we could help another hound and after a chat with Jodie our first introduction to Holly was arranged.

That weekend, Jodie and Sandra arrived at our door with Holly. We were aware she had paw deformities and a little stump for a tail, but despite her imperfections, to us she was just perfect and we quickly decided she was here for good.
It’s now 6 months on and Holly is completely settled in. 

She’s a very friendly and loving dog. She is also lively and a bundle of fun. Holly loves to go out on long walks each day, exploring in the woods and local country park where she also loves to splash around in the stream and lake. She wears little boots when we go out. They keep her paws comfortable and protected, so she has no problems keeping up with Sonny and all their doggy friends. We love her and so does everyone she has come to know.

We have no regrets adopting Holly and it was the same with Poppy before. For anyone considering adopting a hound, do speak to Jodie or Sandra at Castledon." 

The Lyons family,
Raleigh, Essex

 

Reggie

"It is coming up to Reggie’s second Christmas with us and we have shared some great times together and are looking forward to many more.

Well it all started after seeing the Castledon Kennel re-homing poster in our local newsagent. Having been brought up around greyhounds I was well aware what fabulous family pets they become and decided to contact them to see if we would be suitable. After a home visit and Jodie matching suitable dogs, we visited the kennels and clamped our eyes on ‘Bouncy’ Reggie. It was love at first sight and since then we have not looked back.

Reggie settled in so quickly and became part of our family; he is loved by us and everyone he meets.

So Reggie, what have you got up to in your first year….?

I have gained two step sisters Isla (Labrador) and Ruby (Lab/collie). They have taught me lots of new tricks and taken me on lots of new adventures. We are the ‘Three Musketeers’ and great pals.

I have travelled around the country to the Lake District, Peak District and as far as the Scottish Highlands. Even taking a dip whilst chasing ducks and making the local paper in the suspected Loch Ness Monster hoax.

Made lots of new dog walking friends and sometimes meet up with them to have some fun. But sadly my Mum often chats for far too long, leaving me to sit and listen to the local gossip again and again! 
Though I have to say my favourite would be the Greyhound Walks where I get the chance to meet up with Jodie, Sandra, Dale and Andrea from Castledon. I have never forgotten the care and love they gave me.

I entered the Greyhound Walks show for a laugh and helped raise some money for my fellow pals and would you believe it? I got 3rd place in my class. Mum was so proud she treated to me to some organic treats.

To be honest I love my walks, but I also look forward to my Mum and James leaving me, so I can catch up on my much needed ZZZZZZZZ’s. After all it is a dog’s life and I certainly fell on my feet here!"


"If you are considering re-homing a greyhound, I would highly recommend Castledon Kennels. Unlike other kennels, Jodie and Sandra spend a lot of time getting to know their dogs to ensure they are placed in a forever home and are always available should you need any help or support along the way."

 

 

Wendy & James

Thundersley

 

Joanne (JoJo)

"With our oldest daughter in her last year at primary school, my husband and I realised that it was time to stop talking about getting a dog, and get on and do it, otherwise our two daughters would not be able to experience the fun of life with a pet dog. We wanted a rescue dog of some kind, and felt that, never having been responsible for a dog before, we wanted help and support to be available. We found the Castledon website, and liked everything we saw, especially the fact that Jodie and Sandra would check that we really would be able to give a greyhound a good home. The home check was fine, and with Jodie's help we chose a beautiful black greyhound girl called Joanne.

We were so excited when Joanne (we call her Jojo for short) first arrived at home with us. She sniffed everything around the house (downstairs only at that stage), and soon chose to lie down in her new bed. I slept downstairs on her first night, in case she had any problems, but she was fine. We had no problems house-training her – we just kept an eye on her and took her out to the garden at frequent intervals. She followed us everywhere round the house to start with, except upstairs because she'd never come across stairs before. Then, after a few days she plucked up courage to go upstairs to see what on earth we did up there. We had a hilarious time, using a towel as a makeshift sling, getting her down again. After a few more trips up and down she learnt to 'do' stairs with no problems at all. Then she discovered our beds, which she's not really supposed to go on, so we keep our bedroom doors shut (mostly).

It has been wonderful watching Jojo's character come out over the last year or so, and discovering all the funny things that greyhounds do, like chattering their teeth when they're excited and grinning in their sleep. She loves her walks over the local playing fields. I work from home, and when it's time for her walk, she comes to my desk and nudges my elbow gently with her nose to remind me. She loves playing with her toys in the garden, where she has worn her very own mini race track in our lawn! She's more or less got used to our guinea pig, although we're careful that they don't ever get too close to one another. She loves snoozing on the sofa, often on her back with her legs in the air. She's always really pleased to see us return if we've been out anywhere. She shows us lots of affection and we all love her to bits. Our daughters say getting Jojo has been the best thing that's ever happened to them.

Thank you Castledon for introducing us to Jojo. We really admire everything you do for your greyhounds."

Percy & Lass

'We lost our beloved Greyhound Shane last year, he was 12 yrs old and we had him 7 years. We were devastated and it took us 7 months before we felt ready to give another hound a home.
We wanted to get our next hound from a local rehoming kennel, and we came across Castledon Greyhound Rescue.

I called and spoke to Jodie. We spoke at length and arranged a home check. That was all fine and then arranged to come and see the hounds that Jodie thought would suit our lifestyle.
When we arrived at the kennel, we were greeted with 6 little faces, all wanting a home. After much deliberation and wanting to take them all home we chose the lovely Percy.

When the day finally came for Jodie to bring Percy to us, we were excited to say the least. Percy came into his new home and immediately grabbed all of the cushions off of the sofas and started shaking them like rag dolls... Jodie looked horrified but we just laughed at how cheeky Percy was!!

The rest is just history with Percy – the first night he paced all night and didn’t sit down at all , and from then on he settled like he had been with us forever.
Jodie told us that Percy hated kennels & used to chew the kennel door to get out - although he was well looked after and loved by Jodie & Sandra, kennels were not for him.

Now 6 months on these are some of Percy’s favourite things...

~ Sleep either on our bed or on the sofa in the sunny conservatory 

~ Have his daily pigs ear and dentistix

~ Play with his toys – the favourite being his ball and pheasant

~ Have cheese sprinkled on his dinner

~ Being brushed and also have ear rubs

~ Walkies – especially if it is in the country park

We soon decided that we would like to rehome another hound as company for Percy.

When we visited the kennels again we were again torn on who to choose. We decided we would like to rehome a nervous dog who would have the benefit of going to a home with another hound for support.

Jodie introduced us to little Lass. She was so scared, pacing around the run - she wouldn’t come near us, and the tip of her tail was touching her belly. We wanted to try and give her a fresh start.
When the day came for Lass to join our family, she was a nervous wreck. Jodie set up an indoor kennel in our dining room where Lass spent most of her time in the first few weeks. She was so scared we put her food at the side doorway of the kennel, and to get her into the garden we had to carry her out.

We couldn’t walk her out for about 2 months and then when we did try she was so scared she messed herself. To this day she doesn’t walk the streets; she is scared of people, cars, bikes, prams, etc, basically everything. We take her to the country park (in the car) and if there is no-one around she has now started to get some enjoyment from her walks, maybe one day she may brave the streets!

She is still very very nervous but she has come out of her shell so much since she arrived here. We have had her 6 months now & she has just started to play with Percy and is even showing signs of being a little dominant over him (good girl!!), and feels a lot more settled. She has bonded with us really well, she trusts us now.

Castledon are very supportive and are there anytime for you, if you have a question/problem. They love the dogs they look after, and their stringent home checks and their philosophy of getting the right dog for you, means that they have very little failed re-homing’s.

We would like to say thank you to them for giving us these lovely Greyhounds, they are so much fun and give a lot of love, its lovely to see how these dogs blossom in a home environment and are so thankful to you for giving them a chance of a safe, loving and comfortable forever home.

Caroline, Steve & Ryaan Sandham
Wickford, Essex.

Stella

I have for many years had Cavalier King Charles Spaniels but I decided when I still had my last one that, when the time came, I would get a greyhound. I seemed to be attracted to that aloof look – I thought it would be a challenge. When I was walking my spaniel one day I got talking to a couple who were out walking their greyhounds and I told them of my intention. They gave me a flier for Castledon and I carried that round in my pocket for about 2½ years. I later found that the people I spoke to were Andrea and Dale!

The time eventually came when I did contact Castledon and Jodie and Sandra came to give me and the garden the once over. I had explained in my email “application” to them that I was committed to walking an elderly gentleman’s Jack Russell and, once the garden and I had been given the OK, bearing the little dog in mind, Jodie and Sandra went off to see if they could find anything suitable.

I will never forget “my” dog’s face when I was standing in the garden waiting for Jodie to bring her in. Her little face came round the garden gate and she was so interested and excited about what she would see – not at all reticent and aloof as I had expected. She passed the test with the little dog and so she came to stay with me and I named her “Stella” (stellar – star).

I had always thought that greyhounds were not very intelligent but I have to say I was (and continue to be) amazed at how quickly she learnt commands and words. She did her very best to please me and if there was an “accident” it was entirely my fault as the onus was, of course, on me to pay attention to her and let her out regularly as, obviously, she did not know how to ask to be let out. Fortunately, the accidents were few and I only got told off a couple of times. Now she responds to “Do you want to pop out for a quick wee?”

Initially, I found it was like owning a cross between a dog and a fawn as she was either “up on her toes” or frightened. When I was getting ready for the daily walk she would run upstairs and hide. I wondered if she was agoraphobic but then I realised that she didn’t understand the concept of going out and coming back – she thought she would go out and not come back to the home she loved. There have been many things that we have learnt to get through as, although I am an experienced dog owner, Stella is my first greyhound and there has been a learning curve for both of us. For instance, she used to be terrified when the dustmen came round, especially the week when the bottles are collected as she could hear the crashing a long way away. When she was frightened and trying to hide, I said to her “come and see the lovely boys” in an encouraging and excited tone and I put her front feet on the window sill so that she could look out and see there was nothing to be frightened of. Now when they come down the road, she comes to find me and I have to say “Is it the lovely boys? Lets go and look” and we have to dash off to the nearest window (even if I have just got out of the shower). What a silly way to carry on! This is all your fault Andrea!!

What I found an absolute joy was when I first took Stella on holiday to Dorset. On her first visit to Studland bay, I let her off the lead but she just stood there not knowing what to do (although she had been off the lead for many months by then). I encouraged her to play and she jumped straight up in the air, did three pirouettes and then ran straight into the sea up to her chest. I quickly called her out and she then ran at top speed all the way down the beach. It was really a joy to watch – all that freedom. We have had several happy holidays together since.

I could go on with lots of other stories – like all greyhound owners – but in a nutshell, I find Stella amusing and intelligent company, she is very affectionate and willing but, as she likes to “chill out” she is not always “in your face”. She is very well-known and liked where we walk and just this morning when she was running around and playing with the other dogs, a fellow dog walker said “Stella is such a lovely dog – she has come on so well – you must be very proud of her”. Do you know what – I am!

Valerie Parker
Hadleigh, Essex

 

Ruby

"Ruby was previously featured on the 'Special Appeal' page, as she had been returned to the kennels having been in a home for 8 months after she became ill.
She was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and due to the steroids that she was on for her condition, her fur started to fall out.
Coupled with this, she was also becoming a bit down at being back in kennels. Ruby had been on the website as Special Appeal for several months, but there was no interest in her.

Jodie was getting concerned about her and knew that what she really needed was to go back into a home environment. She discussed it with us and knowing what a sweet-natured girl Ruby was, we offered to take her into our home with our 2 greys, Nikki and Jezza.
True to Jodie's word, Ruby fitted in from day one and we have never had any problems at all.
Although she knew us from the kennels, she was rather shy at first but she soon settled into the routine of being back in a home and she's now a confident, happy girl.

Her steroids have been gradually reduced and her fur has grown back - no more baldy area's for Ruby! We're hoping that we can get her off of them completely as time goes on and just control her condition with diet alone.
Ruby loves her walks in the nearby woods and is looking forward to going on her first holiday with us in September to the New Forest - better warn the squirrels!

It just goes to show that three's not necessarily a crowd - especially with Jodie's brilliant match-making skills!"

Andrea & Dale Kirk
Essex

Erin

After the loss of my 15 year old Cocker Spaniel my home was empty and walks through the woods lonely, after 5 months I realised that I would like another dog in my life, and felt that a more sensible dog such as a greyhound would be the best fit to my retired lifestyle. Unfortunately my local re-homing centres didn't see my situation so positively, which led me further afield to Castledon.

Jodie was fantastic, with a thorough telephone interview, followed by an in depth home check I explained my situation and the type of dog I was looking for. Within a couple of weeks, Jodie had selected 2 greyhounds which she believed would be ideal.

After taking Erin for a walk I realised she would be perfect, an inquisitive character, very eager to please and I arranged to take her home.

Its been just over a year since I chose Erin (previously known as Penny) from Castledon, and she's come on in leaps and bounds, with her recall getting better she enjoys her walks through the woods and meeting other dogs; although her inquisitive nature has occasionally gotten the better of her.

My fellow dog walkers were initially surprised I had chosen a greyhound as our local woods are full of rabbits, squirrels and other wildlife, with greyhounds being know for their speed, this could have provided some interesting entertainment, but Erin has taken this all in her stride and prefers playing with her ball. She has long left her racing background behind and has developed into a local country dog.

Many Thanks for all your Help

Doreen Mason
Suffolk

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Castledon Greyhound Rescue, Wickford, Essex - Matching Hounds to Homes - Forever! (last updated: 14/10/2017)