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Northumberland Greyhound Rescue

'Strange Tails'
The adventures and travels of Bob-the-dog!

I was up at the kennels on Christmas Day 2015, doing my volunteer bit, walking the dogs. I'd known Bob from when he was first kennelled in September until he went out to his adopted home in November.

He had now come back to the kennels and was a shadow of his former self, down from 34kgs to 25kgs and not looking good.

Despite already having 5 of our own and following discussion with Diane and my wife Lynne, I took Bob home there and then, with a view to fostering until a permanent home could be found.

From the beginning, Bob wasn't anything other than as good as gold. His health problems however, were to be long drawn-out and traumatic.  Trips to the vet followed, involving lots of tests which revealed gut and pancreas issues. These were treated by medication, special diet and round the clock nursing. Although the vet later told me she hadn’t expected him to pull through, after a few weeks it looked as though he was on the mend.

We decided we wanted to keep this lovely dog with the sweet nature, we couldn’t let him go!

Winter wasn't easy, it rained pretty much every day. We were in our first floor flat, so it was coats on, collars and leads on, walk them (x 4 a day), come back, wipe feet (24!), wet stuff off, hang up to dry and repeat.

Bob continued to get stronger, he put on weight and had settled well into the pack.

Eventually, summer arrived and we prepared to leave for our home in Germany.  However DEFRA regulations rule that you can only take a maximum of five dogs on the Pet Passport scheme and we already had five not counting Bob. After giving this some thought, my son Duncan offered to make the journey with us in his car, so we made two reservations for the crossing with separate vehicles.

On Sunday 12 June, Lynne, Duncan and I, together with the six dogs, a car, a van, a caravan and kayak, set off. We took three days with two overnight stop overs and the dogs were absolutely no bother (aren't greyhounds great travellers?).  We travelled through France and Belgium and arrived safe and sound and none the worse for wear (despite a puncture on the car en-route) in Germany on Tuesday 14 June.

We have a very large house here with a huge fully-enclosed garden which is much more suitable for the dogs than our flat in the UK. It was like Christmas Day for Bob - but a much better one than the day I took him home last December.

The area is fantastic for dogs, lots of walks in the valley, by the river and in the forests above. There is plenty of space in the house and in the garden to race around in. He has immediately made himself at home, continues to grow in confidence and playfulness and now tears around chasing toys and the other dogs - particularly with Max who is the same age as Bob but has a totally different personality. He's got (as they all have) a 'canny life like', if I say so myself!

He's now 42kgs (perhaps a tad overweight if I'm honest, but who'd begrudge him a little portly comfort for a while?) and is affectionately known as 'the tank'! He is testament to how resilient, adaptable and trusting greyhounds are.

I hope that Bob's story inspires others to offer a loving home to one of the many who deserve a chance at a happy post-racing life.

Mike Turnbull

Bob (in the centre) on his way to Germany