• Parklands Farm Greyhound Hotel

Choppers Diary – A special appeal to help the kennel that saved me

Since I have left mum and dad, I know they struggled coming to terms with me leaving, mum especially. I managed to make sure Toby arrived before I left and since then, I arranged for Karen at Dunrunnin to pick another dog to send to them to help them even more. They didn’t let me down and I watch from my sofa in the sky as these 2 mistreated and neglected dogs start to unfold in the company of mum, dad and the teenager.

I’m sad I didn’t get to enjoy the garden in the sun and walk the walks they can now do with Toby and Ella now that it is dry but I can see what they are doing every day and I sometimes sprinkle some love from up here. The Peonies are out already in the garden and someone told mum it was my sprinkle of love. It definitely was! Although I am not there with them, it meant they could give a home to 2 of my friends who needed them – Toby and Ella.

Toby came from a kennel in County Durham (Pelaw). He was there with many others who had been there over 5 years, forgotten about. Toby and 3 others were rescued by Dunrunnin in August 2019 :-

Colarhouse Toby

Glideaway Jane (Piglet) who was 5 years old, last raced 8th December 2017

Killahara Girl (Ethel) who was almost 10 years old, last raced last raced 5th March 2016 (of the 4 she was the only one in good condition and can only assume she had been in a home at some stage)

Twelvehourshift (Paddy) who was 5 years old, last raced 13th October 2017

Toby had been there 5 years since he came over from Ireland as a 3 year old. Karen at Dunrunnin did not know at this stage if he had been neutered. She thought with the boys at least it was obvious as neither had their manhood, however due to Paddy being over-interested in the girls she had them both blood tested. Toby had been neutered but Paddy had not but was cryptorchid (he had internal testicles). Both girls were checked too, one was and one wasn’t already spayed. Toby wasn’t even microchipped. He has half of one of his ears missing where it has been bitten off and was very underweight. Karen wanted to give him time to put on some weight and condition before he was subjected to an anaesthetic to deal with his rotten and painful teeth. He had a dental on 12th September 2019.

The man who went to collect Toby and his friends from this horrible situation was previously an RSPCA inspector. He said it wasn’t a very nice place and alarm bells rang with him when they had all 4 ready in a van outside, so he didn’t have to go in the kennels and see the conditions the dogs were living in. This is what some of us (the more lucky ones than some others) often endure when we are no longer required for racing.

I met Toby as he was living with us before I left and he is a total gentleman (unless you are a different breed of dog!) but has been starved of love and affection. He is getting lots of that now and mum tickles his bottom when he is laying on the floor and his back legs kick and run like mad! He loves it and when she stops, he bites the air to ask for more!

Ella went to mum and dad 4 weeks ago. She is totally different. She is just a pup – not 2 yet but has been starved and abused. She was in the pound – a very scary place to end up. The pound rang Karen at Dunrunnin and asked if she could help them trace her as her microchip was still registered in Co Tipperary. They had picked her up from an older lady in a block of flats in Kent who claimed she was a stray but they were not convinced this was the case. With the help of the GBGB she was traced from her ear tattoo to her litter, so Karen now knew her registered name and date of birth – just a baby still, who had never even trialled either here or in Ireland. The pound asked if Karen would take her for homing, sight unseen and of course, she did.

She was at least 3 kg underweight and with more worms than Karen had ever seen come from a dog and absolutely filthy, she was still a trusting and loving girl. Karen found her a home and explained her probable teething problems with the transition but she proved too much for them and sadly returned after just one week.

If you look no further than the obvious - she is beautiful in both colour and soul, loving, cuddly, not too lively (although that has changed after 4 weeks with mum, dad and the teenager!), walks like a dream on a lead, the list is endless... But underneath she is insecure and anxious but still overly trusting. It would have been easy to send her out in the world based on her face value but Karen worried for her more than her other rescues. They at least come from a background where they have been well handled, and if not loved, at least, in the most part, been well taken care of. Ella – who knows? Her early life, until it was realised she didn’t chase, would have been much the same as our other hounds. Kept with her litter, probably roughing it a bit but well fed and content. But what happened to her between the ages of 13-21 months? She was shipped over from Ireland, who knows how, and has been somewhere until she was rescued by Dunrunnin, clearly underfed and neglected. Who brought her over – why? Was this just a misguided attempt to save her which culminated in being mistreated? I want not to think the worst but we will never know, only Ella knows and yet she still trusts and comes back for more.

These are just 2 stories of what we as Greyhounds face and we get lucky by being rescued by amazing people and organisations like Karen at Dunrunnin and Jane at Celia Cross and many others across the country. They could not do this without the fundraising and help from supporters and we would not be given a chance at life with a loving family in safe homes. All too many of us are discarded in unimaginable ways and we need help from these amazing people.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that Dunrunnin's income is not guaranteed. Despite this, the need to care for and feed my friends there has not – like you all, Dunrunnin has no idea when things will return to normal again and they are left uncertain as to when funds will dry up.

Mum and dad really want to raise money to help (on this occasion Dunrunnin, but next time Celia Cross) as without them, who knows what would happen to us.

Dad is going to let mum shave his head – mad as he is! - and style what is left of his hair into a Mohican! They want to raise £1000 and as soon as this is raised, he will let her do it! He’ll even dye it a colour if we can raise enough!

I’d love it if you could support them in their fun appeal – even with £1. Any amount, as small or large as you can afford to give will help dogs like me, Toby and Ella find our safe forever homes where we can find love, a life and sleep safely at night.

To donate, go to “Go fund me Dunrunnin”

Thank you

All my love



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