From Un-home-able hound to lazy spoilt Mr Peabubba
Eight and a half years ago we lost our first Greyhound Clonbony Fire to bone cancer aged 13, he’d been home with us for 9 years. It was a heart breaking decision to let him go. A few days later we discussed the next step. We were both heart broken but knew that we were only months away from losing Dottie who was 15 years young. That left us with Millie who was very nervous and we felt she would not cope as an only dog. We knew that it hurt so much because it had been so good. So we decided to find another grey to share our home. We contacted several trusts and Ann got in touch happy to consider us even though we had small children.
The girls (including Millie & Dot) went to meet Ann, Paul and their dogs. They introduced us to the dogs on offer. Paul & Ann had a couple of dogs in mind, but foolishly Ann asked my eldest (3 1/2 years old) who she wanted to see first; the answer was Pongo. Ann and Paul looked at each other and rolled their eyes, “The Un-home-able Hound”.
Pongo had retired two years previously but had not found his forever home. He had been passed around the Trusts in East Anglia. He barked for his dinner, he barked for attention, he barked because he could.
So Ann brought him out to meet all the girls (human and canine). Dot wasn’t bothered either way, my daughters loved him and Millie said yes too.
We met the other dogs that Ann thought would suit us, but each of them just wasn’t right. That weekend we went back to see Ann & Paul, taking Andie too. The same day Ann & Paul waved him off as he jumped into the back of our car.
The first few weeks were hard as we adapted to having a new dog in the house as well as adjusting to life without Clonie. We had the usual highs & lows, housetraining and having a young bouncy hound in the house. Then there was his first emergency trip to the vets. He had been out walking with Andie and Millie when his flexi-lead got dropped and began chasing Pongo up the road. The faster Pongo ran the more his lead chased him. Neighbours shouted the directions Pongo had taken and eventually he was captured. He had really hurt himself, ripping all the pads off his feet.
Since those early days many things have changed. We lost Dot three months after Pongo came home, yet another bereavement so soon after losing Clonie.
Two years on, “The Pong” was very firmly a part of our family. He was gentle around the girls and a lunatic when his lead came out or when the mood took him. He qualified as a “Pets as Therapy” dog. I took him to the East of England show where he was the calmest and almost smallest of the PAT dogs there; he was certainly suited to the job. We regularly visited care homes for the elderly. It was clear from the staff and residents that his visits make a huge difference to their day.
He got on well with all dogs, big and small, including breaking a dog-sized hole in our fence so that he could spend literally the day with our neighbours’ miniature Yorkshire Terrier. He also loved chasing our friends Labradors – he just wished they would stop and let him rest!!
He became a blood donor for the “Pet Blood Bank”, as they insert the needle he laid on his side being cuddled by the staff wagging his tail. He donated 7 times, helping up to 28 dogs with his blood.
I joined a well-known animal rehoming charity as a volunteer and then an employee; teaching children animal welfare messages. Pongo was my right-hand-dog. We visited many schools; meeting and teaching thousands of children all about animal welfare and in particular being safe around dogs.
Pongo welcomed many fosters into our home; showing them the good things about living in a house, supporting them when they were unsure and letting them snuggle with him at night.
Two years ago Millie’s heart ran out of steam and she joined Clonie & Dot over the bridge. Pongo found it hard not having a houndie friend around, so just 5 days later we visited Kama’s Cave once again and Pongo chose himself Bonnie, who had had two previous homes. She continues to be very naughty and led Pongo astray on many occasions. We wondered if Pongo slowing down was leading to Bonnie’s naughtiness. This led to a further visit to Holbeach Drove where they decided that Gerry (now known as Guinness) should join our clan.
On 20th February 2016 Pongo made his last journey across the Rainbow Bridge. Although his heart was strong his body failed him. Pongo certainly brought smiles and laughter to our home. Everyone who met him dearly loved him. We are eternally grateful to Kama’s Cave for allowing us to adopt Pongo.
We think he was happy, too. What do you think?