WORLD GALGO DAY 2017

As the hunting season in Spain ends, please spare a prayer for the poor galgos who will be abandoned, disposed of, or killed because they are no longer wanted.

My beautiful hounds Jasmine and Lindy and my foster lurcher Fawn are joining hounds all over the world today in showing solidarity with their Spanish cousins, and hoping that some unwanted galgos at least will find their way to rescues and to a kinder future.

#worldgalgoday2017 #freethegalgos

 

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BOHO BABES OF THE MONTH | Oscar and Pearl

Surrey dog Photography

Just sneaking in under the wire, here are our Boho Babes of the Month for July!  Greyhounds Oscar and Pearl are two oldies seeking a home together for a quiet and easy-going retirement.  Two score years between them, their ambition is to keep their teeth and show arthritis a clean pair of heels.  If you were expecting them to be a doddery old pair, you’d be in for a surprise. Oldies still know how to rock and roll.

They have been together through thick and thin and want to keep it that way, so they are looking for a home together.  If you think you could be the right home for these lovely greyhounds, contact Celia Cross Greyhound Trust.

ABOUT: Boho Babes of the Month is a joint project between Madaboutgreys Photography and Doggy Boho.  Working with various sighthound rescues, we aim to highlight the case for overlooked and special hounds waiting in rescue for their forever homes.

Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue

Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue

Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue

Surrey dog photographer

Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue

PS If you’re after pretty, Oscar and Pearl say they can do pretty too…

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The Transformation of a Rescue Dog – Surrey grooming and photoshoot

Just a few weeks ago, life was looking very different for Winnie.  Found abandoned in Yorkshire, she had been taken to the local dog pound, no-one had come to claim her, her time was up and she was due to be put to sleep.  Thank goodness a kind-hearted “pound-puller” had heard about her case, lined up a dog rescue willing to take Winnie and brought her out to safety in the nick of time.  So it was that Winnie came under the wing of Lurcher SOS and into foster care with me. Winnie is a lovely calm, gentle girl with a beautiful nature who is so ready to give her heart and soul to the person who becomes her owner.

Alas she did not look very beautiful though.  A big black and tan lurcher with a lot of saluki in her breeding, her long feathered coat was bedraggled, matted and filthy, after months of living rough.  A quick brushing brought up a snowstorm of dandruff from her greasy coat.  And I didn’t want to brush her too much because every single rib was sticking out and I was scared of hurting her.  She had a voracious appetite and ate just about everything she was given.  And she was so clearly grateful for every little bit of care and attention I gave her.

Let’s not dwell too much on those days when Winnie was at rock bottom.  A couple of weeks later, she had put of plenty of weight and condition, and was looking and feeling much better.  But her coat was still a bedraggled, matted mess and she was not going to win any beauty competitions in that state. Enter the lovely Ellis Kemp of Pawfect Companions, a professional dog groomer in Sunbury who agreed to give Winnie the makeover she badly needed.  Ellis said Winnie is probably one of the best-behaved clients she has ever had.  Good as gold while she was showered and clearly very happy indeed to be cleaner, Winnie careered around the place, bouncing and play-bowing, before stepping onto the grooming table for what proved to be a very long session indeed. Checking out the full extent of the problem, Ellis confirmed that Winnie’s ears in particular were extremely heavily matted and must be causing her great discomfort, her paws were full of mats too and there was so much fur under her pads that she must have had great difficulty getting traction on hard floors and surfaces.  All that was about to change.  I was so touched by the gentleness and patience with which Ellis tackled all those months and years of neglect, carefully trying to loosen and untangle the mats that clung to Winnie’s poor ears, tidying up her pads and sorting her overgrown nails.  After nearly two hours, Winnie emerged looking like the princess she was always meant to be.

When we got back, she came and put her head on my knee and leaned hard against my leg – that’s Winnie’s way of saying “thank you”. No “before” photographs, because no princess wants to be seen looking less than perfect in public.  But here is her studio portrait from the little photoshoot I did for her, celebrating her “after” condition.  And the best news of all?  Winnie is now adopted and has found a forever home that is perfect for her, with two lovely saluki lurcher sisters to play with.

 

Winnie was rescued by Lurcher SOS

She was groomed by Ellis Kemp of Pawfect Companions

And photographed by Madaboutgreys Photography

Farewell to a foster dog

Surrey dog photography   Goodbye, little foster dog. I’m wiping off the snot graffiti and my windows are staying clean. I’m looking forward to stress-free dog walks. No one is going to chew my bamboos and throw up the results on the hall carpet. I won’t be woken by your footsteps thundering on the stairs and your little face at the side of the bed, wishing me good morning. I’m not really going to miss you at all. FOOTNOTE Susie, rescued and adopted through Lurcher SOS Lurcher & Sighthound Rescue – she’s been with me for over three months now and I’ve grown accustomed to her face.  Today she leaves for her forever home, and I’ll be planning to take another dog on foster as soon as I’m able. Fostering, it breaks your heart but it saves lives.  Which is more important?

The story of a dog rescue | madaboutgreys Surrey dog photographer

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Little Sidney has no idea how close he came today…  He wagged like fury as the kind woman at the dog pound showered him with hugs of joy and relief, and wished him a long and happy life.  He lumbered into my car with not much grace or confidence, but once in there he cheerfully checked out the dog rugs, the poo bags, the collars and leads and the “Greyhound on Board” sticker with experimental sniffs and licks.  He responded to the driver’s singing with polite interest but declined to join in, bore the interminable traffic jams on the Dartford crossing with good grace, and lay down when he was asked to, several times.  He finally reached the safety of the isolation kennels at Clark’s Farm and greeted the human and canine team there with more effusive wags and fuss.  And as he bore with stoicism the first of his vaccinations from the Clark’s Farm vet, I thought again how differently things could have turned out for him today.

But there is something very special about this boy, cheerful and waggy and trusting, which just gets to people, makes them smile, and makes them go the extra mile for him: the kind woman at the pound who bucked the pressures to give him an extra day or two; Lurcher SOS Lurcher & Sighthound Rescue who guaranteed him a space (though they were full to bursting already) if only someone could get him out of the dog pound in time, the Lurcher SOS supporters who came forward with offers of practical or financial help to throw him a lifeline; and the poor beleaguered head of Lurcher SOS who worked her network of contacts late into the night and again this morning to track down exactly where he was and bring him to safety in the nick of time.

He doesn’t know how close he came to death today, but Sidney is the special one, the dog who lived, because there are people who care and because there is actually something very special about him, and no-one who has met him could fail to be moved by him.


FOOTNOTE: Since Sidney’s very close call with death was a few months back.  He cleared quarantine at Clark’s Farm, and was vaccinated and neutered and pronounced fit.  He went to live with a lovely fosterer where he put on lots of condition and learned to chill for the first time in his short life; and he was soon spotted by a lovely family who decided Sidney was the dog for them.  He is now adopted and living happily even after with a little lurcher girl to keep him company.  There are few things in my life that have made me as proud as my decision that day to drop everything and drive halfway across the home counties to bring Sidney to safety.

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Visiting the galgos of Spain – Surrey dog photographer

I recently visited one of the main galgo and animal rescue centres in Spain, and to take some photographs of the beautiful dogs in their care.  The Scooby Medina sanctuary was built virtually from scratch by volunteers and with donations, built from a simple empty shed on a piece of industrial wasteland into the huge centre it is today, with kennels and running areas and even their own in-house vet surgery.  In the 20 years since the sanctuary was founded, the local helpers and volunteers from around Europe have established the largest animal shelter in Spain, offering a safe haven for galgos and other animals in need.  They rehome dogs across Europe (though not very much to the UK while there are so many dogs cast off from the greyhound industry in need of a home).

Those of you who admire Spain greyhounds may enjoy seeing some of the photographs I took.  Don’t feel sorry for the dogs behind wire fences.  These were in holding kennels,  about to leave the sanctuary, and they will by now be safely ensconced in homes in France and Italy.

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©  madaboutgreys, London and Surrey dog photography

www.madaboutgreys.com

Kerry Greyhounds UK – madaboutgreys Studio Dog Photography

Kerry Greyhounds UK is an independent rehoming charity, based in Norfolk,  dedicated to finding the very best forever homes for unwanted racing greyhounds.

When Bronwen contacted me to ask if I’d do some studio photography for the KGUK 2014 calendar and their Christmas cards for this year, I wondered how on earth we’d manage it.  My studio is in Richmond and their dogs for rehoming are mostly in Norfolk.  But they had already worked that one out…

And so it was that the wonderful Pete, transport manager for KGUK arrived at my studio one May morning with a precious consignment of dogs in the care of Kerry Greyhounds UK, all ready and raring to go on their first modelling assignment.  Of course, none of these dogs had ever done anything like this before, in fact most of them had yet to see much of life beyond the kennel walls, though a lucky few had already found their way to foster homes with Kerry Greyhounds.  But they all did us proud that day. Spirit/Harbow and Kirwan/Derry were up for any amount of silliness in the prop department.  Tazz and Shay knew they’d be just perfect for the job with their stunning good looks.  Everyone said Noakes (now Dave) might be nervous but he was nothing of the sort.  Gideon was the trouper who smiled through the Christmas wreath; he smiled as he got trampled and squeezed by the others in the group shots; he smiled at just about everything in fact.  Senne was frankly disappointed:  she’d been told this was a modelling job and was appalled to discover she was going to be wearing Easter bunny ears, not that classy little collar from Holly and Lil she’d heard about.  And TJ (now Ty) stole my heart with his sheer chutzpah and the intelligence and good humour with which he approached it all.

Kerry Greyhounds calendars and Christmas cards are now on sale from their website.  At £6 a calendar and £4 for a pack of 6 cards they are a great deal and all proceeds go to a great cause.  So please click on the links to pop along and do some Christmas shopping.

All the Kerry hounds from the madaboutgreys studio shoot are now happily homed and looking forward to their first Christmases in their forever homes.  All except one. Handsome Jacko is unaccountably still waiting for someone to see the potential in him and make him an offer of a home.  He was one of the most handsome and easy dogs at the shoot and is going to make a fantastic pet.  If you’ve a space in your home and your heart, pick up the phone and help Jacko get home for Christmas.

© madaboutgreys, London and Surrey dog photography
Senne thought she would be modelling designer collars – she was not amused.
© madaboutgreys, London and Surrey dog photography
Kirwan (now Derry) was up for all sorts of nonsense
© madaboutgreys, London and Surrey dog photography
Jacko is still waiting – he would love to be home for Christmas…

 

©  madaboutgreys, London and Surrey dog photography