Covered – Narrabeen locals go for hound love

Bi-monthly magazine Covered (15K circ + social media) is distributed throughout Sydney’s northern beaches and north shore. It ran a Narrabeen adoption story.

Local couple Ali Marcy and Nick Foy say adding ‘hound love’ to your life by adopting or fostering a rescue greyhound is an opportunity not to be missed.

Ali and Nick adopted Larry from Sydney charity Greyhound Rescue (GR) in early 2018. GR is a registered charity, relies on donations which are tax deductible and fundraising.

“My mum grew up around greyhounds. When Nick and I were looking at getting a dog, my mum suggested adopting a greyhound because of their lovely nature. When we started looking into the breed, we realised how perfectly a greyhound would suit us,’’ Ali said.

Basic training is often needed for rescue greyhounds, many of whom had never been a pet before. Ali said it took a little time and patience for Larry to feel at home, but it had been completely worthwhile.

“When we first brought Larry home, he was a little shy and nervous. He’d never seen stairs before or been exposed to cars and everyday noises. With a little time and patience though, he soon adapted and became very comfortable and happy in his new home,” said Ali.

“He is now the friendliest, most sociable dog in the neighbourhood. Everyone in Narrabeen knows him by name. And now he’s a Greenhound, so no more muzzle!”

In NSW, greyhounds must wear muzzles in a public place, unless they are Greenhounds. These dogs have passed a test and no longer have to wear a muzzle. The RSPCA supports the complete removal of these compulsory muzzling requirements.

Ali said greyhound Larry passed his Greenhound assessment in August this year, just five months after being adopted.

“We’d highly recommend the Greenhound program to all greyhound owners. Before we had the green collar, every time we left the house Larry had to wear his muzzle. We felt so bad for him as he’d rub his face on us to try and get it off,” said Ali.

Greyhound owners simply sign up for the Greenhound in-home training program. This involves completion of a short workbook, based on observation of a dog’s behaviour.

“Once we completed his workbook, we were able to get him tested by a certified Greenhound assessor. It took about 10-15 minutes. They do a range of tests, without the owner present, to ensure your greyhound is not aggressive around food and other dogs. The assessor brought Larry back, all smiles,” she said.

Within a month, Ali received Larry’s green collar by mail. Larry was then able to be out in public without his muzzle, as long as he wears his green collar.

“With the green collar, Larry is now completely muzzle free and so happy whenever we go for walks,” Ali said.

Peter Flann, GR co-founder, said the charity now has over 50 dogs needing adoption or foster care.

“Greyhounds make great pets for all ages. They are gentle 70-km per hour couch potatoes. We have many wonderful greyhounds being cared for in our kennels. They need permanent homes or fostering in temporary homes,” he said.

“Greyhounds shed very little hair, have no ‘doggie smell’ and need just a 20-minute walk each day, but like most dogs are happy to do more.”

Adoption costs $350. This goes toward the cost of de-sexing, vaccination and a full health check. Peter said if people would like to ‘try before they buy’, they can foster a greyhound.  The charity pays the full cost of necessary vet bills while a dog is in foster, while foster carers cover food, shelter and flea treatments.

“We’ll supply muzzle, coat, collar and lead. We can help with costs if necessary. How long a hound stays with carers depends on the number of adoption applications we get, but foster carers should be prepared to accommodate a dog for at least six months,” he said.

Carers are also required to meet and greet potential adopters when the time comes: “They can always adopt, but carers tell us it’s great to see a foster go to its forever home. Anyone who’s interested should complete a fostering form via our website,” said Peter.


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