– Gentle giants make great companions for over-60s

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My mum — who is 83 years young — lives alone in a complex of more than 50 units. When her pet cat recently died, I noticed that while mum was putting on a brave front, deep down she was lonely.

It was while I was out walking our old dog recently that I rang Mum to say I thought she needed a pet for company and suggested a greyhound might be a good fit. Her reaction was less than positive; it’s “too big, too strong”, and “what if I pop off the perch before the dog, how can such a dog live in my small place?”

“She’s going to die if you don’t take her,” was my reply and my mother’s immediate response was ‘Okay then.” Bingo! One rescued greyhound.

Kaylee is a seven-year-old greyhound.

I’ll admit, it has always been my desire to own a greyhound, so when my mother raised further questions around who would look after Kaylee if she needed to spend time in hospital etc. I just said the dog could come to us if there was a problem.

After contacting Greyhound Rescue, which had come up as recommended via social media, the process started. A home visit went well and finally it was suggested that Kaylee might be the right pooch for my mum. We wanted an older female dog.

You could say, Kaylee was chosen for us and the recommendation was spot on. We are one happy family with the addition of our new greyhound. Kaylee is a beautiful animal and has a lovely personality. This was a ‘meant to be’ arrangement.

In addition to being great company for Mum, Kaylee is no slouch. She plays with her toys to the point that they are destroyed in short order. Mum seems to find great humour in picking up fluff from shredded toys, laughing as she does so.

Kaylee is really playful and greets the visitors she knows like a puppy. She runs around the flat, almost wiggles out of her skin with excitement, then then plonks her head in your lap for a scratch. It is almost like Kaylee is being the puppy she never had the chance to be and yet, she knows when to be gentle.

She is not treat driven, but the squeaker works a treat. One press and Kaylee is at your feet.

Mum is gaining confidence walking Kaylee and they have a good routine now. Kaylee actually slipped her collar once and still made her way back home. I guess she knows she’s on a good thing where she is.

All my boys have a wonderful relationship with their nanna. My 19-year-old, Angus, has spent quite a bit of time with mum helping her to get used to Kaylee.

It’s a huge positive for me, as my son is not only spending valuable time with an important family member, but he is also getting a regular dose of sunlight, having previously spent most of his time on uni break making a mold of himself in our couch. Each week Angus and his nanna take both our dog and Kaylee to the dog park for an outing.

The decision to adopt a dog for Mum has been a good one. Kaylee is a real ice breaker with the other residents and mum is now out walking the dog and chatting to all the locals. I have seen a lovely change in Mum since Kaylee came along. We all notice it. She loves the dog and if I was ever asked about recommending a dog I’d say rescue a greyhound.

Greyhound Rescue has declared April is ‘Adopt a Greyhound Month’. Greyhounds make great pets and with more dogs than ever needing homes, Adopt a Greyhound Month is the perfect time to consider adopting your next best friend.

Read the article online here » 


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