SHARE
Precious pooches . . . Georgia Prestidge and Callum Evans with greyhounds Ahi (left) and Coco. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

April is Adopt a Greyhound Month, so The Courier is profiling South Canterbury greyhounds and their human families to find out what is so special about the breed.

Georgia Prestidge and Callum Evans are mum and dad to greyhounds Coco and Ahi.

We’re an engaged couple, in our mid-20s. We have no other pets, although family gatherings involve multiple little dogs, which our two hounds largely ignore.

Two days a week, both of us are at work for eight hours; the remainder of the week at least one of us is home. When we first got both dogs, they spent weekdays by themselves, all day.

We’re both dog lovers, and needed a dog that was relatively allergy friendly. Given we wanted a big dog, and one that we could adopt rather than buy, greyhounds very quickly become a good option! We attended a few GAP (Greyhounds as Pets) events, got involved in the greyhound community on social media and quickly fell in love with the breed.

The plan was always to end up with two, mostly because we love the company of dogs and have the time and space to give two a home.

Our first greyhound, Coco (Goldstar Coco), is 8. We’ve had her for about five months now, and the No 1 thing she has taught us is don’t ever be put off adopting an older dog.

She arrived as a sweet reserved gentle old lady. As she has settled in she’s become an absolute madam, and we wouldn’t change a thing! We arrive home to a little Coco face bouncing above a six-foot fence, who spins in circles with a helicopter tail in full speed when we greet her.

The eyes have it .. Coco uses her beautiful brown eyes to good effect. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

She makes sure there is zero chance we will forget breakfast or dinner, and has perfected the art of the stink eye if we take longer than she deems acceptable to get her food.

She sleeps on her own bed next to ours, but knows that one of us will lift her up on to our bed for cuddles first, every night. Unless there is food involved, she has to be scooped up and placed on her bed when it’s time for us to sleep. The one time she didn’t get bed cuddles before sleep, she stood and looked at us, until one of us got out of bed and lifted her up.

We adopted Ahi (Calm Inferno) about a month after Coco. He is 4, and an absolute ball of energy, noise and love. Where Coco is food oriented, Ahi will do anything for a pat and some praise.

Ahi has (literally) made his mark on our home. He has a tail that quite possibly never stops wagging, and a habit of lying down so forcefully against a wall that he has left a few dints – luckily they’re not too noticeable!

Possibly our favourite quirk of his is his hoarding habit. Similar to how a child has a security blanket, Ahi has security things he likes to carry round and gather on his bed (pretty much anything he can get hold of, bonus points if that is a shoe). He never destroys them, just relocates them.

Hoarder .. Ahi likes to collect things from around the house, including shoes, and carry them to his bed. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Ahi sleeps in his crate, which is set up in our room. We close the door at night, but leave it open during the day. He often hangs out there, especially if we’re up that end of the house during the day. While Coco settles quickly and sleeps soundly pretty much anywhere without a crate, Ahi definitely needs that space that is just his and the security the crate provides.

They get two walks a day, and are perfectly happy being left home alone while we are at work, providing they have had their morning walk. They spend pretty much the entire day sleeping (we have cameras that let us check on them), except for when they need to investigate a potential cat appearance (our two are not cat friendly, and the need for investigation is their chase/prey drive kicking in).

Something that has surprised us is just how chatty they can be! They bark when they are excited, which is when we get home, or when they see another dog they can run with at the dog park.

Ahi especially communicates a lot with us through different kinds of whines (he isn’t getting pats, dinner is taking too long, there isn’t a bed where he wants to lay) and barks (he’s really not getting enough attention, or he wants to play) and growls. The growls have taken the most to get used to – they aren’t aggressive (his body language tells us that) but are usually a noise he makes when he’s feeling silly and playing.

Coco has just recently started being more vocal for attention, something we think Ahi might have taught her!

Also, their teeth literally chatter when they’re excited – usually dinner time and walk time.

Adopting a greyhound will most likely be the best decision you will make. They have such awesome personalities, and are incredibly engaged with and responsive to their owners. As long as you take the time to understand your hound and give them the space and support they need to adapt to pet life, they will fill your life with love, laughs and absolute loyalty.

Adopting through GAP gives you access to a wealth of knowledge and support, and makes you part of an active community of greyhound owners.

  • If you’ve enjoyed reading about some of South Canterbury’s greyhound community and think there might be a place for a leggy layabout in your home, check out greyhoundsaspets.org.nz