Altona North’s Kate Stevenson, producer of Melbourne’s highest rating radio show, ‘Breakfast with Ross & John’ on 3AW, has taken to foster caring for GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program in recent months. In a Q & A with GAPeNews, Kate revealed that her affinity with the world’s fastest canine breed dates back to when she was a little girl.
Q: How many greyhounds have you fostered up until now?
Kate: I have fostered two so far. My first was a blue coloured greyhound named Jenny, who was super sweet. During the three weeks I was fostering her I was filling in as co-host on 3AW Breakfast, and she got plenty of on air mentions. More recently I fostered Eno, who I brought into the studio on the final day that I had him. We were on air doing the show as normal until word spread that I had brought him into work and virtually everyone in the building came to say hello to him.
Q: Was Eno just as sweet as Jenny?
Kate: He was a perfect gentleman. I couldn’t fault him. Jenny wasn’t ideally suited to the lifestyle my partner Simon as I lead, as we both work full-time and she didn’t like being at home all day by herself. But Eno took everything in his stride. He’s a really cool dude – very calm and affectionate. He knew how to act in every situation. He could sense when we were busy he would have a sleep on his bed, but when we weren’t so busy he’d read the situation and be ready to play.
Q: Did you have a favourite moment with Eno?
Kate: (laughs) yes. One of my favourite moments was when he’d get really excited and he’d run around in circles chasing his tail. Another favourite moment was when we taught him to play fetch. He had a little toy banana, and it took him a little while to realise that the toy wasn’t going to hurt him. Once he worked that out we’d throw it across the room and he’d go sliding on the wooden floor to fetch it for about three minutes, by which time he had worn himself out. We sent the toy banana back to GAP with him as it was his favourite thing.
Q: Have you found it hard to give Jenny and Eno back to GAP for adoption after three weeks of fostering?
Kate: Not so much with Jenny as I felt she’d be better suited to a household where she could get more attention than we could give her, but I really struggled giving Eno back. At the time I was saying to my partner Simon things like “what if he doesn’t find a home” and “we really should keep him forever”, but I read on the GAP website that he now has a home waiting so I am very relieved.
Q: Will you foster again?
Kate: Yes I will but right now I’m still recovering emotionally from having to give Eno back. The reality is that being a foster carer is great because you help retired racers prepare for life after racing, so while I know it’s a really worthwhile thing to do I’m the sort of fosterer who needs a little bit of time between greyhounds to get over them leaving.
Q: Has foster caring been your first with the greyhound breed?
Kate: No I actually grew up with greyhounds. My grandfather Rod Parnell was a greyhound trainer in the Cranbourne area and I used to help him walk them through the streets from the age of nine. This was back in the 1980s. I’d have a greyhound in each hand and I remember the golden rule that if you saw a cat you had to plant your feet so you didn’t get dragged (laughs). He actually had a pretty good greyhound at one stage called Duchess Marina (the dam of champion stud dog, Malawi’s Prince).