Box Hill couple, Cheelee and Jake have always been strong advocates for adopting animals and in recent times have found themselves at the RSPCA every fortnight searching to see if they could find a perfect match for their home.
They knew what characteristics they were looking for in a dog; calm, good natured and one that easily gets along with other animals. Unbeknown to them they had just described a greyhound.
Cheelee and Jake were not living alone; they also had Max the terrier and Charlie the cat to consider.
Luckily with the Greyhound Adoption Program recently formed a partnership with the RSPCA, which sees the RSPCA dedicate kennels specifically to greyhounds.
This is how Cheelee and Jake were able to discover the greyhound breed.
Instantly they noticed what a lovely breed they were with Cheelee saying that “every time we went up to a greyhound they came up for a pat and then were happy to go back to sleep”.
Unfortunately, with cat friendly greyhounds in high demand it wasn’t going to be an easy task to find one at the RSPCA, so they did some research and went on the Greyhound Adoption Program website.
The lead story on the website was advertising an upcoming Adoption Day at Sandown Greyhound Race Track (this was held in October).
After discussion they decided to attend the event and see if greyhounds were in fact the right match for their home and, as a lot of greyhound owners know, once you meet a greyhound you can easily fall in love straight away.
This is exactly what happened. Cheelee and Jake made their way down from Box Hill to Sandown expecting to be one of the first few there, however Cheelee said it was rather the opposite.
“We were shocked at how many people were there already right from the start of the event,” Cheelee said.
“The event started at 1pm and we arrived a few minutes early and there were already so many people there looking to adopt”.
With no time to even look at what dogs were available, Cheelee enquired about which greyhounds were left that were cat friendly, and found that only one was left and that was one year old Beth.
A few frantic minutes later and Cheelee and Jake met Beth, who was a fairly calm greyhound considering the occasion.
After spending some time with Beth and seeing how well she was handling the event, they decided she was the greyhound they would take home. They also decided to change Beth’s name to Peggy Sue, after the wife in the 90’s TV show Married with Children and plan to call their next dog Al, the husband in Married with Children.
They took Beth, now known as Peggy Sue home, and introduced her to her new family. Max, the terrier and Peggy Sue immediately became friends.
“They sleep together, curl up on their bed and Max snuggles in. We couldn’t believe how well they bonded as Max doesn’t normally like big dogs but he adores Peggy Sue,” Cheelee explains.
As for Charlie, the eight year old cat, “well Peggy Sue is scared of Charlie and runs away when the cat is nearby” but Cheelee believes in a few months they too will be snuggling up together.
Cheelee says that Peggy Sue took about three days to feel comfortable in her surroundings and around two weeks where she became “the ideal pet”. Cheelee and Jake can’t believe how quick Peggy Sue learnt about her new home and picked up the way her new home ran. Peggy Sue now sits, which is rare for greyhounds, gives paw and drops.
Cheelee offered some advice for potential new greyhound adopters.
“Don’t be scared and don’t crowd them. Peggy Sue was a bit disorientated when she first arrived and for the first week was nervous and aloof but once we gave her some room and just let her settle in she began to listen and learn.”
“Once this happens you can begin to train them in your routine and they pick it up so quickly…it’s amazing”.
One other piece of advice Cheelee gives potential adopters is “make sure your couch is big enough for you and your greyhound,” she laughed.
After their experience with Peggy Sue, Cheelee and Jake believe they “couldn’t ask for a better dog”, and they are sure to again consider the Greyhound Adoption Program the next time they are in search of their household’s next perfect match.
Related: Greyhounds Breaking Records Off the Track