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GAP’s Golden Oldies Find a Home

We’re pleased to announce that our “Golden Oldies” have found a home. You may have heard of Zeta (14) and Tommy (11) who were struggling to find a home after being returned to GAP in October. They have lived together for a long time and were inseparable, so Rose Streatfield, GAP’s Volunteer and Foster Coordinator, found it in her heart to foster them while they waited for a home.

GAP staff and volunteers fell for the delightful duo and were determined to find them a home. When their hopes of re-homing them at the Seymour Adoption Weekend didn’t work out, they sent out a special request to the GAP community to help these two find a home.

Anja Michaela Fladrich follows GAP and likes to keep tabs on the available greyhounds. She received the email for the three-day adoption event featuring Zeta and Tommy. At the time, she had no intention of adopting the dogs because she already had four greyhounds – but she felt for them. When GAP sent out the additional message that they still hadn’t be rehomed, she met her friend Ros to see if there was anything they could do. In the end, she resolved to adopt them herself.

Anja adopted her first greyhound, Brea, in 2011. Brea was six years old when she was adopted. There isn’t greyhound racing in Anja’s home country of Germany, so she was introduced to the breed when she adopted Brea and since then she has formed an incredible bond with these dogs.

Four years later, she adopted her second greyhound Wagon, who sadly and suddenly passed in 2017. Following his death, Anja saw 11-year-old Dizzie, who had been returned to GAP after 10 years, and decided to adopt him. While a bit frail, Dizzie quickly improved and was full of life. Anja said he’s one of the most affectionate greys she has ever met. Since she had such an amazing experience with Dizzie, a few months later, Anja decided to see if Digger, who was returned after 6 years and was also fostered by Rose, would get along with her dogs and it was no problem at all.

About six months after adopting Dizzie, he fell severely ill and had to be put to sleep. It was a hard loss for Anja to lose two dogs in one year, however, it didn’t stop her from wanting to help more greyhounds.

By this time, Anja had made up her mind that she would continue to home elderly dogs who had been returned for one reason or another. So, when GAP asked if she’d consider adopting 8-year-old Stacey, a beautiful brindle, Anja didn’t think twice. She then adopted 13-year-old Rachel in late 2018.

Since adopting the golden oldies, Anja has six greyhounds: Zeta is the eldest at 14, then there is Brea (14 in May), Rachael (13), Digger (11), Tommy (11) and Stacey (9).

“It’s hard to believe, but it doesn’t make a difference having four greyhounds or six,” Anja said.

“There’s no fighting, not even growling, and they all get along great. It was truly beyond my expectation, but when it comes to walking, feeding or sleeping, the greyhounds all know what they have to do, and they respect each other and each other’s space. I guess that’s one of the advantages of living with senior greyhounds – they seem to settle in easily and enjoy each other’s company.”

Anja lives in Montmorency, where she has a daily routine for her six greyhounds: each morning, she takes them for a walk before work. She works full time, but the dogs have plenty of space and company to keep occupied during the day. When she gets home, she grabs their leads and takes them for a second, often longer walk. While in the house, they all have their spots to relax and sleep, although they occasional swap places.

She usually walks with three dogs in each hand and it’s interesting how they tend to walk in groups with the three black and blue dogs on one side and the brindle and fawn dogs on the other. They live in a quiet neighbourhood, so they often walk down the middle of the road, but the dogs also walk well on busier streets.

“You can only do this with greyhounds,” Anja said referring to her six dogs. “They fit in so well together and they are so calm, relaxed and respectful of each other. I don’t think there is another breed you could do this with.”

When asked why she chooses to adopt older greyhounds, Anja said she has experience with them and knows they have a lot to offer their owners.

“It’s hard for someone new to greyhounds to have one pass away, especially within a short time of adoption. If you’ve experienced a loss like that, it is very difficult and it doesn’t get any easier, but you are a bit better prepared. That said, you get so much back from them in terms of joy and affection and just knowing you’re giving an elderly animal a good home for whatever time they have left is very rewarding.”

Anja can’t help but be a greyhound advocate and her love of the breed has extended beyond herself. Her close friend, Ros, has followed her example and adopted three greyhounds of her own. She also noted a neighbour recently adopted a young greyhound that they see on their walks and all these greyhounds get along well.

Anja is happy to say that Zeta and Tommy have settled in nicely and are lovely dogs.

“Zeta has a really good appetite,” Anja said. “Tommy always did, but Zeta is putting on a bit more weight and jumping around with the younger greys. There’s so much life in her and I wouldn’t be surprised if I have her for two or three more years, if I’m lucky.”

Anja is an angel who is truly making a difference in the lives of these dogs. Not only is she providing them a loving home to spend the rest of their days, but she is inspiring others to adopt greyhounds, particularly the senior ones who are sweet and affectionate and have so much left to offer their human companions.