Reach the Beach 2011

On Saturday, Ben and I had an early start. We were going to Hersham Hounds to pick up a dog for a day at the beach.

Every year, Hersham Hounds (the Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare Trust) organises a mass exodus to East Head Beach, West Wittering (near Chichester in West Sussex) – volunteers, dog owners, supporters of the trust all take greyhounds in the (quite) long journey down to the coast.

We arrived at HH’s sanctuary in Esher at about 8:30am. We were to get a big boy called Rooster.

“Is there any reason you’re only taking one dog..?”

“Um… Not really. We could take two.”

“Only his girlfriend has been crying. We didn’t think she’d want to go, but as soon as we started getting the other dogs ready to go, she was getting really upset.”

So, two dogs. Big Rooster (9 years) and his tiny, timid girlfriend, Nala (10). Rooster was really friendly, really lively, very cheeky. Nala, by contrast, quiet and just wanted to sit in the back of the car.

Rooster and Nala

Greys travel really, really well. They just sit in the back of the car, quite happy and patient. And it’s quite a trek from London to Chichester.

With on brief stop at a petrol station to get snacks, we got to the beach around 11am. There were photographers to take pictures of everyone and their dogs on the beach itself, but no sign of those yet. I’ll let you know when they’re available.

There were some activities, too. I didn’t partake, but it was fun to watch man&dog 100 yard dash (and there was an equivalent event for the ladies, too). Oh, and a Bonio&spoon race.

As greys have a penchant for running very fast (and taking a negative interest in things that move, but are not greys), it was leashes and muzzles all round. These docile lovelies don’t look like they’d hurt a fly, but things can go wrong, so we prepared for the worst: it would be terrible to damage the reputation of greyhounds.

Nala and I were happy to take a very gentle walk along the beach. Rooster wanted to run, so Ben was in charge of that. Luckily, Ben brought a change of clothes – he ended up in the sea. Brrr.

And finally, the obligatory picnic. Nala was not interested – she hopped right back into the car, and sat there for the remainder. Rooster was VERY interested indeed in our sausage rolls. He had his own punnet of cocktail sausages, but still got jealous of our food. Incorrigible.

And then, at around 2pm, it started to get a bit chilly – we’d been lucky, as the weather had held until that point. So back in the car with the dogs, and back to Esher. Nala went straight to bed, unsurprisingly. What lovely doggies.

If you fancy, you can always ask to borrow a grey for a day, to help with dog walking. HH are always grateful for volunteer dog walkers and the like. And they have LOVELY dogs. Go on – give a dog a walk. Get in touch with Hersham Hounds to find out more.

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2 thoughts on “Reach the Beach 2011

  1. Brilliant post! Came across it in a greyhound related google search. I’ve rescued three greyhounds and have a massive soft spot for them! I love all dogs but think greyhounds have it so bad with the ‘racing industry’ and being dumped as soon as they or no good which is sometimes before they start. So many cases of neglect, cruelty and dumping them. The boy I’ve got now was going to be put to sleep as he was so unsocialised he was terrified of everyone. I took him on and its took hard work time and patience not to mention heartache to see an animal so terrified of everything. He still doesnt like people he doesnt know (sensible boy) but hes a million times better and I’m so proud of him. I’ve been involved in different rescues over the years and all of them have welcomed dog walkerd from the Rspca’s to the small run ones so anyone wanting to help a dog or even at a cat shelter or if you’ve got a few spare hours a week and want to do something selfless and worthwhile-thats good for you and doesnt cost anything but will make someones day then go and walk a dog! 🙂 It’s also good for people who’d love a dog but just haven’t the time- walk one when you have. Just phone and check opening times and if its ok to dog walk etc. Most places are happy with help with grooming, cleaning, laundry, meals etc too so even for the less mobile there’s something for everyone.
    Sounds like Rooster and Nala had a great day out. Well done you x

    Like

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