On 21st July 2014, The Local Leader will become a business in its own right with James Slater and Megan Carson as the joint owners. But how will this affect you? From November 2011 to July 2014, The Local Leader Magazine has been an enterprise project run financially through Titus Salt School. All profits which […]
Archive for May, 2013
By Tony Caunt Thanks to Darren Alstead, our treasurer, for writing the April update: and what a superb picture of daffodils! Pin-sharp with just three blooms, a perfect, well-taken picture. I hope you are getting out with your camera now that the snow and bad weather have passed. As Darren said, April is a great […]
Marian Jan Krupa (1922-2009) came to live in Cottingley with his second wife, who had lived in the village most of her life, and their two-year-old son. He was born in Krakow, Poland, and his experiences after leaving there in 1939 until his arrival in England in 1943 were traumatic. We continue his story. By Margaret Krupa.
There is a house called “St Monicas” towards the bottom of Wilsden Main Street. For those who remember that building as St Monica’s Roman Catholic Church, that will not be a surprising choice of house name, but anyone returning to the village after an absence of more than half a century might wonder why the house is not called “Zion”.
Kate Barrett of Sheffield Retired Greyhounds speaks to Alison Hutton about her experiences with the breed.
In last month’s article, Kate Barrett introduced us to a number of the dogs living at Sheffield Retired Greyhounds, waiting for their forever homes. Kate is pleased to say that since the publication of the article four of those dogs have found their new families, which is great news. But as one dog moves out, another dog moves in, so lots more greyhounds are now also waiting for their forever homes!
This month Kate (who is the treasurer of the Trust and a local businesswoman) introduces us to Alison Hunton, a fellow committee member and fundraiser for Sheffield RGT. Alison tells us how she became involved with greyhounds and how she was hooked in no time!
“So why adopt a greyhound?” says Alison. “Why not! My journey began with a yearning for a dog to share a walk with. Talking to yourself is never good…
“We moved back to South Yorkshire in 2006 and I decided that there would be no more excuses for not having a canine companion. Besides, my friends were getting worried about the amount of time I spent trying to take their dogs out (potential kidnap situation)! So how to go about it? It’s not the ideal plan when you are moving house across three counties and moving jobs too! Then the research element – what would be the ideal dog for us?
“Himself, always one for detailed research, started trawling the Internet. Me, well I had a theory: you know, the one which says owners look like their dogs. I thought if it’s a thin one it might help with my endless quest to lose weight – that and the walking!
“We went to Owlerton Greyhound Stadium one night and met the retired greyhounds at the entrance collecting for their pals, and how does the saying go – ‘You had me at hello’? Those big eyes, that look that drives deep into your soul and says ‘Take me home: I know I look big but I curl up well’. And they looked so thin and sylph-like. I don’t think I slept that night. Time for a bit of t’Interneting from himself… ‘Mmm, ideal,’ he says: don’t need much exercise, good with people, used to being handled, good with other dogs, good with children.
“Job done! End of story! Well, not quite – I couldn’t get the image of the rescue dogs at the track out of my mind so we decided to get in touch with the RGT Sheffield branch and have a look for a walking companion. (At this point, unknown to himself, I had already decided that this would be a double adoption – working in collusion with our good friends Steve and Sue who had two dogs, we planted the seed of the dogs being company for each other when we were out at work.)
“So we made our way up to Wortley and met Roy and Lynda, who were just feeding the dogs, but being the good people they are they let us into the kennels to look at the greyhounds waiting for adoption. Although to a newcomer it looked quite daunting with the kennel bars, all the dogs had cosy beds, water bowls, their names and a bit of history about them on the walls. They were mostly in twos, with the odd individual. We went down some steps into the ‘hospital wing’ and there she was, this forlorn-looking white and brindle girl who came up to the bars and peered out at us. I bent down to say hello and out came the paw onto my arm. Hook, line and sinker there and then!
“We returned the following day to walk some dogs and get to know more about them. Roy and Lynda are very subtle, finding out more about you and the lifestyle you lead and matching the dogs to you. It’s another cliché but a true one: the dog picks you, you don’t pick the dog. I still had to work on taking two home rather than one. (The size of the kennel should have given him a hint!)
“That first girl we saw was a done deal. She was quite timid but wagged her tail every time we saw her. She had stopped racing due to a damaged paw and was quite reserved with people.
“Most dogs are in muzzles until they are assessed, and we took out a huge black dog that looked quite wary and afraid of his own shadow. Well, he walked by my side and kept leaning into my leg as if to say ‘it’s chilly, warm me up’. He had quite a large nose, with the biggest nostrils I had ever seen: but what a sweetie! A gentle giant. Roy kennelled them together to see how they behaved and they were fine.
“I had always wanted to call a dog Ralph: why? Well, I had this strange notion that I wanted a smart talking dog. You’re probably scratching your head at this point thinking ‘WHAT?’ I wanted to say to him ‘what’s your name?’ and he would bark back ‘Ralph’: you try it! And trust me to get the only dog that doesn’t bark! I think in the four years we had him he only barked four times!
“So six weeks of walking and getting to know about the dogs, a home visit and some good advice for us dog novices and we were good to go!
“We would have sunk without trace without the good advice from the kennels and all the new friends and dog walkers we met up there. I think Roy thought I was stalking him for the first month, the number of calls I made. All were met with calm guidance and good humour. A good book was Retired Greyhounds for Dummies, which we were!
“Gracie and Ralph managed to chew their way out of the kennel a number of times. I think Gracie still holds the record for the number of muzzles she ate her way through in the first few months. We were a little naive when it came to separation anxiety. Routine is the be all and end all: once we got into that we were coasting.
“We fell into all the traps that we used to laugh at – calling each other mum and dad, grandma stew, grandma cheese.
“How our life has changed since we had the dogs: we just can’t imagine life without them. Himself even writes a Facebook page for Hugo Hound (hound number 3, we sadly lost Ralph to cancer last year).
“Gracie is a real ‘laddette’, helping herself to the odd drop of wine or beer, learning how to open doors with her paws, telling us the time with her whines for tea.
“Ralph was the sweetest, gentlest dog you could wish for. He would pad along beside us on his walks, sniffing the air and basking in the sun. His coat was dull grey when we got him, but with plenty of cod liver oil it became a glorious, shiny black. Such a handsome chap!
“Hugo is full of energy and will walk and walk given the chance. He is, however, chief sofa tester and spends hours researching the correct comfort rating for us. They both love attention, and all the kids where we live know them and come running up for a fuss whenever we are out..
“We plan our holidays around dog-friendly cottages, hotels and pubs. Wherever we go they’re welcomed with open arms and they’re so sociable that everyone wants to pet them and say hello.
“Unfortunately the slimming aid did not work! But I do get to talk to other humans on walks. Though it’s strange I never know anyone’s real name, its Murphy’s mum or Scooby’s dad, and I’m proud to be known as Gracie and Hugo’s mum (but don’t tell my colleagues, it will ruin my image)!”
If you are interested in giving a greyhound a home, or would like to visit the farm to learn more about the breed, please give Lynda or Roy a call on 0114 2888 300. We also have dog sponsorship which you can find out about by visiting our website: www.sheffieldretiredgreyhounds.co.uk
If there is anything specific you would like us to include in future articles for the Bingley Rural, please drop Kate a line at email@example.com or send her a tweet, @SheffieldRGT, and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have. Next month we will share more tales of our greyhounds!
Harden Women’s Institute Our WI currently has a membership of about 40 and we hold our meetings on the second Monday of every month (except August) at 7.30pm in the family room of St Saviour’s Church. We are always pleased to see new faces at our meetings and visitors are very welcome to come along […]