Case Study: Following the loss of a much loved greyhound, rescue dog Teddy ‘has brought so much joy back into the house’.

When Anne and her husband Dave lost their little black greyhound Jess to a tumour, they were devastated and decided that they would wait a while before getting another. But Anne’s mum, who also lives with them pined dreadfully, so it wasn’t long before they knew they needed another. Enter Teddy!

Anne and Dave had always had rescue dogs, and usually older sighthounds. They’d met Jess at a Forever Hounds Trust show; she’d been found straying and her owners didn’t want her back, so without hesitation, they took her home to live with them and Anne’s mum absolutely adored her. She was calm, laid-back and went everywhere with them.

Jess was diagnosed with kidney problems early on, but she stayed quite stable for a number of years. Tragically, she died of a suspected nasal tumour in 2013 and Anne’s mum in particular was devastated.

“If it hadn’t been for mum, we would have waited a while,” says Anne. “But it was very clear that she wasn’t doing very well without a dog in the house. She used to take Jess for walks and make her lunch and after Jess died, she just seemed to pine. She stopped making lunch for herself because she didn’t think there was any point without a dog to share it with.

Eventually, mum took it upon herself to go onto the Forever Hounds Trust website and found Ted.

Teddy was one of Forever Hounds Trust’s long-stayers. He was seven and had been in kennels all his life. He’d just had a little stay with a foster family in Herefordshire and there was such a comical write-up about him, we knew we had to meet him. He sounded like a real character!

There were some pictures of him having a bath with his ears sticking up in all directions. We took one look and thought ‘this dog is up for a laugh!’ We weren’t wrong. He’d come in to Forever Hounds Trust as an older dog after racing, and was named Teddy because he was a giant fluffball. We rang to find out more about him and got this response: ‘Oh yes, I know Teddy!’ We couldn’t wait to meet him and did the long drive from Yeovil to Hertford. The minute we clapped eyes on this big scruffy goofy-looking boy, we just knew he was for us. In fact, he mugged me for treats the minute he set eyes on me.

We got him home and he just marched in and took over.

He had a habit of taking everything to his bed including his water bowl – with water still in it! He’d drag his food bowl to his bed, Dave’s rucksack, his toys – even the back door mat! Once he wrestled a loaf of bread out of mum’s hands and took that too. He’d stack all his toys up in the corner of his bed and pick them out one at a time and hurl them round the room. He made us cry with laughter.

When he wants to sit on your lap, he just slings one leg over your thigh and looks at you as if to say ‘Look at me, I’m a lapdog’. After the tragic loss of Jess, this dog has brought so much joy back into the house and he constantly makes a complete idiot of himself which only makes us love him even more.

I take him regularly to a place called Houndsville in Wellington. It’s three acres of paddock so he can go bonkers and have a really good run. We went with a couple of greyhound buddies of his recently and he was showing off to his girlfriend, Lulu. He jumped into the pond but didn’t realise how deep it was – it was absolutely hilarious.

Mum talks to him all day long. He just lays on his bed and looks at her lovingly.

As we come home from work, he stands on his back legs, howls and high fives the window. He barks at squirrels and helicopters and once when I took him to the Bath & West Show, there was a life-sized plastic horse on another stall. Well, he did NOT know what to make of that. He barked at it furiously and then peed up its leg as if to say, ‘that’ll teach you!’

There isn’t anything Teddy doesn’t enjoy. He comes to our local café and I buy him his own ham sandwich. He’s becoming quite well known in the village.

Teddy is perfect for our family.

Although he’s completely bonkers, he’s laid back, funny and loving. He takes everything in his stride and he gave mum a new lease of life. I just can’t imagine life without him now.”