Case Study: Summer finds her perfect home with Gerri and Stewart

When Gerri and her husband Stewart saw a greyhound featured in Dogs Today, Forever Hounds Trust told them that she probably wasn’t suitable to live with their other dogs. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before they found one that was….

“At the time, we had two older dogs,” says Gerri. “Gracie, a Staffordshire/Whippet cross was around 10 and Tilly, a Border Terrier crossed with a Jack Russell was nine, so we needed a dog that was going to be good with smaller breeds. We took Forever Hounds Trust’s advice about the suitability of another dog and as we were shortly due to get married, we decided to put it on hold for a little while.

But then we got a phone call from Francis at the rescue, telling us that they’d just picked up a little lurcher girl found abandoned on the M25. They’d called her Princess Pebbles and they felt she would fit in really well with us and our two other dogs. She was painfully thin and had obviously been used for breeding. Forever Hounds Trust had found her a foster home and she’d already started to recuperate and put on weight.

Just before we got married, we went to meet her and were shocked at how skinny she was (she was only about 17 kg). But she was gorgeous and we decided then and there that she was the right dog for us.

Two days after our wedding, we picked her up and introduced her to the others.

Within a few seconds, she’d bounced on Tilly’s head and got a good ticking off from her so she never tried that again! But in she came and within days, it felt like she’d always been here. We renamed her Summer because it was a lovely bright name for a lovely bright girl and she deserved a beautiful name after her poor start in life.

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She’s not 100% greyhound but she does have typical greyhound traits. She’s a complete couch potato and really does love to sleep all day so she’s fine while we’re out at work. We take them all out for a nice long walk when we get home and we are very lucky here in West Sussex – we’ve got a good sized park and a local forest and we’re not far from a lovely sandy beach.

As soon as her paws hit the sand she’s off doing zoomies!

Summer_gerri hickman

We love the way she runs – it’s not graceful at all, it’s like her legs are on back to front! We kept waiting for this elegant greyhound run to emerge but it never did. But she has her five mad minutes and then she’s happy to trot next to us for the rest of the walk.

She’s a true counter surfer and she’s stolen and eaten frozen sausages, frozen fish, chicken wings – we can’t leave anything out. But she’s ever so affectionate, a real snuggle bug. She always wants to lie with her head or her paws on you; as long as she can touch you, she’s happy.

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She’s a very chilled out girl; she gave blood recently and she was the real star of the show. The staff couldn’t believe how calm she was. She actually fell asleep while she was donating!

She’s a lovely confident girl, and very adaptable to most situations.

You wouldn’t believe anything bad had ever happened to her. She’s become quite famous; she’s been featured in the local paper and had her story in Dogs Monthly. There was also a photo of her in Dogs Today under a section called “World’s Best Dog Photos”.

We take her to shows and events and she struts in as though she was born to it. Three months after we got her, we entered her into a couple of classes at a companion dog show and she walked away with Best in Show in one and Reserve Best in Show in the other. And last year, she also got Best Condition and Best in Show in the Kennel Club’s Companion Dog Club class. Considering her background, that’s amazing.

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Despite all she’s been through she’s a very happy girl.

She’s learned that if she wants to sleep with us, she gets on the bed on my husband’s side and lies with her head on the pillow pretending to be asleep. We always give in and let her stay. We couldn’t imagine life without our beautiful Summer now.”