Beech Hill House
Beech Hill House B&B
Cumbria LA11 6RH

Dogs welcome, large or small, one or more. A Greyhound haven!

The voluntary work Jenny and Stuart started in July 2004 is a memorial to their darling Penny. Without her coming into their lives none of this would have happened.

Please ring for an appointment to come and see the greyhounds and have a chat. You are most welcome, but as we run a bed and breakfast it is essential you ring and arrange a date and time to visit.
T: 015395 52394

email us


When adopting a greyhound the suggested donation is £150.00 which goes towards neutering, inoculations, upkeep etc. Some people give a little less, while
others want to give more. We are quite flexible with this, and with this we provide:
Martingale Collar, Lead, Muzzle and 4 weeks free cover with the insurance company PetPlan

List of Greyhounds by the date they were homed with links to their diary pages
¦ 2018 ¦ 2017 ¦ 2016 ¦ 2015 ¦ 2014 ¦ 2013 ¦ 2012 ¦ 2011 ¦ 2010 ¦ 2009 ¦ 2008 ¦ 2007 ¦ 2006 ¦ 2005 ¦ 2004 ¦



Become a friend and view Our Profile to see what's happening at the branch and to follow some of our ex-foster greyhounds.

Fosterers are a valuable part of greyhound rescue in that another greyhound is living life away from the kennels and taking the first steps towards getting used to the family way of life. If you live in the South Lakes or the surrounding area and would like to foster a greyhound until we can find him or her a new home.
please contact Jenny or Stuart
T: 015395 52394 or email us for more information

Would you like to become a registered volunteer and walk a Greyhound?
Volunteers offering to take a Greyhound for a walk, an afternoon out or a stop-over play a very important role here at the branch.
please contact Jenny or Stuart T: 015395 52394 or email us for more information and to see how you can help.

for those in our care until we find them new homes.
(also pilchards in tomato sauce, sardines and tuna in oil, dog biscuits, Dentastix)

May we thank all who have donated, it's much appreciated.
Please contact Jenny or Stuart
T: 015395 52394 or email us

which is what we use for the greyhounds in our care until we find them new homes.

May we thank all who have donated, it's much appreciated.
Please deliver to:
Beech Hill House, Witherslack, Cumbria LA11 6RH

Become a VIP member and nominate Greyhound Trust South Lakes as your chosen charity.
If you nominate our branch as your charity the 'lifelines' you collect each time you make a purchase either in store or on-line will go to our branch.
Each quarter we receive a voucher to the value of the lifelines nominated to our branch which we can spend at the Kendal (Cumbria) Pets at Home store on items needed for the dogs in our care while looking for new homes. Thank you.

by Jenny Stott - - - £10.00 plus p&p
BUY ON-LINE using PayPal or telephone: 015395 52394

(credit & debit cards accepted)


Below is one of the 82 dogs we fostered for Dumfriesshire & Cumbria
Greyhound Rescue between July 2004 and the 5th December 2009.
On the 9th December 2009 we became the SOUTH LAKES branch
of the Retired Greyhound Trust for whom we are now foster

Lester arrived on Saturday 4th February 2006
Went to his new home on Tuesday 25th July 2006.

Lester's Arrival and History
Lester is a dark brindle male greyhound who weighs 91½ lbs (41.40k). He was born 20th March 2004. He is one of five pups, is inoculated, has a nice nature, travels well in the car but is nervous of meeting people until he gets to know them.

Lester may have always been on the nervous side because his previous owner commented he was always in the middle of his brothers and sisters when out walking. He also mentioned an incident, which has resulted in him being very wary of people until he gets to know them. Everyone is of the opinion that with time and patience Lester will overcome this anxiety or reduce it to a minimum so when you start reading Lester's story please bear this in mind. The important thing to remember is his improvement, however, when Lester finds a new home his owners will probably find he
goes back a step or two until he gets to know them and we hope the way we helped move Lester forward will also be of assistance to his new owners. Lester is a 'big soft pudding' who just wants a garden to wander around in and someone who will give him plenty of love, guidance and security.
Lester's Diary

4th February 2006
When Lester arrived he was very nervous and although on a lead didn't want to come near Stuart nor I, which is a first. Of all the foster dogs we've had, we've had some very nervous ones but none that wouldn't allow us near them. As soon as we tried to approach him he looked at us from the corner of his eyes and backed away. When we took him in the house we shut all the doors leading from the kitchen so we could keep and eye on him whilst we had a cup of coffee. Lester wandered around with the others then decided to mark his spot on the kitchen wall. A quick 'no' from Stuart at seeing him cock his leg made him dash from the scene and hide in the corner of the kitchen where he stayed for some time just peeping round the corner of the unit every now and again. After coffee we went for a walk so he could get to know us better but his collar had to be on quite tight so he didn't pull his head out for he would have been off and we would never have caught him.
In the afternoon we went in the car to visit a couple who are interested in adopting Ellie. Lester jumped in with the others and laid down all the way. He travelled well in the car and on the way home we took them all for a walk along the canal bank where two swans were swimming - he found these most intriguing but made no attempt to jump in as Indi did when she saw the moorhen the first time we took her there. When we arrived home he wouldn't come to the back of the car to get out so we had to climb into the back of the car to put his lead on and encourage him out.
Because Lester is so nervous and not wanting to be near us we kept him on the lead all the time and close to one of us. As we need him to get used to us I gave him a lot of close body contact, resting his head on my arm and stroking his body all over with my other hand whilst talking to him all the time - I needed him to get used to me touching and talking to him. He later ate his dinner, still on the lead and watching us constantly then out in the garden to do what was necessary - still on the lead.
In the evening we all settled in the living room to watch telly with Lester off the lead and laying down between the settee and wall - obviously wanted to get out of our way! During the evening we kept going to him with a biscuit and saying hello so he could get used to us being around him. Whilst between the wall and settee he must have felt more secure for he never moved when we approached him. However, when it came to bed time and letting the dogs out last thing he wasn't for budging and it took Stuart to hold his lead and me lifting his back end up and pushing him out of the space so we could get him outside. Back in from the garden he went up the stairs no problem and settled into the bed in the corner of our bedroom.
5th February 2006
Lester never moved all night but what fun Stuart had trying to get him downstairs this morning to go out in the garden. I don't think it was so much he couldn't manage the stairs it was more like he wasn't sure of us. In the end I took his lead and Stuart went behind him and he was away like a shot to get away from him. I kept the downstairs momentum going and took him straight out to the garden where he did all that was necessary then brought him back into the kitchen where we shut all the dogs whilst we prepared their breakfast. It was shortly after this we realised he had a much greater fear of Stuart than of me and hence the 'hanging back' if Stuart was in sight or near him so from this point we decided that for the time being I would do everything with him to gain his confidence and allow him to gain confidence with Stuart at a much slower and 'controlled' pace.
6th February 2006
We had to climb in the back of the car again this afternoon and put Lester on his lead in order to get him to jump out the back and come into the house. We again got him to stay in the living room with us this evening and although he lay in the corner on the sheepskin rug where most of our new foster dogs lay to begin with, he ventured out half way through the evening and came over to my armchair where I was working with my laptop to say hello. This was a wonderful sign as its the first time he has actually come TO ME. We said hello then he lay on the rug by my feet in front of the radiator. At one point we thought he was going to sleep only to find him sitting up and looking very alert the moment Stuart moved.
8th February 2006
Lester is a super dog, loves being stroked and has a really lovely nature if only we can teach him not to be so nervous around people. Now that we've had a few days to assess him we called Kath from Bay Dog Training and asked her advice to help him gain confidence with Stuart. Ever since Lester arrived I've been feeding him because if Stuart puts his food down he ignores it and just stares at him. I then have to pick up his food, walk in the kitchen and back into the conservatory to give it him again before he will eat it. If Stuart takes him into the garden he won't do anything other than stand and stare at him. When out for walks he's constantly looking to see where Stuart is. Having said all that I can walk up to him the majority of the time without him backing off and if he does I just say 'you're alright there's nothing to worry about' in a confident voice and he comes towards me again. Kath has asked we start a program whereby Stuart gives him NO eye contact whatsoever, NOT even look at him when he comes in the office to say hello to me and whilst doing it say hello to Lester. Stuart is to throw a couple of bits of tinned hot dog sausages on the floor in front of Lester, not look at him, call his name and the word ‘come' then step back. When Lester comes forward for them he will throw a couple more by his feet then step back. This way Lester is coming to him. When Lester realizes if he follows Stuart there will be food Stuart can then start doing the same but looking at him. Then he progresses to putting the food on his hand so Lester comes to his hand for it. Once he is okay with Stuart we will ask people visiting us to do the same and in a couple of weeks or so we are going to take him to training classes to be amongst other people who will do the same. This way Lester will come to realize that people are often friendly and the food will slowly be replaced by stroking and praising him – time and patience is what he needs to overcome his nervousness. Lester often stands or lays in the doorway at the bottom of the stairs watching what we are doing and his head moves from side to side as he follows us around the room. He's a really bright dog and if this is anything to go by once he's settled he will pick things up very quickly. He's getting the hang now that if all the other dogs go charging off somewhere something good is about to happen such as food or a walk and he comes along as well so generally I don't have to go and get him anymore. He's been really good on the house training side of things, which we are please about because if he'd been difficult in that area as well as being frightened of us it would have been even harder to get him used to us. He's had a couple of accidents, which we missed him doing but yesterday I caught him cocking his leg against the cupboard upstairs. A firm 'no' was enough to make him stop and dash into the corner of my office where he has a bed. He stood there shaking but I casually took him by the collar to the top of the stairs, wrapped my arm around his rear end to coax him off the top step because he's still not brave enough to make that move from my office, which he regards as bed, around the banister rail and down the stairs but with a bit of gentle persuasion we went downstairs and out into the garden where he finished off and received a praise. Since then and touch wood, he's been fine and he almost hangs back for a praise once he's done something.
We called in the pub on the way back from our walk this evening and although he wasn't too keen on going in to begin with he followed the others and we were amazed at how quickly he settled on the floor to watch what was going on. None of our other foster dogs have laid down like he did on their first visit so he was far better than most of the others on that score. People came over to say hello and although he did shy away from them he didn't overly pull on the lead and allowed them to stroke him. He even went up to Stuart for a biscuit and support, which made Stuart smile because it was a huge step forward for suddenly Stuart became someone to look out him as well as me against 'all those strange people'!
9th February 2006
Lester has quite taken to his bed in my office and we have the radio on so he can get used to an assortment of people talking, joking, laughing, music and a variety of other noises. The office is only small and he's getting quite used to me walking across the top of him to get to something - at first he looked very wary but now he doesn't bother. Been teaching him to come to me when we are out walking using doggie chocolate drops, which he likes. He's on his lead but I give him more length so he can wander about to sniff and I keep saying 'Lester come' and pulling his lead towards me making him turn to look and when he sees I have something in my hand and he comes trotting back to me for it. By the end of his walk this afternoon he was getting quite used to it. This evening whilst working in the office we noticed him lie on his back with legs in the air - another first!
10th February 2006
Made a huge leap forward last night for Lester allowed Stuart to take him in the garden last thing on his lead and, instead of just staring at him he warily walked around but did what was needed. Around 5am this morning something must have disturbed him for we awoke to barking. He has a really, really deep bark, which sounds quite strange. When I went to see what the matter was he was happy to see me then settled back down on his bed. When we got up this morning and I walked past the office door he came out to meet me with tail wagging - another first!
He came down to breakfast on his own this morning when he saw me standing at the bottom of the stairs with his dish of food - another first! We took Ellie to her new home this morning and think they will miss each other as they often slept on the same bed together and she used to try and get him to play in the garden. Lester is really coming forward so we hope her not being here doesn't put him back too much. After we dropped Ellie off we went for a walk along the canal bank again, which he enjoyed and when we arrived home he jumped out the back of the car - another first! He's been much better with Stuart, become more inquisitive about his surroundings and a number of firsts have taken place over the past 24 hours so perhaps the 'penny is dropping' that we aren't that bad and it's a good place to live.
11th February 2006
At 4.00 am Lester again awoke us with barking. We don't know why but he quickly settled once I went in to see him. After our lunchtime walk we called in the local pub so he could be amongst more people. He wanted to go in this time then hung back as the door opened, but went in with the others and quickly lay on the floor by their side. He intently watched what was going on and much less jumpy when people came close to him. He is definitely watching Bobby and Indi and following their example because if they lay down he does. If they jump up because something is happening he is beginning to do the same and their laid back attitude amongst people we think is beginning to rub off.
Lester was much happier laying in the living room with us this evening and as we were getting ready for bed we were discussing what could be causing him to bark in the early hours. It suddenly dawned on us that as he was sleeping in the office and because he's unsure of wandering around upstairs and settles as soon as he sees me it may be he is wondering where we are and is calling us to come and reassure him we are still around. As we were doing this we found him very unsettled and when I was saying goodnight to Indi in her bed he became brave enough to come into our bedroom, began pacing and tried getting into Indi's bed, which she wouldn't allow. I brought his bed in from the office and put it at the end of our bed. He climbed on it and immediately settled.
12th February 2006
Never heard a word from Lester all night so it must have been as we though and he was calling us. He got a bit of a shock this morning as we think he was trying to go downstairs to go out, pushed the barrier from across the top of the stairs causing it to tumble, Stuart heard the noise and called out, which may have frightened him. We found him shaking in the corner and cowered as Stuart approached

Blank Card of Lester
View and buy
this Blank Card of Lester

Lester on the day he arrived
4th February 2006

Lester on the 4th February 2006
. . . and again.

Lester on the sheepskin rug in the safety of his corner
Lester on the 6th February 2006
on the sheepskin rug in the corner
of the living room - a favourite spot
for shy new foster dogs.

Lester on the 6th February 2006
. . . and later that evening he
came over and sat by me
- a big step forward!

Lester in the garden
In the garden and still on the
lead - 8th February 2006

Walking along the canal bank
Enjoying a walk along the canal bank
on the 10th February 2006

Lester by the side of the canal
. . . and again . . .

Lester is a dark brindle greyhound
. . . . and again.

Lester is a fine looking brindle greyhound
In the garden
on the 18th February 2006

. . . and again . .

Lester in the garden
. . . and again . .

Lester with Romeo
and with Romeo

More pictures below

so he backed off and I went to see if he was okay. He was shaking a bit but soon came round and went in the garden with me and did what was necessary. He was a bit jumpy eating his breakfast and afterwards when Stuart took him in the garden he refused to do anything other than stand and stare at him. He wouldn't even do anything for me but then it was raining and he wasn't too sure of the umbrella I was holding. We just hope we haven't undone all the good achieved so far, but then realised we will have the occasional knock back before moving forward again and wondered how he would cope with a visit to my mother later in the day.
Lester loved travelling in the car and was much more settled when we arrived at my mothers'. We took him for a short walk up the road so he could do what was required then took him into the house. When he heard Mum's voice he wasn't for going in so we asked her to go into the other room out of sight until he came in. This she did and once he was in we shut the door. We then carried on as normal and asked Mum, my sister and her partner to speak to him but give him no eye contact whatsoever for a while to give him chance to weigh up what was happening and give him a bit of time on his own. This they did and before long he was coming to them for bits of meat and a stroke. At one point he sat in the far corner of the room and just watched what was going on but as soon as Bobby and Indi jumped up for a biscuit he quickly joined them. He was much more relaxed when people were sitting down and got quite nervous when they were walking around near him, thankfully, my family helped him by not taking any notice of this and as the afternoon progressed he became much more used to people 'milling' around him.
It was a dreadfully wet day so they never had a proper walk until we arrived home at dusk and on the way back we called in the pub. He just walked in and lay on the floor next to the others. Sat watching what was going on and was much more relaxed at people laughing and moving around him. The previous tenants and their family came in for a drink to Bobby's delight and he went bouncing up to greet them, quickly followed by Indi AND Lester! What a surprise that was, he was up there with the others not wanting to miss out on all the attention - it was marvelous to see. Stuart even got a tail wag this evening - a first!
16th February 2006
This afternoon Lester slipped out into the garden past my legs and I panicked for a while as he'd never been off the lead before and I wasn't sure he would come back to me. I went back in for a titbit and walked calmly out past the pond in the hope of catching him when I realised he just wanted to run and play so when he was tired he just came to me for his titbit. I held his collar and we walked back into the house together. I breathed a sigh of relief but realised Lester had just reached another milestone.
19th February 2006
This lunch time we met up with Ellie and her new owner to go for a walk because she wouldn't go over the stiles making it rather awkward so we thought she might follow our dogs example. When we reached the first style none of the dogs would go over - Bobby tried, but it wasn't the way the style was designed and he may have hurt himself so in order to carry on we lifted all five dogs over. Lifting Lester over was like lifting a tank so it was a good job Stuart was at the other side to take him off me as I couldn't move a step with him in my arms. They all managed the second stile but when Lester went over Stuart slipped in the mud and somehow Lester lost his lead. All I saw was Stuart standing up with the lead dangling and Lester, who thought his lead had been slipped was off at a gallop in a straight line to the other end of the field. We all panicked and possibly swore, then I set off running towards him calling his name and the phrase I had been teaching him in the garden since he arrived. Calling him in as happy and as playful manner as I could so as not to let him hear the fear in my voice. It's very hard to do but had to be done. I kept calling 'Lester come, good boy, Lester come'. A quick look over my shoulder saw that Stuart was following so I waved my arms telling him to go back because if he was around I didn't stand a chance of getting Lester back. I ran on calling the phrase and fumbling in my handbag for a Malteser. About the time I got the Malteser I saw he was almost to the wall at the other end of the field and I hoped he wouldn't jump the wall, turn left and cross the river or turn right and follow the wall up the hill as I had no idea what was over the hill - where were the gates? Were they open and if so where too? I tried not to think about it but carried on calling him in as happy and playful manner that I could muster. When he reached the wall he turned and started running back towards me so I went down into a crouch, kept my arms into my side, held out the Malteser at arms length the way I did in the garden and continued calling him. As he came towards me it was obvious he was going to run around me and I hoped it wasn't the beginning of a second circuit. To my relief he ran around the back of me and came to a stop just in front looking for his Malteser. I took hold of his collar, gave him the Malteser, breathed a sigh of relief and praised him profusely for coming back to me. He had obviously enjoyed his run, was out of breath and looked very pleased with himself. It left us wondering how on earth the lead had come off his collar so far into the walk. Whilst all this was going on Indi and Bobby were both eager to join in so if Lester had not come back we would probably have let one off to round him up then call them both back as if in a game.
When we came to the last stile Lester didn't want to climb the flight of stone steps as they had no sides or hand rails to them so he needed a push to the top, which was not easy as it was about eight foot high. At the top, the style was narrow at the bottom so he had to hop his back legs over, which after the steps, he was happy to do and be gone. It was an eventful walk and one we could well have done without for it was quite frightening, but at least we know now he is beginning to bond with us, which is another step forward.
20th February 2006
Lester has started talking to us when we are getting ready to go out for a walk and runs to the door with the others waiting for his lead to be put on.
21st February 2006
If I walk downstairs for anything now Lester happily follows as he knows something is happening, we let him out in the garden with the others where he wanders around and does what he has to do before coming back inside of his own accord. When we received a delivery this morning he ran down the stairs with the others following Stuart to see who was at the door and waited with the others whilst the delivery was received. He is really, really coming out of his shell and has started following him around (at a distance). If Stuart walks towards him he still backs away but if he walks towards him with his hand out level with Lester's head and walks as if he's walking past him and not look at him Lester will now stay where he is and Stuart can slyly stroke him. Stuart thinks it funny and treats it as a game so because of his happy manner Lester is slowly beginning to realise he's not that bad and on a couple of occasions he almost followed the others into the office when Stuart was there only to hesitate at the entrance and back away a couple of steps. Stuart plays with the others and you can see Lester really wants to join in but not quite got the courage yet. Lester started talking to me this afternoon as we were getting ready to go for a walk, which was a first.
22nd February 2006
We've been watching Lester's progress into the kitchen as we prepare his meals. At first he used to stand on the top step and nod his head from side to side following everything that was going on, then he lay down to watch us, yesterday he stood with front feet on the first step down and this morning he stood with his front feet on the second step down. This evening he lay down and shut his eyes whilst his tea was being prepared so slowly he's relaxing more and beginning to make his way into the kitchen and one of these days he's going to be by the table waiting alongside the others.
Its lovely to reach the stage I can just open the conservatory door and let all the dogs out without having to walk around with one on the lead - believe it or not life's much easier for this.
Lester was left in the house this afternoon on his own with the other dogs for a while because Stuart was out and I had to take Romeo to the vets and collect dog food on the way back. It was only as I was driving along the road I suddenly realised it was the first time he'd been left in the house and hoped nothing would be amiss upon my return. I arrived back to a lovely greeting and no problems other than a couple of ornaments on the window sill he'd knocked over as we walked up the drive past the window. Lester, over the past couple of days has started playing with toys and will fetch one from the toy box and take to his bed to play with. We were downstairs the first time this happened and it sounded like an elephant running around upstairs - even the other dogs in the kitchen with us looked towards the ceiling at the noise. It was very funny. This evening when Stuart arrived home after being out all day he joined in with the others to greet him, which really made Stuart's day.
This evening after tea Stuart came downstairs with an almost empty Malteser packet - one of the jumbo sized ones! Had I eaten most of them he asked because he found Lester with his feet on my desk and his nose in the bag busy munching away. I'd only had four, five soggy ones were left, Lester was happy but now in hiding and Stuart thought the whole affair very funny saying I should have known better than leave a packet of Maltesers on my desk, albeit in the middle and supposedly hidden behind my monitor - I was not amused.
23rd February 2006
This morning when I came back from the vet having taken Romeo in for his operation I found Lester standing behind the garden gate with an 'Oh I'm so glad you are back' look on his face. I found Stuart in the conservatory looking flustered then with a look of relief for he had been trying for 45 minutes to get Lester back inside after feeding him. He didn't dare leave him outside to come in of his own accord for he thought he was trying to get over the wall into the drive to follow me. He tried all ways of tempting him in to the delight of the other dogs who thought it a great game. The biscuits had almost gone along with the cooked roast beef that was for our tea - he had laid a trail of it into the conservatory, which Lester happily followed but as soon as in the conservatory he would duck back out the door before Stuart could close it. Stuart even rigged up a pulley with the long dog lead so he could pull the door shut at a distance but Lester proved himself a very clever dog and dodged it each time. When I walked into the conservatory then into the kitchen you could have knocked Stuart over with a feather for there was Lester happily trotting in behind me. Stuart was not a happy chap but I thought it very funny, which made him worse till I reminded him of the Malteser episode last night and it was quits.
We don't take off his big leather collar and replace it with the material house collar as we normally do with our foster dogs because we don't feel he is ready for that yet in case he gets away from us. However, when in the house we loosen it a couple of notches and tighten it up again as we stand by the door waiting to go out - even in the garden! Heard his first bark this afternoon as he was playing with Joe in the garden.
24th February 2006
Thought the escapade of yesterday morning would have put Lester back a step or two but today he's started coming to Stuart in the house and this evening he even let him put his coat on for the first time prior to going for a walk. However, this evening I went to bed early as I wasn't feeling well and Stuart let all the dogs out last thing at night. Lester refused to come in for Stuart so I had to get out of bed and fetch him, but for some reason he would come to me but not close enough to hold his collar and lead him back into the house so Stuart walked quietly round the perimeter of the garden not talking so as to make him more afraid but to show him there was someone there. Lester wasn't sure what was happening so he came to me being the lesser of two evils. Before walking in together we waited for Stuart to catch us up, say hello to Lester, stroke him and all walk back in together.
25th February 2006
Lester was very nervous this morning because of what happened last night but as the day wore on he became more settled and by this evening he was okay in the garden again. We know we will have these set backs but hope that as he realises we are not mad with him after each one he will slowly realise that ups and downs are part of family life and is nothing for him to get too worried about.
26th February 2006
Lester's lead came off again this afternoon whilst walking him along the back road. Thankfully he hadn't realised and when we said 'Lester come' he turned around and walked back to us. We put him back on the lead, told him he was a good lad and gave him a biscuit. A good examination of the collar and lead has revealed that if the opening side of the dog clip is attached to his collar facing the buckle and the lead is at a certain angle the buckle is in the right place to open the clip just sufficient to release him. Therefore, from now on we will make sure the opening part of the dog clip on the lead goes on so its facing away from the buckle to prevent this happening again.
Lost a packet of envelopes this afternoon and searched everywhere for them. I thought I was going mad until I found them in Lester's bed. Some had been chewed and the rest had teeth marks in so they all ended in the bin. They were in a cellophane packet so perhaps he thought it was another packet of Maltesers!
27th February 2006
Lester is now coming back into the house after Stuart has let him out, allowing him to put his coat on and coming off the top step in the kitchen for a titbit. When he does this he tries to lean as far forward as he can and because it isn't far enough he then goes as far as necessary into the kitchen to grab it then run back to the safety of his top step.
He decided to chew a roll of kitchen towel this afternoon, which I found shredded in his bed then he lay on the landing and started to chew the cardboard box all their toys are kept in. I think he got the message I wasn't too happy - perhaps he can sense the growing tension as we are packing to go away or perhaps he is beginning to come out of his shell so now is the time for some serious disciplining to begin.
28th February 2006
The past two or three days we've had one or two accidents but not sure whether they are from Romeo or Lester - always by the side of our bed. It may be one or more of a few things that has been happening because over the past few days we've had Romeo at the vet for his anti-testosterone injection then operation, Stuart has been ill with a type of flu, Joe came back adding another dog, I've had a nasty head cold and on top of all that we've been trying to get things sorted to go and see a photographer in Cheshire then onto Ireland for a few days break as we haven't had a day off in nearly ten months. It may also be the dogs have been left on their own two or three times and when we return Romeo and Lester gets so excited that we think one of them goes upstairs and has a wee. It may be a temporary thing with us going away and they can tell, but if it continues we will let them outside as soon as we come back in.
2nd March 2006
Lester travelled well in the car yesterday as we drove down to Hollyhead stopping in Cheshire on the way down to visit someone. When we arrived we asked Derek if he would act naturally but not look at Lester at all as he was afraid of people. During a walk Lester kept looking up at Derek out of the corner of his eye but Derek ignored him and within five minutes Lester was happily walking next to him - we were amazed! We had a bit of a wait at the ferry as we arrived early but he took it all in his stride and didn't seem overly bothered as we left him in the car on the car deck for the ferry across to Ireland. We arrived in Ireland at 6.00am so stopped just south of Dublin and gave them all a walk to relieve themselves before setting off again for the cottage in County Wexford. When we arrived he wasn't too sure about going inside but once in we fed him and he settled with the others for a quiet day so we could all catch up on our sleep.
3rd March 2006
Lester slept in his bed all night and this morning we awoke to find all the dogs in our bedroom and Lester standing in the hall peeping round the corner of the bedroom door - wanting to come in and say hello but not too sure. Took the dogs to the beach so Bobby and Indi could have a run as it's their favourite and once they had let off some steam we let Lester and Romeo out on their leads as well. It was a glorious day with no wind so they all enjoyed a long walk along the sand. We were a little anxious he might decide to go for a gallop and we wouldn't be able to stop him but he realised he was on the lead and happily trotted along with the others.
4th March 2006
This morning after checking the courtyard garden belonging to the cottage was 'Lester proof' we let him off the lead so he could wander round with the others, which he enjoyed. Luckily we are the only ones here at the moment so don't have to worry about other guests leaving the gate open, which makes life a little easier for us. He enjoyed his day out when we visited Kilmore Quay and took in his stride all the new sights and sounds of the fishing harbour but was a little wary each time some people walked past us. However, letting him meet people in passing will, in time, make him realise that not everyone he sees he needs to shy away from and be afraid and, he's slowly getting better because he's not pulling away quite the same as he used to.
5th March 2006
Lester has really settled into holiday mode, he's now coming to greet Stuart, smiling at him and playing with Stuart's hands. He's also been playing with Romeo the same way as puppies do. He looks much happier and more relaxed with the company and what's going on around him and this change of environment will broaden his horizons and do him the world of good.
8th March 2006
Lester's quite funny because each morning he still looks at Stuart warily for a few seconds, almost as if he's not sure who it is in the dressing gown or different clothes. Stuart jovially calls him over to play and when he hears his voice its almost as if the penny drops and he realises its not someone new. The funny thing is he used to do that with me to begin with but now he no longer does. He is enjoying the peace and quiet of the cottage, gardens and paddock, settled into his new routine and enjoying his trips out in the car. Whilst out this afternoon we bumped into a couple of ladies who came over to say hello to the dogs. Lester wasn't too sure to begin with and hung back on his lead with his head down so we explained his nervousness around people and asked that they not look at him. This they did and within a short time he moved forward a couple of steps and looked less scared.
14th March 2006
Lester has really enjoyed his stay in Ireland and the experience has done him the world of good. He settled quickly in the cottage and soon got used to his new routine as he was able to follow what the other dogs were doing. He loved his days out in the car and visiting places and each time he saw people handled it better each time. This is probably because he is beginning to realise we won't let anything happen to him, we don't hide him away and make the most of taking him places where there are people, take no notice of him shying away from them, ask them not to make a fuss of him or look him in the eye, which puts him at ease much quicker then move on and act as if his shy behaviour didn't happen. We went to Slade Harbour and did his photo shoot for next year's calendar on the harbour edge. We have a number of good pictures of him and he was really good. We also took some pictures of him standing in front of some large straw bales, again for the calendar. We've been out a few times in the evening and left the dogs in the cottage with the TV on and when we arrived back found everything fine. We open the door to find Lester standing with the others waiting to give us a welcome. Now that he is gaining our confidence he's turning into a lovely happy dog who is beginning to look to us for support. He also understands the following commands, which we have been using - 'Lester come', 'Lester stay', 'Lester stay there, back soon', 'Lester walk', 'dinner', 'no', 'leave' and 'a chew' (pig's ear).
Arrived back in Cumbria to find snow and the house very cold. Lester probably hasn't seen snow before and to begin with thought it wonderful and ran around the garden with Romeo and Indi skidding everywhere, however, when he's not wanting to run it's a case of out in the garden, do what's necessary and back in the warm again as quickly as possible.
19th March 2006
Lester was a little quiet the first couple of days back home and slightly nervous of Stuart again, why we don't know, perhaps change of environment again. Since then he's started coming to greet Stuart when he comes back home, grinning at him when they meet, is beginning to let Stuart play with him, now laying in the kitchen occasionally to wait for his dinner, has started to sleep with Bobby on the landing or with Indi and Joe in our bedroom and when our alarm goes off in the morning he sometimes stands by the side of our bed waiting for his morning greeting. We can now leave the conservatory door open and he wanders in and out during the day when the weather is fine. I often see him sitting or standing at the top of the garden watching the cars go by or the workmen resurfacing the main road. It's taken six weeks to reach this point and we feel at last that we are getting there because his true character is beginning to come out.
20th March 2006

22nd March 2006
This evening Lester went to his first obedience class so he could meet other people and we could see how he was with other dogs. He walked halfway through the door then stopped when he realised there were people in the room, however, a gentle push from behind was enough to make the final step. Inside he was unsure and started to shake but again a gently push from behind was enough to make him walk round the row of chairs into the main part of the hall. Whilst waiting for the class to start we ignored his nervous behaviour but kept an eye on him when another dog or person passed. Kevin who ran the class tried to tempt him with a piece of hot dog sausage but he was so nervous he wouldn't touch them. During the first few minutes Kevin kept walking past him as he was talking to the class, ignoring Lester each time till Lester was so used to him doing it he started to ignore him. On the final walk past Kevin, still not looking at Lester put his hand down and stroked him as he walked past. It was a fleeting stroke and Lester gave a quick look in surprise as he walked past, realised Kevin wasn't looking at him and settled again.
To say it was his first class we were very proud of him because he walked round the room to heal two or three times with the other dogs and did it very well. He didn't bother with the others and walking around helped to settle him as he had something to occupy his mind, then he walked down the room on a loose lead, did a close turn at the end and walked back. He did a 30 second stand by my side without moving then did a couple of other tasks which he did really well to say it was his first session. At the end of the class he met some other dogs coming in for the next class and although we could see he felt a little uneasy with everyone moving around but he wasn't shaking as he had at the beginning. We were very pleased with him.
24th March 2006
When we get ready to go out in the car I often jangle the keys and say 'go in the car, in the car', which brings an excited response from everyone as they know it's a trip out. This morning I said it when only Lester was in the room. His ears went up, his eyes looked bright and he jumped up and started doing a little dance in front of me then he danced around me to the door for his lead being put on. This is the first time he's done this and I think it took us by surprise - a nice one though.
This afternoon Stuart crawled towards him and to our surprise instead of Lester turning around and hiding as in the past he danced in front of him and gave a little bark, then licked his face - after nearly 7 weeks we think Lester is beginning to realise this isn't such a bad place to live and hopefully the 'penny is beginning to drop'.
27th March 2006
This morning Lester went to the vets to be neutered. He must have remembered where he was, having been once already for his first inoculation, for he refused to get out the car. When I opened the back of the car he went as far as he could to the front and if I tried to get him via one of the other doors he went as far away from me as he could, pulling him does not work, we learn't that within days of having him, for he bolts his feet to the floor and just won't budge. Whilst I was pondering what to do one of the vets arrived so I asked if he could open the driver's door and put his head inside to which Lester ran to the back of the car and couldn't get out quick enough. The vet and I had a giggle together. Inside Lester was very nervous and was shaking whilst in the waiting room. He let the vet examine him and because he was so nervous she suggested he be given a stronger pre-med than normal, one they use for agressive dogs because it would be kinder on him. Instead of just making him calm but awake and aware of what was going on it actually makes him go to sleep. After he was given it rather than the vet taking him I walked him into his kennel and settled him down. The vet said he would be asleep within ten minutes. When we arrived to collect him later that afternoon he happily walked out of his kennel and followed us to the car. He was a little quieter during the evening but lay on the sheepskin rug in the living room where we could keep an eye on him.
29th March 2006
Lester has been really good with his stitches and after being told to 'leave' a couple of times he hasn't bothered with them again.
This evening Lester went to his second training class at Carmel but this time he didn't want to get out the car so needed a gentle push. He was okay outside and after a little hesitation at the door he was fine inside until he saw everyone then put his head down and started to shake. We arrived a few minutes earlier this week so he could mingle with the earlier class leaving. Thunder was there and he came over to say hello. Whilst people and dogs were milling around Lester was shaking and tried to back into the kitchen out of the way, however, two or three people came over and stroked him and because we ignored him he put up with it - one gentleman even knealt down in front of him to say hello - poor Lester had the look on his face of 'help, what's this person going to do to me?' but we just ignored him and he realised no pain resulted. There were quite a few very small dogs in the earlier class and we were very careful to watch Lester as they approached him because he hadn't seen such small dogs before, however, he ignored them even when a couple started running between his legs. Once our class started, within a few minutes he was a bit more relaxed and by the end he was beginning to watch what some of the other dogs were doing. Part of the class involved recall and so as not to leave Lester out we made sure all the exits were shut before letting him off the lead. Stuart had him at one end of the room and I was to call him from the other. To begin with he did well as he walked, head down towards me but half way he veared to my left so as to go around the chairs towards the door we came in. So as not to start 'the chase' Kevin walked quietly behind him and asked me to meet him at the other end of the chairs, and because he was walking towards me, which was the aim of the exercise I praised him for coming to me, albeit the roundabout route.
31st March 2006
This evening we attended the Dumfriesshire Greyhound Rescue AGM and collected Rio at the same time. It will do Lester good having another dog to follow and because Rio is so laid back it should help him.
2nd April 2006
This afternoon a family came to visit Rio with a view to adopting him. When they arrived we explained we wanted Lester in the room as well but could they avoid him to begin with and give him no eye contact. Lester sat on the sheepskin rug in the corner of the living room just watching. He was quite calm and didn't shake so by the end of the visit, having been ignored completely the lady and one of the little boys went over and stroked him for about five minutes before leaving.
3rd April 2006
This evening we went to the training class at Staveley because Rio is being neutered on Wednesday and we didn't want him in the car for a couple of hours straight after his operation whilst Lester was in class. Also, his laid back presence would help Lester and it would give us a chance to assess Rio with other dogs, people and children. Lester got out the car easily because it was a new place and happily walked into the hall until he entered the room to see so many people and dogs then he became nervous and began to shake. We ignored this and waited for our class to begin. Once on the floor and walking to heal around the hall he began to settle and did some of the tasks very well. His 'recall' this week was away from the people towards me at the far end of the hall, which was empty. He did it well and came straight to me but I got the feeling he felt insecure being off the lead because he walked towards me with his head down and looked a lot happier back on the lead by my side. His new task for the week was having all the people and dogs in a long line and each person with their dog snaking around them until they reached their place in the line again. When it came to our turn to set off Lester backed away till he was against a chair. I just stood by him, slackened the lead, talked to him quietly and gave him a minute to compose himself before saying 'Lester come' and off we set again. Slowly and talking quietly to him all the way we snaked between the people and dogs in the line until we got back to our place and he received a good praise.
6th April 2006
This morning we were going to do the calendar photo shoot at Haverthwaite Station but it rained so we decided to do an indoor shoot in a Lakeland Pub beside a roaring log fire. Both Lester and Rio were very good and we got some lovely pictures.
7th April 2006
This afternoon Lester went to the vets to have his stitches taken out. Again I had problems getting him out of the car until someone came and popped their head inside one of the doors causing him to jump out the back door. He was very nervous in the vets but stood very still whilst his stitches were being removed. I was a little worried in case he decided to sit down because sometimes when he's frightened he backs into a corner and goes backwards onto his haunches and if he did this the vet and I would have struggled to make him stand again so she could get
underneath to the stitches. Anyway he didn't do it so all was well and he was happy to get out and back into the car again.
8th April 2006
This afternoon Flash and Tiger came to stay for a couple of days whilst their owners were away and Lester looked on in wonder as they made themselves at home again. He probably wondered how these 'new' dogs knew the ropes so quickly! Their presence will do him the world of good.
11th April 2006
During our walk this afternoon we came across a small boy with a terrier, which was off the lead. This caused a bit of a rumpous with the five dogs I had with me because it was running all around them. After I settled them down again I looked at the leads in my hand thinking something was wrong. It suddenly dawned on me I was a lead short and when I surveyed the dogs to see what was happening found Lester standing a few yards away with his lead dangling on the ground. A moment of panic then I slowly walked towards him saying 'Lester come'. He took his eyes off the boy and dog and thankfully came towards me so I could pick up his lead. During the comotion he must have backed away from the little boy and his lead slipped from my hand without my knowing. It was a bit of a scary moment but showed that his bonding to me has improved for he stayed near me rather than running off in fear as he would have done not long ago - another step forward!
12th April 2006
This evening we went to dog training classes at Cartmel and again Lester needed a gentle push to get him out of the car. He followed us into the hall but this time he seemed less shaky and settled a little quicker. As we were sitting waiting for the class to start Kevin asked if Stuart would hold his lead loosely in the air so he could walk past and take it as he was doing so. When Lester felt his lead move he just followed until he realised it was a different human holding it then he held back a little, looking extremely worried, but Kevin waited patiently, talking quietly to him and before long he began to walk on again and by the end of his three minute walk around the hall Kevin was gently tickling him behind the ears. He did very well in class. Still went for the exit when doing the recall and was really good snaking around the people and dogs standing in a line. One lady first thought he was a different dog until she realised it was Lester then commented upon how much he had come on. At the end of the class Kevin asked for volunteers to walk past Stuart, take Lester's lead, give him no eye contact but talk to him and walk him once round the hall back to Stuart then hand back the lead. In all about ten people did this and Lester did remarkably well with each one. It was the first time he had allowed other people to take his lead and walk with him - what a wonderful feeling it was to see him do this and we were just so proud of him. Kevin talked to us about why dogs pull on the lead and how to resolve this so we are going to try it on Lester because he does pull sometimes especially at the beginning of his walk.
13th April 2006
This lunch time a couple came to visit for a chat about re-homing a greyhound so we shut all the doors to the kitchen and brought Lester in to join us. He sat in the corner of the room watching what was going on - he didn't want to venture into the main part of the room but then again he wasn't shaking.
14th April 2006
Following the technique shown to us by Kevin at the classes a couple of days ago Lester now waits patiently for his lead to be put on and hardly pulls on the lead as we are going for his walk, that is unless we meet people and he thinks they are getting a bit too close to him, then he either hides behind us or pulls till away from them before settling down again.
15th April 2006
This morning we visited Carlisle City Centre for a greyhound awareness day. It was a lovely day and very busy with it being Easter and the whole square covered in stalls selling goods. Lester found that with so many people everywhere he didn't know where to look because he couldn't look or hide from everyone so he just walked towards the greyhound stand by Stuart's side. When we reached the stall he began saying hello to all the other greyhounds and we were very surprised at how settled he seemed. To begin with when people approached him he would shake a little and hold his head down looking sorry for himself but as we ignored this and allowed people to stroke him he got better as the morning wore on. He had many admirers, but then he is a lovely dog and towards the end of our visit he lay on the ground next to the stall and looked really quite relaxed. As we walked back to the car and drove home we hoped we hadn't stayed too long and that the experience wouldn't put him back too much.
17th April 2006
We were a little concerned that taking Lester to the Greyhound Awareness Day in Carlisle City Centre on Saturday might have put him back a step or two, however, this has not been the case for he seems much more confident in and around the house. It may be the work and training we have been doing with him along with meeting so many people on Saturday and Jack's happy and outgoing character that has helped. He's been coming back into the house a lot better and not hovering on the doorstep quite the same as he's done in the past. When we go for a walk he's started hanging back at the front door waiting for us to go first, which is what we want him to do instead of dashing out in front of us. We've also started letting him off in the drive by the front door after our walks so when we open the door he walks in with the others off the lead for the last two or three feet. He's also more involved with the others whilst waiting for him dinner being made instead of hanging back on the steps by the kitchen door and, last night he came downstairs from him bed, walked into the living room, lay down on the sheepskin rug whilst we watched television and stayed in the room all evening even when we went out to make a cup of tea. This is the first time he's done this of his own accord, for usually we have to bring him down and shut the living room door to be with us and to stop him going back upstairs again - it took Stuart and I by surprise - a nice one, for it's another step forward.
He came into the living room of his own accord tonight and sat with us again then when it was time to go out last thing he went out with the others - and came back in again with no problem. He seems to watch and follow Jack so when I went out to the coal shed for coal last thing they both ran down the garden behind me and walked back in to the house after me. I think it must be the first time he's come back in without us having to ignore him or tease him in on the pretext of going for a walk or something - I think the penny may be beginning to drop!
20th April 2006
Yesterday a model and her partner arrived for a photo shoot for next year's calendar and brought their 5 month old boxer pup, Millie. Lester was a little wary of them but didn't shake in their presence as he used to and overcame some of his fear to say hello to the pup. In the evening when we all sat in the living room Lester decided to stay upstairs and, on this occasion we let him. This afternoon when we arrived back from the photo shoot we found him playing with Millie in the garden - he was up on the bank barking and dancing around in front of her and when he barked she would make a dive into the conservatory then dash back out into the garden only to come diving back in again the next time he barked. He has such a deep bark and with the differences in their sizes it was funny to watch.
This evening we found Lester back in the living room with us as we watched television. A few days ago he started ringing the bell attached to the keys in the conservatory door. He stands in front of the door looking out and knocks the bell with his nose, to which we promptly let him out.
21st April 2006
A few days ago we noticed a lump on the back of Lester's neck, which caused some concern. It wasn't an abscess or solid and wasn't causing him any pain so we mentioned it to the DGR homing co-ordinator. He said it may be a delayed reaction to his injection when he was neutered - something he'd seen before. He said if it didn't go down after a few days to take him to the vet and have it checked out. Luckily the lump has now gone.
22nd April 2006
This morning we attended the greyhound training day at Carlisle and Lester was wary of the hall to begin with and began to shake with all the people around, however, we ignored his shaking and within a few minutes he was a lot more relaxed and lay on the blanket with the others. He joined in with some of the exercises and some of the dogs undertook the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Test in the afternoon. Kevin who was taking the class didn't think Lester would pass because of his nervousness but after the test we thought about it a bit more and we think he may have passed so we are going to ask if he can take the test in a few weeks time.
23rd April 2006
Today we took a trip over to see my Mother and Lester came with us. He was much better about going into her house and settled down much quicker than last time. After lunch we took them all for a walk along the canal bank as it was such a lovely afternoon, which Lester enjoyed.
29th April 2006
Over the past few days we've had a couple of people staying overnight and each evening we brought Lester down into the living room. The first evening we shut the living room door to stop him leaving but on the second occasion we didn't and he lay on the sheepskin rug in the corner to survey the whole situation before going to sleep. One thing we did notice was that for the first few hours after our guests left he was very wary and a little nervous around the house and garden until he realised they had gone and his home was his again!
We have also noticed that if Lester gets very nervous his neck swells making his collar very tight. When this happens we now loosen it a notch in order not to stress him further. Once he's relaxed again we tighten it a notch again so it's back to what it should be.
2nd May 2006
We think Jack and Lester were sleeping too close to each other a couple of nights ago, when either one got up and moved treading on the other or one had a dream and disturbed the other - whatever happened there was a real commotion that ended with Jack hurting his ear and Lester scuttling off to his bed in the office in shock for the rest of the night. Read Jack's page for the full details but one thing we are certain of is that it was an accident because Lester
Long Legged Beauties
'Just Greyhounds'
2007 Calendar
Lester amongst straw bales
This picture of Lester was taken
on the 10th March 2006 in Ireland and is our main October calendar shot

View Calendar

Long Legged Beauties
'Just Greyhounds'
2008 Calendar
This picture of Lester was taken
at Slade Harbour in Co. Wexford, Ireland in March 2006 and is our January supporting picture for the calendar
View Calendar

Long Legged Beauties
'Just Greyhounds'
2007 Calendar
This picture of Lester was taken
in March 2006 in Ireland and is one of the inside cover pictures of the calendar
View Calendar

Lester at Carlisle City Centre on the 15th April 2006
Lester at Carlisle City Centre
on the 15th April 2006 wearing
his 'I need a home' coat.

Lester on the 16th April 2006
Joining us in the living room
on the 16th April 2006

Joining us in the living room on the 16th April 2006
. . . and again . . .

The Lester look
The 'Lester look' 16th April 2006

Long Legged Beauties
'Just Greyhounds'
2007 Calendar

This picture of Lester was taken on
the 17th April 2006 and is the July support shot in the calendar.
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Lester with his bone
Lester with his bone
May 2006

showed real concern for Jack whilst he wasn't feeling well.
9th May 2006
Well, what can we say. Lester passed his three month stay with us with a number of firsts - It's taken 3 months but he's really settling in, is a pleasure to have and is coming out of his shell. Over the past week he's become a lot more confident in our home environment and he's a pleasure to have. He loves his toys and many a time empties the toybox and puts everything in his bed. He now understands a number of commands, sleeps in the living room with us in the evening of his own accord, is let him off the lead to walk up the drive and into the house on his own, wears a house collar during the day and night instead of having his leather one on all the time, not quite so concerned at people being in the house (we've had a number of visitors staying recently), has discovered and gained the confidence to delve into the dishwasher along with the others to see what is there, wants to lick the dinner plates etc along with the others, pushes his nose in the fridge to see what's there everytime we open the door, lays in the kitchen waiting for his dinner with the others instead of standing at a distance in the kitchen doorway, started playing with us rather than watching at a distance, will go into Stuart's office ON HIS OWN for Stuart to say hello to him.  Will come to Stuart 98% of the time unless he's holding something in his hand – even a towel or hovers in the conservatory doorway. Is beginning to come to Stuart in the garden and show an interest in people at a distance when he's out for a walk and is eager to go towards them but when they get too close he looses courage and dashes behind us for protection. Having said all that he is still wary of strangers but if we handle the situation a certain way and the strangers co-operate he is now settling a lot quicker.
10th May 2006
This evening Lester attended another training class and met more new people and dogs. He was a little shaky when we first went in but within a few minutes he settled down and watched the other dogs coming and going around the hall. He wasn't too sure of Kevin taking him for a walk but he did it albeit with his head down and eyes looking up to keep an eye on him. He undertook the exercises so well that we have arranged for him to take his Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Test soon so it's fingers crossed there is nothing there to spook him during the test.
14th May 2006
This evening Lester very gingerly climbed onto the settee and lay there for a few minutes before getting off - this is the first time he's shown interest in doing this.
17th May 2006
We took Lester to training classes again tonight. He still shakes for the first five minutes of being in there but once the class begins he soon settles down and is beginning to enjoy the tasks. Omce his initial nerves disappear he does them all so well apart from the 'sit' which we don't do because he's a greyhound and he just stands still instead. He knows to do this because I rest two fingers on his shoulders, say 'stay' and apply a little pressure with my fingers before leaving him to stay on his own. When the other dogs are doing individual recall tasks etc. Lester has a look of fascination on his face as he's watching them, becomes completely relaxed and forgets the people standing near him. We did most of the tasks for the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze test this evening and Lester was wonderful so we have high hopes for him in the test itself shortly.
18th May 2006
A big first today for we let Lester off the lead in the field for the first time. We let Bobby and Indi off to have a good run then let Thunder have a run. Once Thunder started slowing down we put him back on the lead and let Lester off. I must admit it was a bit 'should we, shouldn't we' but it was a stock proof field and all the gates were shut and we felt today was the day to try him. When he realised he was off the lead he looked at us as if to say 'hey I'm off the lead is that okay', which really surprised us, then after a short walk he began to trot away only to find Indi catching him up and overtaking him to encourage him to run faster. They both ran flat out half way round the perimeter of the field with Bobby following, and when I called them they all came running to me with Lester coming direct to me for a big praise, which of course he received. We let him trot off again, and again he ran round the field a few times with Indi but this time she ran a bit too close as he was coming back to me and somehow he hurt his foot. He came to me limping and when I bent down to see what happened he lay on the grass and rolled over on his back so I could look at his foot better. Bless him, he just lay there letting me check his foot. I couldn't see anything so presumed he ran onto a stone or stick. We all walked slowly back to the gate with Lester limping and when we got home I checked his foot again as he was licking it. I couldn't see or feel anything and a short time later he was up and about as if nothing had happened.
19th May 2006
It was a good job we let Lester have a run yesterday because we found sheep in the field today - will have to look for another empty field but they are in short supply at the moment and they have even put cattle in the nature reserve, which is a bit sad. Over the past few days we've noticed that if Lester wants to go out he has started standing by the conservatory door and ringing the bell hanging on the handle using his nose so we can let him out.
20th May 2006
Stuart says Lester has become a 'Mummy's boy'! Thunder,who has been staying with us went home today and Lester was lost because Thunder's teddy bear went home with him. He loved having it in his bed and when we put it in a carrier back on the hall table waiting to go back Lester took it out the bag and back upstairs to his bed.
21st May 2006
If Lester hears us clearing the tea table he's now down those stairs and into the kitchen like a shot looking to lick the plates and investigate the contents of the dish washer.
23rd May 2006
If Lester is asleep in his bed and Stuart arrives home in the car all I need to say is 'who's that Stuart, is that Stuart' and up he jumps, goes to the top of the stairs to watch him come through the door then runs downstairs to greet him - he obviously now knows Stuart's name for as soon as its mentioned he goes looking for him.
Although Lester climbed onto the settee a few days ago for the first time he hasn't tried to do it since - perhaps it's not as good as he thought it was or perhaps he feels he's not high enough up the hierarchy to risk pinching Indi's and Bobby's place!
24th May 2006
Lester went to his training class tonight and settled much quicker than ever before. He was fascinated watching all the other dogs and even let Yazmine our model for the calendar shoot, who arrived earlier to walk him round the room a few times. Part of the session was out on the lawn doing some agility tests, which Lester wasn't too impressed with - he wouldn't jump the hurdles, just walked over them and although he did very well weaving between the sticks he was more interested in making sure he kept away from all the others trying to do the same thing - it was a bit of a mad house and the fact a couple of boys were playing ball nearby didn't help - new experiences, good character building!
25th May 2006
We all went to Ingleton with Toby to get some photographs for the calendars. Lester stayed in the car at Ribblehead Viaduct but we all walked down to the river and stepping stones. Lester was wary of Yazmine when she first arrived but as she ignored him to begin with it gave him time to weigh her up and within twenty four hours was getting used to her being around. Having said that, the odd Maltesa probably helped! As we were walking down towards the river we found him happily walking by her side, which was lovely to see.
6th June 2006
This morning I took Jack to his new home and because our estate car was in the garage I took him in the other one, which mean't the others having to stay at home with Stuart. I told Bobby, Indi and Lester to stay - 'Jack new home, new home' which we say to them whenever a foster dog leaves and we are sure Bobby and Indi understand for they go very quiet and stay in their beds if they are not coming with us and if they do, upon our return. This morning after I left with Jack, Stuart said Lester became very distraught and wouldn't settle for quite a long time until Indi climbed into his bed and cuddled up next to him - bless her! That is certainly a first for Indi and I wish I'd seen it for she doesn't like sharing her bed with anyone let alone climbing in and cuddling up next to one.
10th June 2006
Now that Lester enjoys licking the plates and dishes after a meal along with all the others we've noticed certain things go missing. Normally, when the dogs have finished they leave the dishes where they are but not Lester - he takes them up to his bed or out in the garden to make sure he has the last lick in comfort. We've found a few in his bed but a couple of days ago we found a glass pint Pirex bowl at the top of the lawn and this morning when we opened the curtains we found a baking tray on the lawn that Stuart had cooked his bacon in last night.
11th June 2006
A couple of weeks ago we received a phone call from a lady in Jersey who had found my web site and been following Lester's
Lester in the garden
Lester on the 10th June 2006
story for weeks. Having read it over and over again she realised Lester was for them, she was fully aware of what he was like and finally decided to call us to see about the possibility of re-homing him. As you can imagine Jersey is outside our normal re-homing area and to cut a long story short, after numerous phone calls, a reference from her vet, a home check completed by Jersey Animal Shelter and a number of other areas ironed out arrangements are being made for Lester to go and live on Jersey in the middle of July. As Lester wouldn't fit in their two seater car another vehicle has been purchased for when they go anywhere with him and arrangements are being made for them to come and stay a few days here so we can introduce him to them so he has time to get to know them and them him before he leaves for Jersey with them.
12th June 2006
Had some prawn crackers left over from a takeaway last night so shared them between the dogs this evening. When Lester took his it crunched in his mouth, which frightened him causing him to drop it, however, when he saw how the others were with theirs he soon picked it up again and began munching it. He had no hesitation over the next one he was given and from that point he was in with the others waiting for more. He was so funny, the look on his face when the first one crunched in his mouth that we had a job to stop laughing.
13th June 2006
I was ill during the night with a tummy bug so spent all day in bed as I felt so ill. Jet, Lester, Bobby and Indi spent the day asleep in my bedroom. Stuart was out working most of the day and I wasn't well enough to take them for a walk. Bless them, for not one of them pestered to go - they were all as good as gold.
14th June 2006
I was ill again today with the addition of a swollen saliva gland and once again all the dogs were very good for they could sense something amiss.
15th June 2006
The side of my face had swollen to the size of a football and was extremely painful so Lester and the others had to be left on their own for quite a while today so Stuart could take me to the doctor who promptly sent me to hospital where I was admitted and put on a drip, painkillers and antibiotics. Even though the dogs had been on their own longer than we would have liked today for we didn't know how it was going to turn out when Stuart arrived home he found all was well.
17th June 2006
This evening when Stuart let all the dogs out last thing Lester decided he wasn't going to come in no matter what so at 1am having tried all sorts of other things to tempt him in Stuart went outside with Jet and used him as bait for 'dig or die'. The dig didn't work but Stuart pretended to have a heart attack in the middle of the garden and laying on his back on the lawn brought Jet running to see what was the matter quickly followed by Lester. When Lester stood looking down over him Stuart reached out his arm and took him by the collar then got up and brought him inside.
18th June 2006
To avoid a repetition of last night Stuart thought he would put the lead on Lester but he was having none of it and dashed out into the garden. As he wouldn't come in Stuart did as I suggested and went back into the kitchen and stood side on to the door so he could see it out of the corner of his eye and started to do the washing up. Lester has a tendency of standing in the doorway and if you look at him he will dash outside again. As he now knows us sometimes I think he's playing a game so I tend to stand in the kitchen washing up with the doorway in the corner of my eye. Lester comes in, stands in the doorway, sees you aren't looking at him and creeps round the corner and up the stairs to bed. Stuart found this worked so saved another late night!
20th June 2006
I came out of hospital this afternoon to be met by a crowd of very happy dogs - at last the pack is back to normal!

22nd June 2006
Received an email this afternoon from Lester's potential new owners asking if it would be beneficial for Lester to have a companion and they had seen his brother Lofty on the DGR web site. We've always believed that having a companion would help Lester and knowing how well he's got on with the other dogs and how they have helped him it was a nice email to receive. Upon receiving this DGR made contact with Lester's orginal owners asking if the two brothers would make happy long term companions. As they are litter brothers and considering both natures it was deemed not. However, Lester has three litter sisters Cherry, Bramble and Plum all of which his original owner's said would get on with him. Cherry is a fawn greyhound who is quite outgoing, Bramble is a brindle who is quite nervous and Plum who is a smokey brindle is in between so we put it to Lester's potential new owners to see what he thought.
26th June 2006
Received an email from Lester's potential new owners saying they were drawn more towards Cherry or Plum but not sure which one at this stage. We phoned Lester's original owners asking his opinion of each dog and considering what he said along with the comments in Lester's potential new owners email we arranged for Plum to come to us next Sunday to foster.
27th June 2006
Received an email today from Lester's potential new owners saying that so long as Plum gets on okay with Lester and with them when they come over in the middle of July then Plum will be going back to Jersey with them all. Could we also start calling her Laila as that is the name they would like to call her.
28th June 2006
Lester is really coming out of his shell around the house and now knows the word 'car' because if we are going out in the car we shake the keys and call 'car' he comes running into the room. When we show him the keys and say 'car' again he nods his head from side to side the way only Lester does it them jumps around in circles and even does that deep bark of his. It's so lovely to see his getting so excited along with the others and when we get to the car he's the first to jump in for he knows its a trip out.
2nd July 2006
This morning Lester's original owner and his wife brought one of Lester's litter sisters here for us to foster. When Plum walked through the garden gate Lester, along with the other dogs had a good sniff around her and from the expression on his face he recognised who she was before turning to run to the top of the garden where he could safely survey what was happening for in addition to Plum coming through the gate so did two other people!
When we mentioned about Lester taking the Kennel Club Good Citizenship Bronze Award and how he didn't get it because when he was doing the recall test he stood by the examiner off the lead
Relaxing on the 26th June 2006
Relaxing on the 26th June 2006

Long Legged Beauties
'Just Greyhounds'
2007 Calendar
Laila and Lester
This picture of Laila and Lester was taken
on the 23rd July 2006 is the front cover of the calendar
View Calendar

and it took me a while to get him to come to me. Lester's original owner said that because his dogs are mostly large they are all trained that in a similar situation they stand still by the side of the person removing the lead and won't go to the person calling them until their collars are removed - Lester was simply doing what he had been trained to do! If only we had known before he took the test.
3rd July 2006
Well! It's just like me and my sis, for Lester has come out of his shell a little bit more and showing Laila the routine. When they go outside last thing at night it's Lester who comes in first followed by Laila. We've been feeding them side by side and during the day they spent part of the time on the same bed together, walked side by side up the road during their walk and Lester keeps going up to her for a sniff and a little lick - it's so cute to see.
8th July 2006
This afternoon we walked Lester and Laila together on the double chain to see how they walked side by side and found they walked well as neither tried to pull the other over, but just walked along nicely next to each other. To help them get used to walking together we will now do this each day for the short walk up the road to the point we let ours off the lead to wander.
14th July 2006
This evening we took Jet to his new home and because of the heat and number of dogs at present we decided to take Kane with us as he was the new arrival and left the rest at home. We arrived home to find a severe protest had taken place but not sure who the culprits were. Can't see Bobby and Indi doing it, well definately not Bobby so it may have been Indi, Lester or Laila. Rubbish had been taken from the waste paper bin in the office and chewed up all over the floor and all along the landing. Two pieces of paper had been taken off my desk and chewed up (thankfully I can reprint them again), a newspaper had been taken from Stuart's desk and chewed to shreds in our bedroom, the two dogs beds in our bedroom were in a heap and looked as if they had been used as breaking blocks after a race along with a bitches 'puddle' on our bedroom carpet. As well as the chewing think there might have been some playing going on as well. Can't see it was because we went out with two leaving some behind as we've done it before - but not since Laila has arrived! On our way out we did say 'Jet new home, stay there, back soon, Jet new home' and, as I've said in the past I'm sure Indi and Bobby know what this means and maybe even Lester. Today was the first time we've rehomed a dog but left some at home and I think it will be the last because a dog going certainly upsets them! Lester got on well with Jet and we know from the experience when he became upset when Jack left and Indi climbed into bed with him and cuddled up. As I wasn't sure who did it I grumbled and growled all the time I tidied up and the dogs could tell I wasn't happy as they all went to their beds, keeping their heads down peeping up at me every now and again as I tidied the area nearest them. Think they got the message I wasn't happy.
17th July 2006
Lester's new owners arrived this evening from Jersey and rather than going straight to the inn where they are staying for half their visit they called in to see Lester and Laila, took them for a walk with us and stayed an hour or so to introduce themselves. Lester did his usual trick of running upstairs to his bed and hiding but after they had been here half an hour or so we brought him down into the kitchen where he sat in the corner and watched what was going on.
18th July 2006
It was very hot today so Lester and Laila's new owners spent the morning in our house getting to know them. Lester was still cowering from them as he does each time they approached him on his bed but allowed them to stroke him although from the look on his face he thought his end had come!
To help him being in their company we decided to go for a drive and walk along the edge of Coniston Lake in the afternoon where we knew there was plenty of shade and a walk is always a good way for everyone to get to know each other. Lester and Laila went in their new owner's car so as to get used to it and with it being the first time I joined them and Stuart followed in our car with our dogs. Had a lovely walk in the shade then sat for a while under the trees, which helped Lester and Laila to get to know their new owners. Lester still swung out and around every time he saw his new owner doing something he wasn't sure of but then he did it to us when he first came and when he realises they wont hurt him and understands their body language he will settle and, in time this will reduce then dissappear. The problem with Lester is he can walk so nicely on the lead one minute that you can relax a bit too much to soon and forget it's Lester you have and suddenly he will take you unawares. This afternoon he was happily walking back along the path to the car park and as we were approaching our cars he suddenly jumped into the back of a mini-bus that had it's back door open for all the children in the group to put their wet canoeing gear in. I never saw it happen but Stuart called me to come quickly and when I got there he was laid shaking in the back of the mini bus on top all the wet safety jackets. All the people in the car park had been too much for him and he wanted somewhere safe. He was in the mini-bus and wasn't coming out and from the way he was laying I couldn't get leverage to move him so one of the adults in the group climbed into the front of the minibus and got behind him to push him towards me so we could get him to jump out and jump into his new owner's vehicle that was parked next to the bus. It was funny really and afterwards we had a laugh about it and his new owners are beginning to realise just how quick he can react when he wants to. Although Lester is frightened of people he decided a bus full of children was safer than a car park full of adults. Stuart said one of the children had exclaimed 'a big dog has just jumped in the back of the bus' - don't think she believed her eyes.
Called into a pub on the way back and had a drink in the garden where Lester was happy to lay down and relax. Stopped at the inn where Lester's new owners are staying and had a meal before coming back home. Lester just lay down next to our table and was as good as gold.
19th July 2006
Lester and Laila went in their new owner's car again this morning so they could buy some name tags for their new collars and to see how they got on together being left in the new car on their own in the multi-storey car park. We feel the more time they spend together the easier it will be for the two of them to settle into their new home on Jersey with their new owners. Lester has lost a bit of confidence and gone back a step when his new owners are around, which we expected and the reason they are staying a few days before going home with him. However, with patience and perserverence they will win his confidence and in doing so he will move forward again. Upon returning from the shopping trip a photographer from the Westmorland Gazette arrived to take pictures of everyone to go with an article about us, which is appearing in the paper on Friday. After he left I prepared Lester and Laila's tea to go with them and they went with their new owners for a drive to meet some friends near Barnard Castle, have a meal and come back. They left around 4pm and arrived back around 10pm. No major mishaps - Laila loved watching all the rabbits at one place and it was decided she certainly wasn't rabbit friendly, but Lester couldn't care less! He wouldn't touch his tea and consequently Laila ate very little of hers. This we expected because it was new people feeding them in a new environment and we have seen it before with them so upon returning we put their dishes on the lawn and went inside leaving them on their own and within a few minutes both dishes were empty - they were back home!
20th July 2006
This morning Lester and Laila spent the morning with their new owners who did some shopping for them, which included a fan to keep them cool in the back of their car and afterwards took them for a walk. This afternoon we took them both to the vet to be microchipped and have their rabbis injection. Lester weighed in at 95lbs (43.10k) and was very good, much less frightened than in the past and his rabbis injection was given to him laying on the floor with his head under the chair his new owner was sitting on! When they got home they rested for it was very hot and we wanted to give them time to recover from the visit to the vet. After their evening walk we went for a drink and Lester found a corner in the pub to lay down where he stayed all the time we were there. There were a few people in the pub and Lester allowed some to stroke him without pulling away or trembling which was a huge improvement. The landlady of the pub who knows Lester commented on how he was letting her stroke him and how he wouldn't have let her do that a few weeks ago.
Lester is settling much better today with his new owners, much happier walking next to them on the lead and isn't constantly watching them out of the corner of his eye. He still swings round if they move their arms too far away from their body but it's something both they and him will get used to. He is also allowing them to look at him in the eye and he looks back at them without constantly turning away so they are slowly winning him over. The funny thing is that if he's in the garden and won't come in its' still me that has to go for him and he comes running towards me and we walk in together - Oh I will miss him.
21st July 2006
Whether it's the heat, his microchipping, inoculations or the change in his routine as a result of his new owners being here but he was a little off colour this morning and wouldn't eat his breakfast - but then most of the other dogs left some of theirs as well. His new owners went shopping this morning but we felt it best if Lester and Laila stay here and spend a peaceful morning with us as they would have had last week to give them chance to just 'chill out'. In the afternoon he was much better so they took them both out and by the evening he was back to his normal self.
24th July 2006
Over the past few days Lester and Laila have spent more and more time with their new owners so they can get to know them as much as possible before going back to Jersey. Its been a funny few days for us because we've not seen alot of them and we've had to stand back to allow the bonding to take place. We are pleased Kane is here because the place seems so quiet with two less dogs. There were a couple of occassions that made me feel quite proud - one was when he wouldn't come into the house one evening for anyone, not even Stuart. However, when I walked into the garden he came running to me, we said hello and he came in with me - I came in with a smile asking what the problem was! The other was when we'd been eating tea in the garden and Lester's new owners had been tempting them with some sticky toffee pudding sauce on their fingers. Laila thought it wonderful and came running for it everytime but Lester just couldn't pluck up the courage and stood about six foot away drooling. As we started clearing the table I found myself on my own standing by the table putting things on the tray when I suddenly realised Lester was standing right next to me resting his head on the table looking at the bottle of sauce. I gave him two or three lots before his new owner came to the door of the conservatory amazed. He called the others but when they came Lester ran back up the garden again to watch from a distance - it really made my day. Oh I will really miss him and only hope he won't forget me.
25th July 2006
The big day has finally arrived and I awoke with a lump in my throat and a heavy feeling in my stomach. Lester slept part of last night in our room and I gave him a big hug and cuddle before we went downstairs. I think he could tell something was different and I'm sure he knew both Stuart and I were very, very sad. We kept our chins up for him and Laila as we waived goodbye when they drove off at 6.45am. I know he's going to a good home but I grieved for him all day, broke down in tears frequently, clock watched, wondering where he was, what he was he doing and if he was okay. Friends phoned to see how we were for they knew it was going to be a hard day and I found I couldn't talk about it. Lester's new owners texted us at 12.30pm to say they had reached Poole in Dorset, neither dogs had eaten and they were going to take them for walks until it was time to board the ferry, which was leaving at 4.00pm. Received a phone call this evening at 9.00pm to say they had all arrived in Jersey and Lester and Laila were wandering around their new home and garden having a good look around. We know both Lester and Laila are going to have a long and happy life together with their new 'mum and dad', that we should be very proud of what we have done for him and helping him bond with his new owners. We know that with finding him a new home it leaves ours open to other greyhounds out there needing the same help as he did. However, today it doesn't help the sadness I feel because I loved him so much and of all the dogs we've re-homed Lester has been the hardest to let go - there will be a place in my heart for him always.
26th July 2006
Received an email from Lester and Laila's new owners this evening saying they all had a quiet night until Lester woke them this morning by jangling the door keys asking to go out for a wee at about 6.20am. They both settled down again then Laila ate a little breakfast but Lester just sniffed at his. Late morning they went for a good walk but its been hot and thundery today so they just crashed out all afternoon. Both ate their dinners this evening and went for a thirty minute walk tonight.
28th July 2006
Received a call this evening from Lester and Laila's new owners, which made me feel much better because they are thrilled at the way they are both settling in. There have been visitors to the house each day and as normal Lester goes to his bed, which started off in the cool hall but he decided it should be in his new owner's bedroom. They are carrying on the way we were with visitors in that they leave him alone for a few minutes whilst he can hear their voices and 'weigh them up' then they go to his bed and say hello to him. He still looks worried but nowhere near like he did a few weeks ago and the more it happens the better he will become. One visitor who comes daily is the lady who will stay with them when their new owner's go away so they want him to know her well and visa versa before they go anywhere.
They've been for walks along the beach and another favourite walk is around the reservoir which in the warm weather is partially shaded by trees. There are always lots of people along the reservoir walk and Lester is standing close to his new owner as they pass. She in turn says nothing but puts her fingers through his collar and holds him gently, which seems to be enough reassurance until they are on their own again.
They've both been to see their vet so he could meet and examine them both without doing anything else to them, and, as usual, Lester backed into the corner and watched him out the corner of his eye - that's my boy!

Click HERE to visit Lester's diary and see how he and Laila are getting on in their new home on Jersey
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