New home and fam­ily for re­tired racer dog

Western Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CAL­LUM MCGILLIVRAY

He­lensville’s Ni­cole Hil­ton says her for­mer rac­ing grey­hound Pa­trick is the ‘‘per­fect dog’’.

Hil­ton, her hus­band Neil and kids Tom, 13, Camp­bell, 12, and Anna, 11, have had the ca­nine for al­most a year af­ter ap­proach­ing Greyhounds As Pets (GAP).

GAP is a reg­is­tered char­ity es­tab­lished by Grey­hound Rac­ing New Zealand to find homes for re­tired rac­ing greyhounds.

Af­ter wait­ing for three months at the be­gin­ning of 2016, she fi­nally got the news she had been an­tic­i­pat­ing in March.

‘‘It was hor­ri­ble wait­ing. I kept see­ing th­ese dogs on the web­site, think­ing he or she would be per­fect. When we got the call it was the best day, it was awe­some.’’

Hil­ton says the kids adore him, he’s there but he’s not in your face.

‘‘He’s just a re­ally cool dog. He’s lov­ing, gen­tle and loyal.’’

Pa­trick, known as Fresh Prince in his rac­ing days, sleeps a huge per­cent­age of the day, Hil­ton says.

‘‘He’s built for speed, not en­durance. He’ll have a run around for two min­utes and then sleep for the rest of the day.’’

Greyhounds are no­to­ri­ously known for their min­i­mal re­quire­ments of groom­ing, some­thing Hil­ton says is an added bonus.

‘‘He doesn’t need a lot of exercise, hardly ever barks, doesn’t shed fur like other dogs and doesn’t have a doggy smell,’’ she says. ‘‘He’s the per­fect dog.’’

The tran­si­tion from the race track to home was also quite easy, she says, though glass windows and doors, stairs and the vac­uum cleaner were all new to him.

The only ma­jor thing he strug­gled with is the lino floor­ing or tiles.

‘‘We walked him into the house on car­pet, but he froze at the edge of it. And he still doesn’t like it. He just stands still.’’

Hil­ton, also the GAP area co­or­di­na­tor for Rod­ney, be­lieves he was a good racer but he wouldn’t chase the lure.

‘‘He would be out in front, stop, turn around and wait for the rest of the pack to catch up.’’

Hil­ton says he could run fast, but be­lieves it was more for play.

You can see GAP dogs at the He­lensville A&P Show, at the He­lensville Show­grounds, Fe­bru­ary 25. For more info about head to grey­hound­saspets.org.nz.

CAL­LUM MCGILLIVRAY

Ni­cole Hil­ton’s son Camp­bell, 12, says his favourite thing about Pa­trick is watch­ing him run.

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