New home and family for retired racer dog
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.
Nicole Hilton’s son Campbell, 12, says his favourite thing about Patrick is watching him run.