Former Mid Sussex Times advertising sales executive, Lisa Thomas, left Haywards Heath in June 1994 and headed for a media career in sunny Bermuda. Twenty years later, Lisa is the President of the Bermuda Sun, married to London born bookmaker, Lee Beauchamp. Here Lisa shares with us the joys of adopting a retired racing greyhound from Sussex.
Some greyhounds enjoy a racing career followed by a happy restful retirement spent with their devoted owners, others end up in a retired racing greyhounds home, in the hope of finding loving homes.
Thankfully, one such retired racing greyhound is spending his retirement in Bermuda.
My husband, Lee and I welcomed former racer Droopys Design, known as Dezzie, to our home in Bermuda on Thursday 6th February.
We first met Dezzie in July 2013 when he was the kennel mate to our racing greyhound, Princess Jetta, at the Burhill Kennels, Surrey.
At the time he was still racing but sadly in September he was retired due to a minor back leg injury.
In January, he was transferred to the Brighton Greyhound Owners Association Trust for Retired Racing Greyhounds retirement home located in Twineham, Sussex.
Established in 1978 the BGOA was founded to care for dogs returning from racing at the Brighton & Hove race track, to supervise their welfare in retirement, and where possible to find them a loving home.
The charity is run by a board of Trustees, including Jenny Bunting and Dolly Shaw who helped me tremendously while organising Dezzie’s transportation to Bermuda.
During the three weeks that I talked and corresponded with Jenny and Dolly, I learned more about the dedicated staff and team of volunteers, their fund raising efforts and commitment to finding homes for each and every greyhound who comes into their care.
The kennels can house up to 30 greyhounds at any one time, and are open daily from 10.30am til 2pm for visits from the public to meet the greyhounds.
Their Facebook page and website are updated daily, it’s wonderful to read about the greyhounds who have found homes, learn about those looking for homes and see photos of the weekend walks and fundraising updates.
Last year the BGOA found homes for 140 greyhounds, all homes are visited before the dogs are released to check suitability and safety.
We received plenty of offers from the Trustees asking to come to Bermuda to check our house!
Jenny was incredibly helpful working alongside our Pet Travel Agent to prepare Dezzie for his departure and 7 hour flight on British Airways.
Over the past couple of weeks, Dezzie has settled in brilliantly.
He’s getting used to the humidity, loves running along the sandy beaches, he has claimed his place on the sofa where he can’t take his eyes off the TV.
It can be a huge upheaval for these dogs to transition from kennel life to home life but so far so good. He is proving to be sweet natured and very lovable.
Jenny gave me lots of advice and material to read, the BGOA website is an excellent reference too.
After such a short time I can’t imagine life without this gentle giant.
I have a new running partner and a new best friend.
Brighton Greyhound Owners Association Trust For Retired Racing Greyhounds