Just when Lilo thought it was safe to lie on the sofa, it wasn’t.  Definitely not.

GAP put out a call to consider joining up for Canine Friends. Here was an opportunity to take Lilo visiting to spread her goodwill around people who live in, Rest Homes and/or Retirement Villages.

It was about time Lilo came out of the feather duvet, to which she has become wedded, and do a bit of good work. A kind of Indian Summer for a Wintering Greyhound.

So I happily apply and off we go for our First Assessment – held at a lovely outside café within our local garden centre. Lilo had been there before so trotted happily in, accompanied by the delicious aroma of coffee and buns.

We met our Assessor, Janet, such a lovely lady and after preliminary introductions and pats, we sat down together whilst she out-lined this very interesting scheme. I am ashamed to say that Lilo looked a trifle bored and had a vacant expression on her face. I was not sure if this went in her favour or not. Possibly not.

It was rather cold, so I fetched Lilo’s mat from the car. She wouldn’t lie on it or stand on it for that matter. I got her some water, she wouldn’t drink it. Then she panted, was she too hot? She started to shake, was she cold? Was she a bit nervous? By this time I felt like a dog-obsessed neurotic owner, possibly with a vacant look on my face as well.    

All this seemed not to alarm Assessor Janet, who, bless her, calmly went on to have a good talk to Lilo and whatever transpired, it was all positive.

Part One – Passed!

Lilo returned home and had obviously taken her examination very seriously. She slept for twelve hours straight and was furiously kicking her legs as she hopefully dreamed of doing good works (but more likely winning a race).

Greyhounds never fail to astound. The other day Lilo had been swimming at her favourite water-hole where ducks and swans happily share their space with her, as she glides about like an alien crocodile. She came out of the water and we went for a walk.


Unbelievably, coming along the path, was a feral tabby cat, scruffy and fierce of expression. Lilo was off her lead. Tension rose in the air (on my part and definitely on the part of the cat). Cat hunched down, holding its ground, but not hissing, just staring in a “Just-Try-It” kind of a way.






Lilo walked calmly up to the cat and wagging her tail, passed the time of day with the cat and walked on by!! I was left stunned.

Foolishly, I had been beguiled into thinking that I must have the kindest hound on earth. The following day, in a different park, a large water-rat with an air of disdain, ran across the path right in front of Lilo, who was sauntering along without a care in the world. Within a Nano-second, she grabbed the rat; within another Nano-second it was dead.

With an air of triumph, she spat it out, tossing it like a withered leaf and then carried on walking as if absolutely nothing had happened.

What a gal of many retirement talents! Canine Friend, cat friend and rat-catcher.



Heather & Lilo


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