Hi, I’m Lexi and these are my Pals. I’m an ex. racing greyhound and a mum. I was good at both things. I’m now 13 years old and I have lived here in my new home since March, 2010. When I first came here I lived with another older greyhound called Lofty. The pain I suffered when we lost him is indescribable. I have since been involved in many dog related duties, going to meetings and talks to demonstrate how to behave and how I should be treated. I went to various outings with the local stunt dog club, which resulted in me being picked to walk with some handsome guy down a London street during London Fashion Week, it’s true I have a picture. I also went for an interview for a horror movie that was being made, they wanted a big black dog but I didn’t get the part, too beautiful I expect.
Having had a few restful years, I have now decided that I’d like a new challenge, so I have persuaded my carers, or at least that’s who they say they are, to form this new pet service business with my Pals. Together we have quite a lot of experience of doggie things, walking, training, sitting, being looked after or not as the case may be and feel that we can share that with you and your four legged friends.
I will now introduce you to my Pals and explain how we met and their experiences.
Harley is a small greyhound. We know that because we had a DNA test taken. They put a stick in his mouth and then put it in a bag and said they were going to post it. They were really pleased when they received a certificate confirming that Harley was a greyhound. He had had a very bad start in life and had lost an eye through ill-treatment. He came to stay with us because he did not like kennel life and I was told to look after him and make him feel at home. He began to trust us and soon became part of the family, so we had a family meeting and decided that he would be better living here because he had come to trust us all and knew where everything was. He was supposed to be in double figures when we had him and he’s been here for about 7 years so he’s doing well and older than me. Unfortunately, he does not like walking now but if we all go out for a run he will come with us and be the last one standing. I think his eyesight is deteriorating now and that worries him a bit.
Harry is my boy. He is an ex. racer and has been here with me since March of 2013. He had a very good racing career but his claim to fame is blood donation, which he has just retired from because of his age. He will be able to help with dogs who are worried or nervous of other dogs. He is a gentle giant.
They met Logan, whilst out working and one day we made a family visit to see him. He was an old boy, unlikely to be re-homed, and did not, they said, have very long to go, being 16 years old and having “wobblers syndrome” and various other medical complaints. We all had a walk about together, then they had a cup of coffee and then we had a chat and decided that we’d come this far, we might as well take him home. This would be the last long journey he had, having travelled from the North of Scotland to London, we brought him back to Evesham. Bless him, he found his youth from somewhere and thoroughly enjoyed what was to be his last year. He just made 17. We all loved him to bits and wouldn’t have changed him for the world.
Merlot is not a greyhound. When she came to stay back in October of 2014, she was just 6 months old. I heard them talking and they said she was just like Moffat, whoever she is, I don’t know because I didn’t catch the end of the conversation. That’s the main problem here you just get snippets, then someone buts in and you miss the vital news. Merlot was a rescue dog who was quite nervous of everything and everybody. Again I was told to make sure that she settled and to keep the others calm around her.
She loves her walks and especially days when we all went out together and were able to run off-lead. However, we have to keep a check on her these days as she suffered an incident in the vets and they said that she had had a seizure when they got home. They said we’d all got to be very quiet and if she had another attack I had to get them all out into the dining room behind the stair-gate and switch the light off and make sure all was calm. I wondered what they were going to be doing while I did all this. It did happen, but only once, and they were very good because they helped me get the my other Pals out calmly and watched until Merlot had come round again and then we were all allowed back in and I made sure she was okay. Fortunately, she has not had another seizure, although I have to be on my guard and always prepared.
Pepper is my girl, she was my first born and is Harry’s older sister, a fact she does not let him forget. She has been here with me since October, 2011. I cannot describe her as an ex. racer because she never really took to racing. She said she could not see the point in chasing that furry object around that track when she was never going to catch it. I tried to explain the principle to her but she was not interested. Then one day when we were all out for a run, and she would always run as if she was on the race track, she collapsed and could not get her breathe. The vet told them that she had had a seizure and, like Merlot, her exercise must be monitored. She had to go onto medication which meant that she was unable to continue to give blood with her brother, which was such a shame for her because she really liked going, she loved the attention, people making all that fuss over her and giving her treats, like Christmas every few months. She continued to go with Harry for a while for the treats of course. She still wears her badge with pride and keeps telling us that she’d helped to save all those dogs lives. She has been the more trying of my children but she does now appear to know her place.
Molly is not a greyhound either. Molly and I go back years, she was my best friend and I was hers, we used to holiday together and we looked after one another. She used to come and stay when her mum and dad were out or busy which was great because I’d just lost Lofty and she was great company. They used to take us places together and in those days we’d walk miles. Molly was also famous, I’ve got a picture of her in a woman's magazine where, for some reason better known to them, she was advertising some sort of hay fever / allergy tablets, presumably for those allergic to dogs. Unfortunately, the make up artist caused a stir because Molly was allergic to the make up used. Poor thing, she was in a bit of state when she got home. She certainly would not have got onto the front paper of “Dogs Today”, bless her.
Hi, I’m Claire and I am a real “doggie” person. I have spent all my working life dealing with dogs, having worked with rescue dogs at Dogs Trust for eighteen years. During this time I have gained a great deal of experience in dog handling, and understanding.
I have taken numerous exams and courses in order to progress during my employment and attended numerous Seminars at different centres throughout the country and in 2015 I successfully completed a Certificate of Higher Education in Companion Animal Welfare and Behavioural Rehabilitation at Bristol University. This gave me the qualification I needed to become a Training Behaviourist Advisor. Then I was able to work in the Specialist Unit dealing with the more challenging dogs.
Most of my spare time is taken up with dog-related activities. I am a volunteer for the Forever Greyhounds Trust and have been involved in the rehoming of many ex. racers. I have also fostered greyhounds to assess them prior to them going to their forever home. I have worked at racing kennels, dealing with the dogs, and am a Licenced Kennel Hand. I love dogs and there is nothing better than seeing a happy dog. It is so rewarding to see a dog progress, even just learning to walk on a lead gives me such a buzz. Whether the task takes ten minutes or ten days I will not give up.
I believe in positive reinforcement training, rewarding a dog for good behaviour and ignoring any bad behaviour. The reward I use is mostly foody, although toys and other treats can be used, anything a dog likes can be used as a treat. I do not believe in using the threat of punishment to change a problem behaviour and would not dream of using any method which would cause pain or discomfort to any dog.
I think it is important to stay up to date with any new training methods, to ensure that I can provide them with the best possible care and I attend seminars and workshops in order to do this.
I am fully insured, have been DSB/CRB checked and have a full driving licence.
No problem is too big or too small, get in touch if you need my help.
Hi, I’m Alison and I am also a “doggie” person. I am Claire’s aunt and have helped her all her working life, I’ve been there during the highs and lows and I've helped Claire build her confidence to be able to take this leap in setting up her own business. A business that I think she will be very good at because her overriding consideration is for the dog. So out of the goodness of her heart, she is giving me a job in Lexi and Pals.
I've had dogs all my adult life. Mostly rescued in some form or another, either a marriage breakdown, or similar, or with Claire’s association, from a rescue centre or race track. As a result, most of my dogs have needed that little extra care and attention. I am a sucker for a sob story. I have fostered greyhounds and puppies and my dogs have always been around to help. I too am a volunteer for the Forever Greyhound Trust and have done numerous workshops and courses in order to increase my knowledge of dogs and what makes them tick.