If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I would have 1 greyhound nevermind 2 vying for position on my settee I would have never believed it but we have – both from Judith and John Morton at Crossings Cottage in Newark.

The background to our introduction to John and Judith and greyhounds starts with my youngest son Niall who is autistic.  Autistic children have problem with social interaction and can find every day situations extremely stressful – one of these being with dogs especially the noise they make and life out and about with Niall was becoming extremely difficult. During this time I happened to watch an item on television about greyhounds and how many needed homing after their racing career finished.  It also mentioned how good they were with children and that they rarely barked – they sounded too good to be true.  After looking on the web site for information on greyhounds that needed homes I came across John and Judith’s site in Newark.  As we were staying near Newark over the Christmas holidays I phoned John to get some more information.  I told him of Niall’s condition and that it would depend entirely on his reaction to the dogs as to whether we would go ahead. From the very first phone call John was so friendly and understanding and we arranged to go and visit.

When we arrived at the kennels the dogs automatically started to bark and Niall began to stress but once we had gone inside they settled down and he calmed down.  We met both John and Judith who showed us round the kennels and straight away we were so impressed with all the care and love they gave to their dogs.  The greyhounds and how friendly and pleased they were to see us soon took in Niall and our eldest son Euan. We chatted to Judith and she knew exactly which dogs she thought would be suitable for us. The boys excitedly set off looking at the dogs and we took out two of them for a walk.  We were amazed how good the dogs were on leads and how happy they were to come a walk with us.  After much deliberation the boys settled on Eddie provisionally if we decided to go ahead.  We left John and Judith to have a think about it and as we got in the car to leave Niall burst into tears as he thought we would be taking Eddie home that night.  What an amazing reaction, one we never thought we would see and our minds were made up there and then.  After speaking to Judith later that evening she explained the adoption procedure including a home check.  Needless to say this all went well and we collected Eddie in early January.

We were so excited and a little apprehensive when we arrived at the kennels to collect him but John and Judith were great at settling our nerves and giving us advice before we set off for home.  Eddie was great and settled down really quickly.  He has always been great with the kids and both of them love him to pieces.  We have visited John and Judith at Christmas Fairs and always have a look at all the residents.  An idea started to form in my mind that it would be lovely to have a female greyhound as Eddie had been so easy, so we found ourselves at the kennels again and chose Stella a beautiful fawn greyhound and collected her just in time for Christmas 09.

Eddie is very protective of his sister and our family is complete.  Eddie is very quiet and laid back and Stella is a typical girl who loves lots of attention and fuss.
Niall is fine with all dogs since having our 2 greyhounds, the difference is amazing.  We try to get to the kennels when we can and wish we lived nearer so we could support them more in the fabulous job they do.  We have been home checkers ourselves which was a great experience. We can’t thank John and Judith enough for making our lives so much easier with Niall and bringing the joy of greyhounds into it., We have a motorhome and the dogs love travelling in it.  Eddie has already been to France and Spain and both of them have toured all over the UK.

We have also used Crossing Cottage for kenneling the dogs while we flew to Spain and it was great to know they were looked after with as much care as John and Judith give to them.
Liz Yates