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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Sheba speaks!

Sheba recently gave an interview to Sighthound Strolls, a group which aims to show what excellent pets greyhounds and lurchers make. Here's what she said:

Tell us how you ended up as a ‘Happily Homed Hound’?
My mum saw me on “A Dog’s Life” Facebook page. Michelle Griffin takes pictures of all the strays and surrenders in Dunboyne Pound near Dublin and then Martina writes a lovely description and puts them on the page. My mum made my dad come with her the whole way from Belfast to Dublin first thing on Saturday morning to get me, even though he had a stinking hangover and four hours sleep. I slept on my dad’s knee on the back seat the whole way home. When they got me home they had to cut tats out from between my toes and cut out a big lump of chewing gum from the fur on my side so I had a baldy spot there for a few months. I was very skinny when I arrived so I ate pilchards and hotdogs and porridge and cheese and pasta and eggs and after a few months my coat went shiny and I didn’t have a pointy bum any more. At the start I wouldn’t look anyone in the eye and I swore at my brother and sister when they came near me. Mum made me a camp bed in the hall and she slept downstairs in case there were fights. On the third night mum woke up with chest pains and pins and needles and she couldn’t move her legs. She thought she was having a heart attack but it was just me sleeping on top of her, haha! After that me and mum were inseparable, I go everywhere with her apart from work.

We’d love to hear about your new family, both human and canine...
I live with my brother Jasper and my sister Juneau. They are Siberian huskies and they are a lot older than me. Juneau glares at me a lot and won’t let me sleep in the bedroom at night. Jasper is good fun, he does a lot of silly stuff even though he’s old. Sometimes Jasper and I go for walks together but Juneau always has to walk on her own because she pulls even harder on the lead when there are other dogs around and mum says she’s sick of going to physio. If it’s cold I have to wear a coat but they never do. They have so much coat they leave it in big lumps round the house. I might get mum to knit me a coat out of their leftovers. Because Jasper & Juneau are huskies they don’t really listen to anything mum and dad say to them, unless it’s about food or walks. They like to howl sometimes, and I like to join in with them. For some reason everyone thinks this is hilarious. I get a bit offended to be honest as I have a beautiful singing voice. It’s been likened to Bjork crossed with Janis Joplin and I’m heavily influenced by Yoko Ono’s early work, particularly her “Screeching Period”. Mum and dad seem to mostly like feeding us and walking us and buying me new collars and coats. They seem to spend most of their day doing stuff for us. Between you and me if it wasn’t for us I think they’d be bored.

Tell us a little about what you get up to on an average day?
About 7am I like to go upstairs and stick my nose in dad’s ear. He likes that a lot, I always give him a big smile when he wakes up so he knows it was me. Then when he gets out of bed I hop in and snuggle up to mum till the tea arrives. When mum goes to work dad takes us all for separate walks and then we sleep till mum gets home. Then we all run around like loons for a bit because we’re so happy to see her, go for more walks, eat our dinner and sleep until bedtime. If mum or dad have to take the car anywhere I love to go with them. I like the car a lot, you can sit in the back and look out for seagulls and sometimes we go to the pet shop and the girls there make a fuss of me. They try to give me treats but what I really want is a pet rabbit. They have loads of them at the pet shop but they never let me anywhere near them.

Now for some quick fire questions!

Favourite food?
Chappie! It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever eaten! It comes in two flavours and it makes me jump around like a loon every time I see it! Tinned hotdogs are nice too and every Saturday mum gets us each a meaty bone from the butchers.

Favourite place to sleep?
Sofas are best, but at a pinch I’ll settle for bed. I like to lie about on the landing rug sometimes so I can watch out for dogs walking past outside and roar at them.

Favourite place to walk?
Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park is a massive sighthound theme park near Belfast. It has rabbits AND squirrels and a walled garden where mum sometimes lets me off the lead if there’s no one else about.

Favourite toy?
Mr Handiquack the squeaky duck.

Favourite pastimes?
Chewing bones, playing with my family, roaring at other dogs, following my mum everywhere and stealing things.

Which celebrity do you most resemble in looks?
Mum says Greta Garbo, Dad says Twiggy, my sister says I look like a gypsy. I think she means it nicely.

Which celebrity do you most resemble in personality?
I think it would be Kate Moss. Apparently she likes a laugh and she enjoys trying on new clothes and so do I. I’m not sure she likes Chappie as much as I do. But I read that her ex husband’s first words to her were “You smell of wee” and that was the first thing my mum said when she met me! Coincidence or what?

Most embarrassing moment since being a ‘Happily Homed Hound’?
When I went to Michelle’s studio to get my photo taken for “A Dog’s Life” I got confused and mistook her floor tiles for a pavement. I’m afraid I laid a massive egg in the middle of the studio floor. Michelle and my mum stared at it for a very long time without saying anything. I took a massive reddener.

Best moment so far since being a ‘Happily Homed Hound’?
Being chosen to appear on a Christmas card to raise funds for “A Dog’s Life”. You can buy them from their Facebook page you know! Only €5 for 8 and all the money goes to help other dogs like me who end up in Dunboyne Pound.

And finally, is there any advice you would give to someone who is considering adopting a sighthound from a pound/rescue?
Just that it really is normal for us to sleep that much!

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