Lakeland Trailhound Welfare - the dog with a blog helping his friends find new homes
PUBLISHED: 12:56 16 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:37 20 February 2013
Woody is a dog with a blog and he is helping to find homes for his four-legged friends. Emily Rothery reportsor
Hound trailing has been a popular country sport since the 18th century and can still be seen today in the Lake District. The hounds race over fells, fields and moors following a tantalising if pungent trail of paraffin and aniseed.
The placing of a friendly wagers adds to the excitement and enthusiastic owners can be heard hollering and whistling as they call their hounds.
Despite intensive training, however, not all hounds are suited to trailing. Youngsters, alongside older retired dogs, can make excellent pets and may need new homes when no longer able to race.
These dogs will need to start a regime where they learn new disciplines and skills to enable them to adapt as house pets. Woody is one such dog. His lucky star shone on the day that he was given a new home with Sue Lloyd who, alongside Eileen Robinson, helps to run Lakeland Trailhound Welfare, a small organisation that promotes trail hounds as pets.
Many are re-homed privately in carefully selected homes throughout the country and Eileen, The Homing and Welfare Co-ordinator, is always available to offer advice on training and welfare issues. Others are found places in reputable homing centres, such as The Dogs Trust, which neuter, vaccinate microchip and worm dogs before re-homing them.
Sue is a short term foster carer and is also responsible for fundraising and runs the website, which is where Woody comes into his own. He is happy to be the ambassadog for Trailhound Welfare attending fundraising events and shows where he promotes hound dogs in the most effective way by just being himself. He takes all of the attention in his stride and calmly tolerates the prodding, patting and pampering. If tasty tit bits are offered then all the better although Woody knows it doesnt do to snatch a sandwich or lick of ice-cream from admirers, especially the tiny ones.
Woody has to be on his best behaviour, wag his tail until it aches and pose for the plethora of photographs that will be taken during the course of a long day. He is unfazed by the fuss, inquisitive but still on his best behaviour when other dogs arrive and always gentle with children.
Through the tireless efforts of Eileen, Sue and their small band of helpers, Lakeland Trailhound Welfare has re-homed about 1,000 dogs since 1997 which is no mean feat. The organisation runs entirely on voluntary work and charitable donations and therefore Woodys PR role is a very important one.
The affable chap seems to sense that it is his responsibility to do his best whatever the weather or circumstances but even the most diplomatic of dogs can get a little disgruntled as he tells us on his blog. (Yes, Woody is a dog with a blog.)
Woodys blog - December 21st: Tis the season to be jolly.. well, not if you are a trail hound named Woody! I think I went well above the call of duty on Saturday - I spent the day helping on a stall at Keswick Market. It was very cold and frosty, and I wouldnt have minded except Lotty was wrapped up in a duvet all day with two heat pads! Why wasnt I allowed one of them? Ah yes, I forgot the last time I had one, I put some extremely big tooth marks in it so I cant be trusted. Sunday was much better though we had a run in the snow up above Rydal Water.
Read more on trailhoundwelfare.org.uk