Meet Dora! Isn't she a true pearl?! Dora came in to Retired Greyhound Trust, retired from her days of racing and has been waiting, and waiting and waiiiiiiting and waiting so patiently for someone to fall in love with her and make her their best friend forever.  She has seen her other friends come and go, and every night is going to sleep in a kennel alone, when she only dreams of hogging your couch, your heart or your bed and wrapping those long pretty legs around you instead! 

Come meet Dora! She will be at the big Greyhound Extravaganza next Sunday in Newmarket looking to lick you and show you how well she walks on her lead, and how beautiful she is, inside and out! Come for the day, leave with Dora! She'll be your sweet little soul mate forever!!! 

Adopt Dora this Sunday and win a half hour free photo session and a discount on all prints! 

Hebbard's Hedgehog Hotel & Hedgehog Awareness Spring 2015

Here we are in May already, with flowers blooming like crazy all over the UK, and love in the air as all of the wildlife is busy with their budding families!  Quoting Walt Disney, all of our little garden visitors are happy and "twitter pated!" 

There is one little pokey neighbor with a hot and sassy little haircut you may or may not have seen yet.  Not many have, but I sure do hope you're one of the lucky ones!! I can only be talking about your friendly, garden-dwelling, shy little hedgehog! While we are at the tail end of "Hedgehog Awareness Week", I really push to have "awareness week" last throughout the next several months and beyond.  At least as a very permanent mindset of helping to the best we can, take steps to make their success for countless more generations successful!

What many in the UK and around the world don't know or understand, is just what a fragile state these sweet little spikes are in.  There are countless articles and news stories that go in to detail with numbers and research if you're interested, but for something that will stick out in your mind, just remember that with how incredibly fast and steady hedgehogs have declined in the past 50 years, we are set to loose these sweet sweeties forever by 2025 if this trend continues.  That just rips my heart up! That means it's time we step up and work hard for our little garden friends! 

With the sad, there is always the good, and more good than I can say shines through a sweet soul I'd like you to know about.  I was so proud and honored to work with rescue founder, Carol Hebbard of Hebbard's Hedgehog Hotel in Little Downham, learning more about the massive and incredible rescue effort she is doing to help save our little spikes!!  For years she has been caring for injured and orphaned hedgehogs, brought to her through various avenues. She over-winters them during their hibernation to make sure they are getting to the correct body weigh to hibernate, get's them the veterinary care they typically need up front, and cares for them individually like a full time nurse at a hospital.  Talk about a woman of many hats! Apart from dozens of healthy and soon to be or recently released hedgehogs, she currently has in her care, several blind hedgies, who are happy and otherwise healthy but will need assistance their whole lives.  This woman is incredible! And she is dedicated! For the lucky healthy ones that can be returned to the wild in the spring, she organizes safe release points where they will have a successful future, in a safer place and healthier state than which they came!  She leaves them better than she found them. And to say it like it is: Carol, is making a difference! I am so proud to spotlight her great work!

It goes without saying, but to run a rescue of this magnitude out of your own pocket, donations are a necessity.  Scampers in Soham, has food donation boxes set up for Spikes Hedgehog food, that go towards Carol's hungry little hogs!  So if you are out that way, make sure to drop a couple of tins or bags of Spikes off in the box for Carol's hotel! But in order to take in another lot this spring and going forward into fall when it gets crazy busy with rescues again, her rescue is relying on donations for the housing necessary to do so. I'll link to it, but will be setting up a donation box, where you may donate any small or large amount to Carol and her efforts to save our Hedgehogs! Any little bit helps! You may also donate directly to Carol.  For any doners who have a scheduled Pet Portrait session with me, I will discount your session fee for the amount of the donation made.

Carol is a down to earth,  incredible soul, and has in her care, some of the cuuuutest little hedgies around, who might I add, really worked it for the camera! You'll just absolutely melt when you see their modeling!! We broke out the little studio, and these sweeties were eager to get to work! You can ever see mustered up a few smiles!!! 

I want you to see the personalities of these buddies.  They are shy, and incredibly defenseless when it really comes to it, but they are so needed in our eco-system, they are a gardener's best friend, they are friendly, and man, are they cute! Look in to these eyes, laugh at their cute smiles! Don't they have a lot of love to offer the world!? 

See for yourself!


Thank you Carol!!! And be sure to check out the donation box below! GBP and USD currencies are accepted! 

Love Paws, Val


April 2015 - Rescue Of The Month


It's to my great excitement and privilege to announce that this month's featured rescue is the "Retired Greyhound Trust".  

Founded in 1975, they are going on 40 years of constant dedication and hard work to place retired racing greyhounds into the arms and hearts of people and families who will just treasure and love these sweet souls for the rest of their days.  They have worked tirelessly to see a count of over 60,000 dogs adopted post their racing career, and that number has grown increasingly since 2010.  With branches all across the UK, and events going on almost every month, I urge you to get out and meet with one of your local branches to get to know the dogs, or get involved volunteering.

It's been incredible learning SO much about these incredible pups.  If you want to play a game of "myth busters" - then let's start talking greyhounds. 

For example...if you've never been around or met a probably have this crazy idea in your head that they are SO full of energy constantly, needing to race like a cheetah all day and unless you're fit to be a marathon runner, you could never keep up with owning one.

EH! (Insert game-show buzzer sound here)...WRONG! These buddies have done their time on the track...While they love it when the leash comes out and it's time for a walk like all dogs, what they love most is snoozing the day away on your favorite couch or bed or whatever else is soft and accommodating nearby.  But when you watch them run and chase the Kong in the backyard or dog park, I promise you a sight more glorious than your eyes can behold.

Grey's make incredible, gentle pets and have well earned the title "40 mile per hour couch potato".  They are endearing, loving and affectionate babies, that will smile and snuggle right into your heart in two seconds.

Another myth: Greyhounds can't live with small pets, cats, dogs

Inset buzzer noise here too...So let's tackle this idea of small pets and cats.  While some cannot be placed with smaller pets or cats, a good majority, up to 80% can be placed with either or.   Much of this comes down to the particular personality of that dog, like most any dog, as well as their prior training, etc.  I read a great article that really speaks to this clearly.  If you are thinking of adopting any sighthound, I highly recommend this quick and informative read. 

I spent the late morning with Ann and the gang, with the Mildenhall rescue branch of RGT, and I got to meet a good majority of the pups who are just aching to find a place in your heart and on your couch!  So, are you ready to meet some faces that I hope you'll never forget!

Okay!!!! Close your eyes and count to 10!!!! 













It was just the very best day hanging out with these buddies! We would like to thank Scampers in Soham for carrying the Orijen treats and dry food samples that kept each pup in happy spirits with happy tastebuds for their photo shoot!  Also, "thank you" to Traci Clarke of "Hound Designs" for the adorable snood! A portion of proceeds in each purchase of her gorgeous handmade snood's goes into greyhound rescue funding as well and you can purchase her snoods and collars on eBay or her website !!

Much love and stay tuned for adoption updates and next months featured rescue!!!


xx - Valley


WAZZA. Someone I'd like you to...Love forever

Are you looking for someone to come into your life who will share the other half of the couch with you, keep your feet warm at night, snooze your Saturday morning's away by your side and just be your best friend forever and ever? 

Well then...YOU, my friend are in LUCK! You've met your match!

Meet my friend "Wazza".  Your best friend for life, and total couch potato at heart. 

Wazza is a retired racing greyhound, who's spent the majority of his life sleeping alone at night in a kennel.  He escaped his fate of most likely being shot and disposed of when he was no longer of use to his racing trainer, and was amazingly rescued by the Retired Greyhound Trust.  At one point he was adopted and loved his life in a home with a family, but so sadly, about 7 months ago, was returned to RGT at no fault of his own at all.

This gentleman is a little shy at first, as we all would be if we were him.  But I promise you one thing.  After one morning walk and a handful of "cookies" and praises, he's easily your best friend! Your heart has melted to a puddle and you're in trouble! You know what they say, about time and love! 

And want to hear something awful and sad? Well, "Wazza" has been told he'll never be adopted because he's "too old"..and that no one will want him.  I like to think of him as a healthy, 12 years young! Let's put the shamers to shame and get him adopted!

Here's to you, you handsome chap! Team Wazza! 


If you've fallen in love and want to meet "Wazza", conact the Retired Greyhound Trust, Mildenhall Branch.  Ann is absolutely incredible, and is the main point of contact.  

You can reach her by visiting here:

I will offer a free photo session for Wazza and his new family!

Let's find this sweet old soul a home!


Who can't help but always go back for "seconds" for another piece of cake??!!!  Well, you certainly won't be able to help wanting to go back and look at this cute "Cake" over and over again!!!  

Aren't those eyes just incredible??!!!!  

 In those eyes, rests the mystery of the ocean and the innocence of a little kitten! "Cake" just makes my heart smile!!

Bengals are just fascinating and striking little felines!!! "Cake" really represents his kind well!!! Thank you cute "Cake" for the smiles, games, and cuddles!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo!