One evening while out with The Beasts at Salcey Forest we got a phone call; Grandma Squirrel (as she was known) had just been dragged into a hedge by her foster, Mack, as he tried (and failed) to get to a cat. Grandma Squirrel fostered hounds who were in a bit of a state and nursed them back to health, she had done this with Mack and clearly he was now too strong for her to look after. But she didn't want him to go back into kennels as he hated it and wouldn't eat, so would I look after him? We were half‐way there so finished our walk and went to collect the miscreant. The plan was for him to be a foster but in A year one person came to see him and obviously didn't want him; after a year Mack was adopted and became a full time Beastly Beast.
Mack was the only English greyhound in The Beastly Beasts.
Mack was a brilliant Pets As Therapy dog; he would lean against a person and look up at them like they were the only person that mattered in the whole world. Some of the people we visit at St Andrews are not very demonstrative, but Mack didn't care, he would just stand next to them or nuzzle up to them until they took notice of him. He was also quite happy to trot along-side a wheelchair which meant that less mobile people could take him for a walk. His greatest achievement was getting a guy who was all but catatonic to stroke and talk to him; Mack had got through where the experts failed and literally had the nursing staff in tears at what he'd achieved with this guy.
One lady claimed him as "her dog" and wanted photographs of him with her to show her family. For obvious reasons, photography on site is generally forbidden, but after lots of paperwork we got permission and she got her photos.
One evening while out a Salcey Forest, I discovered that Mack loved horses. I'd seen a horse coming up behind us so we went off on a side track so the horse could pass without any problem (should say that The Beastly Beasts were fab with horses, but some horses were a bit skittish having a few hounds at the side of the track). I suddenly realised that Mack had disappeared and despite gathering the other Beasts and calling him he was not to found anywhere. Until I got a phone call saying "I've got your Greyhound". Mack had gone back up the track and joined the horse. He had just trotted alongside it and gone to the stable. The lady, thankfully was fine about it, and said he was a lovely hound.
Mack died after a short illness that made his blood clot. I didn't know that when I first took him to the vet (the Thursday); he hadn't eaten breakfast and was not his usual self. It wasn't much, but I knew something was wrong. The vet said it wasn't much and apart from a slight temperature couldn't find anything wrong and Mack had some anti‐biotics with an appointment on the Sunday as a follow‐up. But Saturday morning he came downstairs squealing in pain and looking dreadful so straight up the vet where they figured out what was happening. They got blood thinners from the local hospital to help him. I got to see him on the Sunday; he looked like he had been beaten, he had massive areas of black and blue all over him. The plan was to get results from the lab the next day so they knew exactly what they were dealing with, but in the early hours of Monday morning he arrested and couldn't be revived; he'd only just turned 10.
Mack was a beautiful dog in every sense and one of the best PAT dogs ever to be at Beast Barracks.