Full time dog walkers Rachel and Andrew Hicks got their first greyhound Louie nine years ago and have never looked back – now their dogs wolf down two £12 sacks of food every week
Dog lovers Rachel and Andrew Hicks have really let their passion for pooches race away with them… they live with 19 greyhounds.
They even share their bed with four of their favourite hounds. But Rachel said: “It doesn’t feel like I’ve got 19 dogs.
“Then I say it out loud and think ‘Wow!’ I love them all piling on my lap and sitting around me.”
The couple, who are full-time dog walkers, discovered they were barking about one particular breed nine years ago when they got first greyhound Louie.
Rachel, 47, said: “We realised they like company, so not long after that we adopted our second from a rescue centre.
“I then started trawling all the rescue sites and saw another little one on Gumtree for £50. Then people started tagging me in things on Facebook about dogs needing homes.”
Although a pack of 19 might seem like a handful, Rachel says they have their routine down to a fine art. And there is plenty of space in their five-bedroom house, which has three living rooms.
The dogs get to share six sofas – but several still follow their owners upstairs to bed.
Rachel said: “We have two girls in the middle between us, about four dog beds on the floor, then four in the bed.”
The pack costs a packet. Worming treatment is £1,710 a year, vaccinations another £99 per jab, and it’s £50 each time the dogs need flea treatment.
And the greyhounds wolf down two £12 sacks of food every week – another £1,248 a year – plus they get raw chicken and veg as a treat.
Rachel said: “They do create some mess, like footprints on furniture.” And despite having five kids, it’s the dogs she describes as “naughty children”.
She said: “One of them is a proper thief. She hops up on the counter and steals toast from the toaster. We’ve had to adapt. You have to be one step ahead.”
Despite the hard work, the brood may continue to grow.
Andrew, 53, admitted: “We can’t go on holiday together any more as we can’t get someone to look after so many.
But he added: “It won’t stop us adopting more dogs. We love them too much.”