Our Story
Meet Banjo
Meet Lauren

Our Story

I gave Banjo the nickname ‘Shyhound’, because it describes his temperament, and is a portmanteau of his two main breeds: Shepherd + Greyhound.

Temple Grandin has noted that the more inquisitive or curious an animal is, the more likely they are to be highly-strung in temperament – and Banjo is no exception.

We know a little bit about Banjo’s past. A few winters ago, he was found with his mother, a Labrador, and three brothers in a snowy ditch in Queens, New York.

New York City Animal Control picked the litter up and, as the pups were only 5 weeks old and deemed too young to neuter, they would have put down had Sean Casey Animal Rescue not stepped in.

In those early days of the non-profit, Sean Casey ran his shelter from a concrete shed in the cargo section of JFK, and this is where Banjo and his brothers were cared for until they were old enough to be adopted.

Meanwhile, we had seen his photo online (above left) and fallen in love.  We’d seen many lovely photos of puppies available for adoption, but when I saw his little peeping face I thought, That’s my dog! and I called to make an appointment to see the puppies.

Two days later, we took our little guy home that same day – and life hasn’t been the same since!

Meet Banjo

Banjo Shyhound sitting on the beach laughing with his tongue hanging out

Arooo! Dis Banjo heer. I a speshul dog becos I iz da furst Shyhound. Dis mah doggy blog. I tokking about fings I smelling. Like oder doggies. And fuuds. And runnings, becos I iz part Greyhound. I olso tokking about trabelling and I likes ‘xploring all da off-leash places in America!

I living in Barklyn, Noo York for da furs 4 yeers of mah life. Den, in March 2011, me and mah hoomins is doing a Road Trip from Barklyn to San Diego. I seen lots of fings, like the smellful Mississipilly Riber in Laroosiana, da best dog run evah in Santa Fe, and a very scareful fing called da Grand Canyon!

Now I iz a California dog and I has discubbard a mazing fing call DA BEECH. Dere is olso a CAT next door called Lefty, and we iz frendz.

I luvs to heer from oder dogs and dere guardians, so be shor to say Aroo! in da blog comments or on mah Facebark Page or Woofer.



Meet Lauren

Lauren, aka “Auntie-Mum”, is a a web/graphic designer and crazy dog lady, and one half of Banjo‘s two human guardians.

Some might say she’s barking mad, but Lauren has always done silly accents and voices – she used to be a voice over artist – so when Banjo came into her life, it seemed only natural to create a voice for him too.

Since starting Shyhound.com, Lauren and Banjo have heard from lots of other Shyhounds and their guardians all over the world. This brings them great joy! A lot of people are interested in knowing what their Shyhound puppy will look like grown up; others want to get tips on doing a road trip with a dog. We love hearing from you — Arooo!!

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1 Lauren December 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

I am so glad I found this blog! My fiance and I just adopted our very own “Shyhound”, Brody. Our Brody looks so much like your adorable Banjo it’s crazy! Their temperments are the same to from what I’ve read as well, something to look forward to. Thank you so much for sharing your story and Banjo!

2 shyhound December 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Lauren! So glad you and Brody found us! Please share any photos and stories if you would like to 🙂

Congratulations to you and your fiancé on the new furry addition to your family — Aroooooooo!

Lauren and Banjo

3 Nico January 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Hay Banjo,
I luvs the foto uv you att 12 weeks old. Yoo have da big pawz but yooz were little. I yoosd to be little 2. you werekyoot. Wuv, Nico
Hi Banjo-
I have to agree that picture is so adorable. That’s the perfect puppy picture. You look so sweet and innocent.
xo, Shirl

4 Jennifer Blakeslee September 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

We have a “Banjo”, too! Or “BJ” for short…
His owner died when Banjo, a golden retriever, was 18 months old and as a “spokesdog” for our local Humane Society, they wanted him to go to a home where he could continue to work. We were the lucky ones to get him…and yes, we belong to him, not the reverse…
That was 5 years ago.
We are starting to think of doing an extended road trip with him since we can’t seem to enjoy our vacations without him anymore! Your website will be so helpful…thanks for all the information!

5 shyhound September 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Hi Jennifer,

How great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your story, I’m so glad your Banjo found you, and you him. If you feel comfortable, please share his photo on our Facebook page (http://facebook.com/shyhound)!

In the meantime, I can’t recommend enough a road trip with a dog!! Here’s a post you might find the most helpful: Eleven Tips for a Dog on a Road Trip. Do feel free to email us with any questions at aroo [!at] shyhound.com.

Aroo! from Banjo to Banjo, and warm wishes from me 🙂


6 K August 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Hi, I’m just curious – if his mother was a Lab, then how is he a Shepherd/Greyhound? Wouldn’t he be a Lab/Greyhound or Lab/Shepherd?

I have a Shepherd/Greyhound and she looks remarkably similar to Banjo.

7 shyhound August 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Hello K,

Good question – and I’m happy to clear up the confusion!

I said above that Banjo has “two main breeds”, Shepherd and Greyhound, because I don’t think that either of his parents was purebred. The shelter we got Banjo from said that they thought his mother was a Lab, so advertised the litter as Shepherd/Labrador. However, it’s unlikely that she was a pedigree because the pack was feral.

I describe Banjo as Shepherd/ Greyhound because in terms of what he physically looks like and what his temperament is, it’s all Greyhound. However, his colouring, barkiness, and intelligence is German Shepherd.

I tend to drop the Lab part because, apart from the bump on top of his head, he doesn’t exhibit any typical Lab traits – he hates water, doesn’t have webbed paws, isn’t obsessed with food, and cannot, for the life of him, understand the concept of retrieving! (He literally doesn’t get that he has to bring the ball back if he wants us to throw it again, haha!)

Hope that helps – thanks for your comment, hope to see you around again. I’d love to see photos of your Shyhound if you’re comfortable sharing – if you are, feel free to add them to our Facebark page 🙂

Aroo! from Banjo and warm wishes from me,


8 Theresa July 8, 2011 at 10:06 am

Just came upon your blog, what a wonderful dog and so lucky to have found a great home! Thank goodness for Sean Casey’s Animal Rescue.

9 shyhound July 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Thank you so much, Theresa! That’s kind of you to say. I look forward to reading your posts, too. Aroo! from Banjo 🙂

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