Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Back by popular demand

I've had a few requests to start up again, so here we go! I was considering starting a separate blog dedicated to my greyhounds, but yeah, it seems easier just to go with the one. So I'll use labels and those of you interested in my training can read those posts and those of you interested in my dogs can read those! There should probably be some cat posts in there as well or Tissy, Bergamo and Gaffer might get offended. They are still in the majority after all!

So ... in March I posted about adopting a second greyhound. Unfortunately he didn't work out and went back to GAP after a few days. He is now back where he belongs though, happy with his trainers who love and adore him.

We licked our wounds for a little while then in May I was exchanging drunken messages on Facebook on the bus ride home (as you do) when I spotted a four year old white boy with a blue patch on one side of his face who sounded perfect. I was just tipsy enough to get home and show his adoption page on the GAP website to Hamish. Hamish thought he sounded perfect. He was in Kaiapoi so I called up the kennel manager and ...

It turned out Desiree, the Kaiapoi manager, was heading through Wellington in a few days' time and had space in her dog trailer. So before I knew it we were welcoming Mask (racing name Shadow Wolf), off the Interislander ferry.

After a day or two of deep thinking, Mask became Harvey, short for Harvey Dent, the two-faced man from Batman. We had four days to decide whether he would work for us or not before Desiree headed back through Wellington on her way home. It was quickly clear however that Harvey wasn't going anywhere.

So now we are a two-dog, three-cat household. I was assured that two greyhounds were not that much more work than one. Initially I didn't find that to be the case. That is probably because Em was such a mellow, quiet girl. Harvey was supposed to be calm and quiet but .... wasn't - at least initially. Boys are definitely different from girls, and he seemed much more boisterous to me.

Harvey was much more curious about the cats than Em, who is slightly scared of them. He wasn't at all predatory, but he wanted to sniff them to kingdom come. Our cats were obviously not too keen on that! Four and a half months in, Harvey is generally pretty good. The cats stay clear when he is at his most energetic - first thing in the morning and when we get home in the evening. Once he has had his dinner he crashes, and then Bergamo will join us in the lounge. The other two - Gaffer and Tissy - are less keen on hanging out in the lounge with him. Gaffer will join us if we carry him in, but generally walks in and hangs out in the bedroom. Tissy prefers to hang out in the bedroom but is starting to make forays into the lounge. This is way ahead of the progress we made acquainting them to Em. Harvey did manage to bail up Tissy in the hallway tonight, burying his nose in her fluff, but she gave him a jolly good hiss before retreating outside. A few minutes ago she wandered down the hallway and headed for our bedroom, so clearly she's not been too traumatised.

We originally thought Em wouldn't appreciate another grey in the house, but a couple of weeks in Bannockburn with my father-in-law's Jack Russell puppy proved that she could share territory with another dog. She put Harvey in his place a few times in the first couple of weeks, but now they quite happily share a selection of sofas and beds. In fact Harvey has taught Em how to be more cuddly. She never used to share our sofa but now, in an obvious attempt to beat Harvey to the favoured spot, she will jump up on to the sofa with us and snuggle on in.

I'm still regularly amazed by the differences between Em and Harvey. They can both be quite anxious dogs, but show it in different ways. Harvey will get noisier and more boisterous, Em retreats. Harvey has to be near us. If it were up to him he would sleep on our bed every night. That will never happen - at least not while we still have cats - but he certainly pushes the boundaries and comes in to wake us at first light.

Harvey loves sofa cuddles. Last night he was taking up 2/3 of the sofa while Hamish and I squeezed up together at one end. Harvey scootched up until he was lying across Hamish's lap with his nose on mine. Bergamo then joined us, lying so that they were practically nose-to-nose. Harvey then fell into a deep greyhound sleep, involving contented groans, snorts and snores. Hilarity ensued, with Hamish and I completely unable to control our laughter.

Emmie is what Desiree described as a 'jesus hound', perfect in every way. She is elegant, beautiful, intelligent and she loves us. Harvey is a big, boisterous and impulsive boy. He needed a little more work to settle in at home, and he has needed more training to socialise him around other dogs. The two complement each other fantastically. Our lives will never be the same, and that is definitely a good thing!


Pat Pilcher said...

Love those photos!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Love this its a great read!

Anonymous said...

I love the photos as well so clear and crisp

Pip said...

It's amazing what you can do with an iPhone 5! Would love to get a proper camera at some point.