Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nick Has Settled in Nicely......

I think he looks kind of tense myself, but Rosie tells me he likes it here.

It's fun getting used to a new pup though. He reacts to noises from the TV. When he hears applause, he jumps up and runs to the window barking. He also reacts when he hears bells (like the phone ringing). He doesn't bark for bells, but he does look like he wants to do something when he hears one. I'm not sure what's up with this behavior. When he hears the applause, does he think he won something? Judging from his race history, he doesn't have much experience with winning so....?

Of course every time he and Rosie go outside, he wants to pee in the exact same spot that she used. I know he wants to be sure to mark his new territory well, but how do I tell him he needs to wait until Rosie finishes. She hates when he sprinkles her!!

Rosie seems to like having a playmate her own age though. They romp and play together. It's fun to watch...:-)!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nick's First Walk in the Park.....

I took my first walk by myself with Rosie and Nick this morning. Walking one feisty Pharaoh Hound and either one or two senior Greyhounds is totally different than walking the same Pharaoh with a young, just off the track Grey. Actually, all in all, it went very well, but I did have to keep telling myself that things will improve with time and a little training. I was very, very glad that I remembered to pack my sense of humor.

First of all, Nick may be cat friendly and pretty much ignore my cats when they walk by in the house, but he is defiantly not squirrel or chipmunk friendly in the park. Secondly, he walks pretty well on the lease, but does at times seem like he’s drunk. He weaves all over the place. :-)

The outing was a definitely success though. Rosie didn’t explode at another dog once and Nick pretty much figured out which side I wanted him to walk on. Now if I can just teach him to jump into the van himself instead of just standing there waiting for me to lift him in.

Here’s what Nick had to say -

This morning my new mom took me for a walk. A walk is when you get in the back of a big vehicle and ride awhile then get out and walk around for awhile. There are lots of little animals running around to chase, but you are on a leash, so it’s hard to catch one before the leash stops you. I was unsuccessful today, but I’ll keep trying. Oh yeah, the best part is that you get lots of treats for walking where mom wants you to walk. She doesn’t like it if you walk into her, but sometimes laughs if you weave around a lot. When we were finished, she led me to the back of the vehicle and acted like she wanted me to do something. I’m not sure what she wanted though. I guess I’ll figure it out eventually. She kept waving a treat under my nose and putting it in the back of the vehicle. Doesn’t she know I can’t reach it there?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Introducing Nick......

OK, it’s time to pull myself out of my blue funk and post something. I’ve really been missing Speedy and Sugar, and haven’t been able to write about it. I’ve missed them both, but in a weird way, I’ve missed Speedy the most. Probably either because he was my first adult dog and thus a sentimental favorite or because Sugar had so many health problems I was kind of expecting her to go. Speedy left me unexpectedly and suddenly.

Anyway, I’ve wallowed in self pity long enough. I’d like to introduce our new family member Nick. He raced (not very well I’d like to point out) as Highwind Ruckus and met all the major criteria for a hound in our house. First of all, Rosie didn’t hate him on sight. She was even nice to him while she was on lead. Rosie, as I’ve mentioned before, has issues with leash aggression. We’ve worked hard on overcoming, or at least controlling her problem, and have made lots of progress. We can now walk in the park with only an occasional outburst, unless someone else snarls and lunges at her first - then all bets are off. I’ve gotten better at reading other dogs from a distance and trying to avoid any that look like they might be lunger/snarlers. When we run into one, it tends to set us back. Anyway, she greeted Nick well on lead, then romped and played with him off lead. She liked him because she could get him to chase her. He’s not one bit shy and seems confident and sure of himself. He’s also young at three years old, and is cat friendly. The fact that I think he’s gorgeous is an added bonus!!

He’s settling in nicely and may even try his paw at lure coursing if I can find someone to show me how to wrap his legs and explain when and why you need to do so. Pharaoh’s are easy, just make sure they’re in good shape, lead to the line and release. I guess they are smaller and sturdier, so are less prone to injury. I don’t know how good he’ll be as a courser. His prey drive at least in the house is low (doesn’t try to eat cats). I took him out yesterday on a long lead, with a plastic bag attached to a lung whip and he went nuts trying to get it – so maybe he’ll chase a plastic bag across a field.

I know that I’ll eventually come to love him. At this point he makes me smile and is I know he’s what I need to heal. In a weird way, I think Speedy sent him to me. Rob and I hadn’t planned to adopt a hound yet as we felt we weren’t ready. We had thought to foster for a while and then maybe adopt later. There was something about his picture that made me want to meet him though and the hint of black on top of his head (Speedy’s mark of approval) sealed the deal.