Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poppy and Bailey Need Homes - POPPY HAS FOUND A FOREVER HOME

Hi, remember I mentioned these two before in a previous post?

I know these two dogs and can recommend them as being very affectionate and loving pets.

Bailey on the left is very shy, has a sad face even when he is happy, but would enjoy having a permanent home. He came to this country with my Lily, and he is about 2 yrs old and would make a splendid pet.

He is friendly with other animals, but I would always advise caution as a matter of course anyway.

is 4 and she came from a very good home but sadly her 'parents' split up and as she stayed with the one who needed to work away from home, was spending a lot of time with dog minders so her owner wanted her to have a permanent home where someone can be there for most of the time. She has been vaccinated, micro chipped and spayed.

If you can give either of these dogs a home, do contact me.

Cat Friendly Greyhounds....Is There Such a thing?

Both our greys have lived with cats, been tested with cats and have been found not to react. We have had a few cats sitting on the shed roof and still they haven't reacted. One of these cats sat there provocatively growling and swishing its tail and staring at the dogs, and they appeared not to be bothered by this. This has been a huge relief and so although I have never let the dogs go out into the garden unsupervised, I have let them go out into our very small back yard which you see here unmuzzled and off the lead.
On Monday afternoon this week, the dogs wanted to go out and shot downstairs, the kitchen door was open and I followed close on their heels, then before I had turned the corner and had a view of the whole garden I heard some terrible yelping and thought that perhaps one of the greys had injured themselves or something had fallen on them.

I looked to the corner of the garden and a cat had shot out of the bushes, it was the one who had been taunting them for a while, and it lashed out and got Lily's nose (hence the yelping) and later Dizzy's ear. I ran towards the dogs by which time they had got hold of the cat in an almighty fight. Most of the noise was Lily yapping and snarling at the cat, Dizzy picked up the cat in his mouth by the fur and shook it and dropped it and by that time I had screamed "LEAVE" and he dropped the cat as I hooked both collars and pulled the manic dogs into the house, all of us covered in blood and cat wee (the cat had let out its bladder at us) and I locked the dogs in the bathroom.

I then went into the garden where the cat had run into the corner under our table and was still growling and snarling so I couldn't get a good look at the underside of it but I could see a bit of fur missing from its back, it had ripped out when Dizzy picked it up but I could find no bite marks on the cat.

I then rushed in and examined the dogs, they had torn ears, scratches and Lily had a bite mark on the back of her leg.
I immediately called the emergency vet around who came in twenty minutes and picked the cat up. I was distraught because these two greyhounds do not normally chase animals and have been friends and lived happily with cats before.

LESSON LEARNED - There can be no such thing as a cat friendly greyhound if the cat surprises them or attacks them they will most definitely get hold of it. Whereas a normal dog is vocal and will chase a cat barking but not be fast enough to get it, a greyhound of course will silently go for a cat and catch it. My greyhounds were actually having a wee on the bush the cat came out of and of course, their instincts were to fight back and the cat came off worse.

I really don't feel this should be called a dog attack on a cat, I do feel it was a fight that broke out and obviously the cat had less defences.
I did the right thing and registered the cat under my name with the vet as it was not chipped and had no collar. I printed out over 50 posters and put them up and around the neighbourhood as well as through peoples doors. I paid £500 to the vet, to cover initial costs, although my dogs were not insured they are newly insured they were not covered for this (the policy doesn't take effect for 14 days anyway). the vet said that the incident was not entirely our responsibility and that paying the majority of the bill was a kind gesture and the right thing to do. Eventually the owner came forward, she didn't seem surprised or bothered, not half as much as I was but perhaps it was embarrassment.

The injuries to the cat were nil as far as biting goes, a bit of skin came off with the fur where it was picked up but it had a badly broken back leg. I didn't see the dogs touch the leg, and I was there and had hold of them within seconds, but perhaps the cat landed badly after Dizzy dropped it. The vet said it seemed strange that the cat did fight and didn't run away, she said it is possible that the cat was unwell or had a break already. She said not to blame myself, that these things happen even with cat friendly dogs. Dogs will not put up with a hissing, biting scratching cat that has been accidentally cornered and these attacks are nearly always associated with being trapped and hidden in bushes or undergrowth.

So, we are very shaken by this, found it hard to forgive the dogs and we have muzzled them every time they go outdoors, which seems such a shame in their own garden in summer. They are already restricted outdoors by being muzzled and on a short lead a lot of the time, rarely we let them off in a totally enclosed area with 2 or 3 other greyhound owners to guard the gate and help if there is trouble.
Lily got over the shock, despite being the most spooky greyhound but poor Dizzy, was too afraid to go in the garden after this and kept weeing in the house. now, he will go in the garden but keeps staring at the corners and jumping. In the house, something slid off the sofa after he went to bed and he yowled and yelped like he was badly injured as he was frightened. I think as well, they couldn't cope because my partner and I were upset about the incident and they could pick up that we were not pleased and greyhounds love to please. he is being a big baby and needs cuddles and reassurances which is he is getting.

They were just being dogs, that's all, and we have to learn and trust their instincts to guard against this, they can't be blamed.
We did our best to get over it, and lesson learned, we can't really trust them as such and precautions will have to be taken at all times. I have been told by another greyhound owner that if they had meant business, they would have bitten the cat, or torn it apart and I am grateful they didn't and the cat has gone home with a pinned leg, which we hope will mend.

However, it is really upsetting to think that the greys might live for another 10 yrs and will never be able to enjoy their own very small garden off the lead and out of a muzzle.
We are also going to try the following. We will cut back all undergrowth, bushes or anything which could hide a small animal. We will try to find some trellis that goes on the top of fences at an angle to stop animals jumping in, difficult though if they still get in and then can't get out so we will consider that too. We are also going to spray the bushes with a mist of water, or a gentle jet, and the vet said we could spray the cats gently if they come near the garden to try and discourage them. However, the Tom who fought with our dogs, was a real bruiser and totally fearless as we had tried to shoo him away before without success.

We are also trying to find a leather crafter who can make an extra strong collar especially for Lily, as the normal one she has still gives me the feeling she is going to slip out and she is very good at wiggling backwards to get out of it. We did find a fantastic leatherworker, but sadly, she took my requests about precautions with rivets and stitching and type of leather as an insult, in that I didn't trust her to get it right or do the job properly, so she has declined to take on the job. That is really sad because her Celtic work was spectacular and I was going to feature it on this blog. I apologised but she was really offended by my detailed instructions and won't reconsider, so if anyone has any recommendations of a similiar craftsman I would be most grateful.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Todd is looking for a home

My partner and I met Todd, and he was a strong contender to come with us but we did want 2 greyhounds and Todd really deserves a home on his own. This is what Julie from Essex Greyhound Rescue told us. Do contact her if you can consider giving Todd a permanent home.

The Dog shown here is similar looking to Todd, we have no photo at the moment. Todd is a young 3 yr old black greyhound with some white patches. He is very affectionate, has quite a playful character and a bit of spirit which is lovely to see in a young dog. Todd is a retired racing greyhound and has been in kennels for a long time. He needs some tender loving care and will settle well once he is in his forever home and met other animals and seen the outside world. However, he does need a home to himself without other dogs as he does feel happier with all the attention
He has met children and we have observed that he is well behaved with them but as he is not used to them, we would recommend that if he does go to a home with children it would be better if they are aged from 6yrs upwards.

If you wish to know more about Todd or other greyhounds tel 01702 460631 and ask for Julie, of Essex Greyhound Rescue. You can also click on the label 'Dogs Needing A Home' at the bottom of this post or in the sidebar to see all dogs needing homes or news on dogs who have found a home

Previosly we featured Valdi, he has found a home!
He has gone to a lovely forever home with a lady who has fields and horses and where he will be the only dog. We have heard he is settling in well and is soaking up all the love and attention.