Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who Says That Greyhounds Can't Sit?.............

The greys have been going to obedience classes. To our amazement, we have both managed to get our dogs to sit. Not on a command, but we are able to put them into a sit position and they stay like that looking very shocked whilst we praise them for doing a "Good Sit". Poor Lily is sometimes startled and lets of a bit of pongy greyhound gas when I handle her back end to get her legs to bend into the sit position.

They also managed to walk to heel quite nicely. We also surprised the trainers when they said we could skip the bit where we pick up our dogs (for handling at the vets etc) and despite the size of our greys, we do regularly pick them up and they seem to like it!

Now, we just have to refine that recall. Lily's recall is quite good and we can let her off the lead, but Dizzy just shoots off for miles and miles and miles! Last time I tried in a park, he ran so far, it took me half an hour to walk to the place ran to in about 5 mins. Luckily for me, he loves people so much, he ran up to some builders and they managed to tie him up. I was looking for him for ages, calling his name and I could here a puppy sort of yap in the distance, but as he was tied up he couldn't run back to me.

Since then, we haven't even chanced letting him off unless the area is totally enclosed.

I will try to get some photos of the hounds sitting, they look so confused, I am sure they thought they couldn't do it either!

UPDATE: After weeks of going to obedience class, we realised that we had not passed anything that useful on to the hounds. I tried to get Dizzy to sit myself after one of the classes, and he went into blind panic and nipped my head. Not a serious bite but a panic snap. After consulting the vet, he said the hounds could sit but that they do not like to sit because of the way their back legs are made. We asked if there was any advantage in perservering, and he said no. We also asked him about training classes, and he felt that even after training, he was yet to meet an owner who could get a perfect recall with their dog, and even those who got good results had 'accidents' where their dogs had run into things. He quoted a case he treated where the dog had been let out on a sandy flat surface with nothing around for miles and miles except one post, and the guessed it...ran into that one post and knocked himself out and suffered fractures!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Holiday Privileges

The hounds were so cute on hols. Here they are outisde our little blacksmith's cottage in a private valley with a stream running by and fields with a footpath to the beach.
We thought poor Lily was going to get a burst bladder as she wouldn't wee away from her garden at home and we thought she would be a total nervebox for most of the 2 weeks. What a cutie, she managed to wee in public, in a field next to the main route to Tintagel castle with people within hearing distance as well.

How we loved bonding with our dogs. Physically as well. no words can describe how cuddly greyhounds are, and yes, we weakened and we let the hounds come and cuddle us on our bed after breakfast. Needless to say that all stopped when we got home here.

Lily's confidence
just grew and grew on holiday. I was swelling with pride for her progress. They loved getting in and out of the car and going for drives, short walks (because Dizzy has an ulcer on his paw) and lots of lounging around in the garden too.

It was a bit nippy at night so the hounds wore their towelling sun coats to keep warm, and naughty Lily was caught climbing up into the living room chair.

We turned a blind eye, well; holiday privileges again!

She also got up and cuddled her Dad, and considering how terrified o
f men she normally is, that was an amazing thing to see. She is such a little Daddy's girl that I feel a pang of jealousy at their closeness.

Dizzy is still the big baby he ever was. His walking on the lead has improved loads a
nd we didn;t really have any trouble walking around with the dogs, or taking them to pubs, eating fish and chips at Tintagel or any other activity.

Now we are back in London things are a bit different. Lily went back in her shell to begin with but is coming out again and has done a few toilet activities in the local park. We can take her off the lead as well for very short bouts and she will walk near us. A couple of times at the cottage she escaped and always came back.

Embarrassingly, after a welcome cuddle with Steve and I and my Dad and his parrtner Jeannie, Lily and Dizzy bolted off and Dizzy did his usual trick of running into the nearest open door and finding a person to love.

We love these dogs too too much! It feels so special to have rescued these hounds, and given them what they need and a little bit more.