Saturday, 25 October 2014
Valkyrie in the house...
Selena told me we were "just going to look" at the new dogs that had just come up from the States to Greyhound Relocation & Adoption Canada kennel, for fun. She later tells me that I "should have known better".
Valkyrie is an an ex-racing dog, who was not very good at racing. (Not unlike this oddly familiar fellow.) I'm not sure if that makes her lucky, or unlucky. Maybe a bit of both.
Anyhow, we went to pick her up... (I am surprised to suddenly realise) just yesterday! The adjustments and acclimatization has just begun. But here are some scenes from Vallie's first day with us...
When we got back, it proved awkward trying to get her out the back passenger door, so we opened the hatch back. Much to our surprise, Valkyrie suddenly leapt out immediately that way. So, surprising was it that her leash slipped. Luckily she didn't try to run off though, but just wandered onto Maria's lawn, where a grip on the leash was quickly recovered. Maria, our neighbour, came out immediately to see what was happening, and greet the new dog. Valkyrie, for some unknown reason, took a real liking to Maria --- even before Maria went and got her some treats. Maybe because she's relatively small and dressed all in black? Who knows!
navigate the stairs up to our door. (We took her around to the back, as there are a few less steps.) So here you see her nervously being lifted up the steps. After barely more than 24 hours with us, and many attempts with varying levels of assistance, she is now already going up (the last two times) and down the stairs herself like a professional stair traverser.
You can also see here (sort of), Valkyrie's stylish new coat. We had just put it on her to show it to Maria.
The cat and dog have had a few more run-ins since that first meeting, going to and from the front of the house (where her crate is) to the back door. The most dramatic was when Win stood in Vallie's path and refused to move. Valkyrie merely showed curiosity and put his head down to sniff Win more closely. Win hissed and lifted a threatening paw. But Vallie backed off with a "so what's her problem?" look, and that was that.
Speaking of the back door, however, I can say that we've now sadly also had the experience that many ex-racer greyhound adopters report: the dog, not understanding the concept of transparent glass, walking nose-first into the door. Not only that, but earlier she also walked through our already-frail door screen -- it probably needed replacing anyhow. So it goes!
has been fun.
Mommy got her first kiss.
And we saw her sit! Greyhounds are famous for generally not being able to sit like other "normal" dogs -- their legs work differently. But our greyhound is clearly super talented, and has figured out a way to curl her rear end around and sit on it. At least once! Amazing!
The very first time she went into her new crate here, we closed the door on her for a while. But we didn't feel right with it closed, so we decided to put her muzzle on her and leave the door open, and see how she'd respond to that. She didn't respond at all. She entirely ignored (seemingly unaware) that the door was open, and neither did she acknowledge the muzzle. She just curled up and lay there. After a few more trips through the house, we dispensed with the muzzle because it seems clear she has no aggressive (or even defensive) inclinations towards any creature in here. (Besides, one of us is watching her all the time.) And we've left the crate door open always, except while we slept.
She initially wouldn't even eat food outside her crate. We've taken to putting her bowls at feeding time just outside the crate door, and are moving them further away little by little. In time she will learn that she no longer has to be in her crate every moment when indoors. In fact, we want her company. Her new job is to be a part of the family.
Life is going to be different now. For all of us. Selena tells me it's going to be good.
So far, so good.