Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rescued Greyhounds - Watching Personalities Develop

For the first time in my life, I am watching two “adult” dogs, at the same time, develop home-life personalities. 

Almost 30 years of dogs.  Undisciplined Cyrus was an only dog. Catered only to me.  Best boy Schemie was an only dog.  Obedience schooled, acceptable to almost everyone, except other dogs.  Both boys were only dogs and that was preferred by them.

I took Britty away from a derelict neighbor when she was an 8 or 9 year old (he didn’t know).  Her personality already suffered severe setbacks by that upbringing.

Baby Berry was 6 ½ when I adopted her.  She was a bounce back greyhound.  She had to fight her own demons and sadness.

Schemie’s personality mellowed and became protective of the older ones I brought into his life.  And I happy to say both Britt and Ber were very happy girls.  Maybe just with me, but they were happy, smiley girls.

So, here I live with two fairly recent, never homed rescued racers.  One whose last documented race was last December.  Ugh. 

Two dogs who never walked in a home before.  Their early years shaped by the small cages in which they lived.  Their early years shaped by their interaction with a trainer (a trainer???), with no socialization.  Their early years shaped by a couple let outs a day and sub-par food.  More importantly, with no love.

Here I sit.  My two new kids were seasoned racers, from what I have read based on their tattoos.  I do NOT announce that proudly.  To make it clear, I am completely opposed to racing.  I announce that as to why they are ages 4 and 6 and never homed.  This is status quo for the racing industry though.

DeeDee came in May and Craigie in August.  DeeDee is a 4 yr. old female.  Craigie is a 6 yr. old male. 

From timid newbies, the little buds are blossoming each day. 

DeeDee is becoming more and more the little princess.  She deigns the deck steps.  They shan’t touch her delicate paws.  She prances on her tiptoes, dainty as can be.  She eats all her food delicately, albeit fast, knowing the vulture is watching.  She loves the couch and her bed by my bed.  She is quickly becoming the diva.  But still just a four-year old.  Squeaky in mouth, she will squeak it forever, happy tail flapping anything, including my face.  Hoppy feet and a wet kiss on the face is the ultimate.  Racing her brother in the yard?  You’re on old man.

Craigie is showing more and more of a pre-pubescent clown side.  He embraces life with an abandon I wish I could mimic.  Nothing is approached slowly.  (Well, except for the inside stairs.)  The food is inhaled with a gusto that would rival a barbaric.  (I give him credit for backing off from Dee’s and heeding her warnings)  5 stuffies going at one time on the floor under his watch (13 tonight), charging from one to the other, rump high and tail wagging.  Utter abandon and joy.

I’ve decided this 4 yr. old and this 6 yr. old are living their puppyhood for the first time in the lives.  Considering where they came from.  They were bred to be a racing greyhound.  A product.  From puppyhood, they were trained to win a race.  Not to learn how to walk up and down stairs, not how to play with toys, not how to snuggle in a bed.  They were a “product” of the industry.

I look at these two newbies and revel in their newfound “puppiness”.  With proper correction when needed, they sure as hell earned it.  They risked life and limb, both well over 100 times.

Now they have a home.  And can be the puppies they always wanted to be.

Play happy, little ones!  You will be loved the rest of your lives now.

Sleep well tonight, angels.

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