We adopted Amy and Becca in October 2016, just after their 2nd birthday. They are littermates, were bonded and had been fostered together. FOTH was looking for a family with young children and cats to take on two greyhounds as they were happy with both kids and cats. We, on the other hand were looking for two dogs to adopt. My massage therapist boarded her dogs occasionally with the foster family’s boutique dog hotel, and suggested I give them a call. By this time, the perfect family had not appeared on the horizon for Amy and Becca, so they settled on a couple of grey-haired retirees! How delighted we are to have them in our lives!
Their transition to our home involved getting used to stairs (easy once non-slip pads were installed at the landings), to the micro-movements required around furniture, and working out which lounge was whose (we all share). As several greyhounds were adopted in the Northern Rivers area about the same time, the trainer we’d worked with agreed to hold a “greyhound” class where we all learned what to expect from ex-racers, and how we can help them have their best new lives as pets. Lots of that training involved working with the hounds’ humans to set expectations and reward increments of learning.
Truthfully, greys want to please, so all up, it has been the easiest transition we have experienced in our long experience as dog owners. We take our girls out in public often, as they are very people friendly, but we have also learned their signals when they are finished being greyhound ambassadors and just want to have a walk and a sniff. We are still learning what the semaphore configuration of the ears means — the variety is wide and deep: one ear up and one eye open means “I hear Dad coming” for instance, two ears out means “Inquiry”. We happily take along their blankets to lie upon under our table at a cafe; targeting those blankets for a lie-down is a newly acquired skill for our greys and earns over-the-top congratulations.
We suspect both have very expensive time pieces hidden somewhere on them, as they love a routine. The changing seasons can become a small challenge as the alarm on those timepieces goes off at specific times, regardless of the heat and the sun exposure. Resisting the one-two tag-team lobbying is a learned human skill, and we are becoming expert. Amy meets our ignoring-the-prompts by heading for the toy bin for an intense squeaky-toy session, and Becca retires to watch her human carefully and without a blink to see if he/she has finally gotten the hint. We so often fail doggie expectations. They sigh. Amy has memorised the drives to her favourite places — cafes, parks, runs, and helps with navigation with whimpers of excitement. Becca supervises Amy from a lounging position. Becca is more confident, Amy a bit more hesitant (but also more stubborn).
The occasional zoomie means learning tight turns on our small block, but easily accomplished after a few tries. Zoomies come by two’s in our house, and we always have a good laugh watching. It is refreshing watching the greys relax after their restricted life, try new things, roll in the grass after a run and dance with joy for any new activity — rides, walks, the arrival of company. It doesn’t take much to love a greyhound.
Thanks to Buff and Chris for sharing their beautiful adoption story with us.