We had read lots of articles on how to settle a new greyhound, what to expect and the dreaded ‘separation anxiety’ that some of them face.
Perhaps I should describe my home, it might make what follows a little easier to understand.
It is a two bed roomed bungalow, the front door opens into a narrow hall with doors leading off at both sides and the end. The first two doors on the left and right are the bedrooms which are virtually opposite each other the next opening on the right side is an archway to the kitchen with a door to the lounge diner opposite. Then at the end of the hall two doors, one leads to the bathroom and the other to a cupboard.
We had decided that, to limit the damage Hippie would spend her time while we were out at work in the hall and kitchen area. My bedroom door already had a bolt on it to safeguard Max but all other doors would have to be tied together.
But as for leaving Hippie on her own for any length of time – forget it! She was like a thing possessed – you moved, she moved and if you dared to go to the loo she sat outside the door and howled.
My daughter nearly drove herself mad trying all the tricks in the book, picking up her keys, walking to the door then coming back and putting the keys down, coat on coat off you name it she tried it. It was like the dog thought she was another dog and was trying to be higher in the pack than my daughter.
And never was that more obvious than on the first Saturday evening after the adoption, please do not forget Hippie had only been with us for four days.
Why my daughter decided to cook for her boyfriend on that evening still completely defeats me –she has great difficulty putting a meal together without the added stress of an out of control greyhound in the kitchen at the same time. But she had bought the ingredients for a Mexican meal and was determined to make it work.
I was in my bedroom trying to get ready to go out to my partners house for the evening and all I could hear was my daughter’s voice shouting ‘Get down’ and ‘No’ then the banging of her bedroom door followed by loud howling. I finished getting ready and locked Max in my room then approached the kitchen after letting Hippie out of my daughter’s room.
My daughter was flustered and red in the face – said the dog would not leave her alone just kept jumping up the worktops after the food. I suggested using the water spray to just squirt her in the face when she jumped up but I was treated to a glower and the words ‘its not working’. I thought she meant the spray bottle so said I’d look at it but she shouted ‘not the bottle – it’s the dog, the spray has no effect’!
I was astounded – not another myth – every web site suggested using a water spray to correct the dog and I hadn’t even had a go with it yet!
Suddenly I realised I needed to get out of the house as tempers were a bit too high for me to cope with. I went to my partner’s home and whilst drinking a large glass of white wine discussed my options.
I could leave home and move out or go back the next day and make myself into pack leader and make the animal behave. My partner discussed my options and pointed me in the general direction of my house the next morning armed with my very own spray bottle.