Saturday night fever!!!!

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.

A rescue greyhound – the first day!!!

The first puddle on her first night was on my lounge carpet and was more like a lake, but, as all the books say:

Do not scold after the event, just clean it up and treat the area with water mixed with a biological detergent to kill the smell – the dog will not go there again’.

Poppycock! It didn’t matter how much it was cleaned she kept going back to it and we became paranoid people standing outside in coats and boots encouraging the dog to do it outside. Looking back she must have thought we were insane – I think we were at the time!

She was also very jumpy, the least little sound and she panicked I just knew then that this was not going to be easy. Also she followed anybody that moved (and that continues – though to a lesser degree) – she was continually on the go.

We got through the first evening and eventually she went to bed on her duvet in the corner of my daughter’s room.

Peace at last (for me at least – I wasn’t on the night shift)

Our new greyhound arrives ………

Our home checked out fine – the back garden is paved and completely enclosed by fences and walls. But still the rescue people didn’t come back to us. Eventually we rang the Greyhound Trust number and told them what was happening. The lady there said we were not the first to complain about that particular centre and advised that if they didn’t want us to adopt a greyhound there were lots more places that would.


With ‘dogged’ determination my daughter searched for more places and finally found one in the west midlands where the owner agreed that people did have to work but could still own a dog, she agreed to show my daughter her dogs.


And here the real story begins:


My daughter was owed some time off in December and on the Wednesday of her holiday she rang to tell me that she had just bought her new ‘girl’. One hundred pounds bought our beautiful two-year-old spayed female greyhound, a martingale collar and lead, indoor collar, micro chipping and six weeks insurance. Further money changed hands and a smart red coat was purchased at a fraction of pet shop prices.


Prior to the big day I had been training Max to eat his meals, not on the floor, as he used to but up on a little used worktop area in the kitchen and he had taken to the idea quite well. However, one look at the big dog and the puss cat became a wuss cat – he moved into my bedroom and refused to come out if the dog was around. No big deal for me as he had always slept on my bed at night anyway but the feeding bowls and litter tray – well I didn’t mind having them in my room for a short time.


Our beautiful greyhound is black and white, weighs around 26 kilos which is above racing weight and makes her look healthy. She has lovely soft brown eyes and a kennel name of Noddy, which was instantly changed to Hippie – because she had moved into our Hippie home and because of her big hips!


Hippie’s first night was spent with my daughter, her boyfriend, my partner and me all trying to settle this big bundle of baffled canine loveliness into her first ever ‘proper home’.


Why did I think this would be easy and why oh why did we do this in the winter???


Top tip – Never adopt a greyhound in the winter – they are not housetrained and they do not like to be outside without their owner whilst they are being housetrained.