I wandered into Petsmart today and found the local greyhound adoption group was having a meet & greet session. It got me thinking whether a greyhound is really the right dog for our family.
For those of you who don't know my hard-luck dog stories... Our first dog was a retired racer. She got along great with everyone -- except my five year old daughter. After two trips to the emergency room in less than two months, we had to relinquish the dog back to the adoption group.
Well, it's seven years later. We've had gut-wrenching experiences with two other pups in the intervening time. That five year old is now twelve, and she practically aches to have a dog. She thinks that a greyhound would be great, but I don't know if she is just reading my body language and seeing that breed might be a possibility after hearing "no" so many times.
Any words of wisdom?
And does anybody have any recent experience with whippets? Italian greyhounds? It would be so nice if the docile personality would come in a smaller package, but everything I've read says it does not.
I'm open to any comments. I think I'm beyond the point where anyone can hurt my feelings.
I'm not familiar with the background but was wondering if the ones not mentioned were also with Greyhound's? I have alot more experience with the smaller version's than the larger and think your perception is right on.
Our two other pups have been hunting breeds: springer spaniel and brittany. The ESS did not survive a blood disorder in puppy-hood and the brittany succumbed to a rare cancer just a couple months past turning a year old. I think the energy level of either of these breeds would continue to be a challenge for our family. However, my daughter had started agility classes with the brittany, and they were both enjoying that. I suspect that greyhounds and agility don't mix well.
I imagine it's really killing you to keep saying "no" to her. You are a great mother. It is wonderful that you feel ready to start the process of opening up your hearts again even though there may be a hesitation on your part, I remember how you felt about Lucky and how difficult it was for you guys.
The only thing I can think to add from experience with any of the breeds you're considering is that when I was about 12 my parents adopted a retired greyhound and the poor thing had such separation anxiety, she chewed and clawed at the door until her teeth and paws were bloodied
She was a wonderful dog other than the anxiety but we were a large busy family and my mothers impatience and lack of experience with animals caused her to give Comet back. That is one of the few instances in hind sight where I agree with her decision to send this of many pets away.
I really hope your family finds the happy, healthy companion you all deserve. Don't forget to keep us up to date with the search!
When asked what he would do if stranded on a deserted island with nothing but a cow in sight; "I would find out what the cow was eating and join him."
I know that greyhounds take a surprisingly small amount of psychic space in the house, but those crates are huge! The breed stuck in my head now is whippet. My primary concern would be getting one that won't want to eat my cat. If I were to adopt a retired racing greyhound, I know I'd be able to get a "cat friendly" adult. What are the chances of finding a cat-friendly whippet adult? Of raising a cat-respecting whippet from puppy-hood? The national breed club rescue group currently has only 6 dogs posted -- nationwide!
Good luck w/ whatever you choose! I would suggest a breed specific forum or going to a dog show, to do some more research. There are actually a few long time Whippet owners on my poodle forum, I'll send you the link if you pm me. The people that do own them seem to really love em, but I don't know much more than that.
The greyhound meet got the gears moving, but we didn't go that route. We got a replacement brittany puppy about three weeks ago. He's almost 4 months old now. We'll probably try agility with him, too. He seems fairly agile when it comes to jumping up on the couch.
I'm so sorry your first grey didn't mix well with your young daughter. The group we got our greyhound from did extensive "testing" of the dogs off the track to find which ones were small critter safe, young children safe, etc. Our grey, Frost, is a doll and loves everyone and everything. He's leary of young children I'll admit, but is extremely patient with the grandchildren who love to touch his ears and eyes. When he's had enough he'll slowly and carefully remove himself from the room. :) Only if the lie or step on him does he yelp, but he's never bitten (Thank God).
Good Luck if you get a Whippet. They are adorable. I tend to like the bigger dogs, but the Whippets sure are cute.