Thursday, March 25, 2010
After Treat died, a part of me never wanted another dog and the other part really needed another dog. After we decided to get another greyhound, I felt immensely better about life. My plan was to get another dog around the age that Treat was when we got her, which was just shy of four years old. That seems to be the magic age when they settle down, lose the puppy foolishness and their brain grows in. They're very trainable at that age and I figured that I'd get a dog who still had energy and stamina, but wasn't too crazy. When we went to the adoption kennel, we met a lot of dogs and most of them were around that age. Not a single one of them really showed a particular interest in me, however, and Blueberry let it be known that she was not even slightly impressed by any of them. Then, finally, they let us meet a dog they'd just gotten in and knew very little about. I fell for Bunny right away and she fell for us, too. It was really hard to leave her there at the kennel as we waited for her spay surgery.
A few weeks later, we returned to pick her up and we brought her home. Did I mention that she was just a puppy at eighteen months old? Most of the time, you can't tell how young she is by her behavior. However, one thing became painfully obvious when we stopped at the dog bakery to celebrate her arrival home. Bunny had hardly any experience walking on a leash. It would have been easier to walk a trout down the street than it was to walk Bunny. I began to suspect that a pony took over her body when we walked out the back door with her leash on, since she'd rear up on her back legs and buck around. As soon as the collar would tighten on her neck in the slightest, she balked.
I began to despair about having a walking partner. She was as close to perfect in every other aspect, but that was one area that needed improvement. Most of that first summer, we did hardly any walking. In the fall, we went to a greyhound reunion and bought a wonderful invention. Bunny got her first Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers harness. It was amazing how much it curbed her pulling, right from the get go. She was a bit uncertain about it, but she began to get more comfortable with it.
This Spring we've become a lot more committed to walking. I noticed something this Spring, too. Bunny has become an excellent walker. I'm not sure when, how or why it happened, but she's become a dream to walk. Part of it might be age, she did turn three in November, and certainly, there's been more experience being on a leash. I also feel like she's really becoming an extension of my arm, much like Treat used to be. I'm finally really feeling like we're ready to try the therapy dog test and see where the chips fall. I think she's finally become the perfect dog, but please don't tell her I said that. It'll go straight to her head! And for those worried about her interest in horses, she is very keen and goes into stalking mode, but she doesn't go crazy or actually try to go after them. She has done a wonderful job of staying in control.