Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Unbreakable Bond

We were asked yesterday if Lilac and Blueberry seem to know each other, or recognize that they are related.  For those who are reading and don't know, Lilac is Blueberry's mother.  We adopted Lilac first, and then Blueberry came here to us because her mother was already here.

I've heard a lot of varying stories from people with greyhounds about whether littermates recognized each other when they were reunited later.  Some seem to recognize each other right away, and others seem to have no reaction at all.  I think there are a lot of factors that play into it.  How long they've been apart is one part of the equation and how attached they were to each other also is a factor.  Most of the time, when greyhound puppies are weaned from their mother, they are kept together as they go away to schooling.  They use their natural sibling rivalry to help train them to chase the lure.  So, they're together with their siblings for quite a while, much longer than they're with their mother.

Blueberry and Lilac were retired at the same time, and they traveled here from Kansas on the same dog hauler.  Blueberry had not been away from Lilac for a terribly long time is my guess.  Lilac had just weaned her second litter of puppies before she left the farm.  Blueberry had travelled to Florida, tried to be a racer, and failed making it out of her maiden race, so she'd been sent back to the farm.  The night they arrived, I didn't see much indication that they knew each other, but it's very hectic during unloading time. 

Months later, they were reunited here when Blueberry came to stay at our house.  I am fairly certain that they recognized each other then.  Lilac was fine with Treat and Hawk, and completely tolerated their play.  However, Blueberry was a different story altogether!  When Blueberry started to get too rowdy, Lilac would get up, give two loud barks, and Blue would drop her toys and go straight into the crate and lay down. 

Lilac seems to have a strong maternal instinct and pull for younger dogs.  Bunny has wanted to lay down beside her from the beginning.  Lilac has corrected younger dogs who got out of line on several occasions.  I don't know if dogs who have had puppies give off a certain smell or aura, but it would not surprise me in the least to learn that they do.  She's incredibly sweet, but definitely very firm in her boundaries.

The way Lilac and Blueberry interact, I feel reasonably certain that they did recognize each other in some way.  Now that Blueberry is the alpha dog here, Lilac doesn't bark at her, but Blueberry is careful and respectful of her.  Bunny and Blueberry both used to try stealing Hawk's bed on occasion, and Bunny will steal Blue's once in a while, but they don't steal from Lilac.  They easily could, but they don't. 

Not only do the two of them seem to know each other, but they act alike.  It's almost uncanny at times how much alike they can be.  They are both masters at stealing things, although Lilac prefers to steal from the trash while Blue prefers to steal right off your plate.  Both of them seem to be mostly reformed of the habit, though.  They have quirky little mannerisms that they share as well. 

It's been a lot of fun having them both here together.  I keep hoping that we'll run into some of Bunny's littermates at our greyhound reunion so that we can compare notes on how they are and see how they act together.  I do know that all of them are extremely sweet, just like she is.  I just think it would be fun to see them together.  You never know what the reaction could be!

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  1. O, that was the sweetest reunion ever... really touching.... and thanks for all your encouragement on my poems... cheers!!!:)

    Good day!!!:)


  2. Oh what a beautiful and endearing post. Lilac and Blueberry, you guys are so lucky to be living together.we think you both look very smart too,especially out on your walks against the green sets off your colours so beautifully.

    that quiz was pawonderful.lOVED reading about u three. Must get Mummy to take it for us too.
    btw, thanks for teaching us a new word...'Trellis'.
    mummy looked it up and we think our structure is more of a trellis than an archway.
    how nice that we get to learn new things from our bloggie fuuriends.
    bud n gin

  3. Momma says that fambly is eFURything in the whole world 'cause if you gots that - well, you gots it all☺

  4. It is wonderful that mother and daughter are together!
    They sounded a little like humans in that at first mom was the boss and then later mom was treated with respect but no longer the boss!
    They look lovely together
    Martha and Bailey xxx

  5. Hmmmm...I wonders who askeded that question.
    That is so fascinating. I think it's also interesting how Blueberry is da alpha and Lilac isn't. I'm thinking da girls haves broken da pack higher-arky mold...hehehe. Maybes they just know Lilac is a mama and that is that which maybe coulds trump da alpha position...I don't know.Anyways, thank yous fur answering my question. I bet Lilac was a wonderful and very nurturing mom.
    My mum always wondered bouts Brudder Albert and Whitney. But they don't seems to remember each others. They has been away from one another fur YEARS though.

  6. What a great story! I can attest to things being hectic during dog hauling time but my hauler was nothing as fancy as that shiny one! I was a nervous wreck!! Where Blueberry and Lilac nervous or used to the hauler? So glad they wound up together forever! Can't wait to hear about the reunion!


  7. Did Blueberry ever say, "Oh, Mo-om" and roll her eyes when Lilac was barking her back in line? It must have been a mixed blessing being the only one of the pack to have a parent to listen to. It sure does seem like they knew they were mother and daughter all along and it's furry nice that the girls treat their mother with respect in her old age.

    wags, Lola

  8. The photos of them walking in the same stride are great! Its very cool to hve ended up with a mother-daughter pair!

  9. That's fascinating. I've always wondered if a mother/offspring or siblings would recognize each other later. It sounds like Lilac and Blueberry probably do. Their interactions sound intriguing... We once had a pair of littermates as our dogs. They'd never been apart, and they were SO similar that it was eerie. Plus, they always wanted to be right next to each other, usually touching as they lay together.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  10. Oh, me and my mom very much luuuuved this post! I do thinks they must remembers each other and know each other on a whole different level. Me and my mom are always on the lookout for other doggies here that might look like me. We would both luvs to know how my puppy Smudge turned out. I hopes he's as happy as Blueberry!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  11. This is really a very interesting post. It is so obvious that your two leggers watch what you do, and how you do it, very closely.

  12. That's a pretty cool thing to have a mother and daughter!

  13. Houndstooth,
    Thanks so much for asking about Scooter! He went through a few x-rays and even though the specialist had a look at two different sets it the diagnosis currently inconclusive.

    We are waiting and watching him for a little while and will have to take him in again for another set of x-rays in about a month.

    They feel he has tendonitis, in that shoulder, so he is on Deramaxx for that, but there was also a bit of a shadow up in his shoulder which the radiologist felt, due to the breed and age, could be bone cancer. So we are waiting it out here and hopefully in the next set of x-rays the area will not have progressed and will turn out to be due from inflammation cue to the tendonitis.

    He is eating well, doesn't cry in pain...just limps. Still bows and stretches, plays with toys and prances all around with excitement when going outside or for a short walk...or I come home. But we have restricted his running (no running), walks and going up and downstairs, hoping that this is just tendonitis and if the shoulder gets enough rest it will straighten out a bit. Praying for a *not cancer* verdict when all is said and done...that is for sure.

    Thanks again for caring!
    Sistertex, Scooter and Renner

  14. Cool story about mom and daughter. Our uncle has two rescue greyhounds at his house in N J
    Benny & Lily

  15. Thanks furry much fur sharing all of that!

    BTW, did woo know: RESCUES ROCK!

    PeeEssWoo: and so do RESKHUES!

  16. A very sweet day, it looked like to me! : )

  17. What an interesting and loving post! It sure seems like they know each other. Thunder and Ciara are 3 1/2 years apart in age but they have the same father. They are very alike in many ways and seem to have quite an affinity for each other too. Part of it could be that they are closer in age than to Phantom who is 11 1/2. But to me they do seem to recognize some familial connection.

    The OP Pack's Mom

  18. Sounds like you believe they recognized each other and from what you wrote it sure sounds like it! Very interesting post, especially because you focused on your breed. Loved yesterdays too. Every chance I get to read "about me" posts I get all excited and my tail wags mucho. I'm forgetful so it's news to me every single time!

  19. I just loved this post....mostly because I love watching the "family"/"pack" dynamic in our home where no one is have a mother/daughter combo must add a wonderful layer to this!

  20. We really enjoyed this post, and learning how your family came to be. I didn't know they were Mother and daughter...

  21. How very cool. I never met Brute's parents, only saw pictures of them. however I have a good friend who breeds Frenchies, and you can definitely see the parents in their pups - not only physically, but in their mannerisms. How lucky you are to have both mother & daughter!

    Brutus the Frenchie

  22. I had no idea that those two pretty girls were related. Nice post! Very touching.

  23. i totally think that miss lilac and miss blueberry remembered each other and knew that they were mother-daughter doggies! i'm so glad that ya'll could adopt and reunite them!
    the booker man

  24. I loved your post!
    Sure is pawesome that you could have both of them with you!
    I was not aware about Blueberry being the Alpha!
    Kisses and hugs

  25. I never tire of hearing these stories, and it's fun learning about the girls' personalities.

  26. I'd love to have siblings at some point - who knows if it's in the cards. The fact that you got mother and daughter is just awesome. ♥

  27. Thanks for sharing this great post with us. I love this post very much. It made me recall those days when Hana was around and was with her puppy Eva. The ways she play with her, care for her, teach her and be strict to her... Those days...

    Thanks again!

  28. I see the family resemblance -- that is, they're both adorable! :-)

  29. Two of my girls are siblings (more on that story in a blog post at some point). They were separated for a while if the racing records are correct. When Dru walked into the house she and Breeze immediately recognized one another. They are inseparable - most of the photos I have are with the two together, it is hard to catch them alone.


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