Friday, October 30, 2009

Carrie-Our little spook

Foster mom and I decided a few years ago that we love greyhounds and we needed to do more to help the cause. So we volunteered to foster greyhounds for Denise and she took us up on the offer. We have fostered 44 greyhounds and have had pretty much every kind of greyhound that there is. We have had big ones, small ones, relaxed ones, jumpy ones, alpha ones, scared ones, timid ones, and everything in between. We like to say that there isn't anything that we wouldn't do for a greyhound. Carrie puts that statement to the test. Carrie is unlike any greyhound we have ever had. We have had very shy, timid, dogs, including one of our own, but we have never had one like Carrie. She is what they call a "spook." She is afraid of people to a degree that we haven't seen before. It is sad because we can tell that beneath the fear is the nicest, friendliest, dog waiting to come out. There is not an ounce of agression in Carrie and all she needs is the confidence to be herself around people. She still will not come up to us, and goes in the other direction if we walk towards her, but we are making progress. With Carrie everything will be baby steps. We will have to be extremely patient with her and let her grow slowly. Tonight we have gated off our kitchen and family room so she can't run away and hide, and are forcing her to be with us and our hounds. It is working well. She has been laying on a doggie bed and I have been sitting next to her petting her for a few hours. It takes a long time to build trust. The weekend is here so we will get to spend the entire time working with her. The progress she has made so far makes us optimistic that she is going to be a great dog, but it will take much more time. She is not ready for adoption yet. She is going to need more rehab time at the Hound Hotel. Once she is ready, she is going to need a special family that loves her as much as we do that is up for the challenge of continuing to work with her. It is a challenge, but one that brings great rewards. Are you up for a challenge? Would you do anything for a greyhound? Think about it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Haunted Hound Hotel?

Last night we went to bed with our trusty hounds by our side, and our foster Carrie in her crate. All was well for a while...until it happened. It is Halloween after all. We were awakened by low creepy noises which increased in crescendo into bloodcurdling howls. We jumped out of bed thinking that the Hound Hotel has become possessed! Then I thought back to the movie ghostbusters and told myself, "I aint 'fraid of no ghost." I went to the closet and got out the slime machine and went downstairs, ready to face the fearsome ghost. What I found was no ghost, but our little Carrie whining and wailing in her crate. She may be shy, but that doesn't apply to her lungs. I calmed her down and thought she would be ok. She had slept through the night without a peep on Sunday night. She was fine for a few minutes, and then the ghosts returned. I tried calming her down again, and again it didn't work. After the third time, it was clear that Carrie had no intention of letting the proprietors of the hotel get any rest. I took her out of her crate and carried her up to our room. She paced around for a few minutes and then laid down and went to sleep and slept the rest of the night quietly. Our house was no longer possessed. Having her wail like that is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that she is developing a bond and wants to be with the family. Even though she is still afraid to come near us, she is obviously warming up to the idea. She made some progress yesterday when she mustered the courage to come out of her crate and try to visit us in the family room and kitchen, and she is making more progress today. She sneaks down the hallway and pokes her head into the kitchen until she feels like she might get caught, then hoofs it back to her crate. She has been going a little farther as the hours go by. The good news is that we can see that underneath all that is a really peppy girl that is waiting to come out. When we let her into the yard with our dogs, she turns on the afterburners and starts a race. Carrie in the yard is a fun, fast, and confident dog with our dogs. When she is with people, she is scared. I don't know what happened to her, but it is such a shame. I don't know what brought on this unnatural fear, but obviously something was going on in her past and it will take some time to rebuild the trust that greyhounds normally have in people. We can tell that behind the fear, she is a sweetheart of a dog. There is not an ounce of agression in this dog, and she just needs a home and a family that will treat her well to turn her back into the dog she is supposed to be, and that she will be. We will continue to provide regular updates on her progress. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Carrie has arrived at the Hound Hotel!

Carrie, the skittish, fearful girl has arrived at the Hound Hotel. We saw her on the website and asked Aunt Denise to send her down to us. We know a thing or two about terrified dogs. Our second dog, Blair, was the same way. She wouldn't let me near her for two days when we got her. After a couple of weeks she was my best friend. For the last 10 years she has been the best dog we could ever ask for. I think Carrie will be the same way. She is going to need plenty of TLC up front, but once she gets to know her family, she will be the friendliest, most respectful dog you could ask for. It was a little entertaining when we got her home today. She had laid down in the back seat of the car, and wasn't planning on getting out of the car. I had to pick her up and carry her to the back yard. Then I let her off the leash, and she began to run around the yard. Then I had a new problem. We can't catch her and she wouldn't come near us so we couldn't get her into the house. We used a little "horse whisperer" psychology on her and just left her alone in the yard. Pretty soon her curiosity got the best of her and she came up onto the deck. She poked her head inside the door a couple of times, but wouldn't come in. We managed to corral her on the deck with the use of a baby gate and then were able to bring her inside. She is now resting comfortably on a doggie bed and I have been sitting next to her letting her know that everything is going to be ok. Carrie is going to be a fun dog to have around the house. She won't cause any trouble, and she will be such a terrific dog. Stay tuned for more updates on Carrie's progress.