Friday, November 5, 2010

The Beginning

In December 2000, I was 24, had graduated college a year before, and had just bought my house. At the time, I had greyhounds, Jessie and Teresa. I had discovered agility and they both started classes when they were 5 and 6 years old. We had a lot of fun together learning as we went. My goals were small and once attained I created another one. Jessie and Teresa were good teachers and ignited the passion I have for clicker training, agility, and obedience today. Along the way, I also determined which traits would make a greyhound easier to train. Out from under parental control and on my own, I wanted to adopt a third greyhound... an agility/obedience greyhound.

I started fostering greyhounds for Southeastern Greyhound Adoption. Back then SEGA depended solely on foster homes. I was dropping my foster greyhound off at the animal hospital for spaying when another foster mom happened to be doing the same thing.

I noticed the cute, fawn female with a charcoal nose, but my interest was peaked when her foster mom mentioned that Dallas played with a toy all afternoon. All afternoon? Greyhounds rarely play for more than few minutes. I asked if she liked food and her reply was "She loves food!"
After being spayed, I picked Dallas up from the vet and continued her fostering. She was aloof which some mistaken for shyness, but she truly did not give you the time of day if she had no use for you. She was quite active and sassy. I can hardly imagine her jumping on the door now, but she did indeed leave muddy paw prints towards the top of the sliding glass door. She would chase cars from inside the backyard. She would bark and run to the other side of the house as cars would drive past the house. She was the fun police and decided when the greyhound games would start and stop. She would hold her tail high and flag the white tip at the end. She had so much attitude.

I started training Dallas immediately. She was so food motivated and very easy to work with. She was the first greyhound I started training from scratch with a clicker. She was doing sits and downs in no time. I lured her through tunnels and up A-Frames. She basically would do or try anything for food. She would eat anything, anywhere, and at anytime.

My only concern about Dallas was that she was not cat safe. "Curious about cats" (see top photo) was a huge understatement. Both Teresa and Jessie were relatively cat safe and I thought it was necessary for off lead safety. Katie had a very high prey drive. She walked with 60 pounds of pressure on the end of the leash at all times and scanned the horizon. She would not check in with me at all on our walks..... something I had liked about all my prior greyhounds.

I discussed my concern with Kate Crawford. At the time, Kate had the highest titled greyhound in agility. She assured me that I wanted high prey drive. Two weeks later I adopted Dallas and renamed her Katie.
Left to right - Katie, Jessie, and Teresa.

8 comments:

Granted Wishes Greyhounds said...

Awe, what a lovely story.

That last picture of the 3 of them really gets me.

Sue said...

Lovely story.

Love the photo of all three lovely Greys.

Robin Sallie said...

Greys are like potato chips. It is hard to stop at just one.

houndstooth said...

Isn't it funny how the right dog in the right place changes everything? She was destined to be with you!

IHateToast said...

i agree with the rest. the photo of all three gets you, especially with your sidebar of those you miss.

Michelle said...

What a lovely story! Love the photos. :)

Mila said...

Hi! I am really enjoying your blog. I am new to this breed having recently adopted a 10-month-old greyhound that had been on his own since the end of last March (probably owned by a tourist from Santiago and subsequently lost). I had been caring for him and playing with him every day when I would go for my walks and runs along the beach. Finally, I just had to bring him home.
I am a cat person and have two indoor cats whom he loves. We never have problems with respect to that...
Anyway, I am learning an awful lot about these amazing dogs from you...keep up the writing and I'll continue to read...

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks everyone and thank you for the nice comment Mila. Interesting story about your greyhound... maybe he needs a blog. :-)