Sunday, November 7, 2010

Who Is She

There is just so much to write about with Katie's passing, Riley's competitions, and Seven's early training. I will just have to rotate subjects. I have so much training video on Seven that I need to share. But first, who is she?

Since Reagan became a house dog, I really missed having two greyhounds to train, but I was stuck on thinking we should not have more than six dogs at a time (I have three and my husband has three I rarely write about). I rationalized that four of our six greyhounds were 10 - 12 years old, so I did not think it was likely we would have seven dogs for years to come. How unfortunately right I was.

Once I had a discussion with Stephen and he agreed, I started looking immediately. I had remembered seeing an email about a failed small dog test so I searched my deleted files to see which dog in our adoption kennel it was referencing.

"NOT AT ALL TOLERANT. Would have killed dachshund if given half a chance!"

Some of you may wonder why I would want such a greyhound, but in my experience, I love greyhounds with high prey drive and high food drive. I looked up the greyhound - "Escape Hatch", a 2 year old female. Dang it, another brindle, but color does not matter.

I visited the kennel to check out Escape's sit and food motivation. She was wild and a terrible jumper putting her feet all over me. She was instantly attracted to the treats in my pocket and was easy to lure into a sit. I left feeling that she was worth a second look. I asked my screening and placement committee if they had any potential applicants for her. They did not and gave me their blessing to keep looking at her.

On my second visit, I took Escape for a walk with Riley, my parents, and their three small dogs. Escape was extremely interested, but an hour of exposure was good for her. I felt comfortable unmuzzling her on the next walk. She was also more that willing to eat treats and offer sits in this new environment.
I absolutely did not want another greyhound that hates my van. In fact, I want one that falls asleep like Riley does while traveling. So my last test before agreeing to foster Escape, was to drive to Atlanta and back. She did awesome and fell asleep on the interstate.

Initially, I thought I was going to pass on Escape because she has a softer temperament than I was hoping for and has some anxiety I discovered once getting her home (more on that in another post). But she is extremely food motivated, intensely focused already, seems to have the mental endurance for long training sessions and repetitions, and a comfortable sit. I have really been wanting a good, comfortable sit for obedience and I think I may have it this time.

I would have liked to have fostered Escape for a couple more weeks, but my hand was forced when they had an adoption applicant ask to see her. I could not let her go so I adopted her then and she is now known as Seven.

Seven's racing career was unspectacular like most two year old greyhounds available for adoption. She ran at Ebro a few times before moving to the dead end Jefferson County Kennel Club track. We refer to it as the arm pit of the racing world. She did break her maiden, but it is her only first place race finish. She then started figuring out how to get her muzzle off in the starting box so her last several races note that she is either running without a muzzle or with the muzzle hanging. The last interesting note is that our three brindles, Stacker, Riley, and Seven, all have the same birthday - June 28th. Sure makes it easy to remember.