Our second foster dog was a greyhound. This one was a learning curve! Greyhounds are so different to other dogs!
|Time Fostered||3 weeks|
We were a bit nervous about fostering a greyhound. We had zero experience with this breed. We knew they were different from other dogs, but that’s about it. But you never learn anything if you don’t give it a go!
We drove an hour to pick CJ up. We sat down with one of the members of the greyhound group and she walked us through everything we’d need to know and answered all of our questions.
We even got a little booklet to fill in all about CJ. This book would go to the new adoptive family so they could read all about our experience with CJ settling in and how she behaved in different situations. We thought that was an awesome idea.
CJ was friendly and cuddly to us straight away, which was nice. She settled down well in the car and was fine for the 1 hour journey back to her new foster home.
Getting Her Home:
Bringing CJ home was very eventful. The first thing she did was check everything out, and accidentally slipped into the pool. She was super heavy, so it took both of us to get her out. And it was a cold day, so we were all freezing after getting her out.
Then we had to dry her off and spend some time in the sun warming up! This was the first of many experiences where we realised just how clumsy and awkward greyhounds are.
She was so sweet and slotted into our little family easily and very quickly.
Week One: Settling in
CJ wasn’t house trained it seems. When we got her home, we took her straight outside to where she would toilet. She did her business straight away. Turns out she had diarrhoea, so that was a lovely start! But we loved her anyway.
She slept in our room and for the first three nights we got almost no sleep at all. Every time she moved or got up, we jumped up to check if she was simply rearranging or needed to go to the toilet. I did catch her in the act once and we rushed her outside.
She was so sweet though. We were willing to put up with anything.
On her second day, she had an accident inside, so we decided it was best to feed her outside. We spent a LOT of time taking her outside every hour to show her where the toilet was and help her get the idea.
We also fed her regularly throughout the day, as she was race weight and needed to put on a bit of weight.
She had some hair loss, so I bought some coconut oil to rub on her skin as well as sardines to feed to her (that was recommended by the group). She loved both of those things. She also enjoyed grated carrot and roast chicken.
Being a greyhound, she needed extra help to stay warm. I had purchased some dog coats before she arrived, but they were all too small for her. So, I cut the sleeves off some of my clothes to make her a jacket.
This meant we also got a photoshoot in our matching jackets.
Week Two: Getting To Know CJ
CJ was a delight. She was so funny and she was so lazy. She loved to be near us. She was so excited for walks and couldn’t wait for her muzzle to be put on. After about a 10 minute walk, she’d be ready to sleep for hours before her next playtime.
BUT she also tested boundaries. She kept trying to jump on our bed and wake us up at insane-o’clock in the morning, which did NOT amuse one of us at all.
She was also the most cat-like dog we’d ever met. She didn’t care to come when she was called unless there was something in it for her. We took her outside regularly to pee, but we often had to stand there for quite a while before she did it.
She loved coming out to do gardening with me. She even dragged my curry plant out of the pot and tried to blame the wind. That must be some very selective wind, CJ. 🤔
Her snoot found its way into everything, from the bin to the table, to the kitchen bench, to inside the drawers when I opened them, and even inside the fridge and freezer when they got opened. I could barely make it inside the toilet without her snoot following me through the door.
By this time, her dandruff had pretty much completely cleared up. She also really enjoyed the coconut oil massages and she went crazy for sardines.
We found out she was really intense around small dogs, so we had to be extra careful on walks. But we enjoyed playing ball with her in our backyard. She made us laugh so much with her crazy antics.
She also really enjoyed squeaky toys!
Week Three: Trouble
I was falling in love with this dog. I had to keep reminding myself that we were just babysitting her and giving her a holiday. My partner even started feeling jealous of her because I gave her too much attention.
Unfortunately, she had some issues with small dogs. She seemed to want to eat them. She wasn’t aggressive, but she did make way too intense eye contact and lick her lips too much when she was looking at little dogs. Then she snapped at one. No harm was done because she had her muzzle on and we had her on the lead. But of course, we had to tell the rescue group.
When we told the rescue group, they decided it was best for her if she came back to them to work with their expert behaviour team to address her behaviour. The problem for us when walking her was that we had no control over other people’s dogs. And where we live, lots of people walk their dogs off lead. And not all of them have good control over their dogs.
The rescue group could introduce her to various little dogs in a controlled environment and address her behaviour there. They could select the little dogs based on their nature, so she be around calm little dogs as well as crazy ones.
Regretfully, we drove dear little CJ back to the rescue and dropped her off for more training before she could find a home.
On the plus side, we did manage to get her better house trained (hopefully)! And we did have an awesome time with an amazingly beautiful and special doggo.
Honestly, greyhounds are so beautiful, loving, gentle, lazy, and quirky. We loved the experience. It took a bit of adjusting to because she was so different to any other dog we’d experienced. She showed her love for us and her excitement to see us in a different way than other dogs.
I loved her so much and could have easily adopted her. But we decided a greyhound isn’t ideal for our situation as a permanent pet. We do think they’re amazing animals and would definitely foster a greyhound again.
Thanks for the wonderful memories CJ. We won’t forget you!