Six Weeks of being a Greyhound Family

Asleep with her favourite toy

Six weeks ago, a retired racing greyhound trotted into our family’s life. She has basically slotted in as if she has always been here, although sofa space is at a bit more of a premium these days. It’s amazing considering how many new things she has had to learn about: stairs, TVs, washing machines, children, etc. However, the outside world is still a little concerning to her.

Things that are terrifying, according to our greyhound:

  • buses
  • lorries
  • plastic bags blowing in the wind
  • all spaniels

It’s also been a steep learning curve for us. We have had to work out exactly how high she can reach and what things need to be kept out of her way. It’s like when a baby starts to crawl or walk and you suddenly have to toddler proof your house and move everything up. Except a greyhound is a 30+kg former athlete with a full set of teeth so it’s a bit more of a challenge. Things that might have been food and needed to be checked for tastiness, according to our greyhound:

  • several clothes pegs
  • a pizza box
  • an empty Amazon box
  • a spoon
  • a scouring pad
  • many garden shrubs
  • the straps on two muzzles
  • a new pair of sunglasses
  • a Fidel Castro cap

The straps of the muzzles were particularly embarrassing. People conspicuously avoid you, if you are walking along with a muzzled dog. This is doubled if the dog is wearing a muzzle repaired with cable ties (while the replacement is on order) so it appears that she has tried to bite her way out of her muzzle. She basically looked like a canine Ronnie Kray.

I was keeping her muzzle on because she didn’t really believe that any dog smaller than a West Highland terrier is a dog. A racing greyhound will only meet other greyhounds so other breeds of dog are a new experience. Each new specimen of small dog was sniffed closely until she was convinced that they are actually a fellow dog. Unfortunately, the smaller dogs sometimes objected, or occasionally their owners did, and scared her, which could be nasty for all parties. Now, she has had enough time to learn that dogs come in many sizes, we can trust her to go muzzle free.

Allergy Wizard summed up how we feel about our new greyhound, when he said “Things are funner around here now we have a dog.”

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4 thoughts on “Six Weeks of being a Greyhound Family

  1. Hello. As a new owner of a retired racing greyhound I’ve been looking for other people on the same path. We’re in Australia, not the UK, but I’m a former Pom. A lot of what you’ve talked about rings bells; Mouse is quiet, reasonably calm except when food’s in the offing, travels well (even eagerly), has been on a caravan holiday with us, and is fun and affectionate as well as being excellent company for me during the day. I’ve had spinal surgery and can’t work any longer, and his short walkies is what gets me and my aching back out of the door for the exercise we both need. Oh, and I come from a neurodiverse family (one high functioning autism, one Aspergers as well as a few of us who prefer not to be labelled), I was misdiagnosed as a coeliac for 10 years, and I’m a good GF baker (but with the dairy and eggs). I’ve started following you, so I hope we can share a greyt deal of information on our beloved hounds…

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    1. Thanks for getting in contact. I have followed you back as we have so much in common. I look forward to hearing about Mouse and your family.

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