Done racing: the early stages of re-homing a retired greyhound.


WP_20160224_11_54_39_ProThose of you who read this blog regularly may know that about two months ago we ( hubby and I) adopted our second retired greyhound, Daisy. She’s a blue brindle and will be four years old in May.

In the two months we’ve had this cuddly little madam… and oh boy does she love her cuddles, she has established herself very firmly in our family.

All dogs are different and Daisy is completely different to Misty, our previous greyhound who sadly passed away last September.  Whereas Misty was quite chilled, into blogging and listening to music, Daisy is hyperactive, has shown no interest in blogging on here whatsoever and doesn’t seem to appreciate my taste in music.

Misty was quiet and rarely spoke to us…Daisy never shuts up. Misty was more than happy to just chill , sleeping on her various beds…Daisy wants to know what we’ve got planned, when we’re doing it and are we there yet?

So, two very different dogs and both as lovely as each other.

Daisy has settled in well and has developed quite a taste for mobile phones, glasses and false teeth.  Fortunately, when she got hold of my mobile phone she didn’t hurt herself…the same could not be said for the phone though. Click here to find out how easy it was for me to replace/upgrade.

Hubby will have his home eye test next week and then he will be able to order new glasses and give the wonky pair to Daisy to wear. As for his teeth…he doesn’t plan to share them with Daisy again, anytime soon. Her own teeth are just fine.

As greyhounds spend all of their time in the company of other dogs and people, we were keen to get her into the habit of being home alone. We spent the first two weeks putting our coats on and then taking them off. Putting our shoes on and then taking them off. Taking our clothes off and then going out. . Putting our clothes on and staying in. Then going outside for a few minutes, getting soaked to the bone and then returning to a somewhat confused, sniggering dog.

And as any responsible dog owner knows dogs soon learn our routines. They learn to recognise when you put your coat and shoes on and associate it with you going out. So, hence the taking the clothes off thing. What dog in their right mind would associate you suddenly appearing in the room in the nude, with you taking a trip out? It’s all clever stuff.

We got brave and went to the local convenience store in the village. So confident were we that Daisy was adjusting to the home all alone thing , that we never broke into a run around the shop…not once. Honestly! Okay…we’ve never been around the store so quickly in our lives.

We arrived home to a rather chilled dog.

We became even braver and went out for a meal at our local pub, We shovelled the food in and drained our glasses extra fast.

We arrived home to an okay dog.

Then one Sunday lunchtime, just as the Yorkshire pudding was calling to me, we left the house to hear howls. Then the barking began and more howling followed. We went back into the house to a dog that was not okay with being home alone anymore.

We think something had spooked her and so now, as is often the case with children potty training, we are back to base one. No, we’re not potty training the dog…we’re trying to rid her of her separation anxiety.

So it’s back to:

  • Putting our coats and shoes on and sitting down for a read.
  • Going out and congregating outside the gate…for no apparent reason.
  • Leaving the room and coming back in again
  • And going out and coming back in
  • Taking our shoes off
  • Sitting down and standing up
  • Standing on one leg
  • Taking our clothes off and going and sitting in the car for a few minutes
  • Coming back in and ignoring the dog
  • Waiting for the dog to calm down, before calmly putting our clothes back on and cuddling her (surprisingly, this can sometimes take quite a while.)

I’m pretty sure that these tactics will pay off eventually. I’ve read all the books, researched it on the internet and even written about it. I’m not too sure about the taking off the clothes bit , but it confuses the hell out of Daisy and momentarily stops her in her tracks. Hubby struggles to walk too far these days and to be honest it takes up most of our day getting undressed and dressed again. But, if it settles the dog and enables us to go the pub and get absolutely off our heads at some point in the future, it will be all worthwhile.

We’re also still having the occasional little woopsies , by the kitchen door…and sometimes Daisy wets there as well! She is very vocal when she is barking at her reflection in  the mirror in our bedroom, but suddenly goes quiet when she needs to pee. She has a certain walk that she does, but unless you witness it ( and once you’ve seen it you never forget it) you’re stuffed and a reservoir appears in front of the door. The doormat has never been washed so much and the floor is so clean… that Daisy just has to pee on it..again!

On a more positive note, Daisy has mastered the stairs and bounds up them, like I should imagine an earthquake  would hit. She walks very well on the lead…even with me, who is unable to walk in a straight line to save my life. Other dogs are quite happy to approach her and she is making friends. I’ve actually managed to train her to give me her paw for cleaning, after walks. This did not involve the removal of garments.

For any  would be greyhound adopters out there, don’t be put off by the peeing, the removal of clothes, or the getting legless in the pub. It is actually all good fun. When our little puppy (she weighs in at around 28kg) needs a cuddle, or a play, it makes up for the mobile phones, teeth and glasses. We wouldn’t change a thing…even if we spend the rest of our lives semi-dressed and never socializing ever again. Being friendly with folk is highly over rated. Why do that when you can stay home, rolling around the floor with a dog that likes to wear your glasses and false teeth?

Next week we will move the training up to the next level and begin to move from the back gate and slowly circle the house. Let’s hope it isn’t raining…it could be quite a chilling experience.

You may get to hear about this in the media as we may well get arrested for trying to rid our dog of separation anxiety. The powers that be just don’t understand…do they? We dog lovers will do anything to help them…even if it scares the hell out of the neighbours.

So, this is our first two months with Daisy. The training continues and she continues to adapt very well to life as a much loved pet, that just won’t be separated from her mobile phone and glasses. She knows what she likes.

I’ll keep you up to date on our progress and thanks for reading.

Dorne x






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