Gable is currently lying next to me on one of his beds, sleeping with his head half off. He is absolutely adorable. I can’t believe that this is only day 3 of having him! He’s such a quick learner and so eager to please. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to hurt a creature such as him. The first day was tough for him as everything everything was new to him. He took to concrete stairs very well, but the house stairs were real tricky for him. I half traumatized him by coercing him up the mandatory steps into our house, and we ended up having to carry him down them initially. Hardwood was no biggie, no big problems marking in the house (bought a belly band in case which came in handy when he peed on his food bowl)and walking him is a cinch.
The moment I carried the bed down the stairs he claimed it for himself. Surprisingly he hasn’t attempted the sofas or beds, a quick and firm “no” or “hey” will deter him very well. Pills were an adventure, but he now allows me to throw them down his throat without much of a fight. He trusts me so much it makes me want to cry.
Mostly it has been a big struggle with him and the crate. He hates it. Mostly it’s because I put him in it when we leave and it’s also in part that it’s a tad small. We’ve been having to battle with separation anxiety with him. Being a racing greyhound it’s highly understandable, but we’ve still been practicing with him with it. He has learned to bark which is interesting because greyhounds don’t bark, generally. He must have learned it from our numerous neighborhood dogs as well as the ones from our jaunt in Petsmart yesterday (which was kind of a disaster). So now instead of whining and crying, he whines, cries, and barks. I’ve decided that since he’s so terrified of the crate, I’d start testing the waters with him out of it.
Food was a huge hurdle last night and this morning. The first day he ate his kibble with rice and chicken without too much fuss, but yesterday night and this morning he barely ate anything. He was also so depressed this morning after barely grazing it, until I gave him cottage cheese which seemed to send him back to his normal self. I was very concerned as he is about 7-10lbs underweight as it is, coming right off the racetrack. If you look at him he looks like one of those dogs from Animal Cops. He was so hungry but wouldn’t eat! I went out today and bought a small bag of Blue Buffalo (been trying to avoid that bc it’s pricey). He was showing signs of incredible hunger when we came home today (anxiety + hungry = not good) so I brought out the bag, sat on the ground, opened it up and fed him 3 pieces tentatively. He ate them! I opened the bag for him to smell and stuffed his head in there and started scarfing. I quickly closed it up and took out his food bowl. He was so excited he ran into his crate (he is horribly frightened of it! My mom speculates that he knows I want him in there and he was trying to be good) and waited until I asked him to come and eat (on second thought, they gave them their food in their crates at the kennel…). When he ate…he ATE, so much so that he choked a little. After that he was content and I am now so relieved. One less thing to worry about.
He is adjusting amazingly well and I love him so much. SUCH a cutie. Still working on the separation anxiety, but he’ll go downstairs and lie on his bed by himself when we’re upstairs. Currently he is still napping next to me. So far I’m the only one who he obeys. :) We’re currently working on “wait” and “stay.” Pack leader, much? haha. Thank you Cesar Millan! His techniques work well. And thank you Blue Buffalo. Such a picky dog. He doesn’t even like the cheap doggie treats.
What’s left to work on? Separation anxiety, to crate or not to crate, other basic commands, mastering the stairs, and socializing. He’s doing pretty well, so I’m planning on taking him to visit my grandparents this coming weekend. It’s hard having been an athlete for 4 years and having to adjust to total retirement. I’m exercising him quite a bit, so hopefully when the testosterone finally wears off he’ll be a nice couch potato. Going back to work tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes.