or, an examination of our weekend in pictures.
We left the house early Saturday afternoon, both wearing the same “What are we doing?!” expression you see here.
It was a dark and stormy day.
Luckily, the Element was fitted with plenty of supplies.
Rte 22 held many splendors, mostly of the signage variety, which kept us occupied in the heavy traffic.
But finally, we arrived at our destination! (Sorry, sometimes autofocus isn’t your friend.)
And after some paperwork and a lot of chatting/Q&As with the operators, we finally had Rufus all to ourselves for the ride home! In our research into greyhounds, we learned that they love plush toys and think of them as a security blanket, so we brought Booda with us and Rufus took to it immediately.
One of the happy family, just before we left.
He did ok on the ride home and enjoyed watching the other cars go by instead of napping as we expected. We introduced him to our home one room at a time so he wouldn’t get overwhelmed by the experience. Greys are pretty different from other breeds in ways we’ll come to know much better over time, but one of the most significant differences is that they have no experience whatsoever with a home environment.
So when we ate, we put up a baby gate to keep him out of the room. He didn’t mind at all.
We bought him a really comfy crate liner which you see above and a proper bed, which he doesn’t love nearly as much, but will deign to use when the mood strikes.
It didn’t hurt that Booda was right there with him.
Another challenge greyhounds can face (especially in this house) is dealing with their reflection. Rufus enjoys looking at his reflection when he can get right up to the mirror, but not so much when he’s forced to be a few feet away. The direct eye contact is threatening and he starts to growl, which is pretty alarming from such a quiet breed. We’ve since blocked all of the mirrors that were giving him trouble.
But by far, the biggest challenge has been stairs. All of the books and websites we’ve read make a special point of explaining that greyhounds have never encountered stairs, aren’t built to negotiate them, and take some time getting used to them. He doesn’t mind (relatively speaking) going down the stairs, but getting him back up is enormously difficult. He freezes at the bottom of the stairs and plants his feet, refusing to move. Not a big deal (maybe) with a 40-pound female, but our boy is a very strong and very heavy 78 pounds, which isn’t much smaller than me.
We’ve put adhesive strips on the stairs to give him some traction, but will have to install a runner this week. Sometimes that makes all the difference.
He’s getting used to our yard, too, and enjoys his trips outside even with the stairs-induced trauma. But it’s exhausting. Because the only real possession greyhounds have ever had is their crate, it’s a very comforting environment for them. Rufus is no exception, and recuperates there from his stairs experiences.
With the dolls, of course, as demented-looking as they may be.
Safe and secure again, he has no trouble falling asleep. They can nap for 14-16 hours a day, often with their eyes open, which is kind of freaky.
Aw, who’s a big softie?