Rufus T. Firefly Roth

or, an examination of our weekend in pictures.

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Update: Welcome, all 2Blowhards and StumbleUpon readers! Make yourselves comfortable, click around, and enjoy! More Rufus posts here, if you’re interested.

We left the house early Saturday afternoon, both wearing the same “What are we doing?!” expression you see here.

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It was a dark and stormy day.

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Luckily, the Element was fitted with plenty of supplies.

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Rte 22 held many splendors, mostly of the signage variety, which kept us occupied in the heavy traffic.

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But finally, we arrived at our destination! (Sorry, sometimes autofocus isn’t your friend.)

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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.

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One of the happy family, just before we left.

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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.

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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.

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It didn’t hurt that Booda was right there with him.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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With the dolls, of course, as demented-looking as they may be.

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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.

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Aw, who’s a big softie?

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32 Replies to “Rufus T. Firefly Roth”

  1. What a gorgeous creature!!! Love at first sight, I am sure. Wonderful photos Amy!

    Best of luck– we know you will have great joy and happiness together!

    Love,
    Deb

  2. Oh, he is just beautiful! We have such a soft spot for Greyhounds. Congratulations to you and to Rufus! He’s going to be so well loved, I’m sure. 🙂

  3. Hi guys, thanks for the comments! He really is just the sweetest thing — it was definitely love at first sight.

  4. you’re a mommy!!!
    he’s gorgeous
    and the dog is pretty good looking too
    no really, loved this
    happy happy all good
    do you know anything about his past?
    how old is he?

    WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

  5. He’s so sweet!
    (I actually LOVE the toys…Booda!! And that bird is so evil-looking, you KNOW he must speak in the voice of Gilbert Gottfried.)

  6. Oh, Claudia, you’ll be so disappointed in me. We didn’t have dinner at all; lunch was an enormous pizza, so we’re still pretty stuffed. Rufus raced under the name Primco Kabam, so we looked up his record. Not terrible — he placed 3rd in his last race in November — but not great, which explains his retirement at 3 years, I guess. 🙂

    Naomi — I don’t know about the bird (and how dare you speak ill of Gilbert!), but Booda speaks in the voice of Whoopie Cushion. It’s really hilarious when Rufus gets going.

  7. And Tina — thanks SO much for all of your advice/words of wisdom on greyhounds. I hope Gil’s told you how much it’s helped in the decision-making process and even in the last 27 hours or so…

  8. You’re most welcome…I’m glad someone else can benefit from the compulsive greyhound research I’ve been doing for the past 6 months. It gives Brendan a break from having to hear my latest google greyhound factoids (for some reason he doesn’t find them as fascinating as I do; I’ve been banned from googling because he thinks it gives me doggy hypochondria by proxy).
    I am such a huge fan of these dogs. I think everyone should have a grey as a pet!

  9. Amy:

    A part of me is saddened every time I think about the other pups that don’t get into wonderful homes with loving packs like yours. But, then I hear about something like this and my tail wags a little!

    Are you going to be making his kibble? Friends of mine had a Rhodesian Ridgeback that could not eat any commercial food. I used to go over to visit and find one or the other of his ‘rents browning 10 pounds of ground lamb and mixing it with veggies and rice for his meals. Love.

  10. Demo — One of the things he isn’t picky about in the least is food, so I don’t see myself going that route. I’m sure I’ll bake him treats now and then, though; even my sad baking skills can probably handle dog biscuits!

  11. oh, i’m so happy for the three of you! what a sweet dog. his eyes alone…! how could you not fall in love? congrats!!

  12. He’s not the grandchild I wanted, but he is a good looking boy. I am not sure if he takes after Mom or me, but I do climb stairs even though I am afraid of heights. I just hope you teach him to bark in Cajun.

  13. Thanks, Megan! We’re looking forward to many years together!

    Dad, I don’t know about barking, but one thing I can tell you is he definitely eats like a Cajun!

  14. I’ve had a greyhound before, and they are just so wonderful! SO glad you brought him home!

  15. that is awesome! my MIL rescues & fosters greyhounds and they are crazy characters! I love these gentle dogs… God Bless You for taking the time to adopt a greyhound! (get two or three, the more the merrier!)

  16. Thanks, all of you! You know, we’re really the lucky ones here; he’s a wonderful dog. Just the sweetest boy. Our hands are full right now with one, but I can envision the day when we’ll want a little more company. 🙂

  17. I just adopted my second greyhound about 3 weeks ago. Love your pictorial story – that’s exactly how it is. What wonderful dogs! Coming home to my two “kids” everyday is so fantastic! And, you should see them play in the back yard. Enjoy your new friend! Lori, Dempsey & Izzy

  18. Thanks, Bryan.

    Congratulations, Lori! I’ve heard that sometimes it’s easier to have two greys than just one because they keep each other occupied. Has that been your experience over the last few weeks?

  19. I stumbled on this and it made my day. Rescued Gray Hounds make absolutely the best family members. God bless you for adopting the little fellow and I wish all of you the very best of everything.

    Bill

  20. Congrats on the adoption. The adjustment shouldn’t take too long, but if you have any problems the easiest fix is to get another one. I know it seems weird, but my first greyhound had terrible separation anxiety and fear issues. I got a second one three weeks after her and it was a miracle how quickly she got comfortable. I just guess they are used to being around a lot of other dogs.

  21. Love the greyhound adoption story. After a month, they really blossom and any shyness or trepidation generally leaves. I love the goofy fun dogs they become. Thanks for sharing! A greyt site for grey info is greyhoundgang.org

  22. Today’s one month exactly since Rufus joined us and he really has blossomed — he’s showing much more personality and seems to feel completely at home now. I’m sure he’d love a greyhound companion, but we’re not quite ready to take that big of a leap just yet. But down the road, who can say?

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