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  1. Hello! My name is Genevieve and my husband Michael and I have just fostered our first greyhound fresh off the track from Tijuana. Her race name is Boltz but since we're planning on adopting her we've given her the name Xena, after our favorite warrior princess. Michael and I had been wanting a dog for a very long time but until recently we'd been living in apartments with no-dog rules. Then in October we were finally able to buy our first house, a 2k sq ft 2-story with a yard and a pool, which for LA is no small feat! It's super exciting and we are loving this new life. We already had one kitty, an older male named Mr. Tumnus who is my baby. Seriously, I've had him longer than I've known my husband, haha! And more recently we rescued a stray 4 mo old kitten named Westley. We started the process with Fast Friends, a local greyhound adoption agency, back in December but it turned out that adoption rates were high and they ran out of dogs! Last week I got a call from the adoption coordinator that we could come help out with a retirement day and start out fostering with the goal of adoption if we were up for the challenge. My husband and I have had dogs all our lives and I'm an amateur animal trainer so even though we have no greyhound experience, we were definitely up for it. On Saturday we went out to retirement day and got to help freshly retired dogs through the process. They got bathed, nail trimmed, vetted, had their pictures taken, and then went through a small animal test. I saw Boltz/Xena and I immediately fell in love with her. She was so calm and gentle but so eager for affection and loved everyone who came to greet her. I also have such a soft spot for brindles! She also passed her small animal test with flying colors, which was very important for us with our two kitties. At the end of the day we got to take her home and it was magical! It's been very interesting helping a dog learn to be a pet rather than a racing machine but so rewarding and everything is going very well! Tumnus is being a very chill old man cat and Xena is much more scared of him than he is of her (she got swatted by one of the cats during her test, haha) and frankly she's pretty happy just staying out of his way. He rules the house and she seems to have figured that out very quickly! As for Westley, he's still a skittish kitten and he's stayed upstairs which I'm totally fine with. We put a dog gate on the stairs so it's a doggy off-limits area and Westley has had no reason to come down. Eventually we'll get them acquainted and we need to work with him to make sure he won't try to run, but otherwise everything is going great!
  2. Hello! I am so glad this community exists. I have been lurking for a while, but I have a question for you SA experienced greyt parents out there. I have a new rescue, a little girl named Kira that is 2.4. She only ran two races and she was very lucky to be retired early in September First, I want to say that I know this is only day 5 and (after reading this forum) I realize that I have been extremely lucky. She is calm and has even started playing/tail wagging. I have never met a more chill or tolerant dog. I can touch her mouth, paws, ears, and she is okay. She also pees and poos on a leash! We had an issue yesterday that is making me worried...I locked myself out for 1.5 hours (don't ask). She had no radio or stuffed Kong toy. When I got back in she had clawed and chewed the front door. The neighbors said she cried loudly the entire time. No accidents, and it was right before her normal walk. I will have class for 6 hours starting on Monday and we will crate her then. She is on that schedule now and holds it just fine. I'm a bit worried by the crying. I wonder if she hears other people in the apartments around us and feels lonely? Here is a little background information: She was matched to us because we live in an apartment and can only have 1 dog. The organization said she'd be okay alone, that she was very quiet, and didn't seem to be a redecorator. She is socially motivated and not always interested in treats. However, she was not in foster care at the rescue organization. Do to some emergencies, they had to place her in an kennel for two months until we adopted her. The conditions probably were not great and the organization won't ever place a dog with them again. She still has kennel coat, bald patches, and knobs on her elbows from insufficient bedding. She was much more anxious then she had been when they placed her there. She was also attacked by a non grey 2 weeks ago at the kennel. She is healing and okay with me treating the wounds, but she is now terrified of other dogs. Other than getting her spayed, she has not seen a vet since her vaccinations before her transport from Ireland. We are taking her for a work up on Tuesday. Any advice for getting her more comfortable around other dogs? She hides behind me on walks. i am wondering if the kennel or the attack might have triggered anxiety and if she has SA? Otherwise, she isn't a velcro dog. She hangs out on her bed while I am in other rooms. This forum has been great for alone training advice. I put on the radio sometimes when I'm not leaving so she doesn't associate it with being left. I also put on coat and jingle keys, leave for 30 seconds and come right back. I've been careful not to overdue the attention. I tried to get her used to the baby gate last night. She freaked and cried when I used it to quickly clean. She also loudly cried when my husband and I closed the our office door to assemble her crate. We wait until she stops and ignore her until she calms down to not encourage her. It seems to be getting worse. However, no gate or door and she doesn't always want to be in the same room. Any advice in addition to going to square one for alone training? Is this normal for a grey's first week in the house? Is there anything I might have missed? Sorry, still figuring out how to post a pic of her pretty face.
  3. I fostered Kit, a three-year-old female, when she first came off the track in March of this year. She was quite nervous when she came to me and I learned right away that she had a fear of men. As she calmed down, she took a liking to me. She was a sweet, yet more subtly affectionate dog. She always followed me around and she would sit next to me on the couch with her head laying on me. She discovered her love of plush toys and would play all the time. As I was trying to expose her to as many types of people as I could, I learned that she did like women and children. She was actually wonderful with children. From the day that she met my mom's boyfriend's kids (ages seven and nine), she let them hug her and walk her and she would take naps with them. She was really calm and relaxed around my little cousins, too (ages one, five, and seven). I thought that she'd be a great therapy dog for children. By the end of the month, I had made the decision to adopt her. Later that week, while visiting my mom's house, my mom's cat was sitting in a chair when Kit walked up to her and bit her. The cat wasn't injured but after that, I didn't feel comfortable having Kit around the cats. I'd seen how Kit plays with her plush toys and I couldn't risk the chance of her doing the same to my mom's cat. It was hard but I made the decision that Kit needed to be in a home without cats. In April, Kit left me and went to stay in a different foster home. Later that month, I was really regretting my decision to give her up. I asked for her back but the rescue had already promised her to another home. At the beginning of May, our rescue organization had an event. Kit was still with the other foster family and came to the event. I was able to spent the entire day with her, pretending that she was my dog again. We interacted with many different people and Greyhounds and she was not afraid at all. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to her again. Shortly after, Kit went on a visit to her potential home. I had given up on ever getting her back and it crushed me. In early June, I got a phone call telling me that it did not work out with Kit's potential home. I was shocked. I didn't hesitate to take her back. I knew that there was a huge possibility that she could've developed some more behavioral issues after being bounced around but I was just so happy to have her again. I expected that it would take some time for her to open up to me again but I didn't think that she would be a completely different dog. Here's some of the things that have changed since she's been back: - She seems more afraid of men than ever. Whenever my dad and brother return home, she barks at them while avoiding eye contact and backing away. She hides in her crate whenever they come in the room. Before she had left me, she had made so much progress on her interactions with them and would actually walk up to them to be petted but now it is back to square one. - She's now afraid of almost all strangers, including women and children. There are very few people that I've had her interact with since she's been back that she's actually been okay with. - She is now completely terrified of children, including those who she had previously spent a lot of time with. She'll try to get as far away as possible if she's near any. I took her with me to visit my mom's boyfriend's kids and she refused to be around them. She wouldn't even let them get close to her. While the children played outside, she hid in the backseat of the car for the duration of the visit. - When she came back to me, she was almost completely bald on her neck, stomach, and thighs, along with some other bald spots. She had been completely furry when I first got her. - She used to walk really well and she liked to go on walks. She still gets excited when I grab the leash but once she gets outside, she doesn't like to be out there. She freezes (with no obvious trigger) and refuses to walk. - She could now go for days without touching her toys. - One of the things that upsets me the most is that now many days, she acts like she wants absolutely nothing to do with me. She'll spend most of the day just sitting in her crate, in the far corner of the room (instead of on the couch or her dog bed). If she does happen to sit on the couch and if I go to sit next to her, she gets up and leaves. If I try to interact with her she avoids eye contact, licks her lips, and starts panting. She's been back for over two months and she's only laid her head on me once. - Overall, she is just very anxious and lethargic dog now. I did adopt her and I've been working with a trainer but instead of making progress, it seems that Kit is getting worse. For the first month or so, I was just so blissful from having her back but now I am just so upset because I feel like she is a completely different dog than the one I had missed so much. It makes me so sad because I don't know why she has become like this and I feel that nothing that I am doing is making it any better. I just want her to be comfortable again.
  4. Hi everyone! First time Greyhound (and dogs in general) owner here. This forum has been a life saver so far! I was hoping someone could give me some advice about our new grey, Jax. He's 5 years old and just came off the tracks a couple of months ago -- he had a full racing career (174 races!). We brought him home a week ago and he seems to be adjusting wonderfully. He hasn't had any accidents, responds to us well, and seems to enjoy hanging out with us around the house. We have a crate set up for him and he had no problems going in and out of it during the day and sleeping in it all night without complaint. A couple of days ago I got him a new bed to sleep on as well (right next to the crate) and he seems to love it. He exclusively sleeps on that now during the day! Seeing as he is new still, we wanted to keep him in the crate overnight so he can't get into any trouble while we're sleeping. The past couple of days though he hasn't wanted to go into his crate at night -- it's as if he knows we're about to go to bed and doesn't want to. He will go in if I bribe him with a small treat and throw that into his crate. Once he is in with the door closed too he doesn't make a sound, just goes right to sleep the whole night. Basically, my question is whether or not it's ok to be bribing him to get into his crate at night and whether we are doing any harm by doing so. I don't want him to associate the crate with negative things. (Also to note -- his crate is in the living room and he can't see us in the bedroom. We live in an apartment and there is no room in our bedroom to put his crate. He whined the first night and we moved his crate to the hallway where he could see us, but that isn't a permanent solution. As of the second night though he hasn't had any issue. I think he realized we were just down the hall.) Sorry for all the text -- we just want him to be happy and don't want to do anything wrong! Thanks so much for any advice.
  5. I'm considering adopting a 2 and a half year old male greyhound. He had been previously adopted and was relinquished due to his owner being ill. He has been staying with us for over 2 weeks. We are considering adopting him but have a few questions about his behavior. being new to greyhounds I would appreciate your knowledge. When he first came to us he was growling at us that has now subsided. He does growl at my son's dog when she visits. At first I thought this was regarding his bed. He does let her play with his toys. Yesterday he growled at her when I was petting her. Not sure how to handle this? He is also not very affectionate, I think we stress him just petting him. Do you think this will change as he develops a trusting relationship with us? Or do you think this will be his personality? He has many good qualities and I don't want to make the wrong decision about making this his permanent home, but I also want a loving companion.
  6. We have been planning on getting our first greys (two) when I start my summer break at the end of May (I'm a teacher). Now I'm wondering if that is the best time to do it and whether it will make the possibility of SA greater when I return to work in August? Would it be better for the dogs to get them while the school year is still in full swing - taking a weekend and a few days of personal time when they arrive - and then have a long break over the summer? Does it matter?
  7. We are getting ready to adopt our first greys (we want two). One of our local programs trains the dogs with prisoners (basic manners and obedience) for three months and then fosters, the other does not believe in fostering because they feel that it is unfair to ask the dog to bond with a foster family and then take them away and ask them to bond again. We can see valid arguments on both sides. Does anyone have advice about which one is better? Is there a significant difference? Has anyone had issues with a dog who was fostered missing their foster family? We want the best possible start for our dogs.
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