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In Nw Arkansas, But From Florida...i Call It "temporary Assignment


Guest FloridaGirl
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Guest FloridaGirl

Hey everyone! I've been lurking the boards for the better part of a few months doing my research and considering making an adopted grey a part of my little life. I just wanted to say how greytful (!) I am for this resource and all of you for being such amazing, informative, and kind people.

 

Please enjoy my long, long story!

 

I am on what I like to call "temporary assignment" here in Arkansas working on my master's degree (it's probably not going to be as temporary as all that, but it gives me hope that I'm not stuck here forever). I'm originally a Florida native, like my father and his father before me. Everything about the state is in my veins, and I sure do miss the clear, deep springs! Anyway, my passion in life is resource interp (essentially, park-rangering) and I needed to find a place I could live while I completed my degree - hence the voyage to Arkansas. Now I'm settled in for the long haul - this isn't going to be a quick process...I haven't been in academia in..........well, we won't say how long.

 

I have never been a "dog" person, and I seem to find myself most joyous around horses, bunnies, and other herbivores. (I even have two house rabbits, both rescues - Rory just turned 10y and Fiver is now 7y old) However, every time I met a greyhound I got a completely non-dog vibe (well, most of them - some of them were just as wiggly and silly as a lab). I've been curious about them for years since I met my first ex-racer while managing a vet clinic back home. I immediately started doing research on the breed, and specifically ex-racers. I was hooked. The more I met, the more it encouraged me to pursue adopting one. Of course, divorce happens, life gets a massive upheavel, and it takes years to get back on your feet. But the bunnies stuck with me, as did my desire to find the right grey for me. And it wasn't in the cards until now.

 

I'm in a space in my life where I am not going to be going anywhere for a while, and I have a TON of extra time on my hands (research papers won't read themselves...BUT WHY?) and also a TON of extra love to give (in my own quiet way). I'm no social butterfly, so I often find myself alone when I'm out and about. While I don't mind this (again, not a social butterfly) I would love to share my life with a grey...if I could find one who fits right in with my "lets wander down a trail and find a nice quiet spot to read this paper" personality.

 

I have been in contact with my nearest adoption group (4.5 hours away!) and they approved me for adoption. They are fully aware I have house rabbits, and I have had them around all sorts of dogs in the past - even two greyhounds who were way more interested in their people than the boring rats in the pen. I know it takes a special kind of dog to see a rabbit and go "meh", so I knew this was going to be a process. Of course, there are NEVER plans to ever have them together and loose in the same room (managing a vet clinic, I heard too many "they were fine until" stories). And I know that few, if any, adoption groups will test their greys with small animals unless they're fostered with them. However, I knew that cat-testing would help me at least weed out the ones with extremely high prey drives. With the adoption group, I made sure to clarify exactly HOW they cat-test, and it's actually extremely thorough. And they don't approve a dog as cat-friendly unless they show absolutely zero interest in the kitty at all times.

 

So I made the trip on Valentine's Day to go meet some potential new friends. It was like a blind date! We had four different lads that were cat-approved, but I had my eye on a black older (5) male. The first lad I met was extremely worrisome, shy, and anxious. He was nice, but he kept running from EVERYTHING. Alas, he was not for me.

 

Then, I met Claymore, the black male, and I felt a very strange thing - a connection? He was cool, calm, and collected. I pet him, watched him react to a particularly weird situation of "wait is that a possum oh god it's a possum" in an interested but not frantic fashion, and generally just let him walk around me while I got his vibe. I liked him, definitely. However, I wanted to meet the other lads, just to get an idea. I didn't want to fall in love with a dog just because of how he looked, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing that.

 

After Claymore, I met a SUPER HIGH ENERGY BLUR who was really hilarious but definitely not my type. I know plenty of people who will love this dog because he was such an insane guy, but he was not for me either.

 

Finally, I met what I called a zero-to-sixty-to-zero dog. He started off like a blur, but then shut down and was calm and loving, but then unpredictably exploded into craziness again. I then found out why - he was only 2, still a puppy, and still not quite sure how to gather his thoughts yet. Another lovely dog, but I couldn't imagine him in my life. I asked to see Claymore again.

 

He came out and just wandered over to me like "Well, it's a pleasure to see you again, ma'am." I pet him all over and he chattered happily. I also apparently found the scritch-spot on his chest and he did the thing horses do when you find the right spot - that neck stretching staring off into space face. I felt comfortable enough to squat down next to him (which is something I'm always afraid to do with dogs because I have glasses - for some reason squatting at their level makes them go right for knocking the glasses off with nose-bonks). He reacted with interest, but with a lack of nose-bonks. I suprised myself when I gave him a close hug, and he leaned in and chattered some more. He was so calm and collected I fell in love. I then stood and began talking to the adoption volunteer and she just couldn't say enough lovely things about him. He had been there longer than any dog (except for another GORGEOUS sleek black male with amber eyes, but a no-go since he wanted to eat cats). That fact was originally was a concern of mine, and I asked about it because this dog was as close to perfect as I could ask any dog to be. They had no idea either, and their guess was that it was just because he was 1) black and 2) graying in the face so he looked older. As we were talking, he did the final thing that made me decide he was The One - he wandered over a few paces and laid down in the sand, completely content on his own. This dog was not acting like a dog, this dog was acting like a horse, and that's how my brain translated him and it gave me a lovely joyous feeling. I also thought he was the most handsome dog I've ever seen, and I've seen a few!

 

So my name is on Claymore, and (weather pending) I am going to make the hike back over to West Memphis this Saturday to sign the papers. My house is all prepared, reorganized, and I only have a wee bit more shopping to do (food, treats, etc). I know this is going to be a lovely challenge for Claymore and me, and even though our first meeting was dreamy, I'm certainly not idealizing him. It's just like any relationship - it could easily not be in the stars just because the first date was a good one. But I'm staying positive, and that's all I can do until we start working on bonding and training. I've definitely seen my share of dog issues and I've done a LOT of research, on this site especially, on what sort of issues are most likely to confront me with bringing him home. I know I cannot really assume anything about his true personality until we've been together for a while, but from what I've seen, I think we may be at least starting from a very good place. :)

 

I will post more when I get him, but until then, thank you for being here and letting me share my story!

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And what a beautiful story it is too!

 

I do so hope it works out for you and Claymore, and can't wait to hear more about him and, of course, see pictures.

 

Incidentally, my first greyhound showed no interest in house rabbits at all. :bunny

SunnySophiePegsdon.jpg

When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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Guest normaandburrell

I think you are going to love Claymore! He sounds a lot like our first grey, who was also a black male and a little older. They do have a harder time finding homes. He too was very laid back. I too had horses prior to having greys and I loved his horsey mannerisms. We had him for 6 years before he passed. We couldn't wait to get another.

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Congratulations! I've adopted 8 greyhounds over the years from MSGAO, my first 4 were black.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Hope it all works out. My DH never had a dog growing up but now we have 3 greyhounds. It's amazing how we bond with them and how deep the love grows.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest FloridaGirl

Ahhh I am so excited! Thank you everyone for the kind words! I've got everything ready...I am so looking forward to bringing him home Saturday.
I didn't take any pics when I was there on V Day, but here are pics from MSGAO's adoption site (he's actually darker than he looks in the pics, but he still has that lovely gray face). Doesn't he just LOOK like a distinguished gentleman? :

 

Greyhound_Kelsos_Claymore-_2big.jpg

 

Greyhound_Kelsos_Claymore-_3big.jpg "Is that a new Reader's Digest on that chair?"

Edited by FloridaGirl
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Ah, he's lovely and so was your post. I'm at the same stage you are--after much research about to get my first--although I'm coming from the opposite direction. I'm a long-standing dog person, drawn to their calm dignity, but afraid they may be too aloof. But while researching the breed, fell in love with a higher-energy lurcher. I actually wanted a black and love the look of yours.

 

There may be some rocky times, but he should be a great reading companion.

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Claymore is quite the looker -- lovely lines. May you -- including the bunnies -- have many, many happy years together.

Since he'll have a long car journey for his first trip with you, you may want to line his part of the vehicle with a shower curtain or plastic trash bags or something. Just in case he gets nervous or car sick. Barf/diarrhea happens.

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Ellen, with brindles Milo and Jeter, and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Guest FloridaGirl

Thank you, EllenEveBaz! And I definitely know what a car ride can make happen - from both ends! I found a hardy (and washable!) seat cover for the trip (and other trips in the future). They're also going to fast him that morning to cut down on that possibility so hopefully if any explosions do happen it will be mitigated. I am crossing my fingers, definitely!

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:welcome2 As you've already found out, this board is just fabulous. No matter the question, a GT'er will have a suggestion or answer. Claymore sounds like our Sarge, who was a very laid back fawn boy. He was absolutely bombproof and totally at ease just sleeping 23 hours a day.

 

Where in NW AR are you? I'm right over the MO/AR line at Hwy 65. Our property actually touches the AR state line.

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My husband's band plays in a bar over that way called Shirley's. I haven't been in there. Springdale and Fayetteville are sooo busy compared to our house in the boonies. You're probably about an hour and half from where we are. We've been over your way a couple times hitting flea markets and just being amazed at what all is there. So many cars - my mouth just hangs open when we sit at a busy intersection - we have 8 acres at the end of a dead end, so the only cars and people we see are the ones that are lost, and delivery people.

 

Such a different world from me and only an hour and a half away! I think your areas is even busiers than Springfield, MO, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away from us.

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Guest FloridaGirl

cmc33 - Yeah, what drives me nuts about this place is that there are TOO MANY PEOPLE and NO apparent reason why they're here. I grew up between a small rural town of 700 and a city of 1 million, but the traffic here is much worse than anything I ever saw back home. My theory is that the area ballooned in population too fast for the infrastructure. One of the zillion reasons I don't plan on staying here permanently! I like being able to drive out of town, though! My dream is to go back to that small town I come from and do good things for it...and also live out in the boonies. I am a huge fan of that particular locale. :P

 

TheFullHouse - Thank you! Your family is lovely as well! I can't get over Bandita's luxurious brows!

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Claymore is beautiful. I love his ears. My adoption story of Annie isn't quite as involved as yours, but very similar in that I waited a couple of decades before the time was right to adopt and I *knew* Annie was for me. I too like quiet, calm dogs that can be alone if necessary but also like car rides and visiting friends. Annie was/is like that and thankfully she picked me. I'm sure she felt my need for calm and quiet in my life.

 

I bet Claymore will do great on the ride home. It is a long way, but it will give you time to have nice conversations with him. :) No food is probably good, but I'd bring along water, though on my car trips, Annie will drink nothing until we arrive at our destination. I'd also bring a couple of blankets or a big comforter so he can make a comfy bed.

 

There are always adjustments and they are all different. Some go crazy, wanting to see and sniff everything. Some, like Annie, settle in cautiously, don't show much curiosity and can take months to understand the new home is the forever home, but being sweet during the adjustment. Annie is a doll. She's never gone into the garbage, surfed counters or shown more than a sniffing interest in the cat.

 

Bet you can't wait until Saturday!

 

 

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