LET THE DOG PICK THE DOG

by Glenda on May 10, 2013

When I adopted Mr. Beamer in October 2007, I already had three dogs: (Ice an American Eskimo, Daisie Mae, a Chow/Golden mix and Ice’s playmate, and Astro, an older dog that I took in, a superb example of the Heinz 57 breed). Ice, the alpha male, trained Beamer as to his position in the pack. Beamer was fourth in line to the throne!

                   

Ice                                                                          Daisie Mae

What was I thinking? I worked downtown five days a week, sometimes six. Four dogs running loose in my home from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. Did I have “Stupid” tattooed across my forehead? That’s debatable! What sort of damage did I anticipate? Another topic for debate. All I can say is, thank God for doggie doors. Ice, Daisie Mae and Astro were house trained and well behaved. Beamer still had a touch of puppy but, mostly, he toed the line, except the time I caught him dragging my comforter through the doggie door. What a guy! Grounded: No ‘Animal Planet’ for a week!

In 2008, at age fifteen, Astro passed away from cancer. In 2009, at age sixteen, Daisie Mae’s neurological system quit working and I had to put her down. Both took a piece of my heart, wrapped in tears, with them. Now I had two dogs: Ice and Beamer. For over a month, Ice pined for Daisie Mae. It tore me apart, but he did not select Beamer as a replacement playmate. Instead, he preferred to go it alone, or, play with his mom as back up.

Mr. Beamer

Beamer noticed the depletion of doggie breath in the home. He would whine and come to me for hugs and kisses, something he did rarely when there were three other dogs around. Ice played a lot of doggie ‘Solitaire” and ignored Beamer, so I thought I should adopt another greyhound. I was gone from the home nine hours a day, and I was worried that my darling Beamer would get lonely. Unlike Ice, who was self-sufficient, Greyhounds, who have never been alone while racing, can be discriminatory when it comes to roommates, and some don’t do well as an only dog for long periods.

Every Sunday morning when I did turnout with my friend Griseldis, I would check out the new females coming into the kennel. One Sunday in April 2010, there was Annie, a petite dark brindle gal, a little shy, but yearning to be loved. I fell instantly in love; sure that Beamer would welcome her with open paws. A touch of arrogance on my part, perhaps, assuming that my boy would automatically be pleased with my selection for his new roommate. You might be right.

Anabel

I took Annie home and introduced her to Beamer. Have you ever met a boss’s wife who gives you the once over and then ignores you? That was Beamer – for eight months, he completely ignored Annie or Anabel as I called her. Ice was impervious, after all, his true playmate was irreplaceable, so….

However, sweet Anabel played it smart. I suspect she had a touch of Southern in her nature. She wasn’t pushy, but in the mornings, she would try to encourage Beamer to play. He was having none of it. I would try to make it up to her by giving her extra attention. Wow, this did not go over well with Beamer who would pout. Give me a break. Now I have a teenager on my hands!

Finally, it dawned on me, Let these dogs figure it out. I needed to stay out of the way. For several months, I watched Anabel schmooze Beamer and, in response, Beamer would turn up his nose. I went on with my life as if Beamer and Anabel was a happily married couple – knowing full well, they were not. It was slowly killing me!

In December 2009, several religious holidays converged. Enveloped in a feeling of peace, warmth, and love for all creatures, two or four-legged, the sense of peace was most important. As the holidays approached, Anabel had been living with us for eight months.

I awoke to a growl. On instant alert, I  leaped – well actually, that’s not quite accurate – I awkwardly clambered out of bed to investigate. There was Anabel and Beamer romping in the living room. Glory be, I never thought I’d see the day. Anabel, smart little darling that she is, had schmoozed Beamer and kissed his – you know what – sufficiently that he was now prepared to accept her as his playmate. I thanked the greyhound angel for bringing this about.

Had I taken Beamer with me to do turnout that morning, maybe he would have let me know whether Anabel was a suitable companion. As it turned out, eventually she was, but … who knows which dog he would have chosen, if any. Perhaps he would have preferred to be an only dog, like Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and Momma’s little darling without competition from a pert brindle gal.

What did I learn from this experience? If you plan to adopt a greyhound, and you have another dog at home, regardless of breed, please take your current dog to check out the new dog. You may want a black dog, a red dog, or a brindle, but our greyhound cares less about color – he or she is only interested in smell and sense. If your dog picks his/her roommate, life will be mostly sunshine. If you select a dog based on your preference, whether it is color, size, gender, age, etc., and you don’t include your dog in the selection process, don’t be surprised if your greyhound turns up its nose and rejects the new dog.

While many greyhounds prefer the company of another dog, and not necessarily a greyhound, some greyhounds have acclimated to being the anointed hound of the house and don’t want to share his/her throne.

As I said, it’s best to let the dog pick the dog.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

brenden February 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

THats not a goldenretriever and chow mix, thats a great Pyrenees mix with a golden retriever

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