Tuesday, 19 April 2016

National Adopt a Greyhound Month

Hey! April is Adopt a Greyhound Month and if you follow us on any of our social media, you would know that my mum has adopted a Greyhound within the last year. She adopted Chico, formerly Bailey, on November 20th 2015, so it now has been officially six months of owning her first Greyhound.



Chico was adopted through Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) which is a organisation that helps rescue, and rehome former racing Greyhounds that have retired from the track. One of the main requirements was that the Greyhound we were to adopt needed to be cat safe as my mother owns three. Luckily for us, Chico is so cat safe that he is scared of the cats. Once when we were out walking he even pressed noses with a random cat on our path.


Chico came to us freshly off the track. He hadn't been into a foster home yet, and so therefore everything was new to him. Those first few weeks were difficult to say the least, especially because this was our first experience with a retired Greyhound. Chico spent most of his time hiding from everyone and everything. We were in a state of worry that he would never like us, or his time in a house. We didn't see him wag his tail for weeks, and when we did, it was towards Diego not us. Slowly he started to come out of his shell, and showed signs of things he liked.


Once we were walking him at the river with Diego and suddenly he got a burst of energy and was chasing Diego all around the park and river! He was play bowing, barking and chomping his teeth at Diego. This was the first we had seen of this behaviour from Chico, and we were more than ecstatic. Diego, was a little bit scared of this huge 'horse' flying at him and wasn't sure how to behave so there wasn't a full game played unfortunately.


There has been a heap of challenging moments with Chico, but this has made all small success even more impressive. Chico chewed through my MacBook Pro Charger, which thanks to Apple being Apple, cost a lot to replace. He has chewed into the dry wall near his bed, chewed multiple other cords, tasted the wood of many pieces of furniture, dug himself a couple of holes in the backyard and toileted inside. Thankfully, a lot of those are behind us now.


Mum and Chico moved to Whanganui in January, and therefore I missed a lot of experiences with Chico during that time. I have recently moved up to live with them in Whanganui and the difference in Chico's attitude is extraordinary. He is such a happy dog, he wags his tail when he sees members of our family, he comes when called, and loves treats. Him and Diego play a lot, and chase each other around the backyard and house. Chico even sometimes tries to play with Diego's toys, and will pick up a ball and proudly trot around the house.


Currently, we can have him off leash at dog parks and he will come when called, although mostly it is at his pace not ours. His favourite place is the beach, where he runs full speed up and down the shoreline with Diego tagging along behind. He then will seek out random dogs and try and get them to engage in some sort of crazy activity. I am also teaching him to shake paws to engage his brain and get him used to training. At the moment, we are training it with him standing because I haven't been able to get him used to sitting just yet.


All in all, even though at times it has been truly testing, and for a lot of the time it seemed like he hated us, adopting a Greyhound was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences. Seeing a dog blossom from such a scared and fearsome outlook on life, into a dog that is happy and go lucky is incredible. He is so relaxed during the day, spending a lot of his time sprawled out sleeping, but gets excited and energetic for walk the minute he hears his lead. At first, myself personally, didn't understand the attraction of Greyhounds, but since knowing Chico they have quickly climbed the ranks to be one of my favourite breeds. If you are looking into getting a new dog, or have thought about adopting a Greyhound I 100% recommend it.



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