He is the size of a deer. He has a seizure disorder, a broken ankle that was never fixed, he's missing half his teeth. His medication costs more than our monthly electric bill and has to be given every twelve hours, meaning either JB or I are up early each morning and have to plan ahead for his evening dose. He howls like a wolf several times a night, waking us from a sound night's sleep and he turns his head when we try to give him treats, even chicken. Until this week, he has refused to do his business while on a leash, requiring major planning whenever he is anywhere but in our fenced in backyard.
JB and I did not sign up for all this when I had a dream about a dog named Chase and then there he was on Petfinder, Chase, a six year old retired greyhound who was lucky to be rescued rather than put down. I do not like having a dog who must be on a leash when not in a fenced area because, we're told, he will hit 58 miles a hour in four strides and has no knowledge of traffic and no nose to find his way back home.
The howling has been almost the worse, but Chase's aloofness is the hardest of all. We have been trying to woo him with soft words, body rubs, cookies, comfort. Sometimes he will make eye contact but most often he barely moves. Sometimes he sleeps twenty three hours a day, at least four of those hours the effect of his seizure medication. He will not come when we call him, does not play, rarely wags his tail. Sometimes he just stands there, ignoring us.
We are noticing differences. We can see that you are trying. We are so happy that we've finally found cookies that excite you, that you come for them when we call you. We are so happy you like being scratched under your neck, and don't think we don't know that you are looking at us more; that you come in the den and stay with us each morning while we have our coffee.
This week you traveled with us much more easily. Thank god your bathroom habits have become more flexible. We know you like routine and it's unfortunate you ended up with a family who gallivants more than stays settled. But we'll try to be your routine; us and your dog bed.
You cannot continue to howl at night. A dog behaviorist has made suggestions and you do seem to be doing better. We can handle one howl a night until you figure out you don't need to howl at all. We know you lived in a crate 23 hours a day when you raced, and probably many other dogs howled too. We know you have not had a close relationship with a person or a family and that living in a house with people is totally foreign to you. We know that you have had to learn to live and cope in ways that we cannot even imagine.
Yes we have wondered if we are the right placement for you. Yes the greyhound adoption agency would take you back without question. But no you are not at risk of being sent back. We want this to work.
And this week, for the first time, it seems like you want it to work too. We're glad.
us your family