Monday, 8 April 2013

Monkey makes his mark

As you are aware our last greyhound, Winnie, sadly died just before Christmas and this weekend we finally set off for Crossing Cottage Greyhound Sanctuary having, of course drawn up a picture of our ideal forever hound.

At Crossing Cottage John and Judith work very hard at pairing up the right people with the right greyhound. Before you visit you can go on their website and view the dogs that need rehoming. There are a great many details on this resource from whether the dog is shy through to the best age for the children to be in the new home.

We spent several days constructing our shortlist of attributes we wanted our next greyhound to possess in order for us to live harmoniously together. We printed out the details of more than a dozen dogs and then each of us went through the details and narrowed the dozen down to not only our favourites but also the ones that we felt wouldn’t cause too much disruption in the home.

Here is a rough idea of our shortlisted criteria: Female, Winnie was such a sweet-natured girl, black or blue, Winnie was a pale fawn colour so we wanted to get a contrast so as not to be reminded of her too much.

Also we wanted a greyhound familiar with a home environment, one  that was comfortable with the smells, sights and sounds of domesticity and would fit in without too much stress – for us or the animal - and was comfortable with teenagers.

If you followed Winnie’s blog you will also be aware that the she gave us all names: MOTH is me, the man of the house, well in name anyway. LOTH is Elaine, the lady of the house, mum to everyone else. GOTH is girl of the house, Caitlin, and BOTH is boy of the house 14-year-old Tom.

Anyway, MOTH, BOTH and LOTH duly trotted off to Crossing Cottage – GOTH was on bridesmaid duties – armed with an exact specification of what was wanted.

That’s when Monkey upset the applecart.

You can plan all you want, but you can never factor in love at first sight.

While we were looking at the first pair of dogs in the kennels I felt a tongue on the back of my hand and looked down to see a brown – all right – foxy, ginger rump disappear into the sheltered part of the kennel.

We asked Judith if we could take him out for a walk. Yes, you read that right HIM.

We took Monkey along the path and when we turned again to return to the kennels he just stopped and dug his paws in as if to say ‘do I have to.’

We coaxed him back and he was returned to his run. We looked across and for a split second he looked back – then turned on his heels and vanished.

We went to John and Judith and asked about his background.

He had only been at Crossing Cottage since February 4 and was quite aloof as he was very nervous and shy having just finished racing due to a pulled muscle. He had only lived in kennels but was very clean. He had very little confidence and needed to be taught how to enjoy love and cuddles.

Monkey would need a lot of attention, patience and love to bring out his personality.

If you have a minute, go back to the beginning and look at what we set out to find.

GOTH was sent a picture of Monkey – the wonders of the modern world – and added her approval. So the deal was sealed. Not only sealed but done and dusted and instead of going to Crossing Cottage and seeing what there might be for us to pick from at our leisure we brought our new family member home with us.

We were not prepared as we had no lead, and nothing for him to lie on in the car. The house was without a doggy-thing, all having been washed and bagged up the day we lost Winnie. So we arrived home with a hound that didn’t know what a house even was and was very frightened of us and everything around him.

I took him straight in to the garden for the toilet while LOTH and BOTH got everything we needed out of the garage. After he had done his business we had a spot of grooming and then tried to tempt him into the house. He was very reluctant and I had to put his lead on to enable me to get him up the step and in.

He hadn’t been fed since breakfast at 6.30am so we tried him with food but he wasn’t having any.

We went for a couple of walks with the muzzle on, as we had no idea how he would react to who and what he saw while out. Hopefully, the muzzle will be a temporary feature as he seems to dislike it intensely and wasted no time in letting me know by belting me between knee and groin every chance he got.

He also decided that he needed to emphasise his irritation even more by stepping behind me and bringing his head up between my legs every few minutes. A shortening of the lead soon stopped this.

Bedtime arrived and after another visit to the garden and then into an almost sleepless night as I waited for the trouble to start. I needn’t have worried. Monkey was silent throughout the night and come this morning the kitchen was both still there and still spotless.

We’ve had two walks today, again with the muzzle as I will be concerned at Monkey’s response to cats until we have a close encounter of the furred kind and I know what I need to do to keep him safe. He's had his first meal with us this afternoon

As I write on my netbook he is asleep on his bed at my feet. He is interested in all the noises around him and his ears prick up at every new sound. He is still unable to meet your gaze but we are in the same room.

And so our adventures with Monkey the greyhound begin.


Sarge said...

Wow, I'm so very very happy for all of you! I was saddened at the loss of sweet Winnie, but this will be a wonderful pack and I know you'll have tons of adventures and love in your future. Some things are meant to be...planning or not! BOL CONGRATS to all of you and I can't wait to follow your journey.
Grr and Woof,
Sarge, COP

Corbin said...

Monkey is a handsome fella! And, I assure you, he will be a fantastic addition -doncha know, Monkey is my nick name?? Can't go wrong with a Monkey! Wishing you the best of luck as you both learn how to navigate the world together. Congrats!
-Corbin, the Monkey dog

Sue said...

I am so thrilled that Monkey found you:) I had to smile at him being everything you said you weren't looking for:) Thing you forgot is when the right hound finds you, that's all that matters.

I know ytou will give him a loving home.

I am so looking forward to hearing how he settles in.

Moneky, Happy Gotcha Day for yedterday. Now your life will be as it should be. Hugs Sue & Polly

Casey said...

I'm so glad to hear that you have opened your hearts and home to another pup in need! And Monkey definitely sounds like he needs you. It's so very rewarding to see the ones who truly need your help blossom into the wonderful dogs they're meant to be. Hurray for Monkey, finding his most pawsome furever home!!

Anonymous said...

Well give Monkey a great big welcome to his new forever home, and we hope the Blogville adventures. Looking forward to hearing about his getting to know life and you guys learning HIS WAYS!

The Mad Scots

George The Lad said...

Hi Monkey, you have fell on your paws ;) looking forward to your adventures
Have a Good week
George xxx

What Remains Now said...

HURRAY! HURRAY! HURRAY! I'm so happy for Monkey and the whole family. I can't wait to hear more. I imagine Winnie is smiling down on you all.

chicamom85 said...

Welcome Monkey! I can't wait to read of your adventures. Sometimes things are meant to be.

Loveys Sasha

gyeong said...

Super Duper Congrats! The best laid plans. He looks like a real sweetheart. It will be even more special as he comes out of his shell.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Monkey! Welcome to your new home! You're going to love it.

What a handsome guy.

Elyse and Riley

Amber DaWeenie said...

Oh I'm so happy to hear about Monkey. Can't wait to hear more about him. Bet he'll settle in quickly and it'll seem like he was always there.


tubby3pug said...

How wonderful! I am so happy for all of you.

urban hounds

Hiking Hounds said...

Yay, congratulations on your new family member! Monkey is a very lucky boy. It sounds like he likes you too with how he licked your hand and didn't want to go back to his kennel on his walk. I can't wait to hear how he settles in to his new home.

Eileen said...

Congratulations that Monkey chose you to be his new family! I am so happy for you. I believe in love at first sight too :-)

Sue Kottwitz said...

Congratulations to all of you! That love at first sight thing is really somethings, isn't it. :-)

BZ Dogs said...

Congrats! Things have a funny way of working out don't they? He's a beauty! :)

houndstooth said...

I am so very happy for you! I'm laughing a little, too, because every time we went to the adoption kennel thinking we wanted something specific, we came home with something totally different. Every time, though, it ended up being a perfect match! Bunny was very fond of Winnie and I'm sure she'll be a Monkey fan, too!

Kari in Alaska said...

Welcome Monkey :)

Stop on by for a visit

jet said...

I think Monkey will do just fine once he has time to settle. He looks very cute :)

Bill Pritchard said...

As Monkey is finding his paws in his new world, I too am finding my feet in the blogosphere. At the moment I'm not sure about how to leave comments on other blogs so rather than making a proverbial mess on someone elses carpet may i thank you all here for your welcome and kind comments for Monkey. Hopefully by the time he knows what he's doing so will I.