|Adventures in walking three hounds.|
Last week, the ratio of greyhounds to people at our house finally tipped in favour of the racers when 2 year old Lily (Lilylicious) came to stay. There are also now more females than males at home - although I'm not sure that Mike and Chris have picked up on that increase in awesomeness just yet.
Lily comes to us short-term, as a foster hound while she awaits her "forever home", although so far, she has fit in to life as a pet so well that the effort of having three hounds doesn't seem that much greater than having two - and it isn't such a stretch to imagine us being a 3 dog household. While there are some initial practical issues that you have to get around (or at least think carefully about how you will manage) - for example, two hounds fit comfortably in the car for a drive to the park but 3 not so much - and we have had one or two very minor teething problems - the experience as a whole has been a positive one. Meal times aren't even as much of an event as I thought they would be!
|Like butter wouldn't melt...|
Lily has found a new BEST BEST BEST friend in Mila - even if the feeling isn't entirely mutual. She is a mini-version of Mila - right down to the black fur and waggy tail - and constantly looks to Mila for guidance on how to deal with a new situation or for any indication that it might be time to go out and play. When Mila does decide to go outside (in her own time of course - she will not be pressured!!), Lily dutifully follows and is very careful to make sure that she sniffs the same bushes in the garden, and pees in the same spots as Mila - imitation being the most sincere form of flattery after all. Each morning, when Meels sets out for some alone time on her morning walk, Lily waits (not so patiently) for her return - driving Chris mental in the process - until the moment they can be reunited like long lost sisters.
I would love to report that Mila feels the same way about the new addition - that a fabulous friendship has blossomed and that she has taken young Lily under her wing like a good "big sister" - but we all know that's not the way that Mila operates. Madam subscribes to the "treat 'em mean - keep 'em keen" school of social interaction, which isn't to say that she doesn't enjoy having Lily around, but she does like to make it clear that Lily's presence is entirely at Mila's discretion. It reminds me a bit of the movie Mean Girls. There is a great deal of "tough love" going on - but it's pretty clear that Lily is having a great time and that Mila thoroughly enjoys having someone to boss around and (finally!) having someone who will worship her very existence. Old man Chris is much more worried about where his next meal is coming from and how much of the day he can spend lying in his favourite spot in the sun, to care whether Mila likes him or not - so the attention from young Lily is a breath of fresh air. I'm sure that even if Mila learns nothing about the value of compassion, patience and caring through this experience - it is doing wonderful things for her self-esteem.
|Enjoying a pig's ear in the sun|
Lily and Chris seem to get on just fine - bearing in mind that Chris is old enough to be her great grandfather (several times over). Sometimes Lily forgets that Chris would rather lie in bed undisturbed than be jumped on or sniffed or head-butted - but she always has a gentle ear-lick for him and generally respects his need for space (and peace).
As I type, I have close to 90 kgs worth of greyhound relaxing in various spots around the house - trying to make best use of beds, sunlight and space. When it comes down to it, whether you have one hound, or three, an ex-racer's favourite pastime will always be sleeping and it's difficult to feel too outnumbered in your home when the animals around you are dead to the world...