We have some exciting news at our place: the addition of 10-year old ex-racer Chris to our little family!! Last week we said goodbye to our dear old Otis the Bunny and by now you might also have gathered that things didn't work out with Tommy (our luck with pets of late has not been the best...) – but with a bit of extra space, the construction (by us!!!!) of the brand-new 'Otis Memorial Gate for Greyhounds' and a yard in which we no longer have to monitor Hound-Rabbit relations, we decided that we could make room for another greyhound in our lives.
Chris is a very sweet old man. He is brindle (with the tiger stripes) – has big brown eyes and a white smiley face. Here he is in the car with Mila on the journey back from the kennels to Wellington:
|Mila and Chris enjoying being driven around in comfort|
We drove out to Sanson to pick him up from the GAP kennels on Sunday afternoon and he enjoyed the 2 and a bit hour car ride back to Wellington bonding with Mila in the back of the car. He might be 10, but that certainly doesn’t stop him from enjoying a good car ride.
I apologise now for this photo looking like the dogs are sitting in some kind of “kill room”. As much as she loves to ride in the car, Mila also loves to get up, reposition herself and snot all over the backseat/window/boot, especially on long trips. Spending nearly 5 hours in the car on Sunday meant that we had to take protective measures – and the best we could come up with was plastic sheets over the upholstery. When Chris jumped into the car in Sanson, he must have immediately wondered what on earth he had gotten himself into with all that plastic!! He's smiling in the photo - so I figure he was happy to humour us.
We have Chris on a “foster-to –adopt” arrangement, where we will spend a month or so making sure that he can live happily with our Mila (and that she can live happily with him) and then after that time, all going to plan, we will formally adopt him as our own. There is not a huge amount of demand for the oldies at the GAP kennels and all he really wants is a comfy bed and few pats – so I couldn’t really say no to that.
We’ve only had him a day, but so far we have established that Chris enjoys taking life at his own pace (with the exception of walking through doorways where he finds some speed and has to be first through). At the moment, he is a bit nervous of his new surroundings but he is taking his lead from Mila and slowly warming up to us. He has even started to come to see us voluntarily for pats and responds to his name (I call him “Cwiss”) and our instructions really well. He slept right through the night last night (yes!!!) and we haven’t had any toileting issues so far – unless you count this morning when we went for a short walk around the block and he cocked his leg against a flax bush…and did a poo!! I spent the next few minutes with a plastic bag in my hand, trying to get various bits out from between the leaves. What a guy!
Mila is playing the whole thing very casually. If you look at her in the photo above, she has a very distinct ‘why am I lying in the back of the car with this old man?’ look on her face. Having said that, she is being very polite – showing Chris the house, telling him where he should go to the toilet and giving him space to work out the best sleeping positions (answer: everywhere!). She even let him up on her couch when she wasn’t using it and didn’t mind a single bit when he showed us how he likes to do barking sometimes. What a girl!
|Chris found his bed pretty quickly...|
|...and spent the evening with Mila, doing what greyhounds do best!|
As long as she is still getting the lion’s share of the attention, Mila seems to quite enjoy having some company when we are not around. And, like a typical old man, Chris isn’t too bothered about being fussed over anyway. Win, win!