Monday, 3 September 2012

This is Chris!!

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!  


  1. Chris looks just lovely, and so nice-natured. Fingers crossed that it works out for all four of you. best wishes, Sally, George n Mynx.

  2. Cwiss is gorgeous :) Hope all of you enjoy your life together :)

  3. We have been reading your adventures and we love them. Over the morning we have endured laughter, sadness, happiness and have come to the realisation that you have a lot on your hands. We do have a few questions:
    From reading one of your first posts we read that you experimented with a cat, What happened to him/her?
    How did Mila get her name?
    Does Chris and Mila bark at the mail man?
    Has Chris won any awards?
    Has Mila been better behaved since the arrival of Chris?

    We would love to read about a race between Chris and Mila.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures we love reading them.

    Room 10 Coley Street School Foxton

    1. Hi Room 10!!

      Thank you so much for your message and for reading my blog! I have to say that when I started to write about our adventures with Mila, I never expected to have a whole class following out stories!! I am glad to hear that you are enjoying my posts (and I know that Mila and Chris are glad to hear it too)! Please feel free to send me a message or ask me a question at any time.

      To answer your questions:

      1. It must have sounded a bit weird to read that we "experimented" with having a cat!! Back in 2009, before we got Mila, we adopted a 1 year old black cat named Harlem from the SPCA here in Wellington. She was a lovely cat but unfortunately, after 5 months living with us, she was hit by a car and died. I was very sad for a while after that but then we decided that instead of getting another cat, we would adopt a greyhound and that is when our Mila came along!

      2. How did Mila get her name? You may have read in one of my blog posts that Mila was actually named 'Fiona' before she came to live with us. Back when she was racing, her race name was 'Bronze For Macos'. When she came to live with us, we decided that both of those names wouldn't work. Does anyone remember the kids' movie "The Adventures of Milo and Otis" about the kitten and the pug dog who go on a journey across the countryside? Well, we already had an 'Otis' (the Bunny) living with us, so we decided on the name Mila because it sounded a little bit like the female version of Milo - and we thought that the rabbit and greyhound could have some adventures of their own!

      3. Thankfully, Chris and Mila do not bark at the mailman. They both love to meet new people so much (you can tell by their wagging tails) that they would probably lick the mailman if they ever got the chance to! They would make pretty terrible guard dogs.

      4. I am hoping to write a blog post about Chris's racing career some time soon. Back in his day, he was a much better racer than Mila was (but don't tell her that!!). He raced over a period of four years (Mila only raced for one or two) and he took part in 43 races. He won two of those races and came second or third in 7 others. When a greyhound wins or places in a race it gets awarded a ribbon and gets to stand on a podium (like at the Olympics). They also get awarded prize money for their efforts. Chris made $1,187.50 in prize money during his race career. Not bad!!

      5. Mila has been much calmer since Chris arrived. I think she really enjoys having another dog around the house to keep her company, especially when we are out at work. They have only known each other for a couple of days but Mila and Chris already act like long lost brother and sister. They play fight and lick each other and race to see who can get to the best bed the fastest!

      Thanks for the great idea about a blog post about Chris and Mila racing each other!! I would be very interested to see who would win that one. I haven't seen them racing together yet but we are hoping to take them to the dog park soon where they can have a bit of space to sprint about. I will let you know if we find out who the winner is!

      Thanks again to all of you for reading our blog and for taking the time to send me a message. If you (or your family) are ever thinking about adopting a dog, you should definitely consider getting a greyhound. They are very affectionate and make such lovely pets!!

      Finally, I hope you enjoy my latest blog post (and photos) - dedicated especially to you!!

      Rachel, Mila and Chris xx

  4. Congrats to you all! Priceless and Blondie look forward to meeting the new addition!!


  5. AWW bless.... We really hope they settle in together... :-)

    Big WOOFS from Solo :-)