Friday, March 30, 2012

Tales of the Galloping Doofus

If you read the previous post you know all about my daughter’s puppy, Zoey and how she passed away from the Parvo virus only six weeks after we got her.
Here’s what happened next.
As mentioned, Zoey’s passing hit her hard. She still loved dogs but the ex and I weren’t about to chance putting her through that again. This Parvo thing was a real game changer.
About a year later, my daughter offered to watch her friend’s dog while she and her family went on vacation. By the end of the week it was clear she again wanted one of her own.
This time however, I was determined to get her the most powerful, indestructible dog that ever existed. Basically, I wanted Superman’s dog, Krypto, but without the Kryptonite allergy.
So the ex and I read the ads, hit the ASPCA, even pet shops but found nothing that met the requirements I set for getting another dog. We were about to give up when we read about Rescue Greyhounds.
This organization is dedicated to rescuing these fine animals from being slaughtered when they could no longer race and getting them good homes. What really caught my eye was that these dogs were specially bred for strength and health. These were superdogs!
Bingo! We have a winner!
So, we contact them and they tell us how wonderful these animals are. How easy they are to care for and how deserving they are of a good home and family. And it just so happens they have one available! How’s that for luck?
So me and the ex discuss it with my youngest, show her the picture and she’s immediately sold. She wants to know when we can pick Memphis up. (That’s the dog’s name. Actually his racing name was Y not Memphis? But they shortened it because frankly, who wants a dog whose name is a question? Ladies, would you be interested in dating a guy whose name is Y not Bob?)
There is a lot involved in adopting a rescue greyhound and one needs to learn how greyhounds differ from other breeds before bringing one home.
First, they must always be kept on a leash, or failing that, in a fenced in yard. Because they are bred to run, they do, at every opportunity.
Every single, freaking opportunity!
So if you’re bringing in the groceries and don’t manage to properly close the door behind you, it’s “Warp drive Mr. Sulu!” as Memphis blasts by and is out of sight before I can bellow “Awww, Sh…!”
  Sorry, almost forgot this is a family friendly blog.
 Also you’re supposed to keep them caged at night, I don’t know why, I doubt they turn into vampires but I agreed to do so (but never did, I thought that was cruel). And because greyhounds are sight-hounds we learned that if they can’t see where they live, they can’t find their way back. They also have very thin skin which, if you live in a brutally cold environment like we do, you have to dress them up like Nanook of the North before taking them for a walk.
Here’s another interesting fact, most can’t be trained. Trying to teach them to Speak, Play dead, Gimme paw, or Roll over, will only result in the dog giving you a look that says, “What’s this jackass blathering about?”  One time I tossed him a piece of frankfurter expecting him to catch it in his mouth like all dogs do. Instead it bounced off his head and he bolted out of the room and hid in my daughter’s closet.
Strangely, to show affection they don’t lick you or jump in your lap. They lean against you. Imagine someone taking a 100 pound sawhorse and tilting it over against your leg. It’s like that.
And if you have girls, like I did, you know that they are always in and out with their friends. Friends who are unfamiliar with the importance of keeping the door…
“Warp Drive Mr. Sulu!”
“Awww, Sh…!”
After a while however, the people in the town recognized Memphis and would bring him back or call us and say, “Guess who just dropped by for lunch?”    
 But despite all these oddities he was a terrific dog. In all the years we owned him he only barked once. Yep, only once, which surprised us because we had assumed he couldn’t bark. He was also remarkably friendly. When my daughters would walk him in town, he’d lean against strangers waiting for the light to change. He never did his business inside the house, never chewed up clothes or shoes, never needed to go to the vet although we took him every year for his shots and a physical.
We had him for 12 years when he passed away at age 14, which we were told was pretty old for a greyhound.  After my divorce and the girls leaving for college, it was just me and him. And to this day I still make sure the door is closed properly. I guess somewhere I still expect…
“Warp drive, Mr. Sulu!”
And me going, “Awww… Well, you know.

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