We collected Bailey from the kennels on Friday morning, to come and stay with us for a couple of nights to give him his first experience of being away from the kennels and in a home.
He jumped into the back of the car quite happily and lay down even before we reached the end of the lane. He stayed there until we got home so it’s safe to say he’s quite happy in the car.
We went into the house and straight into the back garden, so he could have a wee and familiarise himself. Back in the house he checked out the downstairs rooms quite casually and seemed to settle quite quickly. I was able to make lunch with very little interest from him at all. He then decided to have a little wee up the curtain by the front door, but I only mention this because it happened and I want to be honest.
I don’t want this to reflect badly on him as this was absolutely the only time he did this and I truly believe it was just due to the excitement of being in the house and he was perhaps a little unsure and overwhelmed. Other than this incident he was clean and respectful whilst in the house for the remainder of his stay.
He didn’t show any interest in the stairs, and was mainly happy to settle on his duvet bed in the living room, and seemed to relax into the routine of our day very easily.
As a late afternoon walk we decided to head down to the river in Walton and stop in the pub for a ‘Christmas’ pint. He walks very nicely on the lead, no pulling at all and the lead is always relaxed. He can sometimes walk a little too close, so you trip over him, but this mainly seems to be for reassurance when it’s busy with cars and traffic. We stopped in The Swan for a pint, and whilst inside he was impeccably behaved, including a ‘meet & greet’ with a Ridgeback bitch.
We walked back and then he had dinner but didn’t finish it all, which is probably to be expected after such an exciting day, and then we settled in the living room to watch a film. He seemed initially quite interested in the television, but was happy to retire to his bed and was asleep and relaxed for most of the evening. When we went to bed he was happy to stay downstairs, and there he stayed all night – no noise or accidents.
In the morning we were greeted by a wagging tail and a big smile. We spent the morning in the garden, as the weather was dry, working on our bikes (after a Christmas day ride through 2ft water!). Bailey was happy to be out there with us, although he wasn’t much help – he just found the only patch of sun on the patio and lay down! He also experienced the washing machine and the dishwasher, and was fine with both.
We had some lunch and then headed over to Virginia Water Lake to meet my sister and her French bulldog puppy, Fergie. We thought it would be good socialisation for both of them, and Bailey was again impeccably behaved, letting Fergie jump up to greet him. He is actually a little timid around other breeds, and he met A LOT of dogs on the walk as it was particularly busy there. There’s absolutely no aggression from him, but it would be good if he could relax and enjoy the experience a bit more.
I’m sure this will come with time, considering this was his first trip away from the kennels. He likes the car, so he was happy to jump in the back to head home and he lay down straight away and promptly fell asleep until we got home about 20mins later.
His second night was the same as the first – no mess, and I only heard him head into the kitchen a couple of times, once with a low level woof at something in the garden. We were again greeted to a wagging tail in the morning. We all had breakfast, which he polished off nicley, and then we headed over to Chobham Common for a walk before taking him back to the kennels.
He was an absolute pleasure to have in our home – at times we hardly even noticed he was there. He’s incredibly gentle, quiet, respectful and clean around the house. He’s also very affectionate, and regularly comes to see you for kisses and cuddles. He also likes to play and is quite cheeky and fun at times, and is the master of lots of different facial expressions – those eyes!
There were a few things the staff had mentioned he might do, like throw his water bowl around, but he didn’t do any of them. I think being in a home is just what he needs, as it seemed to keep him occupied and interested so he didn’t look for things to amuse him, like his water bowl! Even when we filled his Kong toy with sausage and cheese he still wasn’t particularly interested in it, although the stuffed donkey toy we keep for our foster visits did get some action…!
All the greyhounds at WGW are special but it’s funny how certain ones can really have an effect on you. Bailey is that dog for me. He is truly a very special soul, and it was with some reluctance that I took him back to the kennels. The house seems a little empty without him.
Thank you to Denise and the ladies at WGW for letting us spend some time with him, I hope he benefitted and enjoyed himself as much as we did. I will be down to walk him again as soon as I can – I miss him already!