Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Knew...

...the first time that I stepped in the turnout pen that I was where I was supposed to be for the rest of my life. I was waist high in dogs pushing at me from every side just craving a little attention. I was thrilled to give it to them. It kind of feels like being in the ocean about waist high with a strong current pushing at you.

I would just touch each dogs head or muzzle and then they would be content to mill about the pen conducting their dog business as they saw fit. After "picking up the pen" (a nice way to say pooper scoop!) I would just stand in the middle of them and absent mindedly pet whoever wanted petting.

Some greyhounds like to walk around the whole time they are out (depending on the weather - 1/2 hour to an hour - 4 times a day) Others like to lay in the sun, even though they have been laying in a crate all day. Greyhounds are actually couch potatoes. They like to run in short bursts and then sleep all day in a very comfortable spot. The younger dogs would try to play but I would have to regulate that because if they happenned to piss off an older dog then a fight would ensue. Sometimes with dire consequences. So any behavior that may cause a fight cannot be allowed.

If a dog refuses to behave then you have to put it out alone. They hate that, so it is avoided at all costs. It is better than having a fight though. Also if a dog is injured or in heat it also has to go out separately. For the most part they just mill around and relax and stretch their legs and it is a nice relaxing time for both the dogs and me.

Occasionally a dog will figure out how to open the gate and the whole kennel will escape. Then you have to put extra locks on the gates to prevent this. One time I had a dog named Thunder. Thunder not only would unlock his own gate but then he would go over and unlock the other pen too. This is quite a fear filled situation because greyhounds get used to each other and if you mix up strange dogs that is also the formula for a fight. It was amusing though to watch him go over and open the other dogs gate and free them also. Only a highly intelligent animal would behave this way, I think.

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