We got some very exciting news this week. Ozzie is being adopted and yesterday he moved to his new permanent home! His new home is everything we could wish for and more. For one thing, he’s going to have a fenced back yard to play in – something I know he will really enjoy. His new family loves dogs and greyhounds in particular – and they will be spending lots of time with him. Lastly – he’s going to have a brother in his new home, and even better, that brother is another greyhound! Given how social he is, we’re overjoyed that he’s going to live side by side with another dog. It couldn’t be better. He’s going to have a new name to go along with his new life – Ozzie has become Brendan! Here’s a picture of the big guy relaxing with his new brother. What a handsome pair. We will miss Brendan and his endearing ways but we know he is going to be cared for lovingly by his new family.
Here are some shots I have taken over the last few days. Here is Oz hanging out in the kitchen with us. He’s very good around ‘human’ food now, and knows he’s not to reach his long muzzle up to the counter tops. He still occasionally snuffles around in the dishwasher if it’s opened and the other day he gently seized a wooden spoon by the handle and trotted off with it to his bed. As usual, he relinquished his ‘contraband’ happily and with good humor!
Here is he gazing out the window at our neighbor’s two miniature dachshunds. He hasn’t met them yet but seems to really enjoy watching their antics from the window. Initially Oz seemed a little timid when he encountered small, yapping dogs. Now that’s he’s more accustomed to seeing them around the neighborhood, he’s more likely to gaze at them with thoughtful contemplation and will approach them if I ask him to.
Ozzie’s relationship with the cats continues to be 100% positive. Cinder (orange kitty) in particular, likes to inspect him while he sleeps. He takes it all in stride and doesn’t even startle if a cat’s inquisitive nose wakes him from a deep sleep.
We feed our cats 3 times a day and it was easy to train Ozzie that he must stay out of the kitchen during the feline feeding frenzy. I give him the command ‘outta here’ and a wave, and off he trots to the living room to wait patiently. I wish it was as easy to train the cats to stay away from HIS food. On several occasions when I have fed Ozzie and turned my back for a few moments, I have returned to find him standing politely by his bowl, watching a cat happily consuming his food. This gentle guy doesn’t have a confrontational bone in his body.
I’m finding that walking a big black greyhound around the neighborhood generates a lot of attention. We get everything from “Hey, is that a greyhound” to “Wow! A greyhound!” and of course “How fast can he run?”. Many people are interested and want to meet him and find out more. Gentle Ozzie is happy to meet them all.
I have to say a few words here about how good he is on leash. He is not a ‘puller’. He trots happily by our sides on a nice loose leash, which makes for a relaxing, enjoyable walk for all of us.
Yesterday on our way back from a quick midday walk we met our neighbor’s two granddaughters, aged 3 and 4 years old. At Grandma’s prompting they asked politely if they could meet Ozzie and then approached him excitedly. Their little faces were at about the same level as his, and being little girls, they were making high pitched, excited noises. Ozzie was his usual calm self, nuzzling them gently and wagging happily. Such a good boy! There were hugs and kisses all round with the girls calling “Bye Ozzie” as we walked away.
Ozzie likes walking and getting out but in general his exercise needs are moderate. He doesn’t seem to need vigorous, extended workouts and after a good walk he’s more than happy to return home and just hang out. He seems to know he’s retired and wants to relax and enjoy it!
I’m amazed at Ozzie’s ability to make friends with everyone he meets – human, canine and feline. He really is an easygoing boy.
Nothing seems to upset him – bicycles, strollers, loud trucks, police sirens, construction noise – he takes it all in stride.
In other news, Ozzie’s house training has been going very well. He understands that he can only ‘go’ outside and in the last couple of days this smart boy has started letting us know when he needs to go out. He will come and get my attention, then walk to the door and stand waiting, tail wagging expectantly.
“The intelligence of a greyhound defies all attempts at description. There would appear to be nothing which he does not understand either in word or in gesture or the shadow of coming events. When your favourite has done his work, cherish him and give him place with yourself for the rest of his but too short life.” JAMES MATHESON, THE GREYHOUND: BREEDING, COURSING, RACING, ETC., 1929
Hi everybody. Well, it has been a few days since I last wrote, but it has been one busy weekend. My foster parents told me this weekend is called Easter. There were lots of children around playing and they had baskets with colorful eggs in. I sure was excited to see them.
My new friend
My foster mom also does some pet sitting, and this weekend, I got to meet a bulldog that she was looking after nearby. She is a great friend, we get along really well. My foster parents think it is pretty funny how we look so different. She is short and muscular, while I am tall and thin. I don’t mind, all I know is that she is nice to hang out with.
It rained quite a bit this weekend, but there were also a lot of breaks in the rain, so I got to go on lots of walks. It was nice and warm, and they keep saying that I’m getting pretty good on walks. I just stay on one side now, and I can go for longer walks than I used to. I like being outside, but most of all, I like to curl up on my bed and watch TV with my goose. Well, time to go now… it is time for some easter treats! (Meaty bones).
Ozzie has been with us for a week now and as he settles in his personality is really starting to emerge. I have to say a word about how calm he is. Inherent in his nature is a calm gentleness that shines through in everything he does. As he encounters new sights, sounds and situations, he is never fearful or anxious – instead he exhibits an eager curiosity tempered by a bit of cautiousness.
Here is is giving the electrical outlet at the front door a close inspection. “What is this?” he seems to be thinking. On several occasions I have found him in the laundry room watching the clothes in the washer go round and round with a curious expression on his handsome face.
The calm Ozzie also has a playful side that comes out. He loves to grab his stuffies, throw them in the air, catch them and then run with them to his bed.
In spite of his exuberance he mouths the toys gently, almost lovingly, and doesn’t tear them or destroy them.
I’m also happy to report he’s getting along very well with the cats. He likes to watch them and he’s good at judging when the right time is to make friendly, yet gentle, overtures toward them.
I snapped this shot right after he and Pepper had an affectionate nose to nose greeting – wasn’t quite quick enough, darn!
This morning we had an excursion to the Robinson Petco. It was busy; big dogs, little dogs, kids and lots of noise. Ozzie greeted everyone (human and canine) with tail wagging enthusiasm. He became great friends with a tiny French bulldog in the checkout line. It was interesting to watch them together; physically opposite in so many ways. Here is Big Oz having a rest after his morning out.
“To live among greyhounds is to live with beauty. There’s no escaping it” -Alice Sebold
I know my foster mom just posted about my big bath, but she forgot to say something about me that I think is really important, and that I’m proud of.
This evening, just after my foster dad got home, it started to storm really bad – and then there were real loud noises that they said was called thunder… but I was brave. I didn’t cry or anything. The first time, I lifted my head, but my foster dad said it was ‘ok’ and ‘not to worry’, so I didn’t. None of the other noise bothered me.
P.S. I smell real good now after that bath, but I’m in no hurry to have another.
So tonight we took Ozzie down to Larry’s Laundromutt in Sewickley for a bath. The Laundromutt is located on Ohio River Blvd next to the Eat and Park.
Ozzie was very good in the car on the short drive to Sewickley. He laid down on the back seat once we got moving and didn’t seem at all anxious or nervous.
Once inside the Laundromutt, the first thing we did was put Ozzie on the scale – he weighed in an at whopping 81.6 pounds! Wow – he’s a big boy!
Next, off to the wash tub. Like many dogs, Ozzie got a bit pathetic when we lathered him up. He was very good though and stood patiently while he was washed, rinsed, and toweled down. We weren’t quite sure how he would react to the blow dryer which was very loud.
He took it all in stride though, gazing at us with his trusting brown eyes.
Larrys Laundromutt isn’t just a dog wash. They sell supplies, treats, and all kinds of other things dogs love. After the bath Ozzie got to wander around the store and check out (sniff) the goodies there. The people who run the Laundromutt really care about animals. They hold regular fundraisers for the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society and do their part to help animals in need.
And here’s a final shot of Big Ozzie, post bath, all gorgeous and clean (and sweet smelling). We bundled him back in the car and headed home where he immediately conked out on his bed after his big night out.