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"Red Update"
Jan. 2006

So, since it's New Year's Eve and we're not out partying, I thought I'd send a "Red Update". We have now had him for just over 4 months. It has certainly been full of ups and downs but we love Red and can't
imagine life without him now! He is a funny dog and we certainly agree that greyhounds are unlike any other type of dog! He THINKS about things. When you open the door to let him out or in, he'll often stand there and look at you, raising his eyebrows one at a time like Groucho Marx, until he decides what he really wants to do. He LOVES all people and dogs of all sizes. He has decided that he's part Eskimo and when he meets someone new he'll rise up on his hind legs and try to touch noses with them! He doesn't put his feet on them, just his nose. This is something we are quickly trying to train him out of because it can be
a little unnerving for strangers to have this HUGE dog do that!! At least with most kids he doesn't have to jump so he doesn't scare them. He wants to run and play with all dogs he meets, too. The smaller ones seem to really intrigue him--he whines until I let him get close enough to sniff them and then he stands there wagging his curly tail. Oh, and that tail! It's harder than a whip. He ran by our friend on a dog walk one day and smacked him with his tail. Bill said it felt like someone had punched him! He still can't figure out horses, however. He looks and looks with those silly ears straight up and then barks and barks. He barks when he's trying to get Chloe to play with him, and at horses, and other than that he doesn't bark at
all. Even when Chloe puts up a fuss because someone is at the door. He makes funny vocalizations, especially when yawning, and lets out these incredibly loud sighs when lying down on his bed.

Our morning routines are quite funny. We have FINALLY got him convinced that sleeping in is okay. He'll wait until the furnace cuts in before coming around to my side of the bed to nose me and rub his face on the covers. But I swear that dog can tell time!! Several times he has got up 1-2 minutes before the furnace is scheduled to come on. The first time I thought it was coincidence but after the 3rd time I'm not so sure! Anyway, once I start to get out of bed he follows me into the bathroom and checks out the tub. (Don't ask me what he thinks might have appeared in there overnight.) Then he walks around me, bumps into me, trips me, stops to stretch right in front of me and generally makes it a real challenge to get my slippers on.
Usually by the time I get to them he has managed to kick at least one of them somewhere that I can't find in the dark. Then he often manages to get himself inside my housecoat as I'm putting it on. He follows me out to the kitchen and is incredibly skilled at getting between me and his dish and then between me and Chloe's dish as I try to pick them up! Then he follows me out to the pantry to get the kibble, where he sneaks in behind me, steals a biscuit if Roland has left the lid off the bucket, and causes me to bump into him as I back out of the pantry! I mix the food up in their dishes on the counter and put Chloe's down first. He follows right beside me as I do this and then go back to the counter for his dish. If I was old he'd have
tripped me and knocked me off my feet by this time!! I have finally got smart and I get the scoop of kibble as well as putting both dishes on the counter before bed. That way the whole feeding thing goes faster! I plan to take him to obedience classes in the spring once orchestra is over. I'd like to train him to sit (or at least stand) and WAIT at his spot until I bring his dish. Silly bugger!! But we get a big laugh out of it for the time being. Oh, and sometimes he leaves a bit of his food. I guess he's confident now that there will be more and there will be enough.

He likes to play with stuffed toys, especially ones that squeak, and will toss those or bones into the air and pounce on them. He is finally in good shape to walk for a couple of hours and actually LIKES his walks. But he has definite preferences as to location. Walking around the neighbourhood is boring, he prefers going to the campsite or trails! He also likes it when we go with friends who have dogs. Even puppies are fine. Oh, and he'll now run through puddles and stand in a ditch of water to drink. When he first came he didn't
like to get his toes wet!

In the house he has taken a liking to being out in my office alone. We heat that room differently so the door is often closed. But he stands there until we let him in and then flops down on the carpet with his legs straight out to the side. He'll stay there for hours if we let him. We can't figure out if the carpet and baseboard heater feel good or if he likes his own space and quiet or what. It's weird, actually.

Happy New Year to you both! I'm sure if Red could, he'd thank you for sending him this way. :-)


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