1 Month in Foster — Excerpts from Greyhound Gabriella’s Diary
Gabriella came into foster one month ago, at the age of 3. Many of you were keen to follow her story, as she came from the life — as do most greyhounds — from kennels and adapted to a home environment, living with a greyhound and getting to know humans for the first time. How has she fared? Well, she has been keeping a diary, so I thought we could look at life from how she might see the world..
“When I arrived, I was scared. I’ll be honest and it might sound a bit daft. But I was. I have only ever lived in a kennel and didn’t have that much to do with these humans. And now I have one here most the time, some that come and go into this big box which I believe is not a kennel, but a “House”. Plus I have people wanting to pat my head when we go out on what my fosterer calls “Walks” and which my foster sister gets really excited at — and so do I now.
After a few days of panting and stressing and being nervous at new sounds, I then spent the next couple of weeks getting used to the outdoor world. They have lots of these boxes in a row. And humans come in and out of them. Younger humans make quite a lot of noise and there seem a lot around at the moment. I don’t quite know what to make of that noise. But then we get to a wood, which is lovely and there are none of these human-made sounds and things. Just nature, exciting squirrels and lots of fascinating sniffs. I get very excited at the thought of going there. I jump up and down a bit on my feet, as I am so excited.
Other things that make me do a little mini-jump… I have enjoyed ‘treats’ such as ‘Dentastix’ and other nice chewy things. I love chasing my ball and can’t let go, I like it so much. I also get very excited when my foster mum comes downstairs in the morning. I do my little excited jump then too. And I also do it when we are going out on our walks — oh and when she has been gone a few hours.”
Gabriella has basically been a star. I am amazed. She has gone from cowering in the corner on day 1, to going out for walks, jumping at excitement when I come home, following me round, little mini jumps when we are going for walks or about to play with a ball. I actually thought this morning, “She has gone from scared to happy in a month.” She is. She is a happy girl! She has quite a personality and it is coming out gradually as she becomes more confident. I so want her to find her forever home soon, as I want more of that to develop as she bonds with her owner. I don’t want her to bond with me. And that is something I worry about as a fosterer. I don’t want to make things harder for her and the guilt is lots when they go. But at the moment, a month is just a fraction of her potential lifetime. And once she is confident in a permanent, happy home, she will come on leaps and bounds. She is already great in the car, with little and large dogs, house-trained, being left for 4 hours etc etc. She is really affectionate with me — as she will be with her owners. Loves a fuss.
Gabriella’s only thing she needs to work on is strangers. She is already getting better, which has been really positive to see — as it shows she will get more relaxed. It will just take time and patience. Initially she would bolt about in the house when someone came to the door. Now, after asking people to not look at her but throw treats in her direction, she just stands at a distance and watches them come in! Loads better — in just a few weeks. I got it wrong and didn’t do the asking people to ignore her thing until 2 weeks ago. Now I just tell people to ignore her. The other day on a walk, I said ignore her. We chatted and kept her at a distance and she then took a treat from a stranger, which she would not have done a month ago! The picture to the left is someone she has met about 4 times on walks, handing out treats!
She is gradually getting more comfortable. And goodness, she has had so much to deal with in a month! That one will just take time and a loving home. I am pretty confident of that, based on how much more relaxed she is getting gradually.
So I think you can see, although she started off scared, a bit of time and patience, and she has blossomed into a hint of her potential. So much more is to come. I know it. She just needs a loving home to do that in.
If any of you reading this know of anyone who might want an affectionate, loving greyhound girl, please do share this on. Her ideal home will be not in a noisy city — just as she is still adjusting to noises. I am in a town, but have access to woods within 5 minutes of walking. And I think although she will eventually get better with new people, somewhere which is not constantly socialising and big parties. A quiet home. People can come and go and she will just watch them. So many people have said what a lovely pet she will make and how beautiful she is. It’s true. I have suggested that because of her being shy of people, it would be great if her potential adopters can come and meet her a few times before taking her home. It’s a good thing to do and I did it with Spice. But as such, I guess South Bucks won’t be too far from you. And I will be happy to be on hand as a support in the background if it is needed, to help share what I learned and any tips and tricks. Once a few months have gone, her owners will be the experts, but to start with, it could help.
More Useful Links
- Here is a link to some photos of Gabriella on Facebook
- And she is in rescue with Fall in Love with a Rescue, in Berkshire
- I wrote a blog about the health benefits of greyhounds in Huffington Post for anyone considering whether a greyhound is right for them
You can read more blogs by Sugar ’n’ Spice if you enjoyed this one. And if you want to follow the blog, you need to just sign into Medium. I believe all you need is your email and a password and you can follow using the ‘Follow’ link at the top of the post or once you click on ‘Sugar ’n’ Spice’, you can follow there. And if you enjoyed this story, please click on the green heart. I think you will get updates from Medium depending on how you set your alerts to be and how regular they are. I am no Medium expert, but do check those out or check the email updates from them too.