Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Steve and I have a new addition to our family. Her name is Sadie and she's a 4-year old greyhound we rescued. She raced in Florida for 2 years and won 7 of the 30-odd races she was in. Her career ended with a fractured bone in her left leg. Fortunately, she was given to a rescue organization called Greyhound Rescue & Adoption and eventually ended up in our home.

When Steve and I first started dating last summer, we talked about getting a dog together someday. He wanted a doberman and I wanted a boxer. One Saturday at the Salt Lake farmers market, we came across a group of greyhounds and were impressed. He researched them online and read up on their personality, health, and general traits. They sounded like a good fit with our lifestyle. Despite their racing genes, greyhounds are couch potatoes. They don't need a lot of exercise to stay happy and love lounging around for hours at a time. Perfect for two people who work.

Last November, we started the adoption process. I've never tried to adopt a human child before, but I compare adopting a greyhound to that process, though probably slightly less intense. We sent in an application then were interviewed over the phone by Sher, the local adoption rep. A couple weeks later, we went over to her house to meet her 3 greyhounds and to get a sense of the dogs and for her to get a better idea of how we are with dogs. Steve had a busy work schedule through the first part of the year, so we told Sher we wouldn't be ready to get a dog until after the middle of March. Also, we wanted a smaller female, since we don't have a ton of space and our HOA has size restrictions on dogs. Well, it took a little longer than we had thought, but we finally got our girl the end of May.

I'm going to be honest, I had my reservations before we got her. I knew it was going to change our lives and wasn't sure if I was ready for those changes. No more sleeping in, no more being able to go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted. We'd either have to plan to take the dog with us or find a place to keep her whenever we wanted to go somewhere. Also, I knew it would be a financial commitment. I don't know if it was these reservations or what, but I didn't adjust well to having a dog our first week with her.

Part of the problem was that I am no longer working and am home with her alone most of the day. That isn't an issue now, but that first week, she stayed glued to me. Steve and I have joked that he's part dog and I'm part cat (for various reasons), and I realized the cat in me needed a break. I have never been good with needy people and a needy dog was definitely trying my patience. That wasn't all though, I got jealous. I know it's stupid, and it's not like I thought Steve loved Sadie more than me - I'm not that ridiculous. I actually enjoyed watching him play with her, or at least try to, as a racing dog, she's never been taught to play. It was nice to have him there to take her attention off me. However, when we were in the middle of a conversation or making out or whatever, and he'd suddenly interrupt it to pay her attention, yeah, I didn't like it. We'd go for a walk and I actually felt like a 3rd wheel. I realized it was silly and did my best to hide my feelings until one night I got pretty annoyed and totally let Steve know it. We talked and he's been really good to make sure that when we're having us time, that he stays focused on me. He talked to his buddy about it and received some excellent advice. I was a little peeved at first that he told his friend because I didn't want him to think I was stupid, but actually am glad he did because a) Steve got good advice that has helped and 2) I learned that I'm not the only wife to feel this way.

All that has passed and I'm really enjoying having a dog. She's unlike most dogs because, like I mentioned earlier, she's been raised as a racer and so is adjusting to being a house dog. She doesn't play but we're working on that. Also, she is experiencing so many new things. So many smells, sights, sounds, and tastes that she has never been exposed to and now is discovering. Also, as a racer, she has a highly honed prey instinct. This means that she views small animals as prey, so we have to be very watchful when she's around cats and small dogs. Of course, we always keep her on a leash when we're out and she's been pretty good to not shoot off trying to get a small animal when she sees them, but you sure can see her perk up when she sees a cat or small dog. Steve once let her get pretty close to a small dog and she nipped at it. *sigh* Men.

Last Saturday, we went to the monthly Meet N Greet for the rescue organization and it was a lot of fun. They meet at the pet store down the street from our house, so it's very convenient. It was good to talk to owners of rescued greyhounds, to get pointers from them, to see how their dogs have adjusted to home life. And I think it was good for Sadie to be around other greyhounds. She's never been alone without other greyhounds. It was also kind of sweet because she would always come back to my side like she was making sure I was still there. I think we're getting a sweet bond.

Don't worry, though, I am NOT going to become one of those obsessed dog people. After all, I'm part cat. *grin*


Myke Weber said...

I'm just concerned that you're one of those Red Necks who lets their dog bark all day in the backyard while their at work.

Cardine said...

Awww... that is so nice that you adopted this great dog. I've thought for .2 seconds about getting a dog, but I feel like it would get depressed to be alone all of the time since I am rarely home.

It's nice that you were able to be home with Sadie, and I can see how dogs would be great to have around.

I also liked to see photos of your house. I would like to come see it in July!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about barking, too... how is she about barking?

Sometimes I wish I had a dog or maybe even a cat, but for similar reasons Cardine described, it just won't work right now for me. And so then I think about getting another kind of pet, like a fish or turtle, but then I realize my problem also includes my lack of desire to clean up after something. And those scaly things aren't very cuddly pets. I think I just want something to cuddle.

Maybe I'll look into getting a boyfriend instead. ;)

julie said...

Myke, Sadie isn't a barker. Greyhounds typically aren't, at least if they used to be racers. She has barked once since we've had her and that was today when a cat passed by our porch gate. If she was a barker, we certainly would work on training her. Barking dogs tend to have lazy owners.

Cardine, I would love for you to come visit! I'll be in Cedar for Shakespeare the week of the 11th but will be home the rest of the time.

Sarah, a boyfriend is certainly great for cuddling, as long as you get one that will cuddle. I've had a couple that wouldn't and it was disappointing. I think it would be hard to have a dog and be gone most of the day. You and Cardine are very sensible people.

Jen said...

So, I was totally going to offer to take your dog for you when you go on vacations (Jeff's has wanted a dog since we were dating) until I realized that I have two toddlers, a baby, and a cat. All small prey.

tearese said...

Interesting. I'm glad you're getting used to her, and I hope she can be a fun part of your family for a long time to come.
And I think your description of the first week with her is more a description of experiences in early marriage, than with a dog particularly.
I mean, I think the girl (and maybe this is just me) starts to feel the guy has won her so he's not paying as much attention to her as when they were dating, instead applying that attention to other things and people. I think it's just one of those stresses of the first year of marriage that people have to deal with....again, maybe that's just me!
Pretty dog though!