Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl... No, scary... Sunday

We had our first big group of people over for the Superbowl since Cameron came to live with us.  Because there were smaller children and so many adults, he and Newbie spent the better part of the day locked outside (thank goodness for a nice day).  Newbie would sit at the back door and just look at it, the run around to the doggie door and bark at it; Cameron would run a lap around the pool and then stand behind Newbie, peering inside.  
Later in the evening, when most people had gone, we let them inside.  Newbie immediately greeted everyone, searching out the people who were most likely to let him curl up with him, and he finally settled on the sofa next to someone who obligingly pet him.  Cameron, however, was shy (no surprise there).  He mostly stayed in the toy room, cautiously peering out at the group, and quickly going back to the doggie door at any exuberant outburst.  Elizabeth tried to draw him out, tossing him treats, but my shy boy stayed hidden.  
Once everyone left, however, and Elizabeth was put to bed, he relaxed.  He re-claimed the couch, sharing only part of it with me.  He shoved his nose into my leg and let me pet him while he lay with his eyes closed, relieved that his house was finally his house again.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The thief

Cameron is a thief.
At night, Cameron will come up with us, but tends to make several trips up and down the stairs.  He’ll poke his head into the room, wag it up and down a couple times as if trying to decide whether or not to come in, and then go back downstairs.  Sometimes he sleeps at the top of the stairs, and if we don’t lock the doggy door, he’ll go out and bark at people patronizing the Walmart across the street.
I came down one morning this week after hearing Cameron go up and down the stairs several times during the night.  At first, I noticed nothing out of the ordinary, and then I saw the pile of animals on the doggy bed.  A rabbit, a cow, a big teddy bear, a little teddy bear, plus several others... all from my daughter’s bedroom.  Cameron had a busy night moving half her stuffed animals down the stairs, but fortunately, he merely moved them -- all were still whole, with stuffing intact.  It took seeing all of those animals  for me to realize that the random dirty socks that I keep finding in the living room aren’t my husband and daughter being slobs... it’s our dog collecting things.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Adjusting to home life

January 15
Today Cameron and I ran errands together. Perhaps because we’re still bonding, he didn’t freak out when I left him in the car; perhaps he’s just more relaxed when it comes to things like that.  Anyway, he was totally relaxed while I left him in the car, not so much  when I brought him into PetSmart, although it’s still totally exciting that I can take him into PetSmart and not have him think that small dogs are chew toys.  After that we went to school, which I thought would be no big deal, but even the doors freaked him out there.  We had to try three different doors before he’d follow me in, and then he didn’t like my classroom door either.
Tonight he’s laying on the sofa next to me, totally relaxed, and earlier when Elizabeth offered him toys, he just watched her instead of jumping off the sofa like he’s done all week.  It’s really interesting watching a dog fresh off the track adjust to a home.  Unlike a week ago, he now handles the stairs and doggy door like a pro, eats in front of us now, and slept at the foot of the bed last night.  Then he’ll refuse to go out the front door on leash, or the back door, or some other simple thing that I took for granted with the other dogs, and I remember that he’s only been in his forever home for a week.  What will surprise him tomorrow?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our first walk

So last night I took Cameron for his first walk on a leash in a new neighborhood.  He was nervous; he walked so close to my left side that his neck kept bumping my leg and I nearly stepped on his foot more than once.  Halfway down our street, I heard a car coming, so we stopped to let it go by, and he was trembling so hard that the nails on one of his back feet were clicking on the pavement.  We kept going, though; I had him switch to my right side so I was a buffer between him and the scary, unfamiliar houses, and he walked much better.  He watched everything; I think his busy brain kept asking, "What's that?  What's that?  What's THAT?"  A garage door going down freaked him out, but he didn't have a meltdown.  "Let's turn around," I think he asked.  "Let's go the other way.  The other way is quieter."  So I waited with him for a bit, and he calmed back down.

At the park, we met with a man walking a small dog.  "Uh-oh," I thought.  None of my previous greyhounds were good with strange dogs on walks, but Cameron didn't seem worried.  He actually sniffed the other dog and then ignored the short little thing; that is VERY exciting to me, as it means I won't have to cross the street whenever I see another dog coming.

At home, I was his new best friend; he kept following me, watching for me to pick up the leash again.  Despite his fear, I think he would have kept walking.  Writing about it now, when I'm hungry and tired and not looking forward to our afternoon meetings, I think there's a lesson to be learned from our newest family member.

Welcome home, Cameron!

Cameron Macaroni arrived in Las Vegas Saturday evening.  He's a 74 pound, fawn-colored two-year-old boy with big brown eyes, and he's as almost as timid as the wild deer that he resembles.  He won't eat in front of us; we have to put his food bowl outside.  He doesn't approach us to be pet, yet; instead, he comes up close but then shies away.  He's smart, though:  he quickly figured out that the sofa was very comfortable, and once there, he lets me sit next to him and even pet him.  He watched Newbie go in and out of the doggy door, and now he does so, too (very awkwardly -- we may need to raise it up).   He figured out the stairs that first night home, too, although he was too scared to come into our bedroom, despite seeing Newbie up on the bed with us.

Sunday, we stayed home from church so that we could help him adjust and be there if our submissive Newbie got too protective.  We needn't have worried.  We spent a good portion of the morning outside, where Cameron spent the time following us around (but not too closely), racing around the fenced-in pool, and, once we discovered that he likes stuffed animals (he made my daughter cry by taking her "mousie" off the table and not giving it back right away), flinging around the animals we brought out for him.  He even bowed to Newbie, inviting him to play, too.  He doesn't come up to us to be pet, yet, and avoids Elizabeth ("What IS that little two-legged creature?" he seems to be thinking), but I have high hopes that he will adjust quickly and fit right in.

Friday, January 7, 2011

We're all adopted

Today in chapel the theme was "Adopted -- That is what we are" and while being reminded about that fact, I was also constantly thinking about our adopted dog who is joining the family tomorrow.  I hear the phrase "we're getting a dog," like bringing a new dog into the family is like getting a new phone or a new pair of jeans, and the two things really aren't the same at all.  We adopt a dog into our family.  We people now have  responsibilities to that dog: to feed and care of him or her and to teach it how to be a good member of the family.  As an added bonus, we humans get unconditional (and often undeserved) love. 

If everything goes well, it's now less than 24 hours until we bring our new dog into our home.  I am so excited and so eager to bring him or her home.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New arrival

I am eagerly waiting for Saturday.  My home has been without a greyhound since September, and despite living with a husband, an almost-two year old daughter, and a young-ish mutt, the house has seemed empty.  Saturday, the GPA of Las Vegas is bringing in more dogs, and one of them is ours.  So... we face the delights and challenges of bringing in a new dog.  Will he (or she) love our little Newbie mutt?  Will he be okay with a toddler?  Will he eat the sofa cushions?  (Gosh, we hope not.)  Love our big backyard?  (Gosh, we hope so.)  Handle the stairs ok?  Want to sleep in the bed with us?  Settle peacefully into retired life?

I can't wait to see what happens.