stopped him with the water spray.
13th December 2007
Sandy has finally plucked up the courage to lay on the settee so long as no other dogs are in the room at the time. If there are, then he simply lays on one of the beds instead. He certainly knows his position in the pack is near the bottom especially when Bobby
Sandy has really taken to me wrapping my arms round his neck and having his head stroked whilst my face is next to his and listening to me whispering in his ear - his favourite place for asking this of me is when I'm on the loo! Funny thing is some others have done the same, one in particular was Lester
who was also afraid of people!
14th December 2007
This morning instead of letting Sandy jump in the car as he's done in the past with lead following so as not to take me in with him I decided to take off his lead, hold his collar and make him wait until I told him to move. He did very well until I let go of his collar when he jumped in the back of the car so fast he only just managed to stop himself from going over into the driver's seat! Think I will have to fine tune how I do this with him and let him go a bit earlier so he doesn't get quite so excited.
Sandy has developed a lump on the side of his face, which the vet thinks is the result of a bang probably caused by hitting himself as he dashes through doorways so fast and because of its position. It's about the size of a large pea, is hard and seems to move under the skin. We took him to the vet because it became larger and was very noticeable. The vet didn't think it cancerous because it was hard and was too hard for him to take a cell sample. He was sure it was a dried up blood blister and thought it would disappear it time but we are to keep an eye on it in case it gets bigger or causes him pain, which it doesn't seem to do at present. When Stuart measured it for me it was 18.2 mm wide and 8.2 mm high.
16th December 2007
During our walk this afternoon we came across two horses standing near the gate and both Max
and Sandy wanted to go and say hello. They both stood looking up at them, then sniffed and touched noses when the horses leaned over the gate to see them. It was lovely to watch. A bit later we met a man out walking wearing an overcoat and cap. Sandy wasn't sure of him at all and when the man came towards us to say hello Sandy barked and growled at him as he bent forward to stroke him. The man backed off with a start so I explained about Sandy and eye contact etc. and we talked a while standing a few feet apart. This gave Sandy the space and time to weigh him up and a few minutes later the man was amazed when he looked down to find the dog he was stroking was Sandy!
Stuart did a photography shoot today and by the time the model was leaving she was so taken with Sandy as he followed her around that she wanted to take him home with her - funny quirks and all!
20th December 2007
As it was very cold this evening we decided to wrap all the Greyhounds in blankets when going to bed because last night they woke us during the night and it felt a bit chilly. When it came to cover Sandy he was on his bed with his back against the wall and with the blanket over him I leaned over and pulled his back away from the wall to tuck the blanket in behind him. He looked up at me in wonder but he let me do it and as I was tucking him in it suddenly dawned on me that I couldn't have done that a few weeks ago without him growling at me so we are definitely getting there.
25th December 2007
Father Christmas arrived last night and left Sandy a soft squeaky toy and a huge dinosaur bone, which Indi
helped him unwrap as he didn't seem to know how to take the wrapping paper off. He loved the squeaky toys and played with them on and off all day finding the fluffy reindeer his favourite. When he realized one of the presents was a bone, well, that was that - he found it wonderful as did all the others with their bones and we had a very happy crunchy Christmas day!
11th January 2008
The lump on the side of Sandy's face isn't quite as prominent and appears to be getting smaller because it now measures 15.2 mm wide and 6.1 mm high which is really good news.
17th January 2008
went to his new home this morning and after he left Sandy went very quiet and subdued. Max's re-homing had upset us so him leaving and the way we were feeling was having an effect on Sandy. As it was Stuart's birthday and we were feeling upset we loaded them all in the car and went out to spend some quality time together. We stopped at the Windmill Inn at Ings for a drink after taking them for a walk and took them all in with us. We half expected Sandy to bark at the first person who tried to stroke him and would have to put him back in the car so as not to disturb the peace but no, he was very good and surprised us both. He enjoyed the fuss given him by the staff and the landlady brought them all some dog biscuits, which they loved. When people walked past he would look but that was all and he ignored another dog laying by it's owner's table nearby until it stood to leave. As it walked past our table Stuart had the water squirty bottle hidden under the table but aimed at him in case he decided to bark or lunge but again he surprised us by just looking at it as it walked past. Sandy seemed very settled there and was quite happy laying on the carpet by our feet.
Back home we gave them all a pig's ear then Stuart caught Sandy cocking his leg against the coal shovel in the kitchen. This came as quite a surprise as he's not done anything like this for weeks and Max
not being there had obviously unsettled him. He stopped when Stuart shouted at him, I showed it him and told him it was not the thing to do then put him outside whilst I cleaned it up. When he came back in he looked very sheepish at the shovel and us before going to his bed in the living room.
Had a visitor this evening and of course Sandy warned us of his arrival, however, as soon as he spoke Sandy recognized his voice and from that point he was all over him. Sandy couldn't get enough attention and was so pleased to see him. It's a pity the gentleman already has three Greyhounds because he's admitted that if he had the room he'd take Sandy as he loves his beautiful friendly nature.
This evening we went to the Strickland Arms for a bar meal and took all the Greyhounds in with us. Bobby
settled on the mat in front of the fire, Indi
lay on my coat under the table and Sandy stood near Stuart. Sandy was very good when people said hello at first but became uneasy after a while with everyone walking past him as it was very busy. After a while we decided he'd had enough and took him back to the car where he happily jumped in and settled till we came back with a few chips for him. By taking him places like this is good as the more he visits and the more people he sees then over time he will come to realize there is nothing to fear. Back home they settled for the remainder of the evening then Sandy went to bed on the landing next to Bobby
, which was a first.
22nd January 2008
The lump on Sandy's face has almost gone and is now quite tiny.
7th February 2008
Contacted Kevin Wilson from Bay Dog Training this afternoon asking for confirmation of our thoughts and advice about Sandy's behaviour towards things especially other dogs when outside. Our problem is finding people who are willing to work with us in this area and it was bothering us. Kevin confirmed we were on the right track and his behaviour is insecurity with the big wide world. As a result he asked if we could take him to the weekly agility classes when we get back from Ireland, which are held in one of the local parks so Sandy will be able to watch other dogs charging about outside and we can monitor and work with him under controlled conditions. Kevin also wanted us to review and improve our leadership skill with him if at all possible. However, in this respect he waits at the door and allows us to go out first, he will let us take a bone from him, he will let us take his dinner off him and he allows us to take his toys from him so he knows we are above him in the leadership ranking.
8th February 2008
This afternoon I left Emma
and Sandy with Indi
in the house whilst I went to the post office. It was the first time he'd been left and I was away about 3/4 hour but all was okay when I got back and I received a wonderful welcome.
9th February 2008
Sandy for the first time started playing with Stuart on the floor. He loved this new form of play but it was funny because no matter how low Stuart put his head Sandy had to put his lower, which caused him a bit of a problem when Stuart lay his head on the floor. This shows Sandy regards Stuart as being higher up the pack order than himself.
11th February 2008
This morning we travelled to Ireland by ferry for a few days and Sandy took the journey in the car as a happy day out. He was quite nervous when we let him out at the ferry terminal to do his toilet, pulling a bit on the lead and unsure of all the people milling around. A little boy kicking a football against a wire fence spooked him a bit making him keen to get back into the car and safety. He was fine in the car on the ferry and ate most of his food on the the beach close to Dublin before travelling the rest of the way to the cottage. After making sure the small paddock, which is to be his temporary garden was secure, he had a good sniff round then we showed him round the cottage. He was a bit unsettled and 'clingy' for a couple of hours but we ignored his behaviour and once all the bags were unpacked and we sat down with a cup of tea he settled in the living room with the others.
When we let the dogs out last thing into the courtyard garden to do their toilet Sandy stayed out slightly longer than the others and when Stuart called him he came running in and jumped on the settee to settle down with something in his mouth. To our horror it was a rat! Stuart thought it dead but as they can act dead to encourage their attacker to release their grip we got Sandy back outside and told him to 'leave' and Stuart forced him to open his mouth. The rat dropped out - dead and stone cold! It got put in a poop bag and in the dustbin. How he'd found it goodness only knows but it was a big, fat and thankfully dead rat and the last thing we wanted at midnight! The thing was, he looked as pleased as punch when he came running in the cottage with it and jumped on the settee thinking he'd found a midnight snack!
12th February, 2008
This morning started a bit chaotic. I'd taken all the Greyhounds to the paddock and as they came back in the cottage Sandy saw Stuart and went running to greet him. He was so pleased he charged into the kitchen and jumped the three steps into the living room and skidded across the tiled floor into one of the chairs. Although he didn't cry out he went with quite a bang so we checked him over and found blood on his leg. One of his dew claws was hanging off so because it was Sandy we put a soft muzzle on him and I held him whilst Stuart cut the nail off. I was so proud of him, there were no growls, no flinching - nothing. He let us take his nail off and bathe the area before putting some antiseptic cream on it. It bled for a couple of hours so we bathed it two or three times and put more cream on it until it stopped. Each time he let us bathe it without his muzzle, which was wonderful as he now realizes we don't hurt him but are there to help.
After lunch we took a drive to the beach, which he found daunting to begin with but settled after a while to enjoy his walk. A couple of dogs walked past who unsettled him so we walked in a huge circle so his back was to them and used the car to block his view till he settled, then we continued our walk. Back in the cottage he quickly settled and when we let him in the courtyard garden later in the evening he went looking for another rat!
13th February 2008
Had a bit of a fright this morning because when we walked into the Courtyard garden checking for anything they may have done late last night Sandy spotted the door in the far corner open and did a runner to investigate. Stuart dashed after him calling for my help. I went out the other gate to cut him off in case he turned left out the garden and as I came round the corner of the buildings saw a black dog run across the yard. At first I thought it was Indi
and by the time I got to the area where I'd seen her she was gone. I called Indi
then realized it may be Emma
so I called her name and she came running happily towards me, whereupon she was praised and we both walked back to the cottage to find Stuart returning with Sandy. Sandy had turned right into the owner's garden and was after their cat who was wise to the situation and jumped the wall out the way. Sandy realizing he couldn't make the wall turned to go up the side of it and round the top back into the Courtyard garden but met Stuart en route who caught him with a rugby tackle! A good start to the 13th! In just over twenty four hours we've had the rat, the dew claw and the escape so we are hoping for a more non-eventful remainder of our stay.
21st February 2008
We were invited to lunch today by the owners of Warren Farm and because Sandy has been so good we decided to leave him in the cottage with the others. We were away about three hours and came back to find all was well apart from a couple of shoes on one of the dog beds!
22nd February 2008
Sandy has enjoyed his stay in Ireland and the experience did him the world of good. He quickly made himself at home in the cottage, enjoyed his walks along Duncannon beach, along the top of the Kennedy View Point and around the fields by the cottage once he been to each location once and each following time he got better but we still had to watch him if people and other dogs were around as some seem to affect him. We had really good weather with sunshine most days so he got out and about a bit in the car, which he loved and in the evenings if we went out for a meal he and Emma came with us in the car leaving Bobby and Indi in the cottage.
Last night all four Greyhounds slept in our bedroom - the cases were packed and sitting in the hall waiting to go and they decided we weren't sneaking out without them!
The journey home was long but good and when we got home Sandy did a tour of the house to make sure all was well then settled in the living room pleased to be home again
23rd February 2008
Took Sandy out for his walk today wearing a harness and boy, what a difference - he walked nicely by our side, took smaller steps and didn't try yanking us over to the side of the road if he wanted a sniff. All that was needed was slight tension on the lead and he would stand still and wait. He was a pleasure to take out.
24th February 2008
Didn't make it to the outside agility class as we hoped because it was raining when we got up so didn't think it was going to be on, however, we are aiming to take him next week.
27th February 2008
We took Sandy to the vet this afternoon because whilst in Ireland we noticed a hard scaly lump on the top of his right front leg similar to that they sometimes get when sleeping on hard surfaces. As we couldn't remember seeing it earlier we had been bathing it twice daily with Hibiscrub. Last night he tried chewing it so we thought it best he saw the vet. As he was only going from the front door to the car I attached his lead to his collar, he waited till we were out the door then pulled as hard as he could to get to the end of the drive, however, I stopped him in his tracks, got him back inside the house to start again - this time with the harness and what a difference. He waited nicely at the front door till I went out first then he walked gently down the drive to the car.
At the vets I put a soft nylon muzzle on him just in case there were other dogs in the waiting room but although he looked at them he didn't try pulling towards them and just watched. He did us proud in the vets because when he was being examined he never growled or grumbled once - he looked out the corner of his eye at the vet a bit wary as she was examining him but that was all. The vet said although the lump looked angry where he'd been licking it and because it was a lump on its own and not growing into the bone around the top of his leg she didn't think it was anything nasty. She advised we carry on bathing it with Hibiscrub twice a day as before but in between put some ointment on as well twice a day for two weeks to see if it heals. If it doesn't and still looks angry after two weeks they may take him in and remove it under anaesthetic. If they do then they will send the lump away for analysis to be on the safe side.
29th February 2008
We have a regime of Hibiscrub in the morning, cream before his lunch time walk to distract him from licking it off, Hibiscrub at tea time and cream again when he goes to bed. The hard top of the lump has disappeared but Sandy, he makes us laugh because as soon as he sees the cotton wool being soaked with water and Hibiscrub or the tube of cream appearing he disappears with his head down of to his bed. We get a very sheepish look as we approach and during administering the wash or cream but after we lift his head, give him a kiss and a stroke and off he goes again as happy as Larry. He's just so frightened of being hurt and so excited at not being. We've really moved forward in this area because he's now realizes that whatever we do to him we are NOT going to hurt him, however, to be on the safe side he still acts on the side of caution but we don't get the growls anymore and if we did we would just tell him 'to pack it in' and we continue what we are doing, which we think he knows. All the same he's just so happy at having done what has to be done and coming out of it okay - what a character!
2nd March 2008
This morning we took Sandy to the agility classes on the park. At first he was very nervous and with his muzzle on he met the other dogs in the class and was fine. He sniffed them including the Terrier who didn't like being sniffed so she snapped at him - he just backed off! He watched them charging around the agility course and even ignored the Collie who insisted on barking at his owner all the way round the obstacles. A small hurdle was set up just for him and we took him over it a few times to give him something to do and to help him relax. The railway line runs along the side of the park close to where we were and boy, wasn't he funny when a train went past. We stood to allow him to watch it and you could see from the look on his face that he'd never see one of those THINGS before. We had a job to get him to jump his hurdle for a while after that because he kept looking in the direction the train had gone to see if was coming back to get him! At first when he saw other dogs in the park playing in the distance they bothered him but after a while he seemed less interested in them - all good signs. The only problem we had this morning was right at the end when a man and his white Terrier came to meet his wife who was with her dog in the class. Sandy fixed his eyes on it and pulled heavily towards it. Stuart thought he wanted to get it so squirted him with cold water, turned him away from the dog and told him to leave. It's almost as if he feels he has to protect his pack - the dogs in the agility class when he was around all became his pack so the white Terrier became the intruder - most interesting, because he did a similar thing on the beach in Ireland when Bobby
went over to say hello to another dog running about in the sea - it was almost as if Sandy was worried the other dog might hurt Bobby
3rd March 2008
Don't know what it was that happened over the weekend, maybe it's now that Sandy walks lovely on the lead wearing his harness we've been able to watch his behaviour as it really is. Maybe, it was the thought of how he would cope with the operation if it were necessary to remove the lump on his leg, and how did he cope being neutered whilst in the kennels prior to coming to us. I don't know why but something niggled me something shocking, which led me to enquire as to whether Sandy had ever been neutered. It couldn't be. The chances of the same thing happening again were so remote. No it couldn't be. However, enquiries last night revealed he was born without a scrotum and was therefore, a whole dog. When we found this out we couldn't believe it. We were quite shocked because exactly the same had happened to our lovely Paddy
, and it may have been thinking of Paddy
and the way he had been that triggered the similarities and questions this weekend.
First thing this morning we phoned the vet and booked him in to be neutered with the vet who operated on Paddy
was born with no scrotum and the behaviourist believed that 95% of his behavioural problems were because his testicles were inside and were therefore too hot. If this is the case with Sandy, then once we get those testicles out of him and his hormones settle down then we stand a very good chance of his behaviour improving as the behaviourist said it would, and did, with Paddy
5th March 2008
It suddenly dawned on us this afternoon that we've heard no growls or grumbles from Sandy for some time, no matter what we've been doing with him or where we've been. This is a real step forward and a huge milestone because it shows that at last he trusts us.
7th March 2008
This morning Sandy went to the vet to be neutered and to have the lump on his leg looked at again where he weighed in at nearly 81lbs (36.8k). The operation went well and reasonable sized testicles were found either side of his kidneys. He received a cut about 5" long with 6 stitches which was shorter than they anticipated because of the location of his testicles. However, he's also got 3 stitches in his groin because when he was under anaesthetic and flat on his back a lump appeared in his groin, which the vet thought was a testicle but it turned out not to be the case. The vet never touched the lump on his leg she saw a few days ago because she said treating it with the Hibiscrub and the ointment she gave us was working so wanted it left alone.
When we called in to collect him this afternoon he looked very sorry for himself. He wouldn't climb in the car so I had to lift him and once home he wouldn't climb out so I had to lift him again - and he's no light weight! In the house he met Faith
who had arrived whilst he was at the vets then just wanted to lay on his bed in the living room and sleep. Later he had a little food and some liquid then very gingerly walked into the garden to do his toilet. He managed the stairs okay on his way to bed, but only just.
8th March 2008
Last night we put a muzzle on Sandy when we turned the lights out because we didn't want him licking his stitches but we needn't have worried because he never moved all night. He very sheepishly came down the stairs, still looked very sorry for himself but ate a good breakfast then went back to his bed. Emma was being re-homed this morning so everything was done to keep Sandy as quiet as we could.
9th March 2008
Sandy had his muzzle on again last night but he doesn't seem to want to touch the stitches so if he's okay today I don't think we will bother again tonight. He's been more his happy self today and at one point we had to calm things down when Faith
was goading him to play with her - the last thing we wanted was the two of them charging round the house together and him breaking his stitches.
10th March 2008
This morning the lady who was re-homing Faith
called to collect her and within a couple of minutes Sandy had remembered her from a previous visit and was her best friend. She thought Sandy lovely (and he is) and admitted she had taken quite a fancy to him the last time they met, saying if she'd been a few years younger she would have had him. It's funny but she's now the third person to have visited our home and met Sandy and seen what a loveable chap he is - and wanted him, so we know the right home is out there somewhere, it's just a case of waiting but until that day arrives he's my 'big adorable boy'.
12th March 2008
The lump on Sandy's leg has almost gone and his neutering wound seems to be healing nicely so he's back to his normal happy, playful self again today. In a way I'm glad Faith
went to her new home on Monday because if she was still here it would have been a nightmare trying to stop them charging around the house together.
16th March 2008
arrived yesterday, who is a playful eighteen month old dog and both Indi
took it upon themselves to put him in his place because Bobby
decided he'd had enough and took to our bed where he slept most of the afternoon in peace. Badger
kept wanting to play and sometimes quite amorously with Sandy and Indi
so they've both been putting him in his place and after that each time Badger came anywhere near them there was a low growl that warned Badger to go and play elsewhere Hopefully as soon as Badger is neutered this amorous play will cease. Last night when Badger was pining and pacing the place Sandy was very good and stayed in his bed. We could hear a low growl every so often but that may have been him trying to settle him because Indi
was doing the same.
17th March 2008
This afternoon Sandy went to the vet and had his stitches removed. Whilst there the vet also checked the lump at the top of his leg and was pleased to see it almost gone. Sandy never wore his muzzle into the vet this time and was very good because he ignored the other dogs in the waiting room and waited his turn by laying patiently on the floor.
18th March 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SANDY - 5 TODAY
Spring is in the air and we have one very happy, playful Greyhound today whose been emptying the toy box all morning, charging in and around the house and garden then laying on the settee on his back with legs in the air fast asleep - best way to spend your birthday! May be it was because he had his stitches out yesterday or perhaps it's because Badger
hasn't been around to share our affection because he spent most of the day in the vets being neutered. Sandy was a bit growly with Max
at first but after a while they settled and became best mates. With Daisy
he was fine and now another dog is here he's being a bit growly again. It could be because of Badger's
age he feels he has to put him in his place, it could be because he's a dog or it could be he's not keen on sharing my affection. With a new dog in the house they need a bit more of our time to settle them in and perhaps with Sandy being here a while he feels as if his nose is pushed out. Having said that, he's coping very well when told to stop being grumpy, which he couldn't have handled when he first arrived so that is a big move forward.
27th March 2008
This afternoon we took Badger
to the vet for his stitches out and when we got back he became very excited with the freedom now they were out and he started dashing round the house with Sandy. So as not to cause any damage we opened the door so they could play in the garden if they wanted. This, with hindsight, was a mistake because although Badger
wanted to play, we don't think Sandy did and, from the kitchen where I was speaking to someone on the phone, heard a tussle start in the garden. Cutting the telephone conversation dead I ran into the garden to see the two of them on their hind legs having a disagreement but when I approached and took a collar in each hand they easily fell away from each other and it instantly stopped. My first thought was 'Oh no this is a trip to the vet' and, with Sandy being the bigger and stronger dog we thought the blood was from Badger
. Having got them both back in the house Stuart and I examined them to find it was Sandy who was injured. Badger
didn't have a scratch on him so the incident seemed to be that of a teenager going 'over the top' with the adult trying to calm things down.
Poor Sandy had a nick on his head, his nose was bleeding, his foot was bleeding and he had heart shaped wound above his front left leg that needed treatment so we phoned the vet who said to bring him straight in. The vet was the same one who neutered him and took his stitches out and she is very good with him. She gave him a thorough examination including inside his mouth and the nick on the top of his head because of his nose bleed, which thankfully stopped within a couple of minutes of it starting. The nick in his head hadn't damaged his scull and the tooth mark in his foot, although deep would heal itself but she suggested we bathe it regularly with diluted Hibiscrub to reduce the risk of infection. The heart shaped wound, she wanted to staple so a nurse was called and the two of them lifted him on to lay on the table so they could do it. Before lifting him I put a muzzle on him and warned them that if he growls to just ignore him and carry on. Sandy was a super star and I was just so proud of him because he just lay there and let the vet shave him, clean the wound and put five staples in it. Although I held his collar and stroked him he didn't growl, flinch or even twitch. He knew we were all trying to help him and I was just so proud of him.
28th March 2008
Badger and Sandy were back to being friends again by the end of the day which started with grumbles from Sandy every timeBadger went anywhere near him, which I suppose is understandable because of what happened and the way he was feeling.
29th March 2008
Yesterday afternoon Badger
went to his new home and although Sandy seemed okay to begin with he became very quiet and sullen in the evening and when I went to him in his bed he gave me a very frightened look and a low growl, which is