I decided tonight that I would take Bender out first so that I could take Barbie by herself and learn a little bit about her. She is not so confident when she doesn't have Bender's brash presence to hide behind. Anyway - lesson #1 about greyhounds - when they get scared, they tend to freeze up. It's like they leave for a moment and just stare blankly into space. She spooked a few times on the walk.
The first time was when a guy started talking to me and tried to stroke her. She jumped sideways a little to get away from him. He gave her space when I said she was still a bit shy and that I'd only had her since Sunday. He asked if she was going to be racing. I told him she was too slow and he seemed surprised. We chatted a little as we walked up to the intersection.
The second time she spooked, she stood on a man hole cover on the footpath and it made a bit of a noise. She trotted a couple of steps away from it.
The third, and worst, was when we were waiting to cross the train line. The crossing man started flashing and the signals started beeping. She was OK with that, then the gate shut. She seemed interested. Like it reminded her of something. Then the train came past. She was scared. She backed away and then froze. She seemed to relax a little when the train stopped, and the noise stopped. I touched her neck gently and she came back to me all of a sudden. Her eyes focused back on me and she wagged her tail. Then she walked with me as if nothing had happened.
When we got the the pub, there was a guy with his girlfriend. He tugged on her hand a little and said 'look! its a greyhound'. I smiled at them and said, she's still a little shy. They smiled back. It's great how she elicits that reaction in people. In the US greyhounds are in the top 10 most popular pets. I think they will become that popular here too when people realise how awesome they are. A lot of people react the same way that I did when I first met greyhounds - a mix of fascination and admiration but not knowing very much about them.