Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A greyhound and a golden retriever pup....

Last night I got a nice draft all the way home from three cyclists who were riding together. Two guys in boardies, one riding a mountain bike with big fat knobblie (noisy) tyres and a woman on a road bike wearing lycra. They kept up a pretty good clip for most of the way, so I got home with energy to spare.

I then took Barbie to a local park for the first time last night. I left Bender at home because I felt it would be too much to keep an eye on both of them. This park is massive, and it belongs to the local soccer club. It is almost entirely fenced except for the big gate that leads to the car park. I also discovered there is a small gate around the back that is probably closer for us to enter through, I will probably go that way tonight. As it is a bunch of soccer fields, it is mainly flat, and the grass is dense but soft. Perfect for a little lady like Barbie to accellerate and turn. I let her off the leash and told her she could go. She sprinted straight towards some billboards that marked the edge of one of the pitches, and I had my heart in my mouth, but she neatly popped through a gap between them. She ran full speed at a railing as well but avoided it deftly. There were 3 other dogs there. One was a medium-ish fluffball, and Barbie sprinted past it trying to entice it to chase. It realised very quickly it was beaten. Then Barbie and I spotted a young golden pup prancing around. I took Barbie over to see him, and say hi to his owners. He was 5 months old and very cute. Barbie ran circles around him, and he ran around and around an inner circle trying to keep up with her. She sprinted up and down the park a few times. Then she lied down. The pup went over to her and kissed her on the muzzle. She was very gentle and tolerant with him. She definately gave him more leeway than she would with a grown up dog! The owners of the GR were about my age, maybe a few years older, and they were interviewing me about Barbie and greyhounds in general. The only negative, I told them, was her tendency to be whingy. That and having to be on alert when she is off leash due to her pure speed. They were both in awe of her running and a little anxious for her. I think they felt better when I reassured them that this perfectly flat grassy place was a really safe place for her to run. Her recall was great (though she came in too hot and ran past me a couple of times), and she was appropriate with all three dogs s. I was very happy with her.

I didn't get any photos of them together but I will next time. It got dark far too soon and the mosquitoes came out to play. They were trying to eat me, but they didn't seem to be bothering Barbie. We jogged most of the way home. Barbie did OK with the trains going past, but she was a little hesitant over the level crossing. It seems that her train-fear is most intense around that crossing where she had that first scary overload experience. We crossed at a different point of the track on the way to the park and that didn't seem to bother her.

When I got home, Bender was quiet. I was expecting him to be doing his 'I'm alone and abandoned' bark... which goes ... 'WOOF'....(10 seconds)....'WOOF'. I was very happy with him too. He got extra cuddles and extra play time.

I went to bed at 10 last night, and all whining (that I noticed) had ceased by 10.30. She started up again at 5, so I let her out for her wee and she was really thirsty... I really need to get her a bowl that I can hang up on the crate side so she can drink, but not knock it over herself. Then in the morning while I was eating my breakfast she went back into her crate and curled up in there. I definately think we are making progress and I am not quite so exhausted today.

Maybe tomorrow when they wake me up at 5am I will get up instead of going back to bed. Maybe.
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