Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mittens and the Big Bad Greyhound

Doggie stereotypes are alive and well, and one of the stereotypes that irks me the most is the image of the Greyhound as a cold blooded hunter. A vet once told me not to let Barbie near any cats, and was unapologetic when I told him that she lived with two kitties. Then there are all the people who say 'oh yeah Greyhounds need muzzles because they will eat cats on the street'. Recently a Ranger advised a woman who was interested in getting a Greyhound that 'in his experience' it would eat her Maltese! 

Barbie is a great example of a Greyhound who has prey drive but can live quite peacefully with her own cats. She is now always polite with small dogs, even those who bark at her. 

Anyway it brings us to our story for the evening. We were all lazing around on the couch, and Barbie and Mittens were in a very similar position to the one above. Barbie then sat up, and Mittens gave her a playful swat.

Barbie gave Mittens an obliging sniff, and Mittens swatted her again, this time with her claws out. She managed to somehow dig her claw into the back of Barbie's neck. Mittens is not very good at retracting her claws, and so she got stuck. Barbie tried to lie down, and felt the claw tug on her scruff, which elicited the GSOD (Greyhound Scream of Death).

Mittens managed to let go and was duly chastised for assaulting the Princess. I had to examine Barbie's neck but found no blood. The claw was just in Barbie's hair, so no damage done.

My theory has always been that the GSOD is a signal that the dog is not actually hurt, just surprised. The GSOD also illustrates beautifully that Barbie sees the kitties as her equals and not a lowly-ranked being that can be snapped at or growled at. 

Mittens says "No Comment"

Barbie is 5 now, which means we have had 3 years of harmony between her and the cats. Usually any dramas are between the two cats, and everyone else gets along just fine. Take that, anonymous Ranger!

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