It's a Boy!

The newest addition to Shakes Manor, care of a local greyhound rescue:

Dudley Q. McEwan, 70lbs. 5oz.

Dudley (aka Dudz, Dudders, Duddly Wuddly, Lord of Duddlington, The Dud Abides) arrived at our doorstep—after a very long process of breed research, rescue research, applications, references (thanks, RedSonja!), cat introductions, and house-readying—last Thursday night. He was the first and only potential rescue we met, as it was love, and more importantly compatibility, at first sight.

As greyhounds are sight hounds, and Dudz is a retired racer who was trained to chase a "rabbit," we basically needed to adopt a failure—a dog who was never a great racer because zie had low prey drive. Hir reaction to Olivia was going to be of particular concern, since she's white (like the "rabbit"). When Dudley visited our house for a meet-and-greet, Livs puffed herself up like a great fuzzy zeppelin and hissed at him. He slowly backed away, with a look on his adorable wee face that seemed to say, "What the fuck was THAT?!"

Still, we had an introduction plan in place once he arrived, which involved a leash and Dudley's racing muzzle, which he's swell about wearing. But on Friday morning, I had him in the office with me sans leash or muzzle, because I didn't expect the cats to want to venture near him for days. Shows you what I know! Livs and Sophs were straight into the office in the morning as always, and I just decided to play it cool and see what happened, since Dudz had been scared of them at the meet-and-greet. He paid them no attention at all, even when Olivia stuck her nose into his food and water bowls.

I called Iain. "Well. That was easy!"

By Friday morning, Dudz and Livs had made…well…if not friends, exactly, they'd at least made acquaintances:

Sophie soon followed suit, and, though they are still leery of one another, yesterday morning, Sophs and Dudz touched noses in a heartbreakingly sweet and friendly little exchange.

Matilda is having none of it. She will be in the same room with Dudz, but she's firmly resisting a formal introduction, no doubt hoping the stinky lump will disappear.

Dudz is still a puppy—he's already retired from racing at a year and half old, and it's no wonder, since he evidently has the prey drive of a garden slug. He pays no attention to squirrels and rabbits on our walks, and he instantly made fast friends with a little white pooch at the dog park over the weekend. An utter failure as a racer, he is a total winner for us.


Dudz is already madly in love with Iain, and seems to trust him implicitly. He's more wary of me, and when I approach him (especially holding the leash), he frequently rolls over onto his back and does a little submissive urination, even in his crate. (Where he'd happily spend the whole day, left to his own shy devices.) So I'm spending a lot of time with the washing machine and the spot cleaner, lol, and also with the treat bag, using sideways approaches and crouches and averted eye contact to try to communicate in "dog" slowly but surely that I am a bearer of only good things.

When Iain is around, Dudz trusts me more, so we are taking advantage of that, too. Last night, I got on the floor and Iain curled himself around me from behind, and Dudz then flopped over along my front. It's just going to take some time for him to trust me on my own.

"Who's a good boy?"

Other than his timidity, he has so far been an absolute dream. He has the sweetest temperament—he loves people and other dogs; he takes food from your hand gently, without any snapping; he is curious about his environment but doesn't get overexcited; he walks on the leash at your side so beautifully that you barely know he's there. He's a good boy in the car, too!

He's still baffled by the concept of "toys," and one of our challenges is to bring out the happy-go-lucky inner dog in him. Too much enthusiasm scares him, so it's confidence-building first, and then we'll learn how to have fun! And he needs to put on a good 10lbs; he's only been off the track a little more than a month, so he's still got the skin-and-bones physique of a racer.

And, naturally, he can run like the wind. He was able to let loose at the dog park over the weekend, and I got some video of him running with Iain and then taking off for a bit of a gallop (please forgive my raspy breathing from the stubborn chest infection that's still hanging around):

He is, however, as are most greyhounds—the "45-mile-an-hour couch potatoes"—a lazy git who just wants to lie around and look adorable about 18 hours a day, which he does very professionally.

In fact, I'm pretty sure he's overdue for a TREAT!!!eleventy!, so if you'll pardon me for a moment, I must go give the GOOD BOY his paycheck for proficient cuteness.

[Previously: It's a Girl!]

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