Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Red Progress Report

Well, just as I was about to think Red would never come out of his crate under his own steam, we began to make real progress. This morning he came to the front of his crate to get his leash snapped on to go out -- I have been crawling into the crate to get to him! After breakfast, I was lying on the sofa, sort of reading, sort of snoozing, when he wandered out of his crate and began to play with a toy! I was astounded! This is big.

He took cheese from Walt's hand and has almost completely stopped ducking away when I hold my hand out to pet him.

I think this boy might actually make a good pet. It's hard to imagine how he feels. He has spent every day of his life in a kennel setting...either in his crate for the night or out in a paddock with several other dogs. He has been well-loved, but not as a house dog. Now suddenly he has brand new roommate dogs and lives inside the house. It has to be unsettling, even if he is more comfortable.

Spread the word...he needs a home! I hate for him to have to go through all this adjustment twice. He might as well start where he will be for the rest of his life.

Sharyn

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Anyone up for a challenge?

We have a beautiful whippet here who needs a home, but it has to be one with tons of patience and love. Red is a male, about six or seven, who was very happy in his first home, but never really went anywhere other than his own yard and house. His owner is having to move into an apartment for reasons of age and health, and is unable to keep him. We're looking for a home where Red will be loved and cherished for himself. He's a gorgeous solid, deep red with a full white collar (picture later today).

This is not a rescue. He's a well-bred dog with an impressive pedigree who came from a good home -- it's just that his range of experience is severely limited. He is very gentle, well crate-trained, walks on a leash, and has had no accidents in the house since we brought him home. He eats well and appears healthy -- he'll have a vet exam this week. There have never been any signs of aggression, either towards people or other dogs.

Our household is just too large and busy for him. He needs a quiet home, where he can proceed at his own pace. We'll provide lots of support and of course, he can come back if it just doesn't work out. There are several internet "support groups" for owners of shy dogs, and our own Timbreblue Pups list for our owners is a tremendous resource as well.

Because of his age and lack of worldly experience, I doubt Red will ever be a dog-park/rollicking-around-the-house/go-anywhere dog, but I'm sure there is someone who would love an easygoing companion to share the sofa with. He was very, very devoted to his previous owner and I am sure he will transfer that devotion to a new owner, though it will take a little while. Whippets are the original love-the-one-you're-with breed!

He would probably do best in a home with another sighthound, preferably female, but an only-dog home is not out of the question if there is someone home during the day. Ideally his new owner would be someone who has dealt with a very insecure dog before, perhaps a rescue greyhound. He's really not a project for a first-time dog owner.

I don't want to minimize how insecure this dog is. He has basically stayed in his crate (door open) for two days now, though he is beginning to come out and sniff about a little. He is just terribly confused. We're not pushing him at all, just letting him approach us and the other dogs. The only times we have "forced" attention on him have been for his bath yesterday -- he was very good, but not too happy about it -- and to take him out on a leash.

Ordinarily we would keep him here for six months to a year to socialize him a little before sending him into a new home, but in Red's case, I think the sooner he can get to a permanent home, the happier he will be. That home just has to be with someone who understands:

1) the need for security in a case like this -- shy whippets are at extreme risk for escaping;2) that he will need lots of patience -- it may be several weeks before he actually seeks out attention;3) that he will never be an outgoing, happy-happy whippet, but will probably prefer to snuggle with one person and stay home.
I'd love to be proven wrong and have him show up at our reunion in October as a bouncing, rambunctious boy, but I don't think he has it in him. He's a poet rather than an athlete!

We'd ask that his new owner cover the expenses he will have here, probably around $200, so we can afford to take on another whippet needing assistance. He will go to his new home up to date on vaccinations and neutered.

If you're interested, fill out our questionnaire and we'll talk. Let's get this boy settled into a new home soon so he can begin to take over a new owner's heart.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Finally...Available Whippets!

After months of telling people we don't know of any available whippets, I'm finally hearing about some available! We're planning to breed a litter in June or July, to be ready for homes in October-November -- details to follow in a few weeks -- but in the meantime, here's an update on whippets I know about who need homes. Write me at sharyn@timbreblue.com and I'll put you in touch with these folks. 

There is a litter in Wytheville, VA, owned by a very nice lady named Jo Pelton. They're ten weeks old, 100 percent Appraxin breeding. I haven't seen them, but from what I know of Jo, I'm sure they have been well cared for. I understand there are mostly fawn and whites and maybe one brindle and white, mostly males, though there may be one female left. 

Katie Rudolph in North Carolina has a male pup for sale to a show or pet home.  He's a half-brother to our latest litter and, I think, ten weeks old.

And now for my special boys.  We'll have three or four adult males to place in the next few months.  An old, dear friend is retiring from breeding and these are the last of the kennel. They range in age from four years to eight or nine and as far as I know, have no "issues" other than that they have lived mostly in a kennel situation and would need some TLC to adjust to home living. They are accustomed to other dogs, so I don't know how they'd be in an only-dog home. We'll bring them here one at a time, keep them for a month or so for assessment and to provide any vet care they might need, and then they'll be available for a nominal price to cover their care here. I'll post pictures and details about them as they arrive. I really want to find these boys homes where they can finish out their lives on their own sofas!

Marie Hand in Raleigh has a 10-month-old female for sale too. She is timid but very sweet. I haven't met her and don't know much about her, but I'll be happy to give you Marie's contact information.

More to come on our planned litter and our "foster" dogs. I'm going to pick up the first one tomorrow, so will post details and, I hope, some pictures of him tomorrow night or Saturday!


Sharyn

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