Thursday, March 17, 2016

Placing Adult Whippets

Because we seem to get a lot of traffic on this blog (Lord knows why--we are not exactly great at keeping it current, though we're always striving to do better!) we're sometimes contacted by people looking to find excellent homes for their beloved whippets. There are many reasons people have to give up dogs and until you've walked in a whole lot of moccasins, it's best not to second guess them.

Life does not always work out exactly the way we've planned and sometimes it is better for the dog to go on to a second chapter in his life. Having rehomed a number of adult dogs, I know the pain and guilt involved, but I can say every dog we've let go to another home has ended up happy, spoiled rotten, with just as good (or better!) care than he or she got here. As hard as it is, I have never regretted it. I've missed the dogs, and still do, but I know I made the decision that was best for the animal, if not for my broken heart.

These past couple of weeks, we've learned about several older dogs looking for retirement homes. The oldest of these dogs is ten, and they all still have life to live and love to give. My Ivy lived to five days short of 16, and up until two days before she died, was playing with her toys, running ahead of me on walks, and in general, running the household. Most whippets live to 12 - 14 at least and many make it longer than that with a good quality life.

Older dogs are easier to live with than puppies, you don't have the whole housetraining issue, they're already leash trained, crate trained, over the carsickness...in short, as Walt says frequently, "If people knew about old dogs, we wouldn't be able to give puppies away!" Mature dogs are especially good for people who think they want a whippet but aren't ready to commit to a puppy or for someone looking for a companion for another whippet.

And you would be amazed at how quickly they bond to you. Whippets are the original "love the one you're with" breed!

More Good Dogs in Flux and the Story of Babs

A couple of months ago-- okay, three months ago -- I posted about a couple of good dogs looking for homes. We were inundated with emails about them and they found homes very quickly. Thanks so much to all of you willing to open your hearts and homes to them.

Now we know of a few more. They are not here at Timbreblue, but I can put you in touch with their owners. I can tell you about a couple of them now and there are a couple more I believe with be available soon. None of these dogs are rescues. They are well-bred, well-loved and well-cared-for and are only looking for homes because life has a way of throwing curveballs. Most of them are mature adults...eight or nine years old, Their owners have decided that their circumstances have changed to the point that it would be better for the dogs to start the second halves of their lives in new homes where they will be just as pampered. This is a hard, hard decision to make and shows how much these dogs are loved.

Before we get to them, though, let me tell you about Babs. Babs came to us when she was 12 years old and many of our friends were horrified that her owners could let such an old girl go. But when the family had acquired Babs, they were mostly-at-home folks with a stay-at-home mom and three kids. Years came and went and suddenly the kids went to college, Dad was working out of town all week, and Mom went back to an eight-hour job...with a two-hour commute.  Suddenly little Babs was spending all day and half the evening alone. She was miserable. Her family called to ask if we thought rescue would take her. She was still in good health, but her quality of life had been greatly reduced in the last year or two. We said sure rescue would take her, but we had a better idea. She could come live with us.

It took Babs all of two days to adjust to us as her new family and we enjoyed her for a year before she was diagnosed with cancer. We wouldn't have missed that time with her for the world, and her last year was spent surrounded with love and other whippets, The moral of Babs' story is that older dogs can be perfectly content in a new home as long as they are spoiled adequately.

Babs changed my attitude entirely about rehoming older dogs. I came to realize that these owners, far from being uncaring or irresponsible, are taking the best option for the dog rather than for themselves. It is an extremely difficult and selfless decision to allow an old friend to start a new life in another loving home when the first one is no longer the best one. Once when I was placing a young adult dog with  family with children, the eight-year-old daughter exclaimed, "Now she will have more people who love her as much as you do!" Out of the mouths of babes...

Next up, more good dogs looking for homes!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The best way to make a whippet happy....a cozy cave!

We've discovered that whippets love cozy caves more than anything in the world. Cozy caves are a type of dog bed that has a built-in cover, sort of like a built-in blanket and your whippet can "nest" in the cozy cave without needing assistance with covers. They're just a requirement for any whippet owner, and multiple whippets require multiple cozy caves. The following is a link to the large-sized cozy cave, but you might want to look into the extra-large if you have the space and multiple dogs. Cozy caves rule!!

>> Find Cozy Caves on Amazon


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