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Zoe's first week

Posted by , 19 May 2008 · 564 views


This is about Zoe's new life with my family. She is my first IG, I've wanted one since I was 12, so in the twenty years between then and now I had lots of time to research! When I saw an ad on craigslist for an Italian Greyhound, I felt the time was finally right. The kids are older, classes are out at college for the summer and the husband has learned about living with housedogs that like to snuggle under the covers. I'll have time to work on her training before classes start in the fall and even when they do, I'm only gone around 3 hours a day.

Zoe's old family didn't have much time for her and had not managed to housebreak her so they wanted to find her a new home where she would be more a part of the family. Her old life consisted of being in a crate for long hours. She learned there was really no point in holding it because it just made her uncomfortable and she couldn't hold it longer than she'd be crated for anyway. Because of her accidents, when she wasn't crated, she was on a tie out outside. Her nose was apparently sunburned, her legs and tummy stained yellow from lying in her urine. However they did a great job socializing her when it comes to meeting new people and she is not timid meeting strangers. She often will jump up to be petted and loves everyone, especially children. Still, she can be more uncertain around adults and will often growl when someone tries to pick her up unless she initiated contact first. She wants to be loved on her terms. I'm working on teaching her that she must learn to accept being picked up.

Of course there are some challenges in adjusting to another dog in the house and we are all working to adjust to the different personalities and lifestyles really. She was VERY active the first several days, but seems to be settling a bit now that she has been here for nearly a week. She tends to pick on my rat terrier, I am working to teach her how to play with other dogs. She is friendly with them, just rough. Similarly, she is very mouthy with people too, so teaching her not to bite hands and arms is a daily practice. The first time I yipped when she gave me a play bite she looked shocked! She does listen to a firm NO BITE too, so that is good.

She is progressing very well on her housebreaking, or maybe I'm just broken in! I take her out every 45 minutes or so, sooner after meals. If she is napping I take her out right after she wakes up. Really I am treating her just like I would any new puppy.

She sleeps in my bed with Roxie and my husband, usually under the covers. She is quite the little snuggle puppy.

The description I read of an IG being like a 2 year old with ADD fits her pretty well. If she isn't napping she is wandering from one place to another looking for something interesting to chew on. My rattie went through the same phase at around her age, it's wonderful for reminding my kids to pick up their toys. It is funny at times, because I no sooner take one item away and she's wandered off and found a new special toy. Of course having chew hooves, squeakies and assorted other toys made for dogs out doesn't matter, because they just aren't as fun. She learned this morning that it is FUN to grab the end of the toilet paper roll and run off with it. That's a great game! It amused me to no end to walk into my bathroom and find a LOOOOONG string of toilet paper with iggy sized bite amrks at the end. It's slowly sharpening my puppy proofing skills as I re-learn just what a young dog views as interesting to chew on.

I am a big believer in clicker training, so I will keep practicing with her on it so she learns good manners, like sit and down. I taught my rattie to dance, I might be able to teach Zoe this trick too.

Her first vet appointment is for Wednesday, when she will be spayed. The old owners gave me her papers and an unaltered dog. Eeeek! Of course her registration is only America's Pet Registry, but still. I was thrilled to get her recent shot records in the mail today, I was wondering if I would need to just assume she wasn't up to date and get her a new round of shots. I see two different owner names and pup names on the shot records. Neither matches the name of the woman I got her from. Her story has been very confusing to follow because of the way she has been bounced around so much. I am at the very least her third home in her life and there are inconsistencies on where she was supposed to have come from. The owner told me she came from a friend that couldn't keep her because she had a dog that wanted to kill her. The friend was supposed to have a cousin that bred them and she got the dog from them. But when I look over her paperwork, the story seems different. She has a receipt for a $595 puppy and a 50.00 crate in there. Hmmm.

Anyway, she's here now and off to a good start!

I love reading about Zoe and how well she is adjusting. wink.gif
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