|Updated March. 2017
After we lost Ňrlaith, it was the first time we didn't have at least one Greyhound living with us since we adopted Irony
in 1998. Because she was easily stressed by pack changes, even when positive, we had
not wanted to bring in another after
we found out she only had a short time to live. And, of course, we were
focused on her, making her as happy, comfortable and spoiled as possible for as long as possible. So it was just Gleann and Sachairi. And Meadhran was given free run of the entire house.
I had noted when the manager of Greyhound
Placement Service, NH
had posted last winter about "Sunny," who had seizures. Probably not
the most glowing recommendation for most people, but animals which are
hard to place have a special space in my heart. Other "losers"
where all older, around 10 or 11 and given, well, everything, that
seemed like a dangerous age for us at this point. So I kept her in mind as we
randomly threw out the need to get another hound, to carry on the
In July we were finally ready to start making plans. When I contacted Michele, at GPS and mentioned Sunset Seduction she was ready to go! So on July 22, 2014, Aaron went down to pick up our new brindle girl.
She is relatively young for our pack, full of energy. She was rather nervous when
she first arrived, spent a lot of time pacing the house. The way our
house is designed, if both bathroom doors are open, as they especially
are in the summer to help air circulate, you have a circle and she
walked or trotted it quite a bit at first. Still does at times when she
finds those doors open.
While we had "friendly warnings" that taking on a
dog with seizures was "setting ourselves up for another
heartbreak"....well, getting any animal is, the don't live long enough no
matter what, you get no guarantees. Ever. But not many would take her,
and not just because of that. She's an over the top goof! Sings in her
crate after her Kong is empty. Sings at other random times. By sing I
mean high pitched and undulating...really, very musical but sometimes
painful. But that's okay. When she's done she's done. She is also
definitely worse than Ců when it comes to food obsession, possibly even worse than Bran was! She is obsessed.
However, there is one thing, one problem, a severe and disturbing defect ....her couch mode is totally dysfunctional!
As for the seizures she hadn't had any for months before we got her and hasn't had any yet (as of Jan 3, 2015). *knockswood*
She will not get on the couch or bed, the coveted thrones of our past
hounds. She will not voluntarily get on them at all. We got her to lie
down on the bed once and I have picked her up on my lap on the couch,
one time crawling out from under her so she could lie on it and
snuggle. She loves to snuggle,
just not get on the couch. Or off. She has a bit of trouble
getting down when we do get her on, possibly due to her meds which make
her a bit klutzy. This may be the reason for her
reluctance. She also does seem to have to do the spin thing before
settling, which could also be disastrous! So we need to invest in more
dog beds and a beanbag chair or something so we can get down and
snuggle her more comfortably on the floor.
In the few months she's been with us, despite the couch mode
dysfunction, she's been a great continuation of our Greyhound legacy
here. The boys love her, they are healing from their past loss as are
we. We never forget those who passed, but the best way to honor
them is to give homes to those who are still here.
These are the updates I most hate making.
Gráinne never learned to be really comfortable on couches or the people
bed, she could jump into the high van with no problem but somehow the
open space of the couch or bed were too much for her. She
probably never would have even if she lived to a ripe old age. We
lowered our bed a bit and at bedtime would put two dog beds on top of
one another so she was at least closer to me when we slept. She
seemed to like that. She totally was into being with the pack.
She also loved to snuggle her head into one of us while we rubbed her
ears. She'd stand and ask for this, you'd have to stop everything
and just focus on giving her love. And then she was done and would lie
down and contently go to sleep. Really, she wasn't a very demanding
hound, she just wanted love and attention...and food, a lot of
food....she did love food.
We can't say we weren't warned, but then we knew it....taking on any
animal, especially one with special needs already, is always risking
heartbreak. Not even a risk, because, really, because it's pretty
much an absolute given with most animals.
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives
even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily
and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live
no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never
fully understanding the necessary plan"
The seizures never really became much of an
issue, except for one time. She had one, it was rather terrifying when
it happened, we got
through it, got her meds adjusted and she never had another one. At
least not that kind. She did have mysterious swellings on her joints
and face and/or neck, sometimes with pain, sometimes apparently no
pain. Sometimes she would appear to be lame or have a "stiff neck" with
no swelling. We kept taking her back to the vet to try to figure it out
with no luck. The question of if she was possibly hurting herself
during seizures we didn't see was ruled out as there just wasn't that
much time we were not with her and none of the events lined up with us
being gone or sleeping (it's not like I have ever slept well or
soundly, to begin with). Another symptom was that Gáinne loved
walks with us and the boys, some days happily going for long ones, but
some days she was also just to lethargic, she'd stop and that was it,
no movement until we turned. to go home.
(TO BE CONTINUED SOON)
Contents and design, except
where noted otherwise below, copyright © 1998-2017 Saigh Kym Lambert
and Aaron Miller
Background modified from a graphic from the World of Celtic Art
Clipart from Clipart Castle
top pic of Grainne from Greyhound
Placement Service NH