Friday, March 13, 2009

Mom


After trying several times to breed Spirit and her sister Winnie with no success I learned Georgiana and Lila were breeding a litter out of "Blueberry" Ch Aroi Aryal Rainy Day Blues. They were breeding her to the same male that I had tried to breed the girls to, "Uro" Ch Graal Quest Urostar. I was interested in the litter since Blueberry is a lovely feminine female and Uro is a very handsome masculine male. I wanted a girl out of the litter and anxiously waited them being born. The day finally arrived with 6 red boys and 2 red girls. Not much color to choose from!! The weeks went by as I awaited the moment when I could pick up my puppy when tragedy struck. The litter came down with a serious gastroenteritis that required hospitalization and intensive care of all the pups. As I am a vet, I decided to pick up my puppy-Lyric- and take her back to my hospital and care for her. When I picked her up from the first hospital I was shocked. She was sitting in a cage by herself with only newspaper to lay on while hooked up to an IV. Being away from its littermates for the first time is frightening enough for a 7-8 wk old puppy. When you couple it with nothing soft to lay on, it seems almost cruel. Although it is much easier to keep a dog clean when housed by itself on newspaper, this is very hard and frightening to a puppy. My bonding with Lyric occurred in the intensive care of our hospital-she was there with catheters and blood draws for about two weeks. I had to teach her that humans didn't always hurt her. She taught me alot about caring for sick baby puppies-their emotional needs are as important as their physical needs.

She was always such a serious puppy but the easiest puppy I have ever raised. Somehow things like being left alone in a crate/xpen didn't phase her. She has never suffered from the severe separation anxiety that plagues many of the greyhounds. Maybe her early illness had some unexpected benefits. I teach house breaking to puppies by putting a dog bed beside my bed and attaching a leash to the puppy. If they start getting restless I wake up and take them out. One night, when Lyric had only been home a few weeks and was 12 wks old, I woke up to the sound of the leash (metal ring) clinking out the bedroom down the hall through the living room and kitchen out the back door to the yard. She had already learned what housebreaking was all about.

Although we did basic puppy training I waited until she was about a year old to start showing and working her. After what she had been though I didn't want to put any pressure on her, rather I wanted to let her enjoy her puppyhood playing. Her showing career was a breeze from multiple Best of Breeds from the classes to Group 1 from the classes. Lyric took me placing showing that I have never been before. From multiple Group placements(with me handling!) to winning the Best of Breed at the Lompoc specialty and later that year to winning the Greyhound Club of Northern California specialty. It has always been a dream of mine to win Best of Breed at a specialty-particulary Lompoc and go High In Trial with the same dog the same day. Well we almost did it at the last years Lompoc. She went High In Trial her first time in the obedience ring with a 192.5-after earning her third Rally Excellant leg minutes earlier. We then went over to the conformation ring and ended up with First Award of Merit(dang so close!). But she did everything I asked of her-and in style and I couldn't be prouder of her.

She is such a serious dog with a prey drive that never quits-much to the dismay of my cats. At least this instinct comes in handy training. Her biggest reward after training is to have the lunge whip with a piece of fur to chase. Food is fine but give her the something to chase if you want real motivation.

One of the nicest about Lyric is how positive the greyhound community has been about her. Generally when a dog is a big winner they get their share of negative criticism from people. It seems from all avenues of the breed-the open field world,the performance world and the show world people are complimentary. Her looks,movement,personality and trainabilty are all commented on and appreciated.

After recovering from surgery for a torn ligament and raising puppies Lyric is resuming her show and performance career this spring.

3 comments:

BrittBeah said...

What a lovely girl. The fifth pic down made me laugh. How is that ever comfortable?! Good luck in your upcoming showing/ performances!

Hiking Hounds said...

Lyric is so beautiful. I think the black and the front of her lips kind of makes her look like she is wearing lipstick. :-)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Love the yoga pose picture :-). She did seem very serious when I met her.

Jen