Blaster's Blog Finale
We apologize that we have not updated Blaster's Blog in such a long time but we couldn't report on what wasn't happening. We are happy to report that over the past month, 8 months after his arrival , Blast is changing and is making significant improvements once again. He has actually made some pretty big strides. Will Blast ever be that Wal-Mart Meeter/Greeter that just makes you want to own a greyhound? - never. Will he ever just run up to anyone just for the fun of it, to say hello and request a pet for a lean? - never. Will he ever hop up on the couch just for a cuddle and some chat time? - never. Will he ever be that happy, go-lucky 2 yr old puppy, that I know and love, out in public for all the world to see? - probably not.
If you first take a minute and read through Blaster's Blog from the beginning you'll notice such things as unpredictability with progress, the inability to socialize, his fear of man and beast alike, his fear of food, his fear of touch and attention, his fear of voice and generally just his inability to cope with the world. Does this sound like a grey that you would want to adopt? You want to believe you should!
Rather than focus on the things he'll never do, I'd like to introduce you to Acme Blasting as I have come to know him and as my husband has come to observe him. I think he'll always be a one person companion. I'm not sure that he'll ever be able to trust anyone totally other than myself but Jim and I work tirelessly on his trust issues.
I did have Blast to a second behaviorist vet that felt Blast really needed some "doggy Prozac" to help him cope with his world. We did give it a good and honest try but Blast, being so distrustful, stopped eating. He just knew there were pills to be had somewhere in there. He's not a dog that would allow you to pop a pill down his throat so we have chosen to let Blast conquer his world on his own terms. We have some greyt training suggestions and resources so we work on those as well. Medication may still be helpful to us but Blast is not at that point yet.
Acme Blasting ( Blaster, Blasty ) is one of the greytest and bravest dogs that I have ever met. He is conquering his world slowly and at his own pace but he IS conquering it.
Our adventures somewhere along the line have created a 2 year old puppy. When there is just myself and our other 3 greyhounds at home, he doesn't have a care or a fear in the world. He has a heart of gold, loves to play and bite and tug and do all those activities one would see in a young pup. He smiles and teases and invites play unconditionally - Unbelievable !! Yet once the world steps in he still just shuts down and refuses to share himself.
Blast is affectionate and will now demand it. He'll grind his head so hard into my chest or lap that you just can't do anything else but respond with a laugh and a cuddle. The rougher I scruff his ears the more excited he gets. He gets so excited that he'll tuck that butt and hit the hallways at top speed. He can almost always be seen doing laps around the house with a stuffie in his mouth. Having said that, there is not a stuffy in my house that hasn't been de-stuffed; no matter, dead stuffies are just as good to toss around, play with and even bury. He and Beth ( 10 1/2 yrs old ) are joined at the hip. They run and race and play toss together and generally sound quite rough with each other at times. He has to put her head or her neck in his mouth at least once per day and she has to give him "what for" in response. And then they are off. It is not unusual to see them in their dig hole together - one burying toys and the other digging them up. Beth, I believe, has done the most in helping Blast come out of his shell. He gets along famously with the other resident hounds, fosters and visiting canines. He believes that they are all play machines just for his enjoyment. We take him to Parkland rink and he runs like the wind.
Blast has impeccable house manners. He has just lately started to meet visitors at the door and if they ignore him he'll come close enough to investigate and with any luck they might even get to pet him. Jim can now pet him outside - major move on Blast's part. He has taken to going to Jim for hand fed treats and this is HUGE in Blast's world. He is the best dog in the world to walk. He seldom, if ever, goes to the bathroom out of his yard and it would never occur to him to put his head down and smell the world. He just trots along in a perfect heel - so beautiful to see. Of course, his blue brindle coloring attracts the whole world. Does he still have periods of odd unpredictability - yes and I expect he always will.
His eating has been a trial and most likely always will be. It has taken 6 months for us to get 1.8 kg of weight on him but his ribs no longer hang out as in some of the previous photos. He changes his food preferences as often as we change our socks so the menu of the day is always a challenge. He loves to stand and be brushed. He gets into his bed at night and awaits my arrival for massage time. Hips/tail/belly were all off limits for the longest time but he'll now lift his leg to get a belly rub. We play on the floor head to head and he has started pulling my hair - fun for him! He is cockroaching more often all the time. He goes to see Dr Mark every 5-6 months and has a nice little twilight nap while we do his nails and check his teeth and do all those things that we need to do to him but he won't allow.
Blast is Adopted !! What made us decide that we just couldn't part with him? - Blast himself! I've known for a long time now that Blast wasn't going anywhere, probably from day 1, but my dilemma was how to convince one's mate that 4 greyhounds was a good thing? "The 4 Greyhound Yard Escape" clinched the deal. Blast was one of the 4 escapees and he was the one that didn't come back and he was the one that raced out of sight. It was heart wrenching but life changing when he came home because he couldn't bare to be out in that big bad world all by himself. The fact that he trusted me enough to come home made me realize that he already was home!! He has fit well into our pack and when I just sat back and watched my pack co-exist, they had already decided that he was here to stay - no question! When Fire quits lifting her lip at a dog passing her while on her throne, the couch, we know that they are here to stay ! Besides being a "special needs boy" he is an awesome boy and I can't imagine not having him here. He has taught us many life lessons and I can't wait to continue this journey.
Chinook Winds is always in need of "Special Needs Homes" for dogs like Blast or other dogs that just need extra care/time and attention to get them on the road to adoption. There are different degrees of "special needs dogs". They may be a senior with no issues. They may be shy or withdrawn or just unsure of themselves and just need some extra time in foster care to get some confidence. They may just be on a medical hold. Blast is only one of numerous special needs dogs that we have fostered and each and every one before him has found their forever home. We often thought that we would be adopting our special needs dogs but they have all gone into awesome homes. It just takes longer sometimes for that perfect home but the wait is well worth it. NO, you don't have to adopt them but you must be prepared for extended periods of fostering!! If you think this would be something that you might be interested in, then please investigate the possibilities. The rewards will be all yours!!
We would like to Thank everyone who has helped us along the way, in particular Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue - whatever Blast needed, Blast got !! There has been so much interest in Blast's progress that it has boggled our minds. Watch for Blaster's "Greyt Tail" update in a few months.
Cheers Everyone & Hug Those Hounds! Judy, Jim, Sterling, Fire, Beth & Blast