I am coming up to 1 Year with Vegas and sometimes I wish I had re-named him Zombie instead, lol, everything said about greyhounds is 100% true! In addition everything I personally wanted in my matched greyhound buddy has also come true, so thank you to the volunteers at Chinook Winds for making such a successful match!
When Vegas came home I was expecting a lot more work on my part to get him ready for the cushy life then I actually had to do! Granted the stairs were pretty scary to Vegas the first few times we went up and down but he has mastered them since. On a side note, stairs make an effective "baby gate" for him when we go to see friends and family. If he has never gone up a new set of stairs before he just doesn't. It's almost like every new staircase is a completely different obstacle for him....I think this works to my benefit! Once I do show him that the stairs are "good" (like at Grandma and Grandpa's house) then he has no problem going up and down on his own.
When he came into my home for the first time and met my cat Louis, Vegas looked at him and then kept going on his merry way to sniff all the new smells. When I took him to my parents the same thing happened, he saw their cat and just continued doing whatever it was he was doing. He has a zero prey drive when it comes to cats and I really think cats can tell! Everytime I go a friend or family members house with cats...the cats ALWAYS hangs out no more than 10 feet away from him and just watch him. They do not look scared or ready to bolt, I think they are just as shocked and amazed at this greyt dog as I am. Louis has actually walked right up to Vegas and licked his ear! When Vegas is lying on the couch with me and if I have a blanket over Vegas, Louis will come over and lye on him. For the most part though I have Louis on one side of me and Vegas on the other. :) I feel so loved. :)
House training Vegas for the most part was a huge success! I kept him kenneled when I wasn't home and every day I would come home at lunch, let him out and take him for a quick walk around the block. Then one day I just decided that I would put him in the kennel and leave the door open....see what happens. Well what happened was NOTHING! :) Success! 3 hours of alone time and he didn't get into anything, didn't go to the bathroom inside...just a perfect gentlemen, so I just went with it. After a few weeks of leaving him to roam free at home (no more than a few hours at a time) I would come home to pile of random objects in my livingroom like my shoes, remotes, CD's, once he grabbed my hammer...pretty much anything that I recently had touched. He only ever chewed one thing which was a bingo dabber...yup...his face and paws were bright pink for a while but since then he has NEVER EVER chewed anything else...he was just a collector of my smell I guess. My boyfriend of almost a year now (he is lower on the pecking order than Vegas, LOL, shhh don't tell him that) spends a lot of time at my house and Vegas is beginning to add his slippers to the collection, I take that as a sign of Vegas accepting him into our family. After a couple of months we did have a set back and he began going to the bathroom inside the house. This happened a handful of times so I took it back to the beginning and put him in his kennel when I went out. Again, after a couple of weeks I began to give him the "open door policy" on his kennel and for the past few months we have had repeated house training success!
Vegas spends a couple nights a month or sometimes an entire weekend with my parents or his "Grandparents" and they just LOVE him! My parents know that Vegas doesn't sleep in bed with me but for some reason they let him sleep in bed with them. My Dad told me about how for the first part of the night he had his legs curled up to make room for Vegas and then in the middle of the night when Vegas adjusts, my mom then curls her legs up to make room! Geez, what a lucky dog! LOL.
Not only do my parents love Vegas but so does my sister and her kids. My sister has actually called me up a few times to see if she can take Vegas for a walk in the park...not
me...just Vegas. My sister doesn't really get a lot of alone time with two young kids so when she does and askes to spend some of it with Vegas, it makes me feel lucky to have such an awesome dog! My nieces as well were terrified of dogs (they are 5 and 7 years old now) until the met Vegas a few times. Once they realized Vegas was a good boy, who rarely barks and doesn't get in their face they began asking if Vegas was coming over....not Auntie...just Vegas. Vegas sure loves them too! He will go to their toy box, grab toys and make piles. He will go upstairs, get a toy, down the stairs, drop the toy in the middle of the livingroom, got back up stairs, get anther toy, go back down, drop it, go up....he did this until he had about 12 toys in the living room. He also walks fantastic on leash for them. I am happy to say that my sister is planning on getting her own greyhound family member and my parents have discussed being foster parents in the future.
I wanted to give you some pics of Vegas....I tell you it was sure hard to pick just a couple.