13th January 2005
Jake settled quite well when we arrived home last night but was very nervous and had a good tour of the house to check out his new environment. We had only been home a few minutes when friends arrived and after something to eat we walked up to the pub. Jake was very nervous and didn't settle so we went home. He ran up the stairs, which surprised us but refused to come down so I went in front to lead him and Stuart stood behind and pushed him to get him started. He took a while to settle into his bed next to the others for the night but once settled he slept through only waking once to be let out, which was very good. This morning he needed a push to get him started down the stairs but by lunch time, and after he'd seen Indi
charge down a few times he realised there must be a knack and by the middle of the afternoon he was going up and down on his own.
He eats his food well and takes tit bits from our fingers
very gently although at present, he thinks nothing to jumping up to work surfaces to see what is there. We started teaching him the word 'leave' using his pig's ear after his lunch time walk and he did it very well for the first time. He gets on very well with both Indi
and seems keen to follow their example. As the day progressed he became more and more settled and by the end of the evening he was relaxing on the sheepskin in the living room.
14th January 2005
Jake settled well last night and slept through till 7.30 am before wanting to go out. The house was very quiet today because Stuart went to the Racing Car Show at the NEC in Birmingham and I spent the day preparing for the open house party being held tomorrow to celebrate Stuart's 50th birthday. Despite Jake being so nervous last night he was very good all day and settled really well. He either lay in the living room or in front of the kitchen fire whilst I was busy and had no 'accidents' all day. After tea he cautiously climbed onto one of the settees and after a few minutes of looking rather worried he relaxed and settled for the evening.
15th January 2005
Jake had another good night last night and he didn't seem concerned about the hustle and bustle in the morning whilst the last minute preparations were underway for the open house party. Visitors started arriving at 1pm and were coming and going right through to 10.15 pm when we all, dogs included, departed to the pub up the road. At one point there were seven Greyhounds in the house and Jake was really good all day. He had a couple of accidents when the other dogs were in the house but these were probably 'marking his spot' because some of the other dogs hadn't been neutered. Whilst the other dogs were in the house we kept him on the lead so we could watch him but after they left we let him off and he just wandered around saying hello to everyone. He stole a chocolate biscuit off a plate at one stage, then we realised it was 6.15pm and his dinner time. After we fed them they all crashed out on the settees for the rest of the evening to the surprise of everyone present. People thought Jake was lovely and astonished at how well he behaved to say just a couple of days ago he was in kennels. I must admit I was a little concerned at having such a large gathering with a new dog but Jake was a star and took it all in his stride. He loved the attention and when we went to the pub at 10.15pm he just lay on the floor with the others and went to sleep.
16th January 2005
Its been a quiet day today whilst we were tidying up after yesterday and Jake has settled even more. He really wants to please and follows Bobby
example so he's picking things up really quickly. He will cower though if Stuart raises his voice to him so we are going to work on increasing his confidence when in his presence.
31st January 2005
Jake has settled in really well and is a pleasure to have. He sleeps well in the night and comes running into our bedroom every morning wagging his tail furiously and wanting attention - he is just so happy. If he comes in too early I just pretend I am asleep and when I don't respond he just wanders back to his bed and returns with Indi
We experienced one or two 'accidents' to begin with - on the evening of the 17th January we had some of Saturday's hot pot for tea and gave all the dogs some as well. Jake was up most of the night and soiled 5 times. Everyone else was fine so the only thing we can think of was that he just wasn't used to that type of food and, although it was only hotpot, it may have been a bit rich for him. Since then we have watched what we feed him, even tit bits to allow his stomach time to adjust to the family way of life. When I took Indi
to the vet to be spayed and left him at home with Bobby
and Stuart I found another couple of accidents when I got back, likewise when I left him again with Bobby
and Stuart to take Indi
back to the vet for a routine check up three days later he did another accident. Since then we've had nothing. He is a very sensitive dog and we think despite his outward appearance of taking everything in his stride, he was actually very frightened and insecure during those first few days. He's fine with me but really nervous around Stuart so when I left him with him
his nerves got the better of him and the accidents were his way of showing it. In the past few days Stuart has put a lot into building up Jake's confidence around him and he's getting better every day. Additionally, I have been leaving him in the house with the others when I go to the Post Office, take rubbish to the bin or fetch coal in from the garden so as to help reduce his separation anxiety.
As we have quite a large garden we tend to keep our new
dogs on the lead for the first few days until they get used to where they are. When we first let Jake off his lead he loved the freedom and ran round and round the trees in the garden. After a few days he escaped one morning running through a gap in the fence, which was damaged in the storms and something we hadn't noticed. He ran into next door's garden but as they don't have a gate on their drive we were frightened he would run onto the road. We ran round hoping to cut him off but there was no sign of him anywhere, Stuart went along the road and I walked back up through the neighbours garden looking for him - he was nowhere so I walked back through the gap into our garden with the intension of opening our drive gate to allow him back in if he wandered back. As I rounded the corner to my amazement and relief he was stood by the conservatory door waiting to be let in. We think he thought next door's garden was an extension to ours and having done what he wanted to do just wandered back home again. Needless to say he was back on lead exercise only until