wanting to get out of the vehicle and once out wanting to get into our car as fast as he could. Ben had only just come into Rescue and the Homing Co-ordinator wanted him in a foster home as quickly as possible because of his nervous and frightened disposition. Upon arriving home he said hello to all the others and because we were concerned he may run off we put him on the lead and hooked him to the kitchen wall to stop him pacing the place whilst I did the ironing. He seemed quite happy laying on the floor under the oven watching what was happening and made the place his bed because he never moved from it the rest of the day except for us to take him in the garden to relieve himself.
He's going to need a bath because he's covered in brown dry skin but we will do that in a day or so to give him chance to settle.
He pulled an awful lot on the lead when we took him for his walk and behaved like a seagull on a string, constantly trying to make sure nothing from any angle was going to get him!
He ate his dinner reasonably well but we had to keep him on the lead to stop him having a mouthful and dashing off. The lead meant we had full control of him and was able to constantly guide him back to his dish for another mouthful and not initiate a 'chase, chase' senario.
After his dinner and walk he settled in the living room for the evening and because we had the living room door shut he settled on one of the beds in the corner and watched what was going on. When it came to going to bed we found he'd not been upstairs before and once in his bed we had to keep him on the lead and I went to sleep holding his lead because the moment he was on his own he paced backwards and forwards anoying the others. The moment he was on his lead and knew I was holding it he settled instantly but if I dropped it he knew and off he went again wandering round in the dark disturbing the others. Going to sleep holding a dog's lead is a first and I bet to the fly on the wall it must have looked very funny!
16th June 2008
Ben is much better at going up the stairs than he is coming down so we shall be walking down with him a few times today to help him master the art. Considering what he was like yesterday he's been very good today and spent most of the time either in my office or in the kitchen watching what was going on. He's very, very jumpy and panics at any sudden noises or bangs so much so, he doesn't care for his own safety and this morning he ran into the raised stand that the other dogs feed from getting in a bit of a knot after he heard a sudden noise. Its probably the cause of most of the marks on his body and he's so bad that for a while we are going to talk quietly, walk calmly about, not do sudden movements, not wave our arms about and try not to drop things or knock into things to give him chance to settle. Once he begins to settle we can slowly start acting more normal once he realizes it's just noises and he isn't going to be hurt.
This afternoon Ben walked nicely on the lead but as we were coming out of the nature reserve he got the lead round a leg. Instead of standing still so I could remove it as other dogs do he panicked and got tied up in knots. It was awful, he just went round and round until all his legs were tied together and he rolled onto the ground. As I tried to free him from the lead he thought I was going to hurt him and did his hardest to try and get away from me. The whole matter was made worse because I had hold of Sandy who wanted to know what the matter was and kept getting in the way. Ben's collar was on quite tight so he wouldn't back out of it and this made things worse because he wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get hold of him. In the end I did the 'dig or die' - I did the die bit but stayed standing up and the sudden high pitched alarmed scream made all the dogs stand and stare just long enough for me to get hold of Ben's collar. I then gently undid the lead from around his legs and calmed him down then checked him over for injuries because it was a stone path and as mentioned before he cares not for his own safety. He had a graze on his back leg near his tail and another cut on his foot, which I bathed with Hibiscrub when we got home. It was an awful experience and the sight of him trussed up like that was very unsettling as it was similar to some of the cruelty adverts you see in the newspapers. From now on until I am absolutely sure of him he's going for walks on a very short lead to prevent something similar from ever happening again.
This evening we decided to bath Ben to clean any wounds from the incident earlier and to get rid of some of the thick brown skin on him. He wasn't too sure of that but I think he felt better after it because once we'd dried him off he did a little dance around the bathroom.
17th July 2008
21st July 2008
Received an email this morning letting us know that that Ben found his bed in his new owner's bedroom last night. He kept looking at her in bed and she tried to encourage him onto it but he wouldn't and in the end he decided to sleep on his own bed in the corner. Last night they massaged tea tree lotion into his coat to help his flakey skin and he thought that was wonderful. They think he is beginning to come out of his shell because this morning he went into their garden with Ollie and did his toilet, however, once done he came bolting back into the house but it's another good sign that his confidence is building.
29th July 2008
Received an email this morning from Ben's owners letting us know
they had quite a good day yesterday. Met a man on their early morning walk and he walked up the lane with them and Ben never batted an eyelid. They had a visitor yesterday afternoon and Ben actually took a couple of Maltesers from him and stayed in the same room for about half an hour before going to his safe place on the landing. Ben actually went down the garden on his own about three times yesterday but he's still not sure of all the noise the children make, which un-nerves him. When his owners went to bed last night as it was so hot they decided to leave the front room door open for the dogs as it was cooler in there for them. Normally that's the only room where they shut the door at night but about half an hour later they heard a bit of a scuffle so decided to investigate. Ben had found a bag of wool in there and decided it was playtime - there was wool from here to kingdom come. His owner felt she couldn't tell him off because she didn't actually see him do it so he got away with it, but she is going to be keeping her eyes open for a repeat performance. She says there has been an improvement this last two days but they are now wondering if he is going to be a little devil. (A lovable one).
3rd August 2008
Received an email this morning from Ben's owners letting us know he's really coming out of his shell now. Like us they get a welcome every morning when the alarm goes off. He chases round the house when everybody else gets up he goes for a walk with Ollie before breakfast because it's quieter for Ben until he gets a bit more confidence. They are then walked again when one of his owners finishes work about 5 p.m. Ben is gaining more confidence now and is going down the garden on his own possibly because the work being done that backs onto the garden must now be complete and the children next door but one must be away as it is fairly quiet at the moment. He came bounding in last night and nearly knocked his owner over as she was putting fresh water down for them as she didn't hear him coming. Some people were walking down the lane at the bottom of the garden the other day and Ben barked at them! They took him and Ollie out in the new car last Thursday and Friday and called at a garden centre for tea. There were no problems with them being left in the car together. When they collected their new car last thursday the salesman actually managed to stroke Ben!. He was a little freaked out during the week as some young children were waiting at the bus stop and making quite a lot of noise but he settled down fairly soon afterwards. Ben has a new toy the same shape as a ball of wool, which he is beginning to sniff at but he won't actually play with it at the moment. One of his owners bought him a ball and she gets on the floor and rolls it around but he just watches it at the moment. Ben is being groomed everyday and given a massage with the Tea Tree Skin Calm and his coat is looking better for it and his owners don't think the bald patches are quite as noticeable as they were.
5th August 2008
Received an email this morning from Ben's owners
saying they spoke a little too soon because the children are back next door but one so Ben won't go out whilst he can here them.
Ben is also waking them up at 6.15 a.m. each morning so if this continues they don't think they are going to need their alarm clock for much longer and gone are the days when they can have a lie in!
6th August 2008
Received an email from Ben's owner today saying
they have a bucket filled with dog treats which has a lid on it. Unfortunately the lid doesn't fit very well and guess what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ben found it last night after they'd gone to bed. They heard him chewing on something after they'd gone to bed but thought it was his hide chew bone which they'd bought him. He had really had a good go at everything. Needless to say he couldn't wait to get out into the garden this morning. The bucket has now been transferred to a higher place!
12th August 2008
Received an email from Ben's owner today saying
Ben has started playing with his toys last Saturday and really seemed to be not so nervous. They were thrilled at this latest development but as we mentioned to them it seems to be one step forward and then one back. They went out in the car yesterday to the vets and then on to Barton Grange garden centre for a bit of dinner. Took some sausage out with us for the dogs which they enjoyed very much but on their return home Ben shot up the stairs to his safe place and they had a job to get him down again. In fact he had a wee up on the landing which was a little disappointing as he has been very good that way since they got him. They can't think of anything which may have spooked him. When they did manage to get him downstairs they shut the door so that he couldn't go upstairs and spend the night up there. He did settle downstairs but kept looking at the door and they think he would have spent the night in his safe place if they had opened the door. When it came to bedtime he came upstairs and his owner always take a coupde of biscuits to eat while she reads her book and of course the boys get a piece each but as soon as he had his he went back downstairs and wouldn't come back up. She got up about 3 am to make sure he was alright and he was but still wouldn't come upstairs with her. Eventually he came up about 4-30 am and stayed on his bed in her bedroom. It was all a little disappointing as they thought they were winning!
13th August 2008
Because of what happened yesterday we emailed Ben's owner some tips and advice that may help him settle when something happens to him during the day to upset him. Received an email today saying they find it so disappointing when these things happen and they begin to think they are doing something wrong. They think the world of Ben and wouldn't be without him. They met a lady yesterday on their walk who has an adopted Greyhound. Unfortunately she was on her bike which spooked Ben, but she so wanted to stroke him but we asked her not to as we knew it would spook him further. She was very understanding and very nice and sympathised when he appeared so nervous but we talked for a while just so that Ben would get used to this. A friend is coming this afternoon and he alwaysoffers some sort of treat to Ben but he isn't keen on taking things from him but they will keep persevering. Ben will probably go to his safe place whilst he is here.
17th August 2008
Received an email this morning with another update on Ben.
She says he appears to be a very clever dog and has taken up reading but the unfortunate thing is that his owner didn't think he liked the book as he ripped it up. The other night they thought they saw a lump on one side of his face and wondered if he had banged himself or perhaps been stung or even something wrong with one of his teeth. As it was quite late at night they would keep our eye on it till morning as it didn't seem to be bothering him. In the morning they decided to investigate his mouth to see if they could see anything wrong. Next thing they were doubled up laughing because it turned out to be a biscuit which must have got lodged inside his mouth. What a relief it was. We had another accident the other day (a wee) in the same place but fortunately Mandy caught him and shouted at him so he bounded down the stairs and I shoo'd him into the garden where he finished off.
Ben loves his walk in the moring because at 6.30 a.m there isn't much going on and the rabbits are all hopping about. He doesn't enjoy his teatime walk as much because there are more things going on ie. cars and people but he isn't quite as nervous as he was. They have also noticed that when they set off with him he is quite lively and wanting to go but on our way back he seems to lag behind so were wondering if perhaps his toe hurts him after he's walked some distance. It doesn't appear to be as swollen as it was but seems to swell a bit after exercise. Think the kids are away again so we aren't having any problems with him going out into the garden at the moment.
25th August 2008
Received an email from Ben's owners this evening letting us know they have come to the conclusion that Ben is a morning dog. He wakens them up around 5.30a.m. They think that as soon as it starts to get lighter he thinks that everybody should be up. They try to pretend that they are asleep but then he gets up to mischief. He's pinched some of Mandy's teddies etc so they have to get up to take them off him with a stern NO. The other morning they thought he was chewing his bone but it turned out to be the toilet brush. He's also trailed about the bedroom with a towel out of the bathroom, so as they say he must be a morning dog. He has started to jump about when they arrive downstairs, just like a young puppy and sometimes they get a little bark from him. He loves his morning walk, probably because there isn't anyone around at that time in a morning. He isn't as keen on his teatime walk as there are more cars and people about. He still gets nervous when approaching people and is a bit skittish. He isn't quite as bad as he was and is improving slowly. They still avoid making sudden movements as this startles him. Their sister-in-law (Maureen) always gets into the back of the car to make a fuss of him and he doesn't seem to mind but if her husband (David) goes near him he goes into the well of the car between the front and back seats. David loves dogs but they are wondering if Ben may have been mistreated by a man in his past as he won't come anywhere near Roy who calls for a brew every Monday. He just goes to his safe place (the landing) and won't come down until he has gone. The local children have been playing out in the garden this last few days and Ben won't venture out when he hears them. He goes to the door and listens and if he can hear them, then that's it. They are hoping to go away on the 3rd October to Scotland. The place where they stay is all fenced in but they are wondering how Ben will be. It has a large garden for him to run around in and is up a little lane with not much going on so fingers crossed they hope he will be OK. They always visit Findhorn a few times and walk the dogs through the sand dunes and on the beach so they think he will enjoy that. They have discovered Ben doesn't like the doorbell. They suppose he knows that someone strange is going to be at the other side of the door so Mandy is going to try to remember to ring the bell before she comes in from work then he will perhpas not be so nervous about it.
31st August 2008
We were at the Greyhound Awareness day at Waterhead in Ambleside this afternoon when we met Ben's new owners. They had left Ollie and Ben in the car so I walked back with them and got him out. He was still very nervous but walked up the side of the road to where all the others were. He's very unsure of all the traffic going past so we ignored him prancing about each time a car went past. He overcame his nerves for a while when he arrived as he wanted to say hello to the other Greyhounds but after that he wanted to either climb in the back of the car or the Dumfriesshire and Cumbria Greyhound Rescue trailer where he could watch what was going on in safety. He was looking well and had put weight on but showed little sign of recognizing us, which didn't really surprise me because nerves often over-ride the need to welcome those they know - unless they know them well, and it's been a while since we saw him.
When it was time for them to go he refused to get out the trailer so I had to pull him out with his front legs because if I tried with his collar he just anchored down as he used to do with us or backed out of his collar. Anyway, once out he walked away happily with his owners and Ollie back to their car.
23rd September 2008
Received an email this afternoon from Ben's owner letting us know Ben is coming along slowly. He is still frightened of heavy vehicles and people but one or two ar now managing to stroke him.
His owners took him to church last Sunday but left him and Ollie in the car till the service was over. They took him in after the service and a friend who is mad about dogs got on the floor a couple of yards from him and moved slowly towards him and finally managed to stroke him. She was thrilled to bits. She just wanted to cuddle him.
Another friend who was there, also got on the floor and she also managed to stroke him, so he had one at either side of him. He looked a bit wary but at least he didn't run away.
His owners went out out last night, which was the first time he had been left for a couple of hours and when they got home they went from room to room checking everything was okay - and it was! They were having a a cup of tea later and they noticed his collar was missing. They've hunted high and low both inside and around the garden but they can't find it anywhere so it looks as if it will be a trip to get a new name tag and collar. They don't know where it has gone and it's a shame as he looked so smart in it so they are disappointed that its lost.
Ben tried reading another book again but he didn't like it so he ripped it up - another one which they hadn't read!
This morning Ben actually settled on the grass in the garden with Ollie for a few minutes then got up and started barking at him because he wanted to play but Ollie couldn't be bothered.
1st October 2008
Received an email this morning from Ben's owner letting us know he is three today and will be celebrating his birthday with an oversized chew stick and a new collar.
Yesterday Ben and Ollie were left on their own for about three hours and everything was okay upon their owner's return with no books ripped up etc. He goes down the garden on his own now as we thought he might once the children were back at school and they have two footballs to play with. He is showing an interest in them and when his owners kick one carefully towards him he puts a foot on it but doesn't know what else to do with it!
They have found a few holes in the soil in the greenhouse and they think Ben is the culprit. Far to big to be mice or anything like that. It has been suggested it may be a fox but they have a sneaky feeling it's Ben but they haven't caught him at it yet.
Everyone is going on holiday to Scotland at the weekend and they are looking forward to taking the dogs on the beach at Findhorn. They feel sure Ben will love it there as I'm sure he will but they won't let him of the lead as he's still a long way from doing anything like that because there are still too many things that spook him. However, he is improving.
21st November 2008
This afternoon Ben and his owners came to visit with Ollie. All the Greyhounds welcomed each other then Ben lay in his normal place in the kitchen under the oven and watched all that went on. He looked well.
7th December 2008
Struan, another black Greyhound very similar to Ben went to live with him and Ollie on the 5th December. Struan is the opposite to Ben in that he is very friendly and confident so it is hoped his easy going confidence will help bring Ben out of his shell.