Two sides of the coin

Greyhound related , Photo essay August 11th, 2008

Tails: Philip is obnoxious.

Philip woke us up yesterday morning at 4:30.   We were in Ukiah; Matt’s parents put the cat food in the garage to keep it (and the cat) away from the boys.   The garage door wasn’t quite shut, and we think the dogs heard someone head into the garage for a snack; we’re not quite sure, as we were asleep.   What we heard was the dogs barreling into the kitchen and some frenzied vocalizations.   Matt stumbled into the kitchen, broke up the commotion, and we all went back to sleep.

For two hours.   By 6:30, Philip was making such a jerk of himself, pacing and whining and being generally bratty, we got up and went for a walk, muttering about what a pain he is.

Heads: Philip is fearless.

While in Ukiah, we took advantage of Matt’s parent’s canoe.   We wanted to see if it was possible to canoe with the dogs.   So we headed up to a nearby lake with the canoe, both dogs, and a wagon-load of gear.   First, we located a likely launch point.

The slope was manageable, the distance from the car was short.   The only drawback was the number of geese, which we thought might set off the dog’s prey drive.

Not so much.   The dogs ignored the geese.   They also ignored the canoe, blowing right past it to sit in the lake (in Henry’s case) and to sniff about (in Philip’s).

Eventually, it was canoe time.   We couldn’t get the dogs to climb into the canoe on their own, so Matt hoisted Philip in.   He wasn’t thrilled when he was on his feet — too slippery.   Then he fell down, and once he was down, he was just fine.

Matt hopped in, and off they went.

They stayed close to the shore at first.   Matt paddled.   Philip looked at birds.

Henry supervised proceedings from the shore.

To get Philip out, we tipped the boat somewhat, and he hopped out on his own.   Matt then tried putting Henry in.

Henry was clearly terrified and miserable, however.   He had his tail between his legs, he was lip licking (a sign of stress) and wouldn’t take treats.   Since our aim was not to traumatize him, we pulled him out, put Philip back in, and this time, I took him out.

I didn’t have much luck controlling the canoe, though, so I brought it back in (actually, I think Matt dragged me in) and Matt headed back out.

Since it was pretty clear that Philip wasn’t going to tip the canoe, as we’d originally feared, they went further out this time.   Henry and I watched from shore.

Although Henry didn’t want to go out on the canoe, he didn’t want to be left behind, either.   He sat in the water near the shore and whined until Matt and Philip came back.

Unlike Henry, Philip felt so comfortable in the canoe, he declined to exit.

He napped in the canoe while we hung out on shore for an hour or so.

The outing has proved a few things to us.   One: Two dogs can fit in a 16′ canoe.   Two: The dogs are unlikely to tip the canoe.   We just might start looking for a canoe of our own.

3 Responses to “Two sides of the coin”

  1. greytblackdogon 11 Aug 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Kim – i’m so jealous. while henry looks like what my roxy might look like if we put her in a boat, phillip seems to be enjoying his new found water legs. who knows – you may have a dock diver on your hands!

    I’ve been so behind on my blog reading and i didn’t realize how frustrated you’ve been with phillip until tonight. check out jen bachelor’s site –

    She is the greyhound yoda of the east coast. She can really help you with any kind of greyhound-specific behavior issue as she has seen and heard them all. Good luck!

  2. kimon 14 Aug 2008 at 12:12 am

    Thanks for the tip; I’ve been reading Jen’s blog since you mentioned Travis (so sad). She does amazing things with her dogs. We’re actually working with another fabulous trainer here, and Philip is making big strides, but you’re right; I have been frustrated with him. I think it will keep looking up, though.
    P.S. I got Henry to climb into the canoe (for treats, of course — hot dogs) once it was on dry land, so I have hope for him yet!

  3. [...] along.   A perfect trial opportunity arose when Matt’s parents bought a canoe.   We did a canid-canoe compatibility test, and found that, yes, the concept could [...]

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