Kilroy’s Kingdom

As a race dog, and then a city dog, Kilroy had no idea what he was missing: his own yard.

Our new place has a small fenced-in back yard, which is huge for our standards after the little back patio we had in our Arlington townhouse.

Kilroy took an immediate liking to his new yard but was still stuck in his old back porch routine: pee quickly and rush back in to bed.

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Over the course of the past week and a half, Kilroy has been getting more comfortable and spending progressively more time in his yard.

Yesterday, he figured out that back yards aren’t just for peeing: he can poop out there, too!

And now….he’s in no hurry to come back inside!

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There’s no place like home

Kilroy’s Kingdom is unraveling around him.

Moving day is rapidly approaching and his people are fluttering around in an unusual frenzy. Boxes are piling up, furniture is being dismantled, and there are all sorts of strange sounds.

Kilroy understands that something big is happening and his reaction has been to cling to his sense of safety: his beds.

He’s surprisingly cool and relaxed when in the safe spaces of his beds, as long as they are in the right places. But, sensing some sort of impending doom, he is reluctant to leave the security of those spots upstairs and, when we can get him away, he makes every attempt to scurry back.

B and I understand Kilroy’s reaction to the physical upheaval in our household and the startling changes in our routine and behavior.  Dogs are very sensitive (greyhounds, especially) and the uncertainty associated with change is very traumatic for dogs. We are going with the flow of his anxiety, as best we can.

Kilroy has essentially become a shut-in.  He doesn’t want to leave the upstairs (especially considering his issue with the stairs) which is fine, except for the necessities of eating/drinking and peeing/pooping.

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His elevated feeding station is downstairs and he  rushes by it in order to get back upstairs, so he wasn’t getting the hydration or nourishment he needs.  To make sure he gets what he needs, we have been delivering food and water to his bedside.  Of course, room service only exacerbates the issue, but I won’t allow him to become dehydrated or any skinnier than he is. We’re only here for a few more days.

Walkies has become a definite issue.  It’s getting to the point where he is refusing to get out of bed (especially for evening walkies). He freaks out (shakes, nose drips) and it’s often difficult to get him away from the house and down the drive.  He will pee once, turn on his paw, and attempt to scurry home. It takes great effort to get him to poop.

Here’s hoping his new house hits Kilroy’s reset button.

Greyhound sigh.

Kilroy’s Kriteria

The self-appointed “Mayor of East Falls Church” is expanding his territory.  Kilroy and his humans are soon moving to Central Virginia!

It can be difficult to find a new place to meet all of a family’s criteria. Location, square footage, cost, amenities, condition, pet-friendliness, timeline…it’s rare to get everything you need and want in a new home, especially in a rental home.

I’m picky and B is cheap, so house hunting is always somewhat of an ordeal. But our expectations are nothing compared to the ironically particular needs developed by our low-maintenance greyhound:

  1. Single-story. Kilroy mastered our stairs after a month of retiring.  But he has developed problems descending the stairs due to some eyesight issues as he ages (see What goes up….) . It’s an ordeal every time to herd him down the stairs so, for Kilroy’s safety and our own sanity, our next place must have the living area and the pack den (master bedroom) on the same level.
  2. Fenced-in yard. As a semi-city dog with only a small patio, all of Kilroy’s serious business (poopies!) requires real walkies. As the U.S. Postal Service says, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays [this dog] from the swift completion of [his] appointed rounds.” Kilroy is often averse to being forced out into Virginia’s climate of extremes, and his humans don’t enjoy it, either. So he needs some green space to do his business when walkies aren’t ideal.
  3. Tall fence. Greyhounds are flight risks and require 6-foot fencing.  Kilroy is part Tigger (spring loaded) and regularly demonstrates his ability to jump very high. It would probably never occur to him to attempt an escape, but we’re not going to find out.
  4. Mostly carpeted. Kilroy has a thing about floors. Shiny floors are especially scary and he has a tendency to slip around, especially when he’s excited or scared.  Having carpet throughout will allow him to navigate the new place without fear, saving us all sanity and money spent on rugs.
  5. Big dog friendly. The majority of landlords we’ve encountered in our search refuse to even consider pets, and those who will consider allowing a dog often set a weight limit. On paper, a 65-pound dog seems huge and, therefore, destructive.  In reality, greyhounds are little-big dogs and one of the best breeds for the indoors. We had to do some negotiation and provide references for Kilroy to prove that he is no threat to people or property.

Amazingly, and after months of searching, we finally found a place to live.  In fact, we secured the only Kilroy-friendly rental house in town.

Fortunately, the house is perfect for me and B, too.

Greyhound sigh.

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GREYHOUND should always be in all caps!

Kilroy’s Kloset

Some people have a walk-in closet.

Not to brag, but…I have a dog-in closet.

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This Spring was especially rainy. Rain means certain doom for Kilroy, as his storm panic  overtakes him for hours, days, and even weeks during Virginia’s rainy season. And it’s led to an even skinnier greyhound–he doesn’t eat when he’s scared and he shakes uncontrollably which, I assume, burns through those doggy calories.

When the weather gets scary, Kilroy tries to escape into an enclosed safe space, like a doggy duck-and-cover. His newest safe spaces are between the bed and the wall and in my closet!

He found comfort in the closet and, when the storm passed, he decided the closet was pretty darn cozy.  So comfy, in fact, that he moved in permanently!

Now he has 2 beds in the pack den to choose from.

Lucky dog…how does he get away with it?

Kilr-update

Kilroy’s humans have gotten somewhat behind in reporting his moods and adventures.

Life has basically been more of the same for Kilroy in retirement…mostly sleep and developing new peculiarities.

Here are some highlights from the past few months…

It occurs to me that many of Kilroy’s highlights are various sleeping configurations. But…that’s life with a greyhound!