Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Mr Blake departs.

The last time I saw Mr Blake, he was standing at the side gate with an empty peanut butter jar in his mouth.

He had been the perfect visitor. He was well-mannered and had a vigorous appetite. It is always pleasing when guests appreciate hospitality. Mr Blake is intelligent and learned very quickly that for him, eating was no longer a competition with others. Mr Blake enjoyed chicken stew, lasagne, peanut butter sandwiches, cheese, the occasional bone, leftover sausages and didn't leave a scrap on his plate. (The plastic peanut butter jar, when empty, provides hours of amusement. They lie in the sun and lick out all the remaining peanut butter.)

By the end of three weeks I had ticked all the boxes. I could take Mr Blake’s bowl away while he was eating and he wouldn’t snap or growl. Tick. He would wait for the command before taking food very gently from my hand. Tick. He would not try to enter a doorway ahead of me. Tick.

I don’t believe in teaching dogs tricks but these are basic socialization skills that will increase his chances of living happily in a domestic situation after four years of being a chaser and kennels-dweller. Mr Blake was one of the best and was happy to laze around on his own bed for hours on end in the little back room. No fretting. No barking. (He barked when a cat appeared on the fence and he barked at the dog next door through the fence. Warning barking and happy barking but no fret barking.) Of course, he did have lots of walks. They look forward to walks. Who wouldn’t? But greyhounds are, somewhat ironically, couch potatoes.

So, on Thursday, the lady from the Greyhound Adoption Program came and picked him up and off he went in his little caravan, made especially for transporting tall, thin gentlemen like Mr Blake.

You can visit Mr Blake here. Perhaps you might like to foster him for three weeks, or even adopt him for the term of his natural life.

UPDATE 13/5/06
Blake has been adopted. But there are plenty of other adorable available 'hounds on the link above.


Sara said...

Kitchen Hand, that is a wonderful thing you do.

kitchen hand said...

I enjoy it Sara, observing the dogs proceeding from fear or caution to affection. It's hard to let them go.