Archive for October, 2009

Beloved Rabbits: Part II

October 21, 2009

It’s one thing to watch your Greyhound do what it’s been bred to do for hundreds of years. But as I learned yesterday, it’s quite another to actually see what happens when your hound is successful in her pursuits.

Back in February I wrote about one of Stella’s first rabbit chases in a post I titled Beloved Rabbits.

Yesterday I witnessed that same beautiful, swift gait as Stella chased across the park. Within seconds she was out of sight.

Unlike last time, after waiting five minutes I did not begin to imagine my life without a dog. I felt confident that she would show up. I anticipated she would be wiped out. And that her paws would be bleeding from the chase. And that she would be thirsty and wanting her loyal staff member to serve up some water.

What I did not anticipate, however, was this: that she would return with a ten pound jack rabbit hanging lifeless from her mouth.

I also did not anticipate getting everyone’s, and I mean everyone’s two cents.

A jogger who saw the chase claimed that if Stella tasted blood she would become more aggressive.

A guy who looked Donald Sutherland on crack also approached me, “How could you let your dog kill that rabbit? This is a nature preserve.”

First off, nature preserve? The place is a dump–literally–that was turned into a dog park. I looked at him wondering what exactly he didn’t understand, “This is a sanctioned, off leash dog park. Greyhounds are faster than rabbits. If you can strip the DNA out of my dog, let me know. Otherwise, shit happens.”

With that, Donald huffed off, claiming he was going to call the police. Having been robbed twice in this city I know for a fact that unless you’re hemorrhaging the cops won’t show. Their big fish to fry include drug busts and shootings. As far as a a Greyhound chasing down a rabbit in a sanctioned dog park? You might as well call to complain that the barrista at Starbucks was rude to you that morning.

Okay, so then there was a man who happened to be with his dog, a dog who used to but can no longer catch and kill rabbits. He said Stella would be the same dog she always was. Nothing had changed except me knowing more about her. Unlike the rest of the crew, this guy seemed to know what he was talking about.

So what happened to the actual rabbit? He guessed that Stella killed it instantly with a bite to the neck. He said that a rabbit’s bones are very light and easily broken in a dog’s mouth. While I was leashing up Stella who was still panting and bleeding from both paws, he asked if his dog could have the rabbit to eat. I agreed but did not linger to watch the chowfest.

When I got home I needed to resolve a burning question that came to mind the instant I saw Stella with that cat sized jack in her jaws. What about Llewis’ safety?

I searched Greytalk for some answers. Fortunately I was reassured. LLewis is someone Stella knows and who is included in her pack. Their relationship is also contained in the confines of my house so there is that context as well. I was told long ago that a Greyhound could be fine with a cat in the house if your hound is deemed cat safe but put that same cat outdoors and all bets are off.

As for now, Stella is benched from the park until her pads heal. And although I know she or I didn’t do anything wrong I’m not sure how often or how much reality I can handle. Time will tell.

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Stella, Llewis & The San Francisco Chronicle

October 3, 2009

On September 23rd The San Francisco Chronicle featured the story of how I wound up with a Greyhound pup vs. the kicked back ex-racer I was planning on getting.

Thanks to Eileen Mitchell, the columnist in charge, for encouraging me to shorten the story up to get it accepted into the paper and for loving the houndies as much as me.

Click here to read it.