This week, I spent four nights with two Italian Greyhounds, Gardel and Piccolina. They are both more than 10 years old, but neither acts his or her age. It is also a bit of an adventure staying with them.
The dogs are crate-trained and spend the day in their crate, usually getting out for a mid-day visit. They share a crate and are very bonded, so this arrangement suits them. They are given a cookie in the morning and always have access to fresh water. There is also a radio on at all times for them and a fan when it is warm.
When I get there in the evening, they come out of the crate and go nuts. They love to run back and forth in the house and sometimes rare up like horses and bark at each other. It’s great to see their exuberance. I take them out for a walk right away so they can go potty. It works best to use one hand to hold both of them or else they go off in two different directions.
It’s a challenge to walk them because they don’t like most other dogs. They are sighthounds and when they see another dog they bark and pull at their leashes. Even though they are a Toy breed, they are strong, so I have to be very vigilant when walking them. Gardel, the boy, will also pee all over, including on my feet or his sister, so I have to watch his aim. When we go back inside, I say “cleansing” and the dogs sit and wait for their feet to be wiped.
They will curl up together and next to me on the couch while I watch TV. They love to be petted and will often give me a kiss or lay their head in my lap.
They are cutest at bedtime. These dogs have to be under the covers and will burrow until they are satisfied. I have seen this in other Italian Greyhounds, so maybe it is a breed trait. They love to cuddle with me and sleep through the night. I usually wake up before they do, but when they do, the running through the house starts again.
Both dogs have to be watched whenever they are out of their crates. It’s not unusual to find them on top of the kitchen counter, or pooping on the bathroom rug. They have to be kept on their leashes at all times outside because they will take off and will even climb the fence in the backyard to escape.
Gardel and Piccolina have won my heart, even though they are mischievous. Each dog I sit for has his or her own endearing antics, and these two are no different.