Lyra is almost a year old now, and much calmer than when she first came. Her couch potato training is going well and she sleeps most of the morning, allowing me to get on with my WIP. Soon she’ll be a fully-fledged Storyhound, travelling to the astral planes to hunt down ideas for my books.
Teaching her to be a good Storyhound is up to me, of course; but she also needs to learn basic obedience, so I’ve been taking her to a local dog training group. She’s improving gradually, but still a long way from top of the class.
It’s interesting to observe the different characters in the group. Lyra has two special friends, Jimmy and Lottie. They are both much bigger than her, but about the same age, and their size doesn’t faze her at all. When they all get together they just want to play, and their play is boisterous and noisy. They’re like the kids at the back of the class, disrupting everything. A bit like I used to be in school, in fact! It’s often said that dogs resemble their owners, and Lyra is a lot like I was as a child.
There’s a collie in the class who is obedient and highly intelligent, and gets everything right. If he was a kid, he would be top of the class and a prefect. He can’t be bothered with the other dogs, and occasionally growls at the naughty ones. Lyra takes great pleasure in giving him cheek.
There are no other sighthounds in the group, which is a pity because sighthounds really enjoy each other’s company. They tend to play rough, with a lot of growling and nipping, so it’s good if they can play with their own kind. Owners of other breeds tend to get upset if an excitable pointy dog comes barrelling up to their precious pooch and tries to play the Bitey-Face game.
Lyra loves it when she can get together with other whippets, even if the play is rough. When I first took Lyra to play with a friend’s whippets, they all ganged up on her, like children with a new kid on the block; but Lyra held her own, and before long they’d accepted her into the pack.
I’m glad Lyra is so sociable. Whippets can sometimes be nervous, and this can cause problems with other dogs; but Lyra just wants to be friends and play with everyone. All in all, she’s coming along well, and I feel really lucky to have her.