The Reactive Greyhound; Castiel’s Story
Cas landed himself in our home in October 2019, after being contacted by Toni and asked to please help rehabilitate him as he has already been to 5 homes due to his out-of-control behaviour. I remember trying to mentally prepare myself for him, I never had a reactive foster greyhound before. All I wanted to do was wrap Cas up in bubble wrap and protect him. He was so frightened of the world. How do you help a dog that’s about to s*** himself over leaves blowing in the wind?
Time, patience & most importantly, LOVE.
We built his confidence through slow steps, we found routine and consistency to be the most important factors in Cas’s rehabilitation journey.
It started from a week of just walking around the block, morning and night, the same way, at the same times. Then we would add a bit more the following week, and so on. As far as his interactions with other dogs, Cas used to rear up on his back legs and fall on his back when he saw another dog, there was times we had to pin him to the ground to stop him from hurting himself, he was incredibly frightened. This eased over time as we worked out that he was worried of another dog hurting him, due to past trauma after he was involved in a collision resulting in injury from racing.
Now, his best friend is Bella, a 2.5kg Maltese x Shih Tzu
Reactive dogs are always seen in a negative light and people hold a lot of judgement. I am trying to break down the ‘reactive-dog-stigma’ by showing people how hilariously funny, innocent, and loving Cas is. Everyone that meets him struggles to believe me when I tell them that he is reactive, in fact they are baffled. I started dressing him in bright colours and patterns to draw attention and to spark a conversation with the public about greyhounds in general, to change the perspective. Even if they go home and say, ‘I just witnessed some crazy lady walking her greyhound that looked like it belonged on a float at Mardi Gras’. Its exceedingly rare that anyone walks past us and won’t smile, burst out laughing or say anything at all. It also makes them look beyond his muzzle.
Cas is the most sensitive being on this planet, who has every reason to hate, but choses to love. I am forever indebted to him. I can’t thank Greyhound Adoptions WA enough for not giving up on the dogs like Cas, that have a tougher start to life. He is an incredible foster brother, that has helped me foster 16 beautiful greyhounds this year.