Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Irish Wolfhound People

Here's an article my parents collected back when we had Mish.

As I was looking online for IW articles the same day I scanned these, I came across a review of the book, Sight hound, by Pam Houston. Since then I ordered and read it, and I also ordered a DVD of an interview with her and footage of her dogs.

Her book is, admittedly, about 87 percent non-fiction, but listed as fiction. Her first Irish Wolfhound really was named Dante (like the IW of the story) and, we can suppose, many of the events are true.

I'm not familiar with any writer today who showcases an Irish Wolfhound with so much respect and admiration for the breed. After having grown up with Mish in the 70's--our first IW--I can relate like only IW people can.

Believe it or not, and I know this is a stretch of the imagination, but there are people who look at Riagan and think she's uglyish (or so I'm told)--they don't get the whole Irish Wolfhound thing at all. So, I've come to think we are a special group of individuals--blessed with the ability to appreciate the otherness of this breed. You have to look past the big, lanky, shaggy, beastly exterior to see their innate nobility--their quiet loyalty, their deep need for togetherness with their human. And this is something you either get or you don't get.

If you're a prissy type-A, IWs may not be your dog. It's no exaggeration, their big paws are like monster trucks running over your carpet. Kiss "clean" good-bye. And, their height gives them a rare ability to peek into your grocery bags as you're walking to your door--and, sometimes, to nab out of those bags what they find agreeable. Or, at the very least, to rip the them as you try to yank them away from their long jaws.

I do miss clean carpet--and the SD card for my camera that I'm pretty sure Riagan ate--pictures and all, but I'm a sucker for my dog. She just has to tap/pound/maul me with her big paw (her way of asking for attention) and my heart melts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Riagan, Irish Wolfhound pup: Five months

Getting Bigger.

Riagan finally lost her baby teeth and got her permanent canines.

She's still loosely put together, lanky, and easily injured. Yesterday, she was running circles around the tree as fast as she could when one leg slipped out from under her and she landed hard on it. She has favored it a little since then.

She is braver than she was--moving further out in the pasture and exploring.

Also, she has an attitude like she is one of us. She seems to think we are all seamless rather than she is a dog and maybe, just maybe, beneath the humans here. I really don't think that thought has ever crossed her mind. The Dog Whisperer probably wouldn't be happy with us. But, so far, she shows no aggression. I can take away her food, her raw bones, anything, and she won't bat an eye. She has NEVER shown a bit of dominance or aggression toward any human. She just doesn't see any division between us. We are, in her mind, simpatico.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Old Irish Wolfhound Newspaper Article

This is an article that was sent to my parents back in the '70's. Funny, isn't it?

Life with a sighthound is unique. Whereas, most dogs rely primarily on their ears and are always hearing things far off, the sighthound relies primarily on her eyes.

This morning, I sat in the grass and watched what Riagan watched. First a flock of birds in the sky. Then, her head turned and trekked a hawk who glided high and quiet above us. I'd never have noticed him myself, but she locked in a steady gaze.

What did she see that I didn't? Could she make out the pattern on his feathers, the look in his eye? I only saw his shape.

What does the world look like through the eyes of a sighthound?