Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wolfhound: 9 Months

Riagan is now 31" at the withers. She's lean and strong, well over a hundred pounds, and dense. She can bound through and over high snow at rapid speeds. She is a baby in an adult body.

Her mind is keen. She is naturally submissive. We taught her to lie down on command easily the first time we tried. She responds very well to hand-signals.

We feed her a little over 6 cups of food a day. If she eats more, she throws it up.

She is very good with strangers and children. She has never shown a bit of aggression.

The only issue we've had with her is she chewed the sole of my brand new Uggs and she's so damn big! Last month we removed the large leather couch from the living room to make space for her. When she lies out in front of the fire, she takes up about five feet or more of space. She makes our house seem small. Now I see why only royalty owned them in the golden-olden days. You'd need a castle to house them.

But she doesn't seem to know she's big. She still has these sweet puppy eyes and big goofy mannerisms. She comes begging with Maggie, the lab, (who now looks no bigger than a Chihuahua to us), and, though she towers over Maggie, she sincerely believes she's the baby sister.

I take showers with her every week. We have one of those removable heads that you can take down and move around. She knows to come in, sit down, and get a bath, and she's really pretty good at it.

The thing I love most about her is the way she makes me feel. She has this crazy, intense loyalty to us--she won't leave the bedroom until we're out of bed, for instance. She'll jump on the bed and lay down over us and paw/claw our faces, but she will not leave until we go with her. (Imagine a 6 foot, 120 pound dog jumping on your bed!!) She stays by our side when we're working the property. She makes me feel safe. It's like I have this huge bodyguard with me at all times. She has this fierce loyalty and protectiveness (always looking way out on the edges of the property for intruders) yet this big heart and gentle spirit. I see why some people consider them spirit guides--they do seem to want to guide and protect you through life.

If you're going to raise an Irish Wolfhound puppy in your home, you'd better be a laid back person. Everything a puppy does naturally is done by an IW, but on a much larger scale. If you can't handle a small puppy, please do not get an Irish Wolfhound. IWs are not for all people, they are for special us. I say this jokingly, but it's true. If you don't that have that special quality to roll with the flow, fly by the seat of your pants, tolerate chaos, you are not Irish Wolfhound material.

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