Rescue Greyhound’s First Walk Since Adoption Proves Too Much–’Overwhelming’

A dog owner has detailed the way her two rescue greyhounds initially struggled with domestic life.

Hyeju Kim grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where she dreamed of one day owning a dog. “Back then, having a dog was merely a dream, as having a dog in apartments was not as common or accepted,” Kim told Newsweek.

After moving to Southern Australia she finally saved up enough money to buy her own home and with it the space for a dog. “My brother suggested adopting a rescue greyhound, considering the many in need of homes,” she said. “Upon researching, I fell in love with their sleek bodies, resembling horses, coupled with cat-like personalities and various quirky traits unique to other dog breeds.”

In time, she decided to adopt not one, but two rescue greyhounds-Peggy, the one with the dark brown coat, and Jedi, the lighter of the pair. Kim doesn’t know much about their lives before she adopted them, but she knows that they came with their own personal baggage.

“They were supposed to be racing greyhounds,” she said. “Peggy didn’t race because she was considered too small with straight legs…Jedi did race once, but he messed up his toe, so that’s how he ended up with me.”

“Most rescue greyhounds from the racing scene are bred just for that – racing,” she said. “They don’t live like regular pet dogs and stay in kennels. So, when they come into a home, they’re a bit clueless about regular pet stuff. My two are no different.”

According to Kim, Peggy and Jedi don’t “get” games like fetch and can be “a bit jumpy” with loud sounds like hair dryers or doors slamming. She loves them dearly, though, and through caring for them was inspired to create her own dog collar brand, DaHound Collars, selling collars designed for sleeker dogs like her greyhounds.

Jedi and Peggy might be anxious dogs, but they are not necessarily in a minority in that respect. In 2020, a Finnish study of 13,700 dogs published in the scientific journal Nature found that 72.5 percent of them experienced some form of anxiety-related behavior.

Noise sensitivity was the most commonly reported issue, with 32 percent of pet owners polled reporting that their dogs experienced it.

Helping Peggy and Jedi get to grips with their anxiety has been one of the biggest challenges Kim has faced as their owner. “Turning them into household pets was a big adjustment for all of us,” she said. “When they first came to live with me, every little thing freaked them out – the hair dryer, big furniture, even just dropping something loud or closing doors.”

 Peggy and Jedi. Hyeju Kim's two rescue greyhounds struggle with anxiety.dahound
Peggy and Jedi. Hyeju Kim’s two rescue greyhounds struggle with anxiety.dahound

In one recent TikTok video posted under the handle dahound.collars, Kim detailed what happened when she first took the two of them for a walk.

“They would freeze every few minutes,” Kim said. “The sounds of cars driving by, people riding past on bikes, little children running around, and the noise of a lawnmower were overwhelming for them. These sounds were entirely new experiences for them, causing them to freeze.”

As heartbreaking as that was at the time, Kim has continued to put in the work with her two pet pooches in the years since and now they are transformed. “They’ve been champs at adapting,” she said. “Now, they’re so chill and not easily spooked. They’re not just awesome buddies. They’re a breeze to take care of.”

While they are never going to be adept at games of fetch, she said they are great company.

“They’re all about the typical greyhound fun – lounging on the couch, taking up all the space with their long bodies, rocking their own fashion style, sometimes being a bit dramatic over little things, and doing some serious stretches,” she said.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with some details about your best friend, and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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This story was originally published December 18, 2023, 11:49 AM.

source: star-telegram

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