Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Nigel Winds Up

Most folks know little about Greyhounds. And if I meet those folks when we’re out and about with Nigel, I inevitably hear the same question. “Do you have to walk your Greyhound eight miles a day?”, or “Do you have to let him run three times a day?” Nigel often pauses to study the inquisitor. And pauses…and pauses…

Anyone who lives with a Greyhound is laughing while reading this. Because we hold a great secret. Truth be told, we can’t help but tell the world that secret each time we have the opportunity to do so. But it takes time for news to travel, so I’ll share the secret with the uninitiated.
Greyhounds are the laziest breathing beings on the planet.
Give your brain a minute with that. Cast aside preconceived notions about the Tortise, the Snail, the Three Toed Sloth. Aside from top speed and a higher cuddle factor, the Greyhound places last.
Greyhounds like to sleep. They like to sleep more than anything. And they will sleep fourteen to eighteen hours a day if you don’t stop them. If you know Greyhounds, you know there is one place that is like a crackhouse for them: the couch. This is where Nigel passes most of his time - inanimate, to the extent that sometimes I’ll pause at the couch to take his pulse. There have been days when I considered dusting him off. Most days, Nigel moves with the speed and purpose of FEMA. On any given evening you’ll find him slouched over Mrs. Author on the couch, drooling like a drunk.

Facts about Nigel:
  1. If we spend a day away from home, and he’s on his feet too long, he’ll start looking for a couch.
  2. He loves the couch so much that Mrs. Author can vacuum him with attachments and he will not move. (Do that to Sola and she might actually explode.)
  3. If we spend a day in the city, I can pick him up (all seventy pounds of him) and sit down on a park bench with him in my lap. And he will sleep.
  4. He chases nothing.
  5. It is often the case that only two things might have the power to get him off the couch; treats, or the promise of a walk.
  6. He hates tacky Yard Monsters.
So most folks think Greyhounds are wild, strung-out Mexican Jumping Beans, and the opposite is true. They are incredibly easy to live with. They are usually calm, perceptive, and intuitive. They are gentle beyond explanation.
The other question I hear most is, “Are they smart?” This is an interesting question. Check the dog breed intelligence chart and they’re nowhere near the top. But Greyhounds were bred to do one thing and to do it well; chase the life out of anything small that moves quickly. Commands like sit, lie down, shake – these would be useless to the ancient Egyptians that bred them, or the owner of a racing dog. With patience, you might train a Greyhound to do some of these tricks, but you will be fully aware it is not terribly enthusiastic about “giving you five.”
So are they smart? Yes, I believe they are. See this previous post: http://lifewithdogs.blogspot.com/2004/05/great-porch-roof-incident.html
True, if you drop Nigel in a room full of well-trained Border Collies he’ll come off looking like George W. Bush at a Mensa meeting. That’s quite ok, we both know better. I’m just happy that he adheres to numbers 4 and 6 above. No shin splints for me…no rest for the Yard Monsters.

Nigel: Excuse me, but I’m certainly more intelligent than that George guy.
Sola: My tail is smarter than that George guy…


  1. Anonymous9:28 AM

    George W. at a Mensa meeting? My ribs hurt from laughing at that one.

  2. Anonymous10:02 AM

    Awesome, greyhounds are the best pets ever.

  3. necterine05:17 PM

    Thank you for your very funny stories. They put a smile on my face every time i read them.And belive me i need that hummer in my life.I have been reading them every since you joined Chazhound. Keep up the good work. I hope you never stop.

    You, Nigel & Sola are very good story tellers.Such a talented group you are!!!!

  4. Kwinon7:54 PM

    Nigel is a hoot!
    Still giggling over his George Bush comment.
    Also learned about greyhounds . . .

  5. Found your blog from link on dogzonline,Australia. Great read & laugh while I'm bored sh*tless at work...

    Your first blog day - May 19 was when my lab puppy was born, its also a combination of my daughters birthdate number and my son's birthdate month,so I take it as a sign that 19 is my lucky number and its $19 million JACKPOT for Lotto this Saturday!

    Wish I could write like you,I really enjoyed your style!

  6. Good luck with that lottery! And thanks for visiting.


  7. i love it - thanks for the education! Nigel sounds like quite the character

  8. Found you, via greytalk.com... and I'm lovin' every minute of your blog!
    Thanks for sharing Nigel and Sola with us!
    I have 2 greys of my own, and you couldn't have described them any better!

  9. hehe, thanks for the laugh this morning, and it's so great to meet Nigel! Stella my couch potato grey says "zzzzzzz...."

  10. I knew they were big lazy sleepers after I dogsat one but I am surprised that they are not given to chasing things so that is interesting! He is an awesome boy, thanks for sharing!
    Moose + dana
    p.s. we got to this older post from his Facebook page ;-)

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  12. Anonymous3:22 AM

    Thank you for the laugh, I love dogs so much and they do bring joy and smiles to your life.

  13. Very interesting and wittily written blog. It is amazing how much different dog breeds are stereotyped, when really, each individual pet is very different.

  14. I heard all that with Afghans.. To see my late Afghan chase & run straight down a mountain legs crossing over one another.. The agility of a cat! Afghans were used to track Snow Leopards..Accept the breed for what it is for..Adjust..
    Great post..

  15. I'm sorry, but Nigel would never look as bad as W. at a Mensa meeting! LOL! Now move over Nigel and give me a piece of that couch. :)