by Lori Amato
There are three things my greyhound “Sultan” cannot tolerate: computers, Star Trek and balloons.
We have found this out quite by accident in the two years His Most Royal Highness has graced us with his presence.
He hates computers because once “Mom” (that’s me) sits down at hers, there is no chance for any attention for the next several hours. He makes attempts at various points by shoving his nose under my arms, walking around and finally giving a very loud greyhound sigh and lying at my feet. When my feet get numb, he gets lots of attention.
Star Trek and Sultan do not get along well. This just happens to be my favorite show and whenever I settle down to watch it, Sultan’s “Gotta go to the bathroom alarm” goes off!!! He does not understand “Wait for the commercial!!!” and will stand in front of the set barking his fool head off. Sultan goes to the bathroom and I curse under my breath as I walk down the street. Sultan’s other gripe about Star Trek did not start until my husband Frank brought home a life-sized cutout of Captain Jon Luc Picard. I was so busy mooning over the cutout that I did not realize Sulty was having a spaz attack. Sultan would take one look at the cutout, would walk over to it, sniff, hesitate, and then run away. He finally got so mad he started barking at the captain.
Sultan’s problems with balloons is caused by his brother Sparkle (an eleven pound black and white cat). Whenever my husband brings home helium balloons, Sparkle will catch the strings in his mouth and walk around the apartment dragging balloons with him. Sultan sees the balloons coming towards him and takes off like a shot around the apartment trying to avoid these monsters who are obviously trying to devour him.
While the episodes with the balloons and the Star Trek cutout are quite funny, it does bring up an important point. Our adopted greyhounds were not originally brought up in a home environment where they might have been exposed to all sorts of things. It is very important to remember this. You have to be very patient with them when introducing them to stairs, mirrors, patio doors and other (stranger) things. Introduce them to new things gradually and, above all, praise them. Eventually, you will have eccentric greyhound tales to tell, too.