How Much is that Doggy in the Window?

One of the best things about adding a newly retired racing greyhound to the family is watching them discover the big wide world beyond the track. Almost everything they experience is a first. It makes you appreciate just how miraculous your everyday, mundane, taken for granted corner of the world really is.

When Bettina came home, I watched her discover stairs and linoleum (didn’t like either one). She was overwhelmed by her first trip to the pet store and froze in place about halfway through. I had to coax her out with treats. It was either that or carry her. The TV was a wondrous box filled with pictures and noises. Coats were a challenge for Bat Girl. She had never run an actual race and so wasn’t all that familiar with racing silks. She hated coats at first and tried desperately to either tear them off, or, failing in that, buck them off like a tiny black bronco. She succeeded in removing one via the ripping method. The great variety of food and treats she was presented with has kept her constantly excited about meal and treat times. So far, I haven’t found anything that she doesn’t love. She wolfs it all down with gusto.

Car rides, visits to Grammy’s, her brother and her cousins, all new and exciting. But there is one thing in particular that she just can’t seem to assimilate…her own reflection. It took her a few days to really notice. But once she saw the strange dog staring back at her so rudely (in the dog world, staring directly is very uncouth) from every reflective surface, she has been obsessed about it.

She has seen her own reflection in the door, both windows she has access to and in the glass on the stove door. Depending on where she is standing, she can also see her reflection in the glass on both china cabinets. At first, she would stand there, stock still, waiting to see what this other hound would do. All it did was stand there and stare back at her. That was clearly unacceptable. She began giving the “other pooch” a warning growl. This is MY space, step out. I would be elsewhere in the house and suddenly hear a low, quiet growl emanating from the vicinity of aforementioned reflective surfaces. Upon investigation I would always find Bat Girl at one of her reflective posts, warning “other pooch” to straighten up and fly right.

All “other pooch” did was curl it’s lips in a small snarl. Though we could hear nothing from “other pooch,” Bettina was convinced that it was warning her back. The Nerve! When she could stand this breach in dog etiquette no longer she began putting “other pooch” in its place by barking at it. Very often I’d be startled by a commotion in one of the reflective parts of the house. Dashing to the spot, I’d find Bettina staring and barking angrily at her reflection. “Other pooch” apparently unconcerned by this display of aggression, simply barked silently back.

I thought she would eventually figure out about reflections but after two months that darned “other pooch” keeps showing up. My efforts to prove to Bat Girl that the reflection she sees is her own have been a failure. To keep the peace in the house I may soon have to find a way to add “other pooch” to our family pack. I wonder if I can get a break on the adoption fee.


  1. That's so funny! We had one who was obsessed with her reflection, too, but her attitude every time she saw that other dog was "you are SO good looking!" It was too funny!

  2. LOL! Mirrors are so funny. Sometimes even now my girls will catch their reflection and give it a stare down. If she keeps getting upset, post it notes do wonders to distract them looking right at their own face. BTW - love that coat she has on. Where did you get it?

  3. She's actually wearing two coats in that photo. Immersion therapy, so to speak. The orange one came from Petco this fall. The butterfly housecoat underneath came from Hound Time (www.houndtime.com).


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