Hello to everyone at Heartland!
It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since Sally joined our family! She really is a joy and she
makes us laugh because she is always full of surprises. She is incredibly sweet and loving,
wonderful and gentle with kids, and also a bit mischievous, so she keeps us on our toes. She is a
contortionist; she stretches and bends into some of the strangest positions,including jumping on
the couch and going immediately into a somersault so she lands perfectly positioned for a belly
rub! She runs incredibly fast, thanks to the whippet in her. Sally has a strange fascination with
seashells and starfish. Although we now keep them out of reach, while she never chewed on
them, she used to like to pick just one out of several collections about the house, and take it to
bed with her at night! (She has a bed in our bedroom near our bed.) Her favorite things to do are
run and cuddle, preferable in someone's lap or right next to them, no matter how hot it is!
At her annual vet appointment a couple of weeks ago, Sally weighed in at 36 pounds, where she
has been for a while; it's a perfect size for us. Our little "whipador" has the sturdy body of a
labrador, with the deep ribcage, big hind leg/hip muscles, and curved tail of a whippet. She has
the nose of a lab, meaning it's always into everything! She has the eyes of a whippet, meaning
she misses nothing!
Being a quick learner, Sally only needed a firm no once or twice and she got it; she housebroke
very quickly and quickly learned not to chew on the furniture. We crate trained her for
housebreaking and crated her while we we out. However, we got reports of howling, which
fortunately would last only for the first 10 minutes or so after we'd leave, according to the very
understanding neighbors. She also chewed through every bed, towel, or blanket we tried in the
crate, so she wound up in a bare crate with just some chew toys and water; she never touched
the chew toys until we got home, though, for reasons we never figured out. After a few months,
when we felt Sally was ready, we weaned her off of the crate, which took care of the howling and
most of the chewing! She still does surprise us every once in a while with something chewed up;
her material of choice is still fabric, and fortunately, it occurs rarely. She usually is happy with
kongs and toys stuffed with treats and peanut butter, and a good nap on her blanket on the couch.
When we are home, she is very well behaved. While a fast learner, she sometimes is a little
stubborn; she responds well to lots of positive reinforcement, mainly in the form of treats.
She heels, stays for 5 minutes, comes, does various tricks, and usually learns new things quickly.
We are still working on overenthusiastic greeting of people and dogs; she loves everyone. Once
she greets them she immediately calms down, and she sits right away for people who do as I
request and don't pay her any attention until she sits; unfortunately there is the occasional
person who insists on petting her while she is jumping all over the place, so we continue to work
on this. ( and the people, too!)
Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful work you do to help take care of these special animals
and match them with their forever families; you perform a valuable service to both the animals
and to those of us who are blessed to have them in our lives.