As I mentioned previously, I brought home a puppy late last summer. He’s a Windsprite, a small coated sighthound formerly known as a Longhaired whippet. The name is a bit of a misnomer (which is why it underwent a change this past year) as they are not a recessive coated whippet but a unique breed created from crossing a sheltie and a whippet about 70 years ago.
I never thought getting a puppy was a good idea. I knew they took a lot of work and I’d lamented having certain young, vibrant foster dogs who required more time than I could give. Given Risa’s injury, however, I couldn’t take a chance on a rambunctious adolescent dog who could accidentally injure her. Against my better judgement, I decided a puppy was my best bet. Risa has also always loved puppies.
When I made the decision, it wasn’t the best time to decide to bring in a puppy. The cost of Risa’s care was more than I could afford. But I had no idea if she’d ever compete again and, like it or not, I had to come to grips with the reality that she will not live forever. With her being such an integral part of my life, I couldn’t imagine myself being able to function without her. Without a reason to still train dogs, take walks, leave the house, and generally give a shit about anything. I knew I needed someone to help me get through that loss when it comes. And I needed to get him into things while she was still around so that I didn’t feel I couldn’t do some of these activities again because they were “Risa’s.” I got him for me. . .but I knew he’d be good for her too.
Kyu is similar to Risa but different in his own right. He’s confident and bold. Incredibly intelligent and receptive. He’s easy to engage and not super sensitive. He is in love with dogs and people. He’s really everything I wanted. I’m so glad I went to such a great breeder (and friend!) who picked out the perfect puppy for me. He even does a couple behaviors that Risa does which is incredibly sweet and awesome now and someday will cause me to break down and bawl uncontrollably.
He is not perfect, though. He is much barkier than I like (I blame the sheltie). When I first brought him home, he used to cry and scream when he was left alone. He’d work himself up into a panic. I couldn’t shower, feed Risa, do Risa’s PT, or even leave the room without him having a meltdown. I finally had a meltdown of my own after about a week. I debated giving up and sending him back; clearly I was not cut out for this puppy. His breeder talked me off the ledge and I stuck it out. I’m so glad I did. Funny how I never once considered sending Risa back yet her issues were far more severe. Granted, she would have gone back to an uncertain future. Not so with Kyu.
He also eats Risa’s poop if I don’t pick it up right away (gross). He jumps up and pokes me in the face with his nose. He’s bent my glasses and left a scratch on them a couple times. I also think he’d truly like to crawl into my skin; he likes to be THAT close. None of us is perfect but, really, I hit the jackpot with this dog too.
I see so much potential in this dog. Much like I saw in Risa but the road to channel his abilities should be far easier than the one I traveled with Risa. Still, his journey is a continuation of hers. Everything she taught me I will share with him. He will reap the rewards of my struggles and victories with Risa. And he will teach me more and test me in his own way. I have high hopes for him but I also respect who he is and look forward to where he will take me. I never expected I’d ever get a sighthound. They’re not known for being performance dogs or very handler-focused. But Kyu seems to be pretty much the total package I wanted. I’d waited years for a second dog. . .and he was worth it.