Walking with a Dozen Irish Wolfhounds

This weekend we slipped away over the Misty Mountains to Mission, BC, for a 24 hour getaway. The whole purpose of our trip was to go walking with the BC branch of the Irish wolfhound club.

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Before we left, the girls asked, “why are we going, when we don’t even have an Irish wolfhound yet?” (Not that they were complaining, they were super excited.)

Their father replied… “We went to Harambee and adoptive parent meetings before we ever had you!”

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They thought that was hilarious comparison, but really, our visit was for the same reason. Before the girls came home, we learnt from any parents about hair, attachment-based parenting, and dealing with piercing questions. Irish wolfhounds are giants, and they have particular health and lifestyle concerns. We wanted to talk to other Irish wolfhound guardians, learn more about the breed, learn about raising them, health concerns, and tips and tricks.

So we drove down, spend the night in a hotel, and went for a 5 km walk with a dozen hounds and their people the next morning. It was very nice… We met lots of good people and got to chat about all things to do with the breed.

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The dogs were as I expected, but even more gentle, lean, and gangly. I was struck by how long their legs were… But they weren’t quite as tall as I had remembered. No, I’m not having second thoughts. Rather, I was enamored by them! I think Jason, with all his hesitancy about a giant dog living in the house, was also impressed by their lovely dispositions. The girls thought they were awesome.

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Maggie, our lovely old bird dog, did just fine. I couldn’t believe it she made it most of the walk, and what good condition she is in. If a dog came up behind her, with her being deaf and blind, it did start of her and she snarled once or twice. But generally speaking she seem to get along with the other dogs.

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Of course, Laughlin, our cairn terrorist, was completely overwhelmed and snarled and snapped of every giant dog became his way. (Embarrassing!) But it’s a testament to the wolfhound breed that none of the big dogs so much as batted an eyelash, and I was once again convinced that this was the perfect dog for us. Laughlin is what they call in Jason’s herbal medicine studies “hot ,” and almost all Irish wolfhounds are “cool.” This means that Laughlin, a typical terrier, is always running on instinct and adrenaline; whereas, the wolfhounds are much gentler and have a relaxed temperament. It will be a good combination to balance him out.

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This is a six month old puppy… Interestingly, Laughlin was perfectly fine with her. Somehow, even with the size, he knew it was a baby.

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The girls did us proud, as they told stories and ask questions of all the people they walked with. I barely saw them over the 5 km, but afterwards, several people came up to me and told us what lovely girls we have. True! And they did us proud. Unlike our terrier.

It was a great learning experience, and we will likely go back once a year to compare notes and learn more as our puppy grows…

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PS: these people are not running from the law, but I didn’t have a chance to ask permission to post their pictures. So you just got to see the dogs. 🙂

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