Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Blast From The Past

We were tagged in the photo challenge that's been going around on several blogs.  I think that we did this last year sometime, but I'm not certain, so I figured we'd go for it again.  We're also tying it in with the challenge thrown out by The Thundering Herd that asked us to talk about a dog that has been very special in our lives who is no longer with us and tell a story about him or her.  The photo tag challenge asks that you post the tenth picture in the first photo folder that you have.

This picture is of Treat.  She was our first greyhound and our first dog after we got married.  The first three years of our married life, we lived in an apartment and weren't allowed to have dogs.  It was the first time either of us had ever been without a dog.  We got our house the very end of October and by the end of December, Treat had moved in to become the Queen of the Castle.  In the photo above, we were getting ready to go to Dewey Beach, Delaware in October of 2007 for Greyhounds Reach the Beach.  For nongreyhound people, I will explain that this is a huge event where thousands of greyhounds and their people get together for the weekend.  It involves seminars, shopping, walks on the beach, ice cream socials, community outreach, and lots of socializing.  Treat always loved to travel.  Heck, you can see that she had her own luggage, and everything inside that bag was hers.  The girl had lots of accessories, and even a lot of internet fans. 

As soon as we'd start packing, she was there supervising everything we did.  I'm surprised she didn't sleep in the suitcase.   Most of the drive to Delaware involved her with her nose pressed to the window or sticking out the window.  When we crossed the state line, I swear she could smell the ocean in the air.  She was the only one of our greyhounds who liked the water, but every year she and I would take long runs down the beach with a longe line and she loved running through the waves.  People would usually stop and watch us, because most greyhounds are made of sugar and will melt when they come in contact with water.  Treat was made of special sugar, apparently, and she could not resist the water.  In October, the air was often warm, but the water was cold.  It didn't matter.  We were getting in and that was that.  She'd run through the waves, then attack and bite them.  Sometimes she'd dig in the water until it looked like a fountain had erupted around her.  Often, I was surprised that she had the energy to walk back to the rental house.  I usually ended up with horrible shin splints, but I had a very happy dog, at least until we'd get back to the rental house and hose the sand off her.  Why the ocean was wonderful but the hose water was offensive I'll truly never completely understand.  It must have had some kind of reaction with the special sugar she was spun from.

Treat was the perfect first greyhound; she truly made me fall in love with greyhounds and I'll always have at least one by my side.  Traveling with her was always a wonderful adventure.  I could tell a thousand stories about her, but that would take too long.  I'll just say that if there hadn't been Treat, there wouldn't be the wonderful hounds that we currently share our lives with.

We're supposed to tag five people to play photo tag.  If you've already been tagged, we apologize, and please, don't feel obligated to play if you don't want to.

1.  Thoughts From A Yodeling Goatherder
2.  My Great Dane Is In Love With Me
3.  Two Greyhound Town
4.  Who's Driving?
5. We Three Doxies

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Most Perplexing Matter...

Bunny here, with an update on my adventures so far while Mom is on Spring break.

I have been having a wonderful time while Mom's been home.  However, the other night on our walk as I was keeping my sighthound eyes peeled for rabbits and horses, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks.  I tried to get Mom's attention and point it out to her, but she didn't see it.

Several times on our walk, I saw this ginormous rabbit, but everyone else seemed to be oblivious to the thing.  I must admit, I'm not quite sure what to do.  The thing seems to be stalking me.  I don't understand why the rest of the family can't see him!

I hope I can get to the bottom of all this.  If I see him again, who should I report him to?  Has anyone else seen this wily character?

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break Adventures Begin

Hello, hounds and humans!  Bunny here, with my report about the beginning of our weekend.

Friday was Mom's last day of work for three weeks.  I was waiting to greet her when she got home and I was hoping that we'd take a walk to celebrate the beginning of her break.  What we did was even better!  Dad came home and changed his clothes and then we all loaded up in the van -- even Lilac came with us.

We drove to the dog park.  It was glorious!  At first, we were the only dogs there, but after a little while, a pair of schnauzers and their entourage showed up and went into the little dog section of the park.  They barked at us a lot, so Blueberry and I showed them a few things and tried to liven them up a little.

We ran and ran until we were good and tired.  After that, we loaded up in the van again, but we still weren't going home.  We also got to go shopping at Petsmart.  There were people everywhere in there who wanted to pet me, and of course I let them.  It was great that so many of them were admiring us.  We don't have pictures from in there, though. 

I have to say, this break is off to a good start! 

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Fashion Quandry

Well, we have had a bit of indecisiveness here at our house.  Since we got Bunny's new coat, we've been wanting to order one for Blueberry as well.  The problem is, we can't decide which color to order for her.  We were originally thinking pink, but then we started to wonder if it would be a pain trying to figure out which coat went to which dog. 

Blueberry has always been a big girl, taller than a lot of male greyhounds we meet.  Sometimes that leads to cases of mistaken identity where people think she's a male, in spite of the fact that we put girly collars on her.  So, we'd like something a bit feminine, but we can't decide on which color it should be. 

To that end, we've added a poll to the blog this week to see what color everyone else thinks would look good on Blueberry.  I'm not sure that it will dictate what color we get, but it will help us with our decision!   Magenta is not an option for the coats we're ordering, or we'd have chosen that.

Blueberry Types for the Blog

A Case Of Mistaken Baths

Bunny here, and I am writing that I am just mad.  Dad did something so heinous and dastardly that I may not be able to forgive him.

It all started the other evening after our walk.  I went over to Dad to make sure he got some time to pet me.  He did pet me and I was really enjoying it.  Then suddenly, he stopped.  He stared at me and started digging at my fur.  Mom asked him what was wrong, being very concerned that I had some sort of injury.

Dad:  Do you have any alcohol?  Bunny's got (insert dramatic voice drop here) FLEAS!

Mom:  Fleas?! 

Me:  No!  It can't be!

Dad:  Yes, I see four of them right here on her back.

Mom:  (spoken from the bathroom as she digs through the shampoos and first aid stuff)  I know what happened!  They were shaving a dog in the back room when we went to the vet the other day.  They said she had tons of fleas.

Me:  The HORROR!

Dad:  Well, that's just great!

Mom:  We'll have to treat them all!  Can you go to the vet's office in the morning and pick up the Frontline?  We should give them all baths!

Me:  BATHS?!  Now wait just a minute!

At this point, Dad was dragging me into the bathroom while Mom was selecting which shampoo to use.  I gazed pleadingly at Mom and leaned against her.  Then she burst out laughing as she looked at me.  That was NOT the reaction I was going for!

Mom:  She doesn't have fleas!  She rolled in the dirt!

Dad:  What? 

Mom:  Look, it's just flecks of dirt!

Dad:  I could have sworn it was moving...

Me:  Hallelujah!  Mom, I love you!

I thought that was the end of it and that I was spared the horrors of having had fleas on my most precious canine self and that I was free from the impending doom of the bath.  It turns out I was only right about one of them.  Dad lured me into the bathroom and gave me a bath anyway!  Life is so unfair sometimes.  I am sleeping on Mom's side of the bed from now on.  Dad is completely getting shunned. 

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time

Hello, Bunny here, finally taking over the keyboard for a bit since Mom has been hogging it this week.

This morning started like any regular morning when my people go to work.  After getting my yogurt from both of them, I got up on the couch beside Mom and gave my soft sigh.  I was wishing she would stay home with me and have some sort of adventure.  With all the Spring weather here, I've been aching to get out and go somewhere.  Mom scratched my head and smiled at me.

Mom:  What's wrong, Pupcake?

Me:  Well, I'm not getting nearly enough attention around here.

Mom:  I know!  It's a tragedy that we can't stay home and pet you twenty five hours a day, but we have to work so you can have those pretty collars and food.  Plus, Dad and I are fond of eating, too!

Me:  Yes, I know!

Mom:  Cheer up, Little Bit!  Saturday morning we'll sleep in together and it will be the beginning of break for me.  We'll be able to have adventures, sleep in and cuddle up on the couch for three weeks!

Me:  Really?

Mom:  Yes, really!  Will you keep my spot warm for me today?

Me:  I always do!

So there you have it!  I am sure that the adventures and fun will be starting any minute!  I can't wait!  Maybe I'll be able to devise a suitable strategy for taking down that horse, too...

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Funny How Things Sneak Up On You...

Two years ago, I was extremely spoiled in the dog walking department.  My first greyhound, Treat, was the perfect first greyhound.  She'd raced just long enough to have excellent leash manners and to be able to appreciate the cushy life of retirement.  Walking her was a dream.  Most of the time, you never knew she was on the other end of the leash.  She naturally walked right beside me and loved to walk.  If she had to choose between walking and breathing air, she'd have chosen to walk.  Hawk was very skittish and constantly tried to herd us home, so we got to the point where it wasn't worth the fight.  Lilac was a bit older when we got her and wasn't used to walking.  She just didn't have the stamina and she moved at a snail's pace.  Blueberry is a sweetheart, but she is not a good walker.  She's all over the place and it's a constant battle between us about where to walk, how fast to walk and it ends up with one or both of us sulking.
After Treat died, a part of me never wanted another dog and the other part really needed another dog.  After we decided to get another greyhound, I felt immensely better about life.  My plan was to get another dog around the age that Treat was when we got her, which was just shy of four years old.  That seems to be the magic age when they settle down, lose the puppy foolishness and their brain grows in.  They're very trainable at that age and I figured that I'd get a dog who still had energy and stamina, but wasn't too crazy.  When we went to the adoption kennel, we met a lot of dogs and most of them were around that age.  Not a single one of them really showed a particular interest in me, however, and Blueberry let it be known that she was not even slightly impressed by any of them.  Then, finally, they let us meet a dog they'd just gotten in and knew very little about.  I fell for Bunny right away and she fell for us, too.  It was really hard to leave her there at the kennel as we waited for her spay surgery.

A few weeks later, we returned to pick her up and we brought her home.  Did I mention that she was just a puppy at eighteen months old?  Most of the time, you can't tell how young she is by her behavior.  However, one thing became painfully obvious when we stopped at the dog bakery to celebrate her arrival home.  Bunny had hardly any experience walking on a leash.  It would have been easier to walk a trout down the street than it was to walk Bunny.  I began to suspect that a pony took over her body when we walked out the back door with her leash on, since she'd rear up on her back legs and buck around.  As soon as the collar would tighten on her neck in the slightest, she balked. 

I began to despair about having a walking partner.  She was as close to perfect in every other aspect, but that was one area that needed improvement.  Most of that first summer, we did hardly any walking.  In the fall, we went to a greyhound reunion and bought a wonderful invention.  Bunny got her first Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers harness.  It was amazing how much it curbed her pulling, right from the get go.  She was a bit uncertain about it, but she began to get more comfortable with it. 

Later that fall, we began obedience classes and Bunny learned where she was supposed to walk and what she was supposed do to.  She still wasn't keen on doing it without the training collar on, however.  When we went places, we still opted for the harness since she behaved so well in it, and because I've read that it's better for dogs, particularly greyhounds, to walk in a harness as opposed to a collar. 

This Spring we've become a lot more committed to walking.  I noticed something this Spring, too.  Bunny has become an excellent walker.  I'm not sure when, how or why it happened, but she's become a dream to walk.  Part of it might be age, she did turn three in November, and certainly, there's been more experience being on a leash.  I also feel like she's really becoming an extension of my arm, much like Treat used to be.  I'm finally really feeling like we're ready to try the therapy dog test and see where the chips fall.  I think she's finally become the perfect dog, but please don't tell her I said that.  It'll go straight to her head!  And for those worried about her interest in horses, she is very keen and goes into stalking mode, but she doesn't go crazy or actually try to go after them.  She has done a wonderful job of staying in control.

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Big Game Hunter

If you've followed the blog for a while, you might know that Bunny considers herself quite the huntress.  Last year, she believed that the rabbits existed just to torment her.  I had to wonder about it myself when they started hopping out onto the sidewalk in front of her nose.  With the weather finally warming up here, I knew that it wouldn't be long before we started seeing them again.

Today we had our first rabbit sighting of the season.  The funny part was that Bunny and Blueberry were too busy stalking a cat across the street to notice the rabbit.  She really is a sighthound through and through.  I thought that would be the end of our excitement on the walk today, but I was mistaken.  It's funny how often that happens when the greyhounds are involved.

As we neared the end of our walk, Bunny went into her unmistakable hunting mode.  Her ears went up, she began to slink along silently like a coyote and her whole body was on alert.  You might be thinking to yourself that she finally spotted a rabbit or perhaps a squirrel or marauding cat.  However, Bunny had her eyes on much bigger prey this time.

Me:  Bunny, what are you up to?

Bunny:  Shhhhhh!

Me:  Did you just shush me?

Bunny:  This is important!  Be quiet!

Me:  You have got to be kidding me!  There's no way you can take that down!

Bunny:  You greatly underestimate sighthound determination!

Me:  You greatly underestimate the size of that beast!

Bunny:  Curses!  They heard us!  You've foiled my plot!

I suspect that this is the sort of thing that dogs who live in towns and cities rarely encounter on their walks.  I have a feeling that Bunny and Blueberry both are going to have a busy summer trying to figure out how to take one of these down.  In case you were wondering, here's the object of their new fascination. 

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Little Drama

I believe that I may have an Academy Award winning drama queen in training on my hands.  On Saturday, we took Bunny and Blueberry up to meet my sister and her two Australian Shepards at the local baseball diamond for some running and playtime.  Even though it was pretty brisk and rainy, the dogs had a good time.

However, I started to get the feeling that it was time to start ending things when I noticed Bunny becoming reluctant to run on the sand anymore.  Somehow, the way she started to tense up and tippy toe on the sand sent a signal to my brain that it was probably time to get the leash.  In true leading lady fashion, though, Bunny put a stop to it on her own.

She walked over on the sand and then it happened.  She unleashed the greyhound scream of death and held up her front right paw. I went over to see what was wrong.  Bunny continued to cry and I ran my hands over her leg and inspected her foot.  Mr. Taleteller had arrived beside her as well and was also looking at her.  I couldn't see any blood or feel any injury.  I did see that her feet were wet, though and it was rather chilly out.  I got her leash and hoped that she'd be able to walk to the van and I would not have to carry her. 

Surprisingly, as soon as she was in the warm van, she was much better.  She hopped right on up in there and stood on all four feet.  Apparently the princess was just suffering from cold feet.  I could have handled a much subtler summons to take her highness to the van than a near heart attack inducing scream of death.  One day, I may get that on film.  No actress could hold a candle to her, that's for sure!
Blueberry Types for the Blog

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Catch Me If You Can

Bunny the speed demon here, writing about my weekend adventures.

We got a call from Aunt Julie Saturday morning and she wanted to know if we wanted to meet her with our Australian Shepard cousins, Ruby and Nipper.  Of course we did!  The weather was not good, but we still wanted a chance to stretch our legs.  We got ready and headed to the park.

Since it was cold and rainy, we wore a little gear to help keep us warm.  I finally got to try out my new raincoat, but I almost wish I'd worn my winter coat.  It didn't feel much like Spring!  Ruby and Nipper don't need coats.  I sure was glad to see them.  Nipper was very glad to see us, too! 



Of course, they foolishly thought that they could beat me in a race.  We had many challenges, but I always won.  Nipper even cried a little when he couldn't catch me, so I decided to take it easy on him.  Please ignore Aunt Julie talking.  Some humans!

Anyroo, we kissed and made up after the racing was over!

Here are some more pictures of our fun. 

I hope Spring is here to stay soon!  At least we showed Old Man Winter that our fun wasn't going to be spoiled by him.  After it was all over, though, I was pretty cold and I did settle in for a long winter's nap!

Blueberry Types for the Blog
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