Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birthday Wishes For A Prince Among Dogs

At night, when you look up at the sky,
since I shall be living on a star,
and since I shall be laughing on a star,
for you it will be as if all the stars are laughing.
You alone will have stars that can laugh!
And when you have got over your loss
(for we always do),
you’ll be happy to have known me.
You will always be my friend.
 -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

I think we have come to that point here, after Hawk's quiet passing in the beginning of November.  It doesn't mean that we don't still miss him at times, but now, we can reflect on our happy memories together and smile or laugh.  No doubt this is what the big guy would prefer.  He never could stand to see anyone upset.  Today would have been his thirteenth birthday.

There's no denying it, losing a dog is one of the most painful things that many of us go through.  Most dog lovers can attest to that fact.  Still, I look back on the lifetime Hawk spent with us, and I wouldn't trade the pain of missing him for the many happy memories we shared.  I think of all the hard work that went into bringing him home with us.  I sure learned a lot of lessons about patience from that boy.  We couldn't raise our voices about anything without upsetting him a great deal, even if we were happy or excited.  Stopping him from doing things he shouldn't was a fine balance.  Convincing him to move past his fears was, too.  I am not a patient person by nature, but I learned to cultivate it with him. 

I was certainly richly rewarded for it, too.  Hawk didn't hold back in letting you know that he loved you or that he was happy with what he had.  I still sometimes walk into the kitchen and am surprised that I don't feel him bumping twice against my hip.  It was his way of letting me know he was there and happy to help with any tasting that might be required, or just in case I needed a fuzzy ear to rub.  He was tall enough that I didn't have to bend down to reach him.  As soon as your hand reached his body, a huge grin spread across his goofy face and his tail would gently wag.  He just had a way of making you feel as if you really mattered to him. 

As he got older, the brindle spots on his body began to show a lot of white.  Mr. Taleteller joked that it was because he liked to be scratched in these spots and we were wearing the color off the poor boy.  He certainly did love our attention.  He left with a little piece of our hearts, but I believe he left us with a piece of his in return.  We were truly blessed to share his life with him!

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Friday, January 29, 2010

Who Needs Snuggies?

Bunny here, writing about a little something that's on my mind.  You may remember at Christmas that I was really hoping for a pink Snuggie of my own since I enjoy sharing Mom's so much.  Much to my dismay, the neck on the Snuggie is ginormous and it ends up falling down and not staying where I want it.  Unbeknownst to me, Mom noticed the problem and decided that I needed some girly jammies to wear in the house during this brisk weather.  Imagine my surprise when this came out of the package Tuesday!

I have to bark that these jammies are way better than a Snuggie.  Miss Anne made them just to fit cute little me.  I am a much happier and warmer puppy now.  It almost makes me want to stay in bed all day.  Well, I can do that anyway! 

If you'd like some jammies of your own, Miss Anne at Downtown Houndz makes them for hounds of all sizes.  Now I see an opening on the couch, so I think I'll go take a nap!
Blueberry Types for the Blog

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How Many Greyhounds Can Fit On A Bed?

The other morning, I woke up to find a rather unusual sight.  Usually, Mr. Taleteller gets up with the hounds when Lilac starts fussing and takes them out.  Then they come back inside, eat breakfast and go back to sleep in the living room.  Mr. Taleteller likes to get out his quilt and sleep on the floor for a few more hours, as well.

Bunny really likes quilts and blankets.  I mean, she REALLY likes them!  As soon as she sees the quilt come out, she is dancing around the living room in anticipation of crawling under it.  On nights when it's not cold enough for Mr. Taleteller to feel like he needs the quilt, she will stand on the bed and stare at him until he gets up and brings it to bed.  When I leave my blanket folded over the back of the couch during the day, she pulls it off and curls up with it.

So, it really put a kink in her tail when Mr. Taleteller laid down on the floor with Lilac beside him under the quilt.  He said at first she huffed, then walked around them, sighed, walked as close as she could without stepping on Lilac.  Lilac would not get up.  So, she did what she had to do.  She wormed her way in between my husband and Lilac, under the quilt and made herself at home.  After curling up initially, she began to stretch out slowly.  By the time I got up an hour later, Mr. Taleteller had lost his spot on the dog bed and Lilac and Bunny were both very comfortable and cozy.  It looks like they both won this one!

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Place To Hide Loot

I may have mentioned that Bunny has a fan who is a student in my class.  Bunny happens to think this is a good deal, since this young lady likes to bring her presents on occasion (and tries to convince her mom to let her bring her yogurt cups to school, but so far has not been successful).  For Christmas, Bunny was given a plastic ball and for some reason, she is crazy about that little ball.  It surprises me because it doesn't make noise or anything, but it's the right size for her to carry around and she spends a lot of time doing that.

Apparently, this ball is a coveted treasure.  At least, Bunny thinks that Lilac and Blueberry are dying to get it.  In truth, I've never seen either of them even look at it twice, but Bunny doesn't plan on being hoodwinked.  She carries it with her from room to room and I have no problem with that.  It's rather cute to watch her trot around with it.

However, the ball hoarding has now reached a level that I'm not planning on tolerating.  At bedtime, Bunny sleeps in the bed with Mr. Taleteller and me.  She has now decided that the ball needs to come to bed with her.  This isn't some soft, squishy little ball.  It's a hard plastic ball!  It does not belong under my pillow.  Our conversation at bedtime was interesting.

Me:  What the heck?  What is this under my pillow?

Bunny:  That's my ball!

Me:  Why is it under my pillow? 

Bunny:  I had to keep it safe!

Me:  Safe from what?  This is where I sleep!  I can't sleep on that!

Bunny:  Well, I can't let Lilac and Blue get it!

Me:  I repeat, I can't sleep on that!

Bunny:  I certainly can't sleep on it!  I'm practically a princess!  I'm much too delicate to sleep on it!

Me:  You have to be kidding!

Bunny:  (turning on the doe eyes)  It needs a safe place!  Please, can't you guard it for me?

Me:  Look, I'm going to be sleeping -- with both eyes closed.  How about I put it up here on top of the dresser until we get up in the morning?

Bunny:  You don't think anyone will get it up there?

Me:  Not even Blueberry is tall enough to get it from up there!  It will be safe.

Bunny:  Well, that's a relief!  Go ahead and hide it up there, then you can come back to bed and pet me!

Me:  Anything else, your highness?

Bunny:  Not unless you have some more of the chocolate with yogurt in it...

Me:  Sadly, no!

So, I put the ball up on the dresser.  Bunny curled up against me and we both drifted off to dreamland.  I have learned my lesson.  A sweep must now be done of the bed and under the pillow before crawling into bed.  I guess I should feel honored that she trusts me to keep her treasures safe.

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Monday, January 25, 2010

There's More Than One Model Around Here

Bunny here, just wanting to set the record straight on the model situation here.  Saturday, Mom posted about Blueberry and her new digital picture.  Plus, there's a big painting of her in the spare bedroom that was painted by an artist who thought she was gorgeous.  Of course she is!  However, I have recently been the model for some artwork myself and I thought that it was time I showed it off.

Alexandra Z. painted a couple of pictures of me lately, and even had a contest to come up with a good caption to go with one of them for some notecards.  We should be gettting some of the notecards soon.  She also sent a picture of something else she did for us.  I hope Mom and Dad have a good spot picked out to hang this from! 

Anyroo, she is supertalented and I think after looking at her blog that a greyhound is going to win the dogpile contest for Mango Minster!  I can't wait for there to be some pictures of me hanging up around here!  Now I need to go chew on my reindeer antler for a while.  A model has to have pearly white teeth, you know!

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blueberry the Model

We have a friend who recently started doing digital artwork.  She asked if she could borrow a picture from the blog to practice with and show people samples of what she can do.  I agreed because I love the things she does and I was curious to see how it would turn out.  We just saw the results and they are so cool! 

The picture she used to base it from is the same one that another artist contacted us about and asked if she could paint a portrait of.  We loved that one so much that we bought it and it now hangs in our house.  I guess Blueberry just has that model quality!

If you would like one of your own, Anne is making them for $15.  You can contact her at if you would like to get one of your own dog or cat.  She does lovely work of all breeds.

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

You might remember a while ago, we learned that Bunny's sister had been to an adoption group.  When we checked their website recently, we were happy and not surprised to see that she'd been adopted.  My understanding is that she's a lot like Bunny, so we are sure that she's making someone an awesome pet.  We know that a lot of Bunny's littermates were adopted through Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption and are now thriving in their new homes.  There are a couple we don't know about, too, and that's alright.

However, there's one of her littermates named Andy who has been waiting at the kennel for a long time now.  With the closing of Dairyland racetrack, lots of adoption groups in our area are struggling to find homes for the influx of dogs and we know that it will be tough.  It makes it even tougher, though, thinking about the dogs who have been waiting a long time and keep getting passed up. 

We met Andy at the group's reunion picnic.  I was completely charmed by him, but our home was full.  He's a wild man when he comes out of his crate, but I think that it's the type of enthusiasm that wouldn't last after he was out for a while.  We just learned this week that Andy is finally being adopted!  We are thrilled for him and wish him the very best in his new life as a pet.  We hear updates occasionally about their brother Buddha and their mom, so hopefully we'll hear more about Andy as he settles in.  Every time I look at his ears, it makes me smile.  I'm betting he will make someone else smile every day, too!

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Fun Police

Around our house, I don't think it's that different from most other homes with dogs.  The girls have a touch of cabin fever.  It's too miserable and treacherous to do anything outside besides quick potty breaks, so occasionally, playtime breaks out inside.  I imagine last night's scenario as a conversation between the girls that went something like this.

Blueberry:  Hey, Bunny, I may be eight, but I can still beat you!

Bunny:  Pshaw!  You could never beat me!

Blueberry:  Afraid to put your milkbones where your mouth is?

Bunny:  If I win, you have to stand back and let me get all the petting I want from Mom for a week!

Blueberry:  You can name any bet you want, since I'm going to win!

Bunny:  You're on!

Lilac:  Dammit!  I'm trying to sleep!  Knock it off!

Bunny:  Okay!  Ha ha!  I got the bed while you were busy barking because I'm the fastest!

The funny part is that they both think that they won! 

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birthday Party Pictures

I thought we'd share a few pictures of Blueberry's birthday party.  It wasn't terribly lavish or spectacular, but we did celebrate with a nice party at home.  I think that's really her preference anyway.  No matter how old she gets, I think that Blueberry is still one of the most stunningly beautiful greyhounds I've ever met.  I might be biased on that, since she does grace our own couch, but I was smitten with her beauty even before I thought there was a chance she could be ours.  Despite the fact that I nearly broke my knee, we had a nice little party for her!

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bring On The Cake

We're taking a break from Wordless Wednesday today because it's a very important day for us.  On this day in 2002 a very special blue brindle puppy was born.  She grew up to be our our Blueberry and we couldn't be happier to have shared her life's journey with her.

I can remember when I first saw her.  She arrived on a haul of dogs with her mother at a house just down the street from us.  We were there to help unload them and the minute I saw her I was impressed by her beauty.  However, there were a lot of dogs to unload and I was busy for a while.  She was whisked off for a bath, as were the others and then they had a crash course in going down the stairs to the crate area.  I was supposed to bring Blueberry home with me that night as a foster dog, but life had other plans for us.  A couple there had recently lost a greyhound and they wanted to foster a greyhound with intent to adopt.  This means, they'd take her home and see if she fit in well with their family and other greyhound and then decide if they'd keep her or find another greyhound who was a better fit.  I'm not sure what happened, but she didn't end up being fostered by them.  She had a bit of an unusual life before she came to live with us seven months later.

Greyhound puppies are notoriously terrible.  They are called landsharks, and for good reason.  Most people will tell you that raising a greyhound puppy is extremely difficult and they are right.  We won the jackpot with Bunny, there's no doubt about that.  Blueberry came to us as a wild and willful two-year-old.  She was not a dog for inexperienced owners and we quickly realized that.  I can't even begin to imagine what she was like when she was even younger!  I have little doubt that she was a terror, but like most greyhounds, she bloomed into a beautiful and perfect companion. 

I credit her a great deal with helping me to survive the inital loss when Treat passed away.  While Hawk and Lilac gave me space to lick my wounds, Blueberry took it upon herself to be my watchdog.  She was brave enough to curl up in that empty space on the other end of the couch and she did her best to entertain me with her funny little canine jokes.  I've never met a dog with a better sense of humor than Blue.  She knows what she's doing is funny and gives you an irresistable grin when she does it.  Even our trip back to the kennel to choose a new member of our pack had Blueberry's stamp of approval.  An experience that became more and more stressful for me as we met dog after dog who just wasn't the one was an opportunity for her to show herself again as my protector and spirit-lifter.  When one of the males that they invited us to meet, ironically named Try, got fresh with her, Blueberry didn't just tell him no in no uncertain terms, she chased him down and made sure that he got the message  loud and clear.  When Bunny walked in the room, she wasn't crazy about her, but she didn't dislike her, and surprisingly, it didn't bother her that Bunny walked up to me the way she did.

Blueberry is the intuitive alpha in our pack.  She's confident in her place with us now and she knows that she's loved.  She isn't the hound who always wants to be up close and personal, but she is always the one who will "just be" with you on the couch after a rough day when nobody else wants to come near you.  When she wants attention, she will come to you to get it, and she always does get it.  Whether she's fluffing her bed, playing with Bunny, stealing our food or just being perfect, she does it with style and class. 

So, please join us in wishing our supermodel hound the happiest of eighth birthdays!  We hope that she will be long lived like her mother, but even if she isn't, the quality with which she has enriched our lives has already earned her a special place in heaven and in our hearts.  We love you, Berry Girl!

Blueberry Types for the Blog

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shopping -- The Perfect Cure to Cabin Fever

Bunny here, writing about my lastest adventure.  We've been cooped up here way too long with all this cold and snow.  To make matters worse, Mom went back to work last week and that left me with even less to do.  Fortunately, since we needed supplies for Blueberry's birthday party, we took a trip to My Dog's Bakery and got a little cure for our cabin fever. 

Hmmm... I think I need to taste these!  Quality control, you know!

Blueberry thinks we need some of these, and since she's the almost birthday girl, you'd better get some.

I really need some new toys!  You know, most of mine are getting worn out.

Oh, and my bed is really getting worn out! 

Surprisingly, there was only the girl working in the store to pet me!  That was a bit disappointing.  Of course, when we got back to the van, we were supposed to smile for the camera.  I will let the next few pictures speak for themselves about what happened.

Honestly, you just can't take some dogs anywhere!  Lilac waits in the van and makes Blueberry and me do all the shopping, then she eats the treats!  What's up with that?  Mom says that she gets away with it because she's an old lady.  It sounds suspicious to me.  Still, it was nice to get out of the house and the treats we got smell delicious!  They say we can't have them until the birthday party, though.  I can hardly wait!

Oh, I hear somebody coming!  I have to go!
Blueberry Types for the Blog

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Girl's Got To Have Stylish Boots

The girls have some greyhound fans in Minnesota who have great sympathy for them with the cold weather.  They sent the girls each their own set of boots to wear when the weather is really cold on sensitive greyhound feet.  Of course, as soon as we got them, we had to open them up and have a look. 

We put them on Bunny, who walked around like she's worn them all her life.  She handled wearing them like a pro.

Lilac mostly laid down for her fitting, but she did manage to get around pretty well in hers.

Blueberry wasn't quite as graceful, but Bunny did try to give her some pointers.

I think that once they get the hang of them, they will keep their feet more comfortable for those bitter cold turn outs and probably for the walks Bunny and I plan to start taking.  The girls all send nose kisses to Max and DJ for their thoughtful gift!  They also requested pictures of the boys wearing their boots.  I can't imagine why they'd ask for such a thing!

Blueberry Types for the Blog
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