Adopting

Pain and Privilege

February 19, 2017
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Pain and Privilege

Beginning on the first day of this week, I had rushed through Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with days so full that by Thursday night I cancelled my plans for the evening because my body just couldn’t move any more. Now it was Friday and – again – I was in a rush. I had to walk the dogs, pack them up, then drive from the coast of Bandon, back to my home in Coquille, in order to be on time for a 4-hour rehearsal. Reserves depleted, I honestly didn’t know where the energy was going to come...

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My Remarkable Journey

January 29, 2017
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My Remarkable Journey

The past year had been remarkable; a roller coaster of emotion, as five amazing racing greyhounds found their way into my home and my heart. Once I decided to become a foster person for these dogs, I jumped in with wild abandon and a total lack of common sense. I also had two greyhounds of my own, Ava, a sweet, very smart red fawn, and Alex, a big red and white male, also very sweet and also very rambunctious. These two dogs filled my life with joy and wonder, especially after losing my first greyhound, Lola, to cancer. They...

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January 5, 2017
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If you’re a greyhound owner out walking your dogs, you know the drill. Walk for a while, settle in to the zone, then stop to answer questions from someone. Repeat, repeat and repeat. Oh, I’m not complaining! Who doesn’t like to talk about their dogs? Who doesn’t like all the compliments that come our way? But honestly, sometimes, I feel I should have a pamphlet printed out to just hand to people. It would go something like this: Yes, they are soft, aren’t they? No, they’re not hyper. It’s too much effort to get off my best sofa. No,...

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Alex’s New Year’s Day Tradition

January 1, 2017
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Alex’s New Year’s Day Tradition

New Year’s day is one of Alex’s favorites. He gets to sniff all the trees that have hit the street for pickup. Can you imagine what that must be like for a dog’s sensitive nose? All the people in each tree’s home. All the food cooked in each tree’s home. All the animals in each tree’s home. Then he gets to life his leg and claim it all as his own. Ah! Amazing!  

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New Year’s Eve and 4th of July

December 31, 2016
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bea-in-the-sunshine

I’m sitting in front of a fire in my den on the day before New Year’s Eve, looking back over all the posts and likes and comments that have been shared on my greyhound page. Thank you so much for reading and caring about these remarkable dogs.

My little blue greyhound, Bea, is very much on my mind. Well, I’m not sure you can call a 65 pound dog little, but when compared to my red and white, Alex, who tops out at 78 pounds, she seems little in comparison.

The reason she is particularly on my mind today is that she is one of those . . . a dog that absolutely freaks out with any kind of fireworks. That means that New Year’s Eve and July 4th are absolutely terrifying to her. She will shake so hard that all four feet will come off the floor. She has occasionally lost control of her kidneys. Her eyes become dilated; she pants; she won’t eat or drink. It is heart-wrenching.

If you have a dog like this, I sympathize with you. Here are things I have found to help.

  • First and foremost, do not get uptight or nervous or panicky. They sense your feelings. Give them your strength. Give them your calm. Let them know that you are the leader; that you are not freaked out. No, this will not solve their problem, but it absolutely helps them . . . and you.
  • Be sure they are fed, hydrated and have had lots of body elimination time during the day. They will not want food or water during the noise, and they won’t want to go out. If they do go out, be sure they can’t bolt.
  • If they eliminate in the house, stay calm. They just can’t help it. Don’t add to their stress by fussing at them.
  • Give them a very quiet cave, of some sort. I have cleaned out the bottom of a closet in a quiet room and put a dog bed with blankets in it. Bea will go into that closet and definitely feels safer there.
  • If you use noise to counteract, be sure it is calming.

I know that a lot of people use calming drops, thunder shirts, etc. My experience is that none of that has worked. If it works for you, great.

My last resort (and it should be your last resort) has been talking to my wonderful veterinarian and having him prescribe a tranquilizer for Bea. I start her on a half dose in the morning, then give her a full dose around 6 p.m. when she gets her evening meal. She is still awake and functioning with this dosage but is much more calm and can even sleep a bit during the melee. I am not a big believer in medicating, but seeing what this dog goes through, and having tried everything else, I am relieved that there is a way to help Bea deal with what is a major trama for her.

I do hope all of you have a wonderful, safe new year, filled with nature’s gift to us: amazing creatures to fill our lives. All my love to all of you.

 

The Other Side of Greyhounds: A Reality Check

February 12, 2012
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The Gathering of the Hounds

  Racing Greyhounds are amazing creatures.  Their back story is unique to any other breed of dog. Consequently, greyhounds themselves are, in many ways, different from any other dog. Mother nature designed greyhounds to hunt, feed and survive in packs, with one dog as leader, actually signaling to the rest of the pack when a scent is picked up.  Then the whole pack takes off in pursuit to bring down the animal, whether a small, furry creature, or a larger animal that requires the whole pack to bring it down.  Their bodies were designed to outrun and take down...

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Lola and Her Mini-van

January 31, 2012
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Lola and Her Mini-van

Early on in our venture with greyhounds one thing became clear.  We needed a bigger car.  Since Mike had a big SUV company car (and yes, it is justified because he hauls around mass quantities of camera equipment) that could only be used for work, I had an aging Toyota Corolla.  That was fine with me.  It got me there and back, it had long been paid for and that’s all I cared about. Indeed, when we adopted 1st grey girl Lola, she hopped into the back seat of the Toyota looking totally dignified, and off we went.  But...

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Bad Boy Alex, the Barn Burner

December 8, 2011
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Morning tussle with Bad Boy Alex

In response to a request from good friend Jo, this is the story of Bad Boy Alex, the Barn Burner.  Settle in folks, this could take a while. If you’ve read my past blogs, you know about first greyhound, Lola and second greyhound, Ava.  But you don’t know about third greyhound, Alex, generally referred to as Bad Boy Alex. When Lola died our whole household grieved.  She was our first and she owned a little piece of our soul.  I think we all figured it would be a while before we were ready to adopt another.  But Ava was...

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