Our Adventures With Retired Racing Greyhounds, Truly, Maggie and Walker

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Here are two really big differences between Truly and Maggie.
Truly, a big, old boy, is incredibly graceful and polite in just about everything he does.  He's the most gentlemanly hound you'll ever meet.  When he's offered a hand-fed treat, he will approach you, pause to make eye contact and confirm that you really mean the treat for him, then he'll grasp it gently with his very front teeth and slowly remove it from your hand.  He'll walk away with the treat and eat it privately.
Here's Truly accepting a snowman Peep:

Maggie, on the other hand, will spy a treat from across the room and tackle you for it.  There's nothing delicate about that little girl when it comes to treats.

Here's Maggie accepting the snowman Peep:

Look at her eye!  I once saw a documentary on great white sharks.  The camera caught a shot of the shark's eye in the midst of a feeding frenzy.  Why, they're exactly the same - same intensity, same ferocity.  Treating Maggie could be down-right frightening if you didn't know her.

Another difference is that Truly obeys rules.  One rule is that the sofa is not for hounds.  It's for people.  Truly has understood the rule since the first day.
See?  Good boy!

Maggie doesn't understand the rule.  See? 

You can tell by looking at her that she KNOWS better, but she just couldn't help herself.
There are, of course, a multitude of other differences between these hounds.  However, despite the many ways these guys are different, they are both exactly the same in that they have made such awesome pets for our family.  The best way to say it, I guess, is that every day is another greyt (sorry, I had to do it) adventure!

P.S. -  Just so you know, there are a bunch of gigantic dog beds in the house.
In fact, here's Maggie enjoying one of them: 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meet and Greet, 1-17-10

We had a nice Meet and Greet at the local Pet Smart yesterday. As always, the Brindle Kids loved all of the attention. The nice Nutro lady, Denise, even gave them treats.
While our purpose at Meet and Greets is to promote greyhound adoption, we always manage to meet new friends, too.
Here are some pics:
The kids can't wait to get there.  Greyhound adoption is serious business.
Everyone loves to pet the kids.




We met Duke, the biggest red fawn boy we've ever seen.  His parents adopted him from SEGA, too.
Truly, Maggie and Duke.

We met this baby Ball Python, too.

Truly puts on his best Meet and Greet face.1-17-101-17-10

This is Maggie's Meet and Greet face.1-17-10

Maggie takes five.

Going home.

Greyt job, Brindle Kids!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cool Photos

I've learned a lot from other greyhound owners - how to care for the kids, best foods, safe treats, training, and fun things to do.  Greyhound bloggers have been especially helpful.  You can see the blogs I follow on the right-hand side of this page.  GreytBlackDog mentioned BeFunky recently and I tried it out.  Of course, BeFunky isn't exclusive to dogs, but the brindle kids are such hams that they won't mind if I practice a little electronic "artistry" on their likenesses.
It wasn't hard to manipulate the photos and add the various effects.

When Sawyer saw what I was doing with BeFunky, she showed me how to use Photobucket for the same purpose.  These are two of my favorites:

"BeFunky Maggie" 

"Photobucket Truly"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fine Day at the Dog Park

Those Brindle Kids had a great time at the park today.

Here's Maggie coming in from her zoomies.

She's so proud!

The kids check out the creek.


Maggie and her "park buddy."

Good buddies.
Getting in
too deep.
"I think I've had enough."
"I'm back now!"

Truly "looms" 
at a great dane.
They really are 
just playing.  

Truly's had 
enough, too.

what a shadow!)
Those brindle kids, 
happy to be 
heading home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snow in Middle Georgia

Nothing short of Christmas morning is as eagerly anticipated by the young at heart in middle Georgia as the promise of snow.  Last week, the weatherman called for a 20% chance of "some type of wintery precipitation."  Hearing this news, most of the local public and private schools canceled classes Friday and gave the kids a snow day. 
The children enjoyed having a three day weekend, but there was no, and I repeat no, "wintery precipitation" of any kind.  In fact, that Friday was probably the warmest day we've had in a couple of weeks.
Last year, we had snow flurries for about 20 minutes.  Here are the shots:

Can you see him out there to left of the fountain?

We've still got our fingers crossed.  It's only January!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Take a look at this and see if you can tell what happened here:

No, it wasn't Truly.

One of Sawyer's Christmas presents fell victim to an unsupervised two-year old.  Realizing that I haven't introduced Maggie yet, now is a good time.
The inclusion of Truly into our family was almost effortless.  Goodness, we enjoyed him.  We rushed home every day to see him.  He was always happy to do whatever we were doing.  Yes, we made some adjustments.  He made some adjustments.  He ate some shoes.  We bought some new shoes.  He ate some soap.  We learned to put soap out of the reach of his mouth.  We learned.  He learned.  Bottom line:  He is a remarkable companion for all of us and we love him dearly.
After three years, we decided it was time to "chip."  I'd never heard that word before I joined an online greyhound board, Greyhounds Make Great Pets.  As it was explained to me, greyhounds are like potato chips.  No one can have just one! 
Tim found a sweet little brindle girl on the SEGA website.  Our adoption application was approved and off we went.  We took Truly with us, of course.  The SEGA volunteer brought the little girl to us.  She adored Truly.  She walked under him.  She leaned on him.  She laid her head on him.  In short, she aggravated the beegeezus out of him.  I heard that low growl . . . hackles and all . . .  hmmm . . .
It was time for the adoptables to have their breakfast.  I took the little girl to her spot in the kennel so she could eat.  On my way out, I saw another little brindle girl snarling at me.  She was snarling and bowing, and . . . wagging her tail?  What?!  I looked closer.  She wasn't snarling!  She was SMILING!  I brought her out.  Tim saw the smile and was hooked.  Once again, we didn't adopt the greyhound, the greyhound adopted us.
I would like to say Truly fell in love with her, too.  Not exactly, but he tolerates her in the same way that the older brother tolerates the younger sister.  So Skiddy Amber, renamed "Maggie" by Tim, came home with us.
Here she is:

Two year-old Skiddy Amber (nka Maggie) finds her Forever Home, 9-26-09.

About potato chips, they say, "No one can have just one."  Well, they also say, "No two potato chips are exactly alike."  Ain't it the truth. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Puppy Cakes

Sawyer found a recipe online for Puppy Cakes and wanted to make some for Truly.  We couldn't get the dough exactly right, so instead of using cookie cutters, she made free-form cookies.
Here's the recipe:

 Puppy Cakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of shredded carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl.
In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, then add to dry ingredients and mix well.
Mix carrots into dough.
Drop by tablespoon on to greased cookies sheet and bake for 11-14 minutes.  Watch carefully so they don't burn.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm - not hot!
Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Ingredients for Puppy Cakes - minus the shredded carrots.

This was our first attempt at home-made hound treats, so we were really interested to know how they would turn out.

Clearly, Truly was interested, too.

Here's what they looked like:
Puppy Cakes!

They looked pretty tasty for dog cookies.  But what did Truly think of them?

Hmmmm  . . . .

Please, Girl, may I have some more . . . ?

Yum, yum, yum . . . . 

Good to the last bite . . . .  

Now it's time for Truly's after-snack nap.

We think the Puppy Cakes recipe is a keeper!  Greyt job, Sawyer!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Looming" Soprano Style

I'm a big fan of the Sopranos.  I wish I could do some of what Tony does.  Understand, I do not want to be a New Jersey mob boss who finds himself trudging through the frozen Pine Barrens on a clandestine mission to rescue wayward hit men.  Nor would I value the opportunity to tote around the severed head of a wise guy gone bad in a bowling ball bag.  I have to admit, though, that the ability to ellicit respect simply by virtue of physical presence would be cool.  (I guess this may be natural for those of us who have been gently described as "vetically-challenged.")
In one Sopranos episode, Tony is at his therapy appointment with Dr. Jennifer Melfi, his psychiatrist.  Tony gets angry about something revealed during the session and his resulting behavior shocks Dr. Melfi.  She scolds him for his aggressive behavior.  Tony defends himself saying something like, "Well, I didn't hit you."  She says, "No, but you loomed!"
That's what Truly does at the local dog park when any dog interrupts his usual activity - smelling every square inch of the ground.  He faces off with the culprit, assumes a rigid stance, extends his neck and ears upward and he demands respect - even from the great danes. We know now that he has no intention of attacking, but he sure seems to enjoy the posture and the effect it has on those who dare to intervene in his dog park smell-fest.
So how does this looming greyhound get along with Paulie Walnuts?  (Yes, Paulie was named for the Sopranos character.)  We were told that he was "cat and small dog tolerant" when we adopted him.  The big question was, would Paulie really be safe?  Here's Paulie:
Their first meeting was tense.  Not for them, for me.  Truly had to wear his muzzle and he was leashed.  I brought Paulie to him.  They sniffed each other . . . then Truly indicated a deep and urgent desire to  .  .  .  .  go do something else.  We had Truly continue to wear the muzzle a little while longer - just to be safe.
In Truly's case, we now know "cat tolerant" really means "cat ambivalent," "cat-I could not care less," or "Cat?  What cat?"
Once in a while, Truly will "corner" Paulie and loom over him.  Then they'll have a quick game of chase.  Then - they're done.  So, yes, Paulie Walnuts continues to sleep safely and soundly.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Common Sense and Flexibility

Again, you do your research so you know exactly what to expect when you bring a retired racer into your home, right?  Well, yeah.
Only, here's the thing -
1.  Who knew Truly would absolutely hate his crate?  He let everyone know of his "crate hatred" by barking - ALL NIGHT LONG.
2.  Who knew he would eat his food so fast that the poor boy would choke on it and cough it up all over the floor? 
3.  Who knew that he would be able to get the top off the garbage can, no matter how well it was secured?
We didn't, that's who.  So what did we do?
1.  Despite the extensive retired racer education to which we had availed ourselves, clearly not all hounds find comfort/familiarity in the crate.  Tim applied common sense and decided that we could avoid him barking ALL NIGHT LONG in his crate by simply not putting him in it.  Barking stopped immediately.
2.  If he's choking on dry food, which is what we understood he had eaten all his life, let's be flexible and put some liquid in it.  Choking stopped immediately.
3.  If he removes the lid of the garbage can (no matter how we "rig" it), let's move the garbage can to a place where he can't get to it.  Gosh, we're brilliant!
Truly had to apply some common sense and he had to be flexible, too.  In those first days, he said:
4.  They clearly don't like it when I pee and poop in the house.
5.  They clearly don't like it when I "snack" on books from the coffee table.
6.  They clearly don't like it when I put my head on the dinner table.
So what did he do?  He said,
4.  I stopped peeing and pooping in the house.  (On my first day here, by the way!) 
5.  I eliminated reading material from my snacking.
6.  I convinced then to apply common sense and buy a taller table and chairs!  Dang it!
So, that's how those early days with Truly went.  A liberal application of patience, common sense and flexibility was all we needed.  He was then, and he remains, a wonderful addition to our family.
Tim, Truly and me at the Concert in the Park.
Sawyer, Truly and me.  Truly never sits down.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bringing Truly Home

You know how you're supposed to do your research, develop a comprehensive plan of action, and then everything falls into place?  Well, it always pays to use common sense and remain flexible, too.
Once Truly was ours, we left the adoption kennel and headed to the car.  In the back of the car sat a brand-new, giant-sized crate with a fluffly bed and several toys in it.
We thought we would have to lift Truly up and put him in the back of the car.  Wrong.  As soon as we opened the hatch, he jumped right in.
We thought he would willingly go into his crate and find comfort and familiarity in it.  He's spent most of his life in one, right?  Wrong.  The minute he was led into his crate, he began to demonstrate his disappointment.  By the way, Truly's method of demonstrating his disappointment is to bark.  A lot.
He was barking so much while we were still in the kennel parking lot that I urged Tim to drive away.  I was afraid they would come and take him back!
We absolutely knew he was stressed.  After all, he had no idea who we were or where he was or what was happening to him.  During the drive home, we talked and sang to him.  I got in the back and petted him through the crate.  Finally, he quieted down and seemed to enjoy the rest of the ride.  We stopped a couple of times for potty and water breaks.  He loved jumping into the car, but resisted getting into the crate.
We made it home.
We thought we would have to assist him up the front steps.  Wrong.  He took them with no problem.  He came in and explored the house and yard.  No problems.  The stairs were a challenge, but he overcame them quickly.  He was home and he seemed to know it.
Here's the part where common sense and flexibility become very important.

Yes, His Name is Truly

When we took VE’s First Choice inside the kennel to complete the adoption paperwork, the SEGA volunteer asked for his new name. “It’s Truly,” I said. Tim and the volunteer looked at me. “Yes, Truly.  T-r-u-l-y.” I thought spelling it might help them understand. The volunteer smiled and said something like, “Well . . . Truly. O.K. That’s a great name!” Tim knew I had already chosen that name, but I guess he thought I’d change it since we were adopting a boy. (Remember, it’s my birthday, so I had the honor of naming the new one.)
I had chosen the name Truly years ago. I was watching a movie and one of the main characters was named Truly. She was a loving and gentle soul. Another character said of her, "There's never been anyone with a truer heart than that one."  I thought then that when I finally had the chance to have another dog, I’d name him/her Truly. Gender didn’t really matter to me.
Now, this particular greyhound weighed 78 pounds the day we got him. You could feel the very well-defined and developed muscles under his skin. He is both an athlete and a big baby – tongue hanging out, smiling and all. To most people, another name would have been more fitting - Bruno, Buster, anything else. But to me, and despite the premise of Johnny Cash's song "Boy named Sue," he became my Truly.
Just look at that face. Truly perfect.

The Saga Continues

July 22, 2006
So we were at the adoption kennel playing with and talking to Racine Rampage.  Another couple, also potential adopters, were there at the time.  They had several hounds gathered around them.  As we were interacting with Racine, I noticed that she had great interest in the other couple.  I looked over toward them and my eyes were immediately drawn to a very large, brindle male.  He was in the jumble of hounds, happily wagging his tail, acting genuinely goofy - and staring directly at me.  I thought he was cute, but awfully big.
I went on with getting acquainted with Racine.  She was a great hound, but I just could not make that "connection" I'd made in the past with my other dogs.  I attributed this to the stress of the day.
The SEGA volunteer came over and asked if we wanted to meet another hound because the other couple wanted to meet Racine.  I glanced at the couple.  What the heck was that big brindle male doing?  Still staring at me!  I told the volunteer that the others could "meet" Racine, but they couldn't have her.  Off she went with Racine. 
I asked to meet that big, goofy boy - VE's First Choice.  Of course, there was no way I was going to take him home, but I could at least pay attention to him while Racine was away.  He was way too big, not at all like my petite, little Racine.  Besides, we came for a girl, not a boy.
Over comes First Choice.  He was so happy!  We each took him for walks around the kennel.  We spoke to him.  He interacted well with us.  He looked at me with these huge brown eyes and the "connection" was made.  What did the volunteer say when we arrived at the kennel about the greyhound choosing the people, not the people choosing the greyhound?  Well, she was absolutely right!  And, as they say, the rest is history.
We let the SEGA volunteer know that VE's First Choice had chosen us.  It was kind of sad, though, because we came for Racine.  She deserved a forever home, too.  Not to worry.  Racine had "chosen"  the other couple. Both hounds found their homes that day.
Three year-old VE's First Choice (nka Truly) finds his Forever Home, July 22, 2006.

Next, Yes - his name is Truly.