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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Bully Sticks Are Here!

One of the things so unique about adopting greyhounds is the built-in community that comes with them.  We adopted Truly and Maggie from SEGA and have always been thankful to see how welcoming the members are.  Among many other benefits, there's a SEGA listserv for sharing information about greyound events, asking questions about greyhound issues, finding lost greyhounds and just generally for strengthening the effort to find good homes for retired racers.  We're lucky to be a part of the group.

We're constantly looking for ways to keep Those Brindle Kids' teeth clean.  Truly's last visit to the vet for teeth cleaning with anesthesia was stressful.  The panting, the whining, the crying, etc.  I don't think Truly liked it much either.  ;) 

This works o.k., but not nearly well enough to prevent another vet trip.
So, when SEGA member Jennifer of Never Say Never Greyhounds makes a suggestion about something, we listen.  She posted a message on the listserv letting everyone know Best Bully Sticks were on sale.  They're supposed to be good for cleaning teeth, they're supposed to be safe and the dogs are supposed to like them.  I hate the rawhide chews because they cause "unfortunate" digestive issues.   So we ordered a trial supply of the sticks.  They arrived quickly. 
Even though we ordered "odorless" bully sticks, Truly and Maggie came after them the minute I walked in the door.
It was hard to get a good photo of Maggie because she was very excited and moving too much.  She's blurry in almost every shot.

 Truly enjoyed his stick very much.  He stayed on his pillow on the deck.
 Maggie took her bully stick and ran to the yard.
 She doesn't like anyone to watch her while she eats . . .  or chews.  (?)

Truly has a pretty good grip on the bully stick.

I was looking at the remaining sticks while Those Brindle Kids were working on them.  I wondered what kind of bones they are.  Bones splinter, don't they?  So I looked them up.  They're not bones at all.  They're made from free-ranging, grass-fed Brazilian bull pizzle.  Pizzle?  I looked it up, too.  If you don't know what pizzle is and want to know.  Click here.

Despite the gross factor, Best Bully Sticks are a hit.  Thanks, Jennifer!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Assessment of Gate-Keeping Protocol or "What Did We Learn?"

Because we had the awful experience of having Those Brindle Kids get out of a gate accidentially left open, we revised our Gate-Keeping Protocol.  Items 1 and 2 remain the same.  Items 3 and 4 were added.

Revised Gate-Keeping Protocol:
1.  We never open the gate if the dogs are outside. 
2.  We always close it as soon as we've exited or entered.
3.  We now tape a sign over the doorknob on the back door when we're doing work in the front yard.  This is supposed to ensure that anybody seeing the sign will check to see that the gate is closed and locked before letting the dogs out.

4.  We put together an emergency kit - just in case they do get out again.  It's just a bag with leashes and collars, a small bag of treats, and the squawker.  It's kept by the front door with a pair of tennis shoes (not sandals), car keys and cell phone. 

It might have been a lot easier to find them if I'd been driving rather than running AND they might have come to me if they'd seen me open the car's rear hatch.  They know that's when they're going to get to "go for a ride."  (I'm not sure about that, though.  If they're out and running free, they might think that "going for a ride" is a step backward.)

I have tried to train them to come to me when called.  If we're in the house or the yard, Truly will come right away.  Maggie may or may not.  When we're in an open space like a dog park or a ball field, Truly loses his ability to hear.  Maggie will come right to me. 

Houndstooth of Tales and Tails is going to be reviewing the Tagg Pet Tracking system system soon.  We're very interested to see what she finds.  It's kind of expensive BUT I would have paid it in a second the day I realized my dogs were running through the streets.  If it works, we're on it.  Gyeong of Genji's Corner suggested a double gate system.  I'm trying to figure out how to make that happen so we can keep Truly and Maggie at home and safe.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

They Got Out of the Gate

One Sunday several months ago, Tim and I were doing yard work in the front of the house.  We use a lot of tools and all of them are kept in the basement.  The only entrance to the basement is in the backyard - through this gate. 

We're always very careful whenever the gate is open.  It's the only way Those Brindle Kids can get out of the fence that encloses the back yard.  We thought we had two stringent Gate Rules: 

1.  We never open the gate if the dogs are outside. 
2.  We always close it as soon as we've exited or entered. 

When the yard work was done, we took all of the tools back to the basement, through the gate.  Somehow, one of us accidentally left the gate open.  Later, thinking the gate was closed, I let the dogs out of the house.  Tim was on the back deck at the time.  You can't easily see the gate from the deck.  After a few minutes,  I realized I didn't see the dogs in the yard.  I went to where I could see the gate - it was open and both dogs were gone.

Tim took off through the gate calling Truly and Maggie.  I ran back through the house to get some shoes, leashes and the squawker.  I locked the door and ran into the street.

A neighbor told me she saw Tim heading south down the street after the dogs.  Start at the blue balloon at the top of the map below and follow the red line downward.  A little less that halfway down the red line, you'll see a major street.  I was terrified at what I might find there.  Thankfully, I didn't see anything. 

As I was crossing the street, a woman stopped her car and asked if I was looking for a man and some dogs.  "Yes, yes, I am!  Where are they?"  She pointed in the direction I had been running.  The sandals I grabbed were tripping me up so I kicked both of them off and continued running down the street in my socks.

Tim finally came into view.  I saw that he had Maggie by the collar at the bottom of the north/south-running red line.  I gave him a leash and he pointed at Truly.

Now follow the red line at the bottom of the page from left to right.  Truly was there in front of me.  I called him and he would look at me, but he wouldn't come.  I tried the squawker.  I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride and if he wanted a treat.  He would pause and seem interested, but as I drew near him, he would turn around and gallop away again.  He was moving out of the residential district and into the business district where the traffic is much heavier.

Truly was doing what I can only describe as romping, frolicking, cavorting.  He wasn't running at full or even half speed.  He consistenly stayed about 20-30 feet in front of me.  If I got any closer, he would pick up speed.  See where the red line takes a sudden jog in the lower, right-hand corner of the map?  He had just crossed another major street.  Then he continued past a church, several houses, an office building and finally he came to a green space.

I believe there are several reasons we still have Truly today: 

1.  He stayed on the sidewalk - unless, of course, he was crossing a street!
2.  It was a Sunday - meaning less traffic than any other day of the week.
3.  At the very end of the red line, Truly left the sidewalk and stopped in the green space under a tree. He stopped to poop. When I saw that he was "fully engaged" in the process, I walked up to him and grabbed him by the collar. (I don't think he got to finish his business. So sorry.)

When Tim and Maggie caught up to us, we all walked home.  Follow the yellow line from the bottom of the page to the top.
Truly's round trip was only a little more than a mile - not that far really.  But that gut-wrenching, desperation-filled, guilt-laden trip might just as well have been a cross-country marathon.   Thank goodness we won.  We brought home two brindle trophies to prove it.  :)
Next post:  Assessment of Gate-Keeping Protocol or What Did We Learn?

Pet Blogger Hop Badge

We’re participating in this Saturday’s Pet Blog Hop, hosting by Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume. If you’d like to participate, please follow the rules and follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste the html code into your html editor. Thanks again to our hosts for putting on the hop!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Update on Truly's Leg

Thanks to everyone who responded (via blog or e-mail) to my question about Truly's leg.  The redness is most likely indicative of a muscle injury.  Aside from the redness, which is now starting to look like a very large purple-ish bruise, and some stiffness when he came downstairs this morning, he seems fine.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Truly's Leg?

Truly was running with some greyhound pals Saturday.  He suddenly stopped running and seemed to favor his right, hind leg.  He seemed o.k. by the time we got home.  Just a little limp.  He's no longer limping but today I noticed this bright red patch on the inside of that same leg.

You can see the red area is quite large.  The skin is not raised like a rash.  It doesn't feel warm to the touch. It doesn't seem to bother him.  I've never seen anything like it.  Any ideas?  Do we need to go to the vet?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Greyhound Meeting Part 2

Lots of fun last Saturday at the farm!  As I wrote in the part 1 post, the Annual meeting is just that - a chance for greyhounds and their people to meet at beautiful SummerWind Farm. 

The horses of SummerWind usually share the Farm with their 13 greyhound brothers and sisters.  On Saturday, they shared it with about 50 greyhound guests.  Here are some of the visitors:

Here's special guest, Daisy, the hound who was lost for 3 weeks before her Dad found her and brought her home.  She's 100% now and none the worse for the wear.
Here's special guest, Hope.  Hope is a young, mixed greyhound who a SEGA member saw advertised for sale on Craig's List - even with a severely broken leg.  A SEGA-friendly vet intervened and was able to get her released to his clinic where he provided substantial surgery and treatment.  She has just had the external fixator hardware removed from the right, front injured leg.  She's happily living with a loving foster family until she finds her forever home.
After a tasty meal, we had time to shop.  We bought some really nice jewelry (earrings for me and a ring for Saw).  We got some EMT Gel and stiptic powder for our canine first aid kits.   We got this neat mailbox topper.  It won't work on our mailbox, but we'll find something else fun to do with it.

Tim purchased the 2013 Celebrating Greyhounds Calendar.  Once we got home, I looked at the calendar pages and was excited to find some familiar faces among the greyhound models.
From Virginia, there's Angela's and Tracy's 'Buford' and his little human sister and their 'Puddin Pop' (on the back cover no less!) from Angela's blog, Treasure What You Have.  There's Trina's and Jason's beloved 'Henry' from Trina's blog, My ROO Spot.  And Kristen's and Gyeong's 'Stella' from Gyeong's blog, genji's corner  From Georgia's SEGA, there's Lisa's and Jon's 'Drew' with snow on his nose.

Oh, and I can't forget the Costa Rican coffee and wine purchases.
In case you're thinking we're spend thrifts, we really are not.  Participating venders generously donate portions of their proceeds to SEGA. 
Win /Win.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Black and White Sunday

Those Brindle Kids . . . in Black and White.



I’ve joined the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop hosted by Dachshund Nola and My Life in Blog Years.  If you’d like to join in too just go over to any of the hosts blogs and check out the simple rules and grab the linky.