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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bed Space

I'm starting to wonder if it's really necessary to invest a small fortune in the super-sized beds for Those Brindle Kids.  They've started using only about half of the bed:


Foster-Boy Walker using less than half -
Even Squirm the Worm does it.

What's going on here?!  Have they collectively found flaws in each of these beds or could it be that I'm being punk'd by three greyhounds?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

An Everyday Job

I've found that it's a bad idea to have two, now three, large dogs in a very small yard and not participate in pooper scooping multiple times every day.  First, the, uh, fragrance outside can become overwhelmingly noxious.  Second, Those Brindle Kids don't always look at what they're stepping on/in while they're in the yard and they sure don't wipe their feet before they come in.  Therefore, the fragrance inside (as well as any floors, rugs, beds, etc., he/she steps on before I can catch him/her and clean up the mess) can become noxious, too.

I LOVE this thing! I bought it in 2006 and it still works perfectly.

For some reason, Truly and Maggie prefer not to be on ground level when the pooper scooping is in progress. 
As soon as I pick up the scooper, they climb the steps and stand and watch me from deck level.
See the looks on their faces?  They seem to be interested, but they won't come down.  Often, once I'm done, they'll come back down the steps . . . maybe to make sure I've done a thorough job?  I don't know.
 Walker doesn't watch me from the deck.  He likes to follow me around the yard - at at distance.
He's my little pooper scooper patrol puppy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good Boy!

Every day Walker, the Foster Hound, is with us, we see some improvement in his anxiety issues. These little victories make our hearts sing!

When I let the dogs out the back door, Walker is always the last to go out. When he first arrived at our house, I would open the door, move around the corner where he couldn't see me, and he would go out. Then, to push the envelope, I began slowly closing the distance between me and the door.

This weekend I decided to challenge him even more by opening the door, stepping back from it a couple of feet, but putting my hand on the door so that Walker had to pass under my raised arm to get out the door. He was cautious the first time I did that, but he loves going outside, so he decided to risk it. Since then there's been no problem at all. Yay, Walker!

Another sign of progress is Walker's willingness to let me take photos of him at close range. He'll also look at me while I'm doing it.

See?  No telephoto lense!

Look how close I am!

He has the sweetest face.

With Walker, little things mean so much.  Every time he puts trust in you, you know you've accomplished something.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Black and White Sunday

Soulful Eyes
"Those true eyes,
too pure and too honest in aught to disguise
the sweet soul shining through them."
                                                                           Owen Meredith



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Photos from the Farm

I didn't know a professional photographer was at the SEGA Annual Meeting at the Farm held last month.  Imagine my excitment when I was looking through some recently posted SEGA Facebook photos and found some pics of Those Brindle Kids!

Here's my Maggie girl!

Maggie's on the right

I suspect THIS is why Maggie was retired when she was barely two.  She took a couple of spins around the field and dropped to the ground.  I thought she was hurt.  She wasn't.  She just liked laying in the cool grass.

She won't get up.  Crazy girl.

This one really wanted Tim to take that muzzle off.

That's Truly running with a black hound and a fawn hound.

Tim's going to see why Truly stopped running and started limping.

Truly's had enough.

My earlier post, Truly's Leg, described what happened as a result of that field injury.  The big bruise is gone now and he can't wait to go on his daily walks - so all is well again.  I'm glad to have these photos!  :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Thing About Walker

Walker, our first foster hound, is beautiful! 

He's young.  Walker won't be two years old until December.  Since he's so young, he's also very playful.  He loves to play with stuffie toys.  Unlike Truly and Maggie, he just plays with them.  He doesn't tear them apart.  This long, purple tug toy is one of his favorites.
However, just like Truly and Maggie when they first came home with us, Walker loves to gather things and shred paper.  He first got this discarded label out of the trash can.  I guess he figured the label was on his new dog bed, therefore, the label was his.
Then, he took this mailing package off the sofa and put it on his bed.  Thank goodness he chose not to tear it up!
Then, he signaled his distaste for the latest issue of People magazine by doing this.  Yes, that is was my favorite pair of flip flops also there in the pile of shredded magazine.
He's gentle and loveable:

Here's the thing about Walker - he's been diagnosed with idiopathic fear.  That is fear or anxiety for which there is no known cause.  He takes 60 mgs. of generic prozac every morning, as prescribed by a vet with LOTS of experience with greyhounds.  His first foster Mom told me that you can just see in him the dog he wants to be, but his anxiety usually stops him in his tracks.  She's right on the money.  You can't approach Walker from a standing position.  You can sit on the floor and eventually he will approach you to be petted.  Any time people are walking around, Walker's walking around to see what's going on.  He's always looking for a way out of the room.  Entering exterior doors is a barrier for him.  Fortunately, we've discovered the secret to getting him to come back in the house.

I've learned so much about greyhounds from my blogging friends.  I'm hoping someone out there will have faced this situation and have some words of advice for us.  This boy deserves a good life -

Thursday, October 11, 2012


When I started thinking seriously about fostering, my very first concern was how Truly would react to another hound.  This coming March, he'll be 10 years old.  He's been the Best Greyhound Boy in our house since we adopted him 6 years ago.  When we adopted Maggie 3 years ago, she was only 2, and she was shy, so there were never any questions from her about who was the boss of the hounds.  She knows it's Truly. 

Maggie's not shy any more.  She sometimes exerts herself with Truly, but she knows just how far she can push him before he pushes back.  I didn't want Truly to be challenged by a new foster hound.  When I saw this desciption of Walker on the SEGA web site, I thought it just might work:
 "Flying Gawker or Walker as is he is now know, is a very handsome red brindle boy. He's gentle and sweet. Definitely not much of a party boy. He prefers a peaceful, structured and quiet environment. Walker didn't have much a racing career with only 2 races to his name. He loves fenced yards to explore and dog buddies to play with. He enjoys carrying toys around, especially taking them on his explorations outside. One of his favorite things to do is just chill and relax. For a youngster, Walker already knows how to enjoy the best things in life."
Here are Those Brindle Kids on the way to meet Walker for the first time.  They love to ride.
The meeting with Walker went very well.  They all seemed to get along well together so we had three greyhounds for the ride home!
That's Walker in the middle with the harness.  Isn't he pretty?  That's Truly just behind him.  Truly is allowing Walker to touch him.  He never lets Maggie do that. 
Now look at the sweet princess, Maggie.  After a few minutes with Walker in the car, the tiny and crazy girl refused to allow any part of Walker to touch any part of her.  If he did, she growled . . . on with the muzzle.
Maggie had one dog bed to herself.  Truly and Walker shared the other.
Truly and Walker were perfect gentlemen.  Maggie needed to let Walker know that while Truly is The Boss, she is the boss of Walker. 
At home, Maggie brought all of her toys out to show Walker.  She showed him how to play with the ball.
Then she teased him with the ball.  If he went for it, she growled at him.
All Maggie allowed Walker do with the ball was watch.
After a few "dust ups" instigated by Maggie, everyone is now happy!
Truly is happy and never seemed to worry about his position in the Hound Chain of Command.
Walker is happy.  He never really cared about being the boss as long as he has a new girl to pet him.
Maggie is happy because she still has the ball.
What this has taught me is that I never should have worried about fostering in the first place.  They've worked everything out on their own.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Exciting News!

I've often said that I regret that we live so far away from the main SEGA site in north Georgia.  Living about two hours away makes it hard to be as helpful to the organization as I'd like to be. 

We participate in hound hauls as needed, send donations when we can, and spread the word about greyhounds making great pets everywhere we go.  Considering the efforts of the SEGA volunteers, what we do pales in comparison.

I was reading the messages on the SEGA listserv about two weeks ago and saw that Fying Gawker or Walker, as he is now known, needs a foster home.

Flying Gawker, nka Walker, our first foster hound!
Walker has been living for the past three months with a very active SEGA volunteer, but she has a full schedule of travel coming up, so she needs to find a foster home for him while he's waiting for his forever home.  I learned a lot about him through e-mail and phone conversations.  He needed a foster home with other greyhounds, and ours is the home of Those Brindle Kids, so we went to pick him up last Friday.
Walker bowing

He loves to be outside
To answer the first question I was asked by a friend:  No.  I did not choose to foster Walker because he's brindle in color.  The fact that he is a brindle is purely coincidental.  It is strikingly convenient, though, considering the name of this blog.  :) 

We didn't choose Truly or Maggie based on color.  Truly chose us.  Maggie chose us.  Both times we went to the adoption kennel we had totally different hounds in mind.  I do understand the question because I've heard of those people who adopt dogs because their color matches the sofa, rug or draperies.  Then when they redecorate, and if the dog's color no longer coordinates, the dog goes off to the pound.  (I have a strongly held belief that there is a special circle of hell reserved for these kind of folks.)

To answer the first question Tim asked me:  No.  I am not looking to adopt Walker.  He is a beautiful boy who needs care until his "forever family" finds him.  If we foster Walker, he doesn't go back to the kennel which leaves room for more greyhounds coming in off the track.  If he stays with us, he continues the acclimation process.  Meanwhile, we get to enjoy him.  Win, win, win!