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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Comet's Tale

We've been hearing weather advisories for our area all day.  Severe wind and rain were forecasted. It was such a concern that a number of local schools, including Sawyer's, dismissed students early.

What is there to do on a rainy night in Georgia?  Here's what's to do, thanks to my loving husband:
We think Comet looks like Truly - except for the ears.
This book is getting good press on the SEGA listserv.  Tim saw it and ordered it for me.  It arrived this afternoon.  (He ordered it through Amazon YESTERDAY.  It got here TODAY.  Wow!)
"A story about a friendship between two former winners, both a little down on their luck, who together stage a remarkable comeback.  One is Comet, an abused greyhound racing dog ditched by her owner.  The other is Stephen Wolf, ditched by the partners in the company he founded.  The bond and their faith in each other will make them winners once again."
There was rain and wind for about 15 minutes.  Then it was gone.
A tornado touched down on the other side of the state.

Meanwhile Truly, Maggie and Walker are comfy, warm and dry.

They love it when I read to them.  :)

P.S. - I'll let you know what I think about the book when I've finished reading it.  I just hope it doesn't make me cry.  Books about dogs always get to me . . .

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Turkey Necks

There's been a lot of conversation on the SEGA listserv lately about the most effective way to keep greyhound teeth clean and healthy.

Truly and Walker don't chew their kibble.  They swallow most of it whole.  They get no chewing exercise at meal time.  Little lady-like Maggie chews her food.  They all get bully sticks - but I don't think it's enough to keep their teeth and gums in top condition.

Brushing teeth:  I brush Truly and Maggie's teeth after they eat their dinner.  I'd like to say I do it every day, but I don't.  It's usually other day.  Walker is too fearful to let me brush his teeth yet.

Raw:  The experts support a raw/partially raw diet.  Turkey necks were mentioned.  I've always been scared to give the dogs raw meat - especially raw poultry.  But when people who've had greyhounds for years endorse a practice - who am I to question?  The bacteria issue doesn't seem to be a problem for dogs because of their relatively short digestive tracts. The bones in turkey necks seem to be too small and crunchy to cause a choking hazard.

I've been grocery shopping for years and years and never once have I ever seen turkey necks in a supermarket.  The reason I have never seen turkey necks in a supermarket is because I have never looked for turkey necks.  Tim and I went to a Walmart Superstore and guess what we found?

These two necks = 16 ozs.
Following instructions, I dipped each one in rapidly boiling water - didn't cook them, just dipped them.

Each dog got the same number of ounces of turkey necks they usually get in kibble - 16 ozs. for Truly and Walker and 12 ozs. for Maggie.  I gave the necks to them on the back porch on towels. Truly stayed on the porch to eat his. Maggie and Walker took theirs to the yard - which means they got extra seasonings - dirt and straw - with their meals.

I was very happy to see all of the dogs chewing with gusto and no choking at all.  The crunching was a little unsettling, but that's the whole point, right?

Now I'm wondering if they're going to want to eat kibble tomorrow.  Probably not.  They're going to have to wait until next Saturday for more turkey necks.  :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Walking with the Hounds

Truly and Maggie love to go for walks around the neighborhood.  Since Sawyer was out of school Monday for the MLK holiday, she went with us.  My idea was to take the camera and get photos for the blog while we were on our walk.  I wanted to take the pictures myself and have Sawyer serve as the model and leash holder.  She pointed out that since she's taking a photography class this semester, I should be the model and leash holder.  Being the mother who tries to support all of her academic endeavors, I relented, but I do think she whizzed me.

Walker's not with us because he's just not ready to go out for walks yet.  We're not sure that he will ever be able to go, but we're not going to count him out just yet.  He stayed home with Tim. Here's a photo of him I took Sunday - just so he doesn't feel left out:

On our neighborhood walk:
Here we are in the Woodruff House gazebo atop Coleman Hill.
Those Brindle Kids minus Walker on the front porch of the Woodruff House.
From Sherpa Guides:  "Built in 1836 for a railroad financier and banker, this Greek Revival plantation mansion was later owned by Col. Joseph Bond, one of the South's wealthiest cotton planters.  Bond was the state's largest cotton grower and most successful planter.  
During his occupation of Macon in 1865, Union Gen. James Wilson resided here, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family were entertained here in 1887.  
The home was later purchased by Robert Woodruff, president of the Coca Cola Company from 1923 until 1954.  With his enormous Coke fortune, he was a major philanthropist and many educational and cultural landmarks in Macon and Atlanta, Georgia, bear his name.  Today the home is owned by Mercer University."  
People say the Woodruff House is haunted by the ghost of Colonel Bond who was murdered at the age of 44 by his former plantation foreman.

Maggie and Truly in the Woodruff House camellia garden.
The most favorite walk activity, smelling.
Here's another photo of the Woodruff House I took a month ago during the morning fog.

The Woodruff House sits on the north side of Coleman Hill.  Right next door to it, on the south side of Coleman Hill, sits Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law.  The building is an oversized reproduction of Philadelphia's Independence Hall.  Mercer purchased the building when the insurance company went out of business years ago.  People say the law school building is haunted by the ghost of a failed law student who jumped to his death from the top of the clock tower.
Those Brindle Kids on the law school lawn.
On one of the law school patios.
Just around the corner, to the west of the law school, is another Greek Revival mansion, Bonnie Brae.  It was built in 1838 by a physician.  He lived in the first two floors and had a hospital in the basement.  Antebellum-period medical equipment, including baby bassinettes, was found there.

You should see the inside of this house.  Absolutely gorgeous!  Bonnie Brae's elderly owner recently died.  Several months later her family held an open house.  The home has fallen to some disrepair but the original craftsmanship is stunning.  Word on the street is that Mercer University will buy and renovate it for use as the home of the university president.  I dearly hope so.  Most usually, a place like this is divided into apartments.  Yuck.
People say Bonnie Brae is haunted by the ghosts of people who died in the basement hospital during the Civil War.


Fence post.
We came across this fence post on our way back up the block.  I don't know how many times I've walked past it and not seen it.  The root grows up through the post with a blooming iris right next to it.  I thought it was pretty.

More of our walking tour of the neighborhood later.  Are you noticing a "ghostly" theme?  I've learned that nearly everything around here is "haunted."  In fact, one of our neighborhood association's biggest fundraisers is the annual Ghost Tour at Halloween.  People loved to be scared!

Tim says Walker behaved as if he really wanted to go with us.  He wants to put Walker's harness on, hook a leash to the harness, then put another leash on his martingale, and take him with us.  Just for a short walk.  That would be o.k. as long as we walk him in a large fenced area - maybe the ballpark with its 9' fence.  We'll see . . .

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Greyhound Fortification

When we got Walker back in September, I began to obsess even more about door and gate safety issues.  My memories of the day back in the spring when Truly and Maggie Got Out of the Gate still terrorize me.  We didn't have Walker when that happened.

At just two years old, Walker is very strong and very energetic.  He loves to run, and run, and run. I've mentioned before that he's a spook.  What this means is that if Walker gets away, we have very little chance of ever getting him back.  Because of his fear, it's very unlikely that he would ever voluntarily come to us especially if he's panicked and in unfamiliar surroundings.

We have taken almost every imaginable step to ensure that all the dogs are safe and that they can never get out of our backyard gate again.  What we didn't do was "fortify" the front door.

Here's a picture of the front of the house that I posted at Christmas.  See?

There's a railing all around the porch except for the space between the two right-most columns, just in front of the door.  If the dogs get out of the front door, they can walk run directly down the steps to the front walk and then down onto the sidewalk and into the street.  There's no fence around the front yard.  If the dogs get out of the front door, they're gone.

The front door is big and heavy and old.  The doorknob is old, too.  Standing inside the house, Truly can bump the knob with his nose and the door will swing open and inward.  That's why we put a new deadbolt on the door. The deadbolt is always locked.  Even if I go outside to sweep the porch, I take my keys with me and lock the door from the outside.

When people come over for a visit, one of us must always be with them as they come and go through the door.  It doesn't always shut completely, then it swings open.  Even though we explain the importance of keeping the dogs inside the house - folks just don't always understand.  Teen-aged and elderly visitors, in particular, fail to make sure the door is closed and locked.  Sawyer's friends, poor kids, they must surely think we're weird -

And where are the dogs during our entrance and egress from the front door?  Standing there and waiting.  Simply WAITING for their chance.  (I told you I was obsessed with this.)

Truly says, "I want to go outside."
Maggie says, "Me, too."
Walker, who's outside of the camera shot, says,  "You get the door open and I'll run through!  Yeah!"
Just look at them standing there.  Waiting . . .

Realizing that we needed to do something, I suggested a gate.  Tim found a  man who builds things out of wrought iron.  We went to his shop and showed him photos of the house and described the purpose of the gate.  The man drew a design proposal on a piece of paper.  It was exactly what we needed.  He came out and measured.  About two weeks later he brought us this - the Front Door Greyhound Protection Gate!  The very first one of its kind!

Front Door Gate-Keeping Protocol requires that the gate be closed before the front door is unlocked/opened.  I've even briefed the mail carrier on the purpose of the gate.  He's good with it.

Hopefully it will never be needed, but if it is, it's there.

Ahhhhh, peace of mind!

P.S. - When Tim and I met and talked with the wrought iron man, we detected a Cajun accent.  Tim asked him about it.  He said he grew up in Pierre Part, Louisiana.  For us, the next obvious question was, "Do you know the Landrys from the History Channel show, Swamp People?"  He said he grew up with Troy and knew his family well.

We love that show!  Small world, huh?

From the History Channel web site:  Deep in the heart of Louisiana lies America's largest swamp--a million miles of inhospitable bayous, marshes and wetlands where nature rules and humans struggle to tame it. Many of its inhabitants are the hardened descendants of French refugees who were forced out of Canada in the 18th century and settled in this harsh yet majestic environment. Today, these people are known as the Cajuns, a group renowned throughout the world for their flavorful cuisine, distinctive music and vibrant culture. Resilient, self-reliant and fiercely independent, the Cajuns of the Atchafalaya Swamp still carry on many of their ancestors' trades and traditions.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Great News For Hounds x 3

First, the little foundling, Murphy, has been adopted by a SEGA family!  He's thought to be about 4 months old.  Someone just dumped him.  It's not known for sure that he's 100% greyhound, but according to greyhound experts, he really looks like he's all hound.  Fortunately, Walker's first foster Mom was alerted to his situation.  She agreed to keep him until she could find him a home here or until Road Trip Home Animal Rescue could arrange to get him transportation to Maine/Massachusetts.  
Photo from Team Zero Gravity
Murphy now has a loving forever home with a greyhound brother who looks just like him!  Thank goodness for Road Trip Home Animal Rescue, the people who found Murphy, the family who adopted him and his foster Mom who worked tirelessly to help him. 

Second, I wrote about Daisy in December.  Daisy was a pretty fawn girl who was lost for 22 days before she was found.  Shortly thereafter, she died of cancer.  I just found out that her heartbroken family recently adopted another greyhound.

This is their new boy:
Breeder's Cup

I think Daisy would be happy to know that her family has opened their home and hearts to this hound.  He's only a year old.   They'll have a long and happy life together.

Third, I was scared when I read a SEGA listserv message late last Wednesday night.  A kill shelter notified SEGA that a female greyhound was turned in and she had only one day left.  The message went out for someone to go to the shelter and get her.  By the time I figured out how to rearrange my work schedule, several other people had already stepped up.

A SEGA volunteer got her and delivered her to the adoption kennel the next morning.  According to her tattoos, her name is Red Floyd.  She's 7 years old.  She's a beautiful girl who will surely find a forever home through SEGA.  This photo is from SEGA.

Sorry all the text below Breeder's Cup photo is published as a caption.  I can't fix it.  No worries! I'm just happy to have been able to insert the photos into the post!  :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Here's The Situation . . .

About three weeks ago, I sat down one night to compose my regular blog post.  At the point that I wanted to insert a photo, I clicked the "Insert Image" icon as usual.  When I got to the "Select a File" page, the little box that allowed me to upload a file from my computer had disappeared.

After several hours of trying different things resulted in zero progress, I finally quit.  Web searches and appeals to blogging experts yielded some suggestions and I tried again.  Nope.

You must understand, I can barely figure out how to turn the computer on by myself so blogging really has been a happy victory for me.  The day I figured out how to capture AND insert a video into a post I was so excited that we went out to dinner to celebrate.  (Tim and Sawyer don't know that's the reason I insisted we go out - but it was.)

Nothing helped me with the "Insert Image" problem.  My loving husband tried to help me resolve the issue by taking me to the store and buying me A NEW iPad!  It's a really nice one with Retina Display (I honestly thought that meant that I had to somehow allow it to scan my eyeball in order to use it - kind of like a high tech password.)

Unfortunately the iPad offers me two new challenges.  1.  The Blogger Ap I downloaded works great if you want to publish posts with all words or if you want to put a single picture at the end of the text.  It won't allow me to intersperse the photos among the text.  Also, you must limit the text to no more than about two paragraphs.  2.  If I avoid the Blogger Ap and approach my blog directly through Safari, I can add photos but only if I upload the photos to Picasa.  I still can't upload the photos directly from the iPad which is problematic because Picasa will only take about half of the photos I want to upload.  Again, I must limit the length of my post and the one photo to just what will fit in the "Compose" window because anything that extends below the initial box disappears.

I am using the good, old Dell  to compose this post.  Surely there is something I'm missing here.  I hope to have it all worked out soon.  Meanwhile, Maggie says she hopes I figure it out.  She wants more air time, and for right now, she wants to go to bed.  Can you tell?
Sleepy Maggie

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Very Warm January Day

Unseasonably warm weather yesterday made Walker and Maggie antsy.  Being inside the house was no fun at all.  They enjoyed playing together outside.  Truly thought it was too hot so he went back inside the house.

After the two youngest Brindle Kids had a couple of runs around the yard, they decided to play some games.

Maggie started off with her most favorite game, the Princess and the Pea (again).

Meanwhile, Walker said he wanted to play Hide and Seek with me.  He's never played before.
Walker - I can see you.  You have to hide.
He tried again.
I can still see you.
One more time.
That's better.  I can't see you now.
Maggie started playing The Shawshank Redemption.
"NoBODY knows the trouble I've seen.  NoBODY knows my sorrow."
Walker thought that would be fun, too.
It wasn't as much fun as he thought it would be.
Then they played "Romeo and Juliet."
Maggie/Juliet says from her balcony, "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"
Walker/Romeo says, "I'm right here."

Juliet is still looking for Romeo.

Here's not up there.

Or over there.


Walker says enough of Romeo.  Time for a walk.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pillow Hog

Truly and Maggie love vacuuming day, not because they're clean freaks but because they both like a good game of The Prince/Princess and the Pea.

Here's how it works:  Before vacuuming, I stack up all the beds. 

The winning greyhound is the one who takes his/her place on top of the stack first.

The losing greyhound walks around and around the royal bed, whining and pacing, pacing and whining. 

This unpleasant behavior goes on until he/she is tired or I'm finished vacuuming - whichever comes first.

(Of course, there are many more beds available to the losing greyhound BUT they're not THESE beds.  Therefore, they don't count.)

Last time, Truly was the lucky boy.
Prince Truly

This time, Maggie beat Truly.
Princess Maggie is so comfy.
Truly tries to figure out how to get her to move.

He walks around and around - pacing and whining.

He confers with Walker.
They develop a secret plan.
Princess Maggie says the plan didn't work.