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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Mini-Me's Are Here!

We read about Mini-Me's at genji's corner.  Lynne at Dip-Dip and the Bridge makes them to order. I clicked over to her blog to find out how to get Mini-Me's for Those Brindle Kids.

Look what arrived today - a package from across the pond!
Cool Royal stamp!
Via Royal Air Mail!
Those Brindle Kids had to check the package out.
Truly giving the package the once-over.
Walker doing same.
When I stopped taking pictures of the package, I opened it.  Inside were three little bundles.
Truly sniffs the bundles first.
Here's what we found -
The card reads, "Handmade Gifts by L
Sewn and Crocheted Gifts for Everyone
Those Brindle Kids' Mini-Me's!
Truly in the background..  Maggie in the foreground.  Look at her eye - she's so excited!
Truly with his Mini-Me.
Maggie and her Mini-Me.
Walker and his Mini-Me.
Lynne got everything right - from custom-made "brindle fur" all the way down to the white on the tip of Maggie's tail.
She even got their ears right.  Truly and Walker flop their ears about while
Maggie usually keeps her ears back against her head.
Walker is especially fascinated with the Mini-Me's.  He badly wants to play with his.
But no, they're not for playing.  They're for traveling.  When we travel, but can't take Those Brindle Kids with us, the Mini-Me's will get to go.  Here's what we were doing prior to the arrival of the Mini-Me's.
Those Brindle Kids in Orlando this week.
Many thanks to Lynne at Dip-Dip and the Bridge for sharing her amazing crochet talent with us and to Gyeong at genji's corner for pointing her out to us.  Two more reasons why I love the blogging world!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Walker's Wordless (Not Really) Wednesday

I want to know what goes on behind Walker's eyes.  

What is happening in his brain that makes him scared of me?  It's not just me - it's anybody.  And he's not scared all the time - just some of the time.  Right this minute, he's standing in front of my chair, wagging his tail, wanting so badly to be petted, but not being able to take the one step necessary to be within my reach.  If I lean forward, he backs up.

Yesterday, he walked right up to me and let me pet him - he stayed with me until he heard Tim coming down the stairs.  Then he took off.  While he was making up his mind to step toward me, I was observing him from the corner of my eye.  Looking directly at him usually causes him to back off.  As I watched him at a sideways angle, it was as if he was conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Finally, he must have determined the benefit of being petted outweighed the cost of the discomfort of stepping forward.  I could almost see him swallow hard and steel himself - kind of like I did when I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled, "I don't want to do this but I know I'll be glad I did."  He stepped up and was rewarded for his bravery with very thorough face and neck rubs which he dearly loves.

He's made great progress since we adopted him.  But we want him to be happy all the time - not anxious and uncomfortable most or even some of the time  We're taking the advice of Never Say Never Greyhounds.  We're participating in the Tufts University Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine VetFax program.  We send them lots of in-depth information via e-mail and fax, as well as via video of Walker's behavior uploaded to YouTube.
"This is a veterinarian–to–veterinarian consultation service for animal behavior problems. You and your referring veterinarian provide a written account of the behavior problem via behavior history forms and mail or fax this report to Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic. Dr. Dodman and his assistant will fax or mail a three to six page consultation response to the referring veterinarian in 7 to 10 business days."
I've heard of extremely positive outcomes from the program - especially with fear and phobias. Maybe he doesn't need to take Prozac.  Maybe he needs to take more.  Maybe less.  Maybe he needs to take something else.  I don't know.  But I do know, as I've said before, even if the advice from Tufts is a complete bust, resulting in no progress whatsoever, we want to try.  I'll let you know what we find out . . .

Monday, February 18, 2013

Walking with the Hounds, Part 3

Tim had to stay home and work yesterday and couldn't go walking with us and Those Brindle Kids. Sawyer and I took Truly and Maggie.  Poor Walker had to stay home with Tim.  I'm still too scared to take Walker out by myself.  If he bolts, he might get away from me and I can't stand that thought.

It was windy and cool but beautiful outside.  Rather than walking east, we walked west to the block behind our house.
I told Sawyer I would not take her picture.   I was not being truthful.
We always had to be careful at this house because the lady who lived there had a bunch of small, yippy dogs.  They couldn't get out of the fence but they would remain absolutely silent until someone passed by the gate.  Then they would launch themselves at passers-by.  The noise could be frightening if you weren't expecting it.
She passed away last year.  Now we miss those yippy dogs.

The people who owned this Victorian home petitioned the city to let them tear down an historic house next door -
to the left of the house as you look at this photo.
Their idea was to tear the house down and build a community garden.
They got permission from the city, tore the house down, then put the entire property up for sale.
In tearing down the house, they flooded the neighborhood with rats rushing away from the demolition.
Not only did Macon lose an historic home that can never be replaced, but the community garden
will never happen and we all got to deal with RATS!

This little guy was enjoying the bright sunlight and was not bothered by us or the dogs.

Maggie surveys an old outbuilding - perhaps she's looking for rats!
This is the Greek Revival Bell House built in 1855.
The cover photo for the Allman Brothers Band premiere album was shot on the front porch.  
You can see the house is in a much better state now than it was in 1969 when this cover photo was taken.

Band members, particularly Greg and Duane Allman, lived in a number of places in town in the 1970's.
Greg's wife, Cher, was here for a while, too.

A beautiful antebellum home sits next door to  the Massee Apartment building.

We lived at the Massee, on the sixth floor, for about a year.  We LOVED living there.  Black and white tile floors in the hallways, subway tile in the bathrooms, 10' ceilings, crown molding, plaster walls and fabulous views of the city.  

Sawyer took this panoramic shot of the street.  I didn't know my phone/camera would do this.
I also didn't know my phone camera had a "reverse camera" feature permitting me to take a photo of myself while I was blinded by the sun and my hair in my eyes.  Nothing is as fun as those surprise photos you didn't know you took.  :)

This is an amazing home.  The lady who lives here told me the story of going with her husband and small children to see the movie "Babe" many years ago.  We they got home that night, her husband told her someone was in the garage.  Upon inspection, they found a huge wild pig.  Apparently, the pig climbed the nearby river bank and took refuge in their garage.  Quite coincidental considering the movie they just saw!  The children thought the pig surely must be Babe.

When Oprah Winfrey came to town in November of 2007, she stayed here.

She filmed the "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode in Macon that year because Nielson Ratings
indicated the highest viewing audience in the country.  Her audience really cleaned up.  Lots of big dollar gifts.
Each afternoon Oprah was in Macon, Sawyer and I would walk over to see if we could catch a glimpse of her.
We didn't see her but it was still fun to have Oprah in town. 

A stately Federal-style home.

A former Mayor of Macon bought this house.  His wife moved in.  He didn't.  He asked for a divorce.  He got it.
The house was foreclosed upon.  The Mayor's wife said she couldn't move out because Jesus lived in the
back room and wanted her to stay there with him.  No kidding.  Law enforcement had to help the Mayor's former
wife understand that she must leave.  They eventually helped her gather her belongings and move out.
No word on the Jesus situation.  One of Sawyer's classmates lives here now.  
Two brindle heads pointing toward home, surely thinking, "Isn't it about time for dinner, Mom?
Yes.  It is dinner time.  Let's go home and eat.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Sweater for Maggie

I seem to be making a lot of trips to PetSmart lately - feeding 200 pounds of dog requires it. While I was shopping for the food, Pill Pockets and treats, I found the 75% off rack.  There was one extra-large sweater.  It appeared to be the proper size for Maggie.  I bought it.

Upon my arrival at home, Maggie tried it on.  It's not the most handsome garment I've ever seen but, hey, it was 75% off!
Poor, poor Maggie.  I do not think she likes her new sweater.
Truly gives it a good sniff.
We think Truly  is beseeching Sawyer to remove the sweater.
We think Maggie is beseeching Sawyer to remove the sweater.
We think Walker is consoling his big sister.  "I'm sorry, Maggie."
Evaluation:  Maggie did not want to wear the sweater.  She said it made her feel fat.

In the interest of her self-esteem, I took it off.  What else is a good mother to do especially considering it's almost 60 degrees outside.  :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Today was my regular, quarterly meeting in Atlanta.  The drive in this morning was perfect.  There were none of the typical traffic tie-ups as I headed north on I-75.

My drive south, on the way home, was a completely different story.

NOTE:  I took these photos while my car was at a COMPLETE STOP.
Billions and billions of cars in front of me.
Billions and billions of cars behind me.
I was glad to finally get home - even if it was about an hour later than planned.

Those Brindle Kids were waiting for their Valentine's Day treat.
Pink Peeps!

Walker got a Valentine's Peep, too, but he ran off with it before I could snap a photo.  

It's nice to be home!

 From Those Brindle Kids!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Walking with the Hounds, Part 2

Quick Recap:
Sawyer and I had such a good time in January when I took my camera on our walk with Truly and Maggie that we decided to expand on that theme.

We expanded by 1. taking the camera more often and 2. taking Walker out for his first walk in the neighborhood.

Here's the next part of our walk with all three of Those Brindle Kids:
(Note - Walker continues to wear his harness with a leash and his martingale collar with a second leash - just to be safe.)

While we were thinking good thoughts for our friends to the northeast as they experience a huge snowfall, there was no hint of snow here.  Saturday was a gorgeous day.

We started by walking between the Woodruff House and Mercer Law School both of which sit on top of Coleman Hill.  At the bottom of the hill is a monument to soldiers from Macon killed in WWII.  Tim came with us.
Tim with Those Brindle Kids.
We wanted to cross the street.  We paused to see how Walker responded to the cars.
He looked left.
He looked forward.
He looked right.
 Walker was curious but didn't seem to be scared by the cars.
Getting ready to cross the street.
On the other side of the street is the Hay House.

From the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, "One of Georgia’s most distinguished structures, the Johnston-Felton-Hay House in Macon was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. It was built from 1855 to 1859 in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, a marked contrast to the more restrained Greek Revival architecture of the antebellum period.
The 18,000-square-foot mansion spans four levels and is crowned by a three-story cupola. Commissioned by imaginative owners and constructed by the most skillful workers of the time, its technological amenities were unsurpassed in the mid-19th century: hot and cold running water, central heat, a speaker-tube system, in-house kitchen and an elaborate ventilation system."

Headed up the driveway.
Walker is having no problem at all.
View from the side yard. 
Walking through the back yard garden.
The fountain in the center of this koi pond bothered Walker.
He didn't like the sound of the splashing water.
Truly and Maggie don't mind the sound but they've been here many times.
This is the first time Walker has seen or heard it.
Walker needed just a little reassurance.
He didn't like the sound of the fountain but he didn't want to turn his back on it, either.
It is pretty, though.
Front of the house.
We were afraid Walker would have problems coming back down those marble steps.  He did not.
People say the Hay House is haunted by the ghost of a young woman, the daughter of the man who built the house.  She is said to occupy the three levels of the cupola.  Hmmm . . . 

Next, we walked a little further down the street to the Cannonball House.

From the website:
"The Cannonball House, named for damage sustained during the War Between the States, was built in 1853 as a planter's townhouse. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is an example of authentic Greek Revival architecture containing fine period furnishings.

The house is also the repository for the Founders' parlors of the Adelphean (ΑΔΙΙ) and Philomathean (ΦΜ) societies, recreated from Wesleyan College, where they began in 1851 and 1852."
The sun proved to be a challenge.
When I was in college, I served as a docent giving tours on the weekends.  The house is kept in pristine condition.
This is a cannon used by Confederate troops during the Civil War.
It is not the cannon that caused damage to the house.
Camellias in the front garden.
The wrought iron fence was cast here in Macon by Taylor Iron Works.
The house was the site of a murder during the late 1980's.  The caretaker opened the house one morning and found a dead man laying on the floor in the dining room.  It was a very hush, hush situation as the victim was a prominent businessman.  Hush, hush means that everybody was talking about it and the related and quite sordid details.

Yes, you guessed it.  The house is said to be haunted.  Though I worked there for three years, I never once ran into a ghost.  Believe me, I tried hard to find one.

Just across the street from the Cannonball House is Katherine Court Apartments built in the early 1900's.  It's one of the first true apartment buildings in the city.  Prior to the construction of Katherine Court, most apartments were large wooden, boarding house-type structures. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was sad to see that a resident has chosen to attached a satellite dish to the front railing of his/her balcony.  :(
Katherine Court has a beautiful rooftop deck and garden
We headed toward home.  Since Walker doesn't mind cars passing by him, we walked straight up the street.
Masonic Temple
Walker being good.
Truly and Maggie being good.
The Bennett House.  This house has a spring-fed swimming pool in the basement.
Mercer's Walter F. George School of Law is just across the street from the Bennett House.
And here's the fabulous regional AT&T headquarters.
When it was constructed in the 1970's, they tried to make the monolithic building fit into the neighborhood
 by putting white columns on the front.  Oh, well.  They are good neighbors.
See?  Walker is unconcerned by the passing of the red car.
Back home now.  Those Brindle Kids were hot and tired.
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  Mr. Rogers would have been proud.

**Special thanks to Tim, who wrangled three greyhounds and four leashes.  Without his expert assistance, this pictorial post would not have been possible.  :)