Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dog Pack

All of our friends have kids. All of them. We've been married for going on 8 years, which is longer than almost all of our friends, and everyone seems to be waiting on us to catch up with them. I hope they aren't holding their breath. When we listen to them talk about how their lives have changed when the baby showed up, one thing rings true for every couple - they can't believe how much stuff they have to pack to leave the house with the kid in tow.

I thought about this kernel of truth as I was packing up our Honda Accord two different times for our very full weekend of greyhound fun. While my babies might not be allowed in most restaurants or a grocery store, they certainly know how to fill up the trunk of a four-door car with supplies for a two-hour gathering.

Saturday night was the annual Southeastern Greyhound Club take your hound to the meeting - meeting (better known as the annual cookout). Held at Summerwind Farm in Newnan, GA, it's a two hour drive for us, but well worth it for the friends, food, and greyhound fun. Here's our packing list for this trip:
  1. Ex-pen: to keep the girls contained while mom and dad eat
  2. Outdoor rug: so the beds don't get all gross
  3. Beds: bony butts cannot lay on hard ground
  4. Folding Chairs (2): mom and dad need somewhere to sit
  5. Tarps & Clamps: gotta have some way to keep the GBD out of the afternoon sun
  6. Water Bucket: I brought the small 1 qt bucket for this short party
  7. Treats: you can't leave home without them
  8. Muzzles: another must have at any greyt gathering, even if you don't wear them
This year, the theme was a Hawaiian Luau, and many hounds and their owners came dressed in grass skirts and leis. I made a trip to the thrift store that morning and found a great Hawaiian shirt for Kev and a skort for myself that made great costumes for the evening. My mom made the girls new Hawaiian print scarves especially for the event, bringing our collection to about 10 different designs of matching scarves for the girls to sport about in.

The highlight of the night was greyhound limbo. Going into the game, Roxy looked to be one of the early favorites. But, she got a little performance shy, buckled under the pressure of the very low pole in the semi-final round and came in third. Venus (sporting her flowered tank top below) wowed everyone with her impressive "get low" skills, while Remi (shown in action below) came in second. Roxy charmed everyone with her winning smile though.

I was very excited to finally meet Denise, Limo and Less in person. And of course, Less did his fabulous tongue trick for me. What a handsome and lucky boy! It's not easy to find another greyhound/horse person without kids that is close to you in age, so we had a great time.

Sunday morning we got up and repacked the car for our annual trip to the Atlanta Braves' Bark in the Park event. For $23 you can bring yourself and your dog to a Braves Game at Turner Field and the proceeds from the event go to the Atlanta Humane Society. The first year we went they held the event at the end of July. Talk about the dog-days of summer - it must have be 99. They quickly changed the time of year the event was held and they now have two days - mid-May and early September. The weather on Sunday was as close to perfect as you get in Georgia - 75 and breezy - and we absolutely enjoyed ourselves. Our packing list for the day included:
  1. Full-sized comforter & 2 Red Sox Throws: skinny butts had to lay down on something besides concrete
  2. Water Bowl: obvious
  3. Water: Turner Field is the only major league stadium where you can actually bring your own food and drinks into the stadium!
  4. Kongs (2): Frozen with peanut butter, marshmallows and kibble
  5. Snacks for mom & dad: ballpark food isn't always great on the hips
All of that, except the comforter, plus my M.I.L.K. (Money, I.D., Lipstick, Keys) fit into my backpack. We successfully climbed to the top of Turner Field so the girls could enjoy their own VIP luxury box and we could enjoy the shade and breeze (it helps with mom and dad are baseball nerds and know that stadium like the back of their hand). Being able to spread out was key to keeping Seka comfortable. Roxy couldn't take everything in fast enough. She was smiling at everyone she saw - neighboring dogs, little kids, the beer man. Word got around with the Bark in the Park volunteers who make the long trip up the stairs to refill the water bowls that there was a smiling greyhound in section 418, so we got quite a few visitors as the game went on.

Of course you can't go to the game without having some junk food, even if you bring your own 100-calorie packs with you. So, the girls shared my cotton candy, which they were confused by as the blue sugar melted away on their tongues. The peanuts, however; sent them into overdrive. After sharing just a couple, they decided to gang up on mom and take them from me, unshelled! Seka even helped herself to the picnic the neighbors were having to the right of us which included Krystal hamburgers. They were nice enough to share one with her. Pig.

We weren't the only greyhounds in attendance like we were the very first year they held Bark in the Park. There were several SEGC members enjoying the game as well, like our friend Lucy. In fact, Venus (the reining limbo champion from the night before) got a cameo on the jumbo-tron all decked out in her Braves hat.

As I was unpacking the car when we arrived home from Atlanta I was thinking back to all the dog/people watching I did while at the baseball game - I really didn't watch very much of the game at all. It was just too much fun to look at all the people and their dogs together. The one thing I did notice was that no one - well hardly anyone - had a kid with them. You either brought your dog or your kid to the game. I guess they didn't have enough arms to carry all the stuff you need to bring both.


pattysea said...

I sooooooooo enjoyed your tale of "weekend with Seka and Roxy".
Who was more exhausted on Sunday evening??? Seka looks absolutely sapped, in the last photo. Could you imagine the Red Sox hosting something like this at Fenway?? There's hardly any room for the fans.

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

LOL, I love that last pic of Seka, actually I love all the pics! esp Less;-) Your packing list was hilarious, but so true.
Limo would have blown everyone away in the Limbo if Patty hadn't disq'd her so early on:-( :-)
The Bark in the Park sounds like a blast!
Glad we got to meet and hang out too, must do so again soon! No human kids in our future:-)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I remember attending my first lure coursing event and seeing all of the "stuff" those crazy dog people brought to the event........... well, 12 crates, 3 ex pens, 3 tarps, 2 mats, 5 water buckets, battery power source, 3 fans, 6 reflective tarps, countless blankets, beds, and comforters, a tent, an air mattress, and a cargo van......... I keep my mouth shut now.


gyeong said...

How do you fit all that stuff into a Honda Accord? That sounds like it would fill up a Honda Odyssey. Looks like you guys had a jam-packed weekend. The girls gotta get some rest for Memorial Day weekend.

Amy said...

Wow...y'all did a ton of stuff this weekend! And wasn't it great? You definitely can't beat the company of dogs(especially greyhounds) and their people. It was so great to see y'all at the farm - we had a wonderful time. Love the photos from the game and the GBD hanging out the car window. Got to try that myself... :)

Trina said...

I am in the same boat..everyone has skin-kids but I am just as busy with fur-kid activities!
Looks like a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

you got tongue from lester!? aw man..

i had a conversation with a fellow "mature-age student" in my class. with her first child, she felt that more stuff would make it easier. by number two, she didn't even have a pram, just a sling. found it easier to have nothing.

love the last photo. you can her "best day ever" fading as sleep comes.

peanuts, you say? must try. i like to eat ever 5th one unshelled. nom nom nom! salty, crunchy, fibre-y goodness.

Kim said...

Wow, you've been busy! Bark in the Park sounds like a blast, and I don't even like baseball.

I am beyond impressed that you pack all that stuff into an Accord. I am going to hold this over my husband's head; he said my Toyota Corolla was too small for both dogs. (We bought a Subaru Outback to replace it.)

thebellagreyhound said...

Australia is so backwards - there is no way that we could take our dogs to a game. Maybe one day I will be able to take the hounds into a cafe without getting dirty looks.... Or I will just move to America!