Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Don't Call Me Corn Dog

For those of you with a greyhound with corns you know how painful they can be for your pup. If you don't own a corn dog, thank your lucky stars and knock on wood. These nasty little hard spots often cause lameness in greyhounds and only greyhounds for some unknown reason.

Seka has two corns, one on each of her back feet. Most of the time she manages okay on carpeted floors. It's on any hard surface that she has problems, which includes asphalt, tile, hardwood - pretty much any floor that doesn't have a rug on it she will limp or totally refuse to use one of her back feet, depending on which one is hurting the most that day. I equate it to walking around with a rock in your shoe that you can't get rid of.

We've tried a lot of home remedies to soften the corns including using wart remover and covering her pads with duct tape. Some people have used Abreva (an over-the-counter cold sore medication) with some success. We put a nightly application of Bag Balm on her pads to keep them as soft as possible, but nothing gets through that hard, calcified tissue. Many vets turn to coring out the corn with a special dental instrument, which basically pops out the hard part of the corn from the pad, but everyone who has ever had this done to one of their corn dogs will tell you that they come back nine times out of ten. So, there's not a lot treatment options available to our corn dogs.

In October, the corn on Seka's "lucky foot" (the one with three toes) fell off while coursing. I figured it would come back, but (knock on wood) it hasn't reared its ugly head yet. I attribute the switch to feeding raw to keeping this corn at bay. The way I look at it - no binders and fillers in her food, mean nothing for the virus to bind to in her body.

But the corn on her good foot kept getting bigger and bigger, and last week it mostly fell off. Usually when the corn gets so big that it falls off it offers her a few weeks of comfort, but not this time. In fact, she steadily got worse and even stopped using her foot all together on the carpet on Tuesday. So I called Dr. Hottie's office and worked ourselves into their schedule at 10a that morning to get Seka some pain meds to help her through the holidays.

Now, Dr. Westmoreland and I had discussed using his laser to remove the corns on Seka's feet, but I kept putting the procedure off due to our coursing schedule and the potential price tag (anything with the term laser in it has to be expensive, right?). Using a laser allows the vet to take off more of the infected tissue than an old fashioned surgical tool would and hopefully get low enough to completely get rid of the virus so the corn doesn't grow back.

As we hopped into the vet's office on three legs at 10a I kicked myself that I hadn't done something about this stupid corn earlier. But after the vet took a good look at her and made sure it wasn't any other kind of soft tissue injury, Dr. Westmoreland had Seka's toe numbed up, and his trusty laser aimed at the offending corn, blasting away like he was playing Space Invaders. Seka is pictured above, happy and relieved after he was all done. Her corn-less toe below, post-procedure.

As we walked out of the vet's office at 10:45a to pay our bill of a mere $110 (the procedure was only $35, the rest was meds, numbing and exam fee), I almost cried looking at my dog who was standing firmly on all four legs for the first time in at least two years. We go back in two weeks for a recheck to be sure the spot is not growing back as a corn. Fingers crossed that Seka will no longer be a corn dog, at least for a few months.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookie Monsters

When I was little, ok up until the age of about 10, when my family went out to dinner, my parents had to monitor how much sweet tea (the table wine of the South) I would drink prior to eating my meal. Why? Well, I had a tendency to drink so much tea without anything in my stomach that it would make me puke, which would quickly put an end to our family dinner out, usually before it actually started. I just couldn't help myself - it was too good to stop, no matter how sick I felt.

I think today many of the 31 greyhounds who attended our first ever Howl-a-day Cookie/Treat Exchange might be able to relate to my childhood habit. Greyhounds of every shape and color were treated to an afternoon of fellowship and festivities at the Five Seasons Brewery beer garden. Many were decked out in their holiday finest. There were of course the traditional reindeer antlers, as we all know greyhounds make the perfect substitute to pull Santa's sleigh, well - as long as they can wear coats. Seka even trotted out her antlers, but refused to let me take her photo.

There were Santa hats and even a full Santa's Little Helper costume, with a boa collar and beard. I saw a few elf hats with pointy ears, made especially for those greyhounds who don't have the type that stick up by themselves. But I think everyone in attendance agreed that the camel costumes took the cake. Who would have thought that greyhounds would make fantastic camels? Fawn colored ones sure do, especially when you put dangly tassles around their ears. These guys were the camels for the three wise men in their church nativity last weekend. Oh, and that's Dr. Spock sporting that costume - his ears naturally do that all the time, so it was perfect for his camel head dress (no greyhound ears were injured in the wearing of this costume).

But of course we were there for the cookies. Everyone enjoyed exchanging a sampling of our favorite homemade dog treats, along with the recipes. My girls loved Luke's Mackerel Smackerels. I mean, who doesn't love a good ol' fashioned fish cookie? Click here if you would like our recipes for Roxy's Gingerbread Bones and Seka's Kissable Garlic & Cheese Balls. It's our holiday gift to you!

Seka totally enjoyed herself. She just layed on her bed and requested that her treats be placed next to her face for consumption. Roxy, on the other hand, was too nervous about the roof falling in on her to appreciate what was going on. In fact, at one point the poor thing was shaking and drooling so bad that she crawled in my lap and just shook like leaf for about 15 minutes. This was her first outing to a greyhound event that was held indoors. We need to do a lot more work with her at places like Pet Smart before we do another indoor group event again (insert cry to Jen for help here).

The loot the girls came home with looks more like a trick-or-treat bag instead of Christmas candy. And if left to their own devices, they would still be eating out of the basket right now. But just like me, they've had to learn that a little goes a long way when it comes to some things that you like - or at least if you do have to get up from the table and puke don't tell your parents or you'll have to leave the Western Sizzlin' without going to the soft serve ice cream bar.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


If you told some people that you were driving/flying across country to meet a complete stranger that you simply chat with online, they would think you're crazy and then take down all of the information about where you are meeting, when you'll be there and when you should be home (well, if they like you they do that). But people who are a part of an online community or social network really don't think much about it. In fact, they think it's cool. Even cooler if the person you are meeting lives on another continent.

So when I heard that Katy (aka: I Hate Toast) of Needle Nose fame, would be in the states for the holiday season to visit her yank family I made it a point to schedule a business meeting in Dallas so we would have a chance to meet up. Boy I'm so glad I did.

Now I've lurked on Katy's blog for well over a year before I began commenting on it. I love her writing style. I love the way her mind works. I love her sense of humor and the way she looks at her dogs. She cracks me up. But you always wonder if that person behind the computer is the same in person. The great part is, Katy is even better in person.

We had a great dinner of baby-sized burritos (minus the appendages) and compared notes about our greyhound groups, showed pics of our dogs, and already started making plans about an east coast tour of greyhound dogs, er "cousins" the next time she is in the states. So, all of you east coast bloggers, we'll have to start planning for Katy's next visit and have some sort of gathering. I'm thinking we should peer pressure the Virginia bloggers to host since Trina and Gyeong are always showing off those fabulous greyhound parties they are having :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tonight's Top 10

The nightly David Letterman "Top 10 List" bit never gets old to me. Some nights it's funner than others, of course. But it's always entertaining to see how he delivers the content. Whether he simply sits behind his desk and reads it from a card "old school style" or invites a guest to read the list for him, its his signature piece and not an easy thing to come up with every night of the week.

I ought to know. I tried my hand at making my own Top 10 list on this really cool networking site called DemoListic. This site allows people to create all sorts of lists - Top 10 Most Boring Things Ever, The Worst Taste in Music, Best Cat Postings on Craigslist. Then as a member of DemoListic, you can create your own list on the same topic and the system then creates a consensus list. If you don't want to create your own list, that's fine - you can just make snippy comments about what others have ranked instead.

Be warned - you will get sucked into the vortex. There is plenty to look at on there. Some stuff great. Other stuff, not so great. But it's a lot of fun and a great way to waste time! So, why not start with the first greyhound list on DemoListic! Let's debate the Best Greyhound Color to Own!

While our topic may not end up on Dave tonight, we can entertain ourselves and be famous in our own minds. Just imagine Paul chiming in as you write your comments.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Curse of the Orvis Dog Beds

Have you ever been shopping and seen someone wearing something that they are selling in the mall and you think to yourself - "wow, that looks really awesome!" You don't really pay much attention to the fact that the person wearing it is 10 years younger and 20 lbs thinner than you are. Those, let's say, leather pants, must be found and must be had.

Well, you look around for those leather pants. You may even take the time to try them on. While you study yourself in the mirror in the dressing room, you say under your breath, "damn, I look good." Just forget the fact that all department store mirrors are really fun house mirrors in disguise. Those pants make you look hot.

You get home, put the pants in the closet, all tucked away, ready for your big night out on Friday. Friday night gets here, and it's finally time for you to slip into that sexy number. When you take a look in your own mirror what's staring back at you resembles a teenage wannabe, who's thighs look more like her mother's than Gisele Bundchen's in those hideous excuse for a pair of trousers.

I've bought my share of "leather pants" during my shopping tenure. And sometimes they have nothing to do with clothing. The latest such purchase was a pair of Orvis dog beds for my girls that I bought just two weeks ago. These beds have little foam beads inside as stuffing instead of normal polyfiber stuffing, which offers little support for their bony bums. My girls have tested out beds just like these at Patti's house and seemed to enjoy them while we were there. They even raced the other dogs to see who would get to the bed first. In my head, they had thoroughly tried them on for size and seemed to be pleased with what they found.

So when the beds arrived, I was disappointed in the girls' reaction to their new snuggle beds as I placed them on the floor for them to break them in. Not only did they not immediately run to them, dig and nest on them until they were perfect and then plop down on them for a nap - they wouldn't go near them. In fact, they wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.

I e-mailed Patti and asked what I should do. She told me to take out some of the beads inside of the beds so they would be a little less firm and that should remedy the problem. After unintentionally spreading some Christmas cheer throughout my house with little white foam beads (stupid static electricity) I successfully deflated one of the beds and found that the second bed was actually damaged (that one was returned to Orvis the next day with no problem). Still no interest from either of my two princesses after all that work.

I then decided that maybe they didn't like the way the cover smells and that maybe they would like it better if it smelled more like me. After all, they covet sleeping between me and Kev every night. So, I spent the entire day using the bed as my personal bean bag. I'm sure we were quite the site: me, sitting on a dog bed, laptop and spreadsheets all around me in the floor, while there are two hounds sleeping peacefully on the sofa behind me. Not really the commercial Orvis would want for their dog bed, I'm sure.

Now worries - the next day my sister and her two dogs would arrive for Thanksgiving. I thought for sure that her two pups would claim the new dog bed as theirs, which would cause Seka to become a giant cranky pants about it and then take sudden interest in the evil Orvis bed. So much for that plan. Both visiting dogs would rather lay on the hardwood floor in the kitchen than on that bed.

So the slightly deflated Orvis bed continues to lay dog-less in our living room floor. I've thought of a few solutions that could help with this dog bed of doom dilemma. I believe it is the sound that the bed makes that freaks them out so much and has them avoiding it at all costs. So, I wonder if I add some polyfil stuffing in with the beads to cut down on the rattling if it would help? I even thought about shredding up some of Kev's old underwear that are in the rag pile and put them in the stuffing, since that would kill two birds with one stone. The cats seem to like it as is, but that doesn't satisfy me. I've posted a poll to get your feedback on this topic since I'm really at my wit's end on this subject.

At this point, sending the darn thing back isn't an option in my book. I'm the kind of girl that even when the outfit looks like a mistake in the mirror just before you leave the house, I stick with the decision I made and let the chips fall where they may. That's why I rocked a pair of black leather pants and a purple sweater with black fur trim in Vegas just six years ago.