Thursday, December 30, 2010

Be Prepared

After cutting myself in a freak coffee cup accident on Monday night, I turned to the dogs' first aid kit to clean, control, and wrap the wound. When I updated my status on Facebook with the news of my trauma and the supplies I used, I received several emails about what I kept in the girls' first aid kit. So here's the list of stuff that is piled into tackle box:

The Basics: to me these are the items that should be in every greyhound/dog first aid kit

  • No burn wound cleaner
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton disks - these are easier to use than cotton balls IMHO
  • Non-stick gauze pads in assorted sizes 
  • Vet wrap - get a couple of widths (and colors)
  • Bandage tape - stick it on the floor or your pants first before applying to skin
  • Baby Socks - the 0-3 month baby socks work great for covering pad/toe injuries
  • Antibacterial Salve
  • Bag balm - good for conditioning pads
  • Peroxide - for inducing vomiting if needed 

Medication: you need a supply of these on hand, especially when you travel

  • Benadryl
  • Baby aspirin
  • Imodium 
  • Dramamine
  • Melatonin - good for nervous dogs in new places
  • Papaya tablets - you can find these in the vitamin section, good for soothing tummies and nausea
  • DMSO - this is a horse-lovers trick for soreness, purchase at tack store
  • Capstar - if you travel with your dog, you never know where you'll pick up a flea, or 10
  • Pain medication - talk to your vet about buying one or two pills to keep on hand

Tools: these will make your life easier if you have them

  • Ice/heat pack - they make the kind that your shake and get cold/hot instantly
  • Sandwich bags - good to cover bandaged feet to keep them dry
  • Rubber bands
  • Bandage scissors - you can order these from any medical supply and you'll be happy you have them
  • Medical gloves 
  • Zip lock bags
  • Bottle of water
Extras: these are more for OCD people like me

  • Canine first aid/cpr book - they have these on amazon
  • Pepper - I steal borrow these packs from McDonalds. Good to help stop bleeding.
  • Canned pumpkin - always good to have one on hand
  • Honey - in the event a dog's blood sugar drops
  • Ace bandage - this can help cover large wounds
  • Sunscreen - especially if you have a white dog
This list is far from a perfect. I know that you guys have other things you keep in your dogs' first aid kits. Or better yet, stuff you wish you had when you had an emergency. Share your ideas in the comments section. I'm always looking for tools to add to the ole' tackle box!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Beware of Blueberries

Kev: Why didn't you tell me we had blueberries?

Me: We don't.

Kev: Yes we do. I just found one next to my chair, see...

(holds out hand with fat, blue-ish, round thing with legs)

Me: That's not a blueberry.

Kev: Looks like one.

Me: It's an engorged tick. Probably thanks to Walter.

Kev: No it isn't.

Me: Look closer. It has legs.

Kev: Really?

Me: Yep, but if you still think it's a blueberry, go ahead and take a bite.

Kev: I'll pass.

Me: Smart boy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Greyt Reindeer

Eventually all advertisers will realize that greyhounds/whippets/igs/sighthounds are the supermodels of the dog world. Until then, they will wear antlers at Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


My whole life I've loved clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry - you get the picture. I'm a girly girl who likes to dress the part no matter where she's headed. Case and point: sporting events. Now, Kev simply throws on shorts and a t-shirt that has the logo of the team we are going to see on it. Me, I need to plan an ensemble that is team-supportive, weather appropriate and of course cute. 

So in August when I bought tickets to take Kev to Chicago to see the Patriots play the Bears for his 40th birthday, I knew it would be cold. No worries, I could come up with something cute and warm, like this little number:

As December 12 got closer and closer, and the weather man started laughing at all the idiots fans who would be attending the game last Sunday, I had to rethink my wardrobe. For those of you who do not follow the NFL, Sunday's game was one of the coldest on record: 9˚F,  -4˚F windchill and 55 mph wind gusts. These conditions caused me to dress like a ninja instead of like a cute football chick:

But it was worth it. I braved the cold for more than three hours without wussing out. The Patriots won and I received the title of coolest wife in America (no pun intended). I just wish it had a crown associated with it. Maybe some new Uggs instead?

Roxy likes to be cute too. She's been rockin' her PJ jammie jams despite the static electricity jumping all over the place. Beauty is pain.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I would have liked to watch her work her way up from the way back of the SUV to the front passenger's seat, but I had gone back in the house to get something I forgot. 

I think that my girls have some sort of low jack on me so they know when to attempt amazing acts of strength and courage and not get caught. I swear I was only inside for 30 seconds.

The funny thing is, I let her stay upfront and she rode so much better than she does in the back. No panting. No crying. No begging to put her head out the window. Looking back, I probably should have put the seat belt on her. I guess Kevin will have to ride in the back with Seka - if she lets him.

Roxy said she's been calling shotgun this whole time, but I obviously didn't hear her. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm Not a Vet, but I Play One on the Internet

There are days that I kick myself for not going to vet school. I've always loved the idea of caring for animals, helping them feel better and taking their pain away. I guess two things made me chicken out of taking the plunge - the idea of putting an animal to sleep and the math requirements to get through college. The panic that rises in me when I think of either of these two obstacles is equal - I kid you not.

But you don't have to have a degree to be an Internet animal health expert! Yep, if I see a symptom, I simply research it. And I don't want the stories about the dog who exhibited signs of XYZ but really had ABC. I like looking at the medical papers and reports that are being read by those up and coming vet students. So, I guess that's why I've spent so much time with Mr. Google tonight looking for diagnosing thyroid disorders in greyhounds.

We went in for a simple nail trim today (Dr. Hottie provides this torture service for free) and the young doctor (I call him Little Hottie) came over to love on Roxy, noticed her not-so-flattering skin and asked to take a closer look at her. We've been struggling with a horrible skin rash for the past two months - red bumps, puss, peeling skin, and her fur is coming out in tufts on her bum. It's not a pretty picture, but we've been managing it with benadryl, an herbal topical spray, a short-term antibiotic and a lot of telling her to stop licking. I don't do steroid shots with her if I can help it because it is hard on her kidneys and she is in constant need of going potty.

Little Hottie asked if we have tested Roxy for low thyroid. I know that greys have these issues. I also know that the medication is over-prescribed and the condition is poorly diagnosed. About a year ago, when we had a titer test done, we pulled a thyroid panel to see if it might be causing some of this itching and it came back low even for a greyhound. I chose not to medicate because she didn't have symptoms. Now I wonder if I should have done it anyway.

I will agree that Roxy has lost a lot of hair on her neck and back thighs. I'll also admit that her coat doesn't look super shiny, but she's never had the lush, long locks that Seka sports. We've not changed our food or feeding habits, so unless she has suddenly developed an allergy to chicken (in a multitude of forms) or ground beef I don't think it's a food issue. 

I know that just because the lab report shows a low number, doesn't mean it indicates a true thyroid issue. So I think that I'm going to bite the bullet, have Dr. Hottie pull blood for a particular thyroid panel and send it to a greyhound expert for a consult. 

Maybe it will help us find out what is wrong with little miss Itchy McScratchy Pants. Seriously, waking up every hour to a dog chewing, scratching, licking, or snarking herself isn't what I would call a good night's sleep. IMHO, as an expert Internet vet, we may be on to something.

PS: I apologize for the lack of photo today. Roxy would not let me photograph her from the rear.  Smart girl. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

GreytBlack Friday

Yep. I shop at 2am. Seka made it hard to get up and get going today. She doesn't snuggle like this often.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can You Walk Over There

The feud continues. On the walk this morning the Skinny Bitches preferred to walk as far behind me as possible while encouraging the Shorties to pull their way along our route. Obviously they didn't want to be caught dead with their house guests.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, November 19, 2010

We're Not Snobs, We're Just Better than You

High school cliques aren't anything new. Popular kids, jocks, nerds, weirdos - they are all still a part of school today as they were 20 years ago. I certainly wasn't popular or a jock. I hung out with the theatre, band, chorus geeks. Thanks to Glee, now those kids are cool. 

In my house, we have cliques too - Skinny Bitches and Shorties. It's no shock that my girls are total dog snobs. Unless you're a greyhound, they lack all interest in you and your canine ways. I thought that after the little ones had been here for a couple of months, they may begin to accept them into their pack, but the silent treatment continues. In fact, they have made a list of why they, the greyhounds, are far superior. I'm assuming they mean superior to other dogs, although Seka may have implied that I'm included in this list too.

Seka & Roxy's List of Why We're Better
  1. We only bark when there's something to bark for like going potty or reminding our mommy that it is time to eat. All other barking is a waste of energy.
  2. Digging is for short dogs who like to get dirty. We only dig when we want to get our mommy's attention.
  3. We smell like roses. Little dogs just smell.
  4. Trash is best left in the trash can, not dragged about our living quarters and chewed on. 
  5. Daytime is best spent getting beauty rest, not running about, patrolling the grounds. That's what humans are for.
  6. Beards are for Santa, not dogs. Especially dogs who drink a lot of water and get dirt in the communal water bowl.
  7. Chasing cats, squirrels and bunnies is an art form and should only be done if you have a chance to actually catch it.
  8. We do not drag the outdoors inside the house. Leaves, sticks, dirt clods, and mud belong outside. 
  9. Just because there are people walking by our house does not mean they are coming to see us. You should only alert humans when visitors are at our door. 
  10. Tug of war is for brutes. If you stare at a human long enough, they will just give it to you. 
I guess this is their version of a slam book, although they haven't started naming names yet, but I'm sure that will happen eventually.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Days of Our Lives

One of my favorite parts of the USA Today is the awesome info graphics they create for various stories and topics. Their graphic artists are so clever. They are able to take the most complex ideas and make them understandable in a visual way. So, instead of boring you guys with the details of my last month and a half, I thought I'd channel my inner USA Today and give you the high points visually:


I know you guys thought I'd fallen off the face of the earth. I guess in some ways I have. Between three times a week PT appointments and various doctors visits and tests, I feel like I'm sort of getting used to my new life as a caregiver. It's not easy and some days it's not pleasant, but it's getting easier for now. I kind of wish I had a visual road map to tell me what life is going to be like in 3 months.

PS: Today I'm recommitting myself to this blog. I need some outlet for sure. Plus, don't you guys want to hear about my adventures with two yappy ankle biters?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Breed Bead

For Christmas last year my mother gave my sister and me a Pandora bracelet. I know, we were a bit behind the times, but it has been fun buying beads for various holidays and special occasions. I'm really not sure what I will do when I have to start thinking about what I will buy for gifts after their bracelet is full. Start another one I guess?

I love my bracelet and the bead selection is nice, but my biggest complaint is their depiction of dogs and cats on their beads. Honestly, they look like Japanese cartoon characters. In fact, it is hard to determine what animal the bead is supposed to represent. The dog, pig, cat, and hedgehog all look way too similar if you ask me.

So today I was lurking around Etsy and I found an amazing polymer clay artist who creates realistic, breed specific, beads that will fit your Pandora bracelet. Nancy Richardson's work is beautiful and soulful. Whether you like the realistic coloring of your favorite breed, or the artistic take on a dog's spirit, you can tell that Nancy has a special connection with her subjects. Sadly, she recently lost her heart dog, Lena and made an amazing piece for her. My favorite of her current offerings - besides the greyhound pendant - is this Great Dane bead set.

I hope she will offer a greyhound bead set soon. If not, I may have to commission one (or two). My bracelet is aching for a new addition.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grandogs Rule

Today is Grandparents Day.

I don't think we had that holiday growing up, so it really isn't on my radar, but according to the Hallmark store, today is the day we celebrate our grandparents. My grandparents have long passed away and Kev's grandmother, Mem, just recently passed at the age of 93. So instead of purchasing a card, which really wouldn't do much good, this blog post will have to do.

I didn't grow up close to my grandparents. They lived eight hours away and I though of going to their house as a place to go on vacation (which is what we always did). Despite the distance, my PawPaw would write letters and cards to me - many of which I have. My NaNa taught me to quilt, something I still enjoy doing.

Kev's Mem was an important influence in his life. Until he was married, she sent care packages regularly. Some of these had a pan of her homemade frozen lasagna inside (dry ice). She loved and nurtured him as if she was his own mother and all of his friends thought Mem was the best ever.

Since we are childless by choice and married for 10 years, my mother reminds me frequently about how much she would like a grandchild. I remind her that she has 2 grandogs and 2 grandcats. That's a lot of fur love.

Both of our parents spoil our girls, sending them gifts, toys, treats, etc. When Kev's parents came to stay with us on their way to Florida, Roxy stuck to Pops like Velcro. She looks forward to their next visit so she can get some more kootzies and quality nap time. My mother has been known to feed them from the table, which is the only way to Seka's heart.

So today, the grandogs wish their grandparents close and far a very Happy Grandparents Day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Smell My Feet

There are three types of grocery stores in the south:

1. The Uppity Grocer: a store full of lots of ingredients that you have no idea how to pronounce, let alone be able to afford to buy. These store can easily be identified by their display of cheeses, truffle oils and fancy people behind the meat counter who may have actually met the cow you are about to buy thanks to a tour of the organic beef farm.

2. The Middle Class Grocer: this is usually a large chain store that offers the usual fare with a few specialty sections of organic, vegetarian and gluten-free offerings. You know you're in a middle-class store when their generic brands have fancy labels to make you feel better about the fact you are really buying the rejects of the brand-name foods.

3. The Country Grocer: this store is usually found in an abandoned shopping center where a middle class grocery used to be located. Due to the giant jars of pickled foods, you really have to watch your kids so they don't ruin the pig's feet display.

I tend to shop at option two when restocking our cabinets, and those fancy generic labels really do make my pantry look very delectable. But when I'm looking for foods to feed my girls, I make a trip to the country store. A middle class or uppity grocery would never have all of the animal parts for sale that I use to make up my girls' raw diet. You can't find backs, necks, gizzards, livers or hearts at the normal meat counter - middle class folks might get scared. But at the country grocery store, they have all this - and more.

Yep, I said more. For the first time ever at a commercial grocery store - country or otherwise - I purchased a package of chicken feet for the girls to nibble on. Chicken feet, while attached to a live bird, aren't the prettiest things to look at. Chicken feet detached and piled into one of those butcher trays and wrapped in plastic wrap is down right gross and creepy. Even worse, is looking at a display full of them.

I really don't want to know who buys these other than people who feed raw. I'm pretty sure that anyone who practices voodoo or witchcraft would need the feet from a live bird and not those that are packaged, but maybe I'm wrong.

Nonetheless, my girls enjoy their mid-day snack, talons and all. But I've asked them not to get too used to such a delicacy. I really don't like seeing these things clawing to get out of the plastic bag in the bottom of my fridge every time I go to get a drink.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Skinny

It's an old wives' tale that Southern women have the best skin of anyone in the U.S. With fewer wrinkles and better texture than our Northern counterparts, us Belles chalk up our flawless complexions to the excessive humidity and our tendency to wear more make up (which has SPF) than most women on this planet.

I don't think the same is true for Southern greyhounds. Spring, summer and fall in our house we fight a daily fight to keep skin allergies at bay. Unfortunately, Roxy has had a horrible allergy season so far and there's no end in sight.

It started with big puss bumps on her stomach as the grass started to grow. They were red and angry, but were easy to manage with regular cleaning. They didn't hurt her and I never caught her licking them. Next came the excessive chewing of the rump. We tried benadryl, some prescription antihistamines and medicated shampoos and it only provided limited relief.

Currently we are in the peeling stage. This picture isn't great as she is very embarrassed about her condition and prefers for me not to document it for the world to see, but I'm the one with opposable thumbs so I win. Her tummy is in a chronic peeling stage. After two weeks of antibiotics and some topical stuff, it still isn't much better - although the itching is less frequent.

I'm hoping after we're on the upswing with her skin. Maybe she needs to wear more sunscreen? Seka just thinks Roxy is after more attention. Whatever the reason, her skin isn't Georgia peach-perfect.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kitty Survivor

The tribe has NOT spoken! Sam returned to us thirsty, hungry, dirty and tired at 12:30a this morning. Who knows what she has been through. She hasn't left our side since her late arrival. Thank you for all of the kind thoughts, prayers and white light that you guys sent out. You helped to bring our Sam home.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

RIP Boo Radley

I was plowing through books during the summer of 1990, which was pretty typical behavior for me at that age. I had finished my summer reading list plus a few other casual books and found myself on vacation in North Carolina without anything to read. My mom went over to my grandparent's glass front book case that rattled every time you walked near it and pulled out her copy of To Kill A Mocking Bird. From that day forward I've loved Atticus, Scout, and Boo Radley.

My Boo Radley came into my life just after my father passed away in the summer of 1999. Kev thought having a kitten around would cheer up our gloomy home. In walked this sweet, spunky, bundle of joy that was so black she appeared face-less when she closed her eyes. Even her whiskers were black. It was our Siamese cat who gave Boo Radley her name. This sweet little peanut scared the pants off our tough little brown cookie. Eventually, they became best friends.

Yesterday, Boo and her BFF/sister, Sam, went out like they do every morning. Only when I came back to let them in, Boo was laying in the sun, not moving. It appears that the great Boo Radley may have been bitten by a snake, as there was no other trauma to her body. Her sister is no where to be found.

Boo Radley was fat and friendly. She loved everyone: dogs, foster dogs, strange neighborhood cats, foster cats, children who pulled her tail and chased her around the house, and of course her family. We lovingly called her "Donkey" from Shrek due to her swayed back, short legs and swinging belly. Not to mention her delightful personality. 

Boo could often be found sleeping with or on one of the dogs. And if a dog protested, she just gave them a little sideways glance and proceeded to nestle in where ever she liked. The funny thing is, every dog she cuddled with learned to love it. I think it was her exceptional purrrrr that relaxed even the most uptight pup.

Boo and Nomie, whom we lost in 2007, are together now. They were inseparable until Nomie's passing. I can only hope they are waiting for me.

Godspeed Boo Radley. We love you and miss you.

P.S. Please send good thoughts to send Sam home to us. Thank you!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Doggie Dentures

I always marveled at my grandparents' "partial plates" soaking at night in the bathroom while I brushed my teeth before bed. I never understood why they didn't keep them in all the time. I always thought you'd want to have your teeth whether you were awake or asleep.

Despite all efforts to keep my girls' teeth brilliant white, my raw-fed youngest now needs two teeth removed. I really don't like the idea of Roxy having teeth pulled, but I know that it is necessary. You see, Roxy never had a dental like most dogs when they are spayed through their adoption group. She had complications during her spay and they didn't have time to fool with her teeth while they were trying to stop the excessive bleeding. Her teeth were gross from day one and we have brushed them, put special stuff in her water, and finally switched to a raw diet to improve both the appearance of her pearly whites and her killer breath. 

Ninety percent of her teeth have improved and at first glance you would think she has an excellent set of greyhound choppers. But pull up the corner of her mouth on each side, you will that her premolars on each side (or maybe they are her molars - I'm not a doggie dentist) that have roots exposed. Upon inspection by Dr. Hottie, it has been decided that they must come out sooner rather than later. 

So the date has been set: July 29. Until then she is on soft food only - no bones, turkey necks, or chicken backs. We're doing antibiotics twice a day for 14 days before surgery. She'll also need pain meds and a different antibiotic after surgery. 

Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous about this whole thing. This will be the first time she is put under after her spay, of which she had a hard time recovering from the anesthesia. I'm nervous about her eating raw food again. I mean how do you chew turkey necks without back teeth? I'm nervous about a secondary infection. I'm nervous about the pain she will be in. I think it may be time to up my anxiety meds. 

Maybe she'll need doggie dentures after all. I guess she'll want me to soak them overnight too. Do they make chicken-flavored poligrip?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Face Time

Everyone has seen pictures of a little kid on their first birthday with cake and icing all over their face. I'm sure tucked away in your mom's dresser drawer, there's probably a similar picture of yourself. This seems to be some sort of messy right of passage for every kid. I know these pictures exist of me somewhere, I guess the difference is I was 8.

I guess Seka realized I don't have pictures of her caught with frosting on her face, so she settled for the next best thing - yogurt. I've become diligent with her supplements, as her arthritis in her three-toed foot has become very obvious. I really would rather stick to doing as much natural treatment as I can, before we turn to prescription medication.

So each day I mix her glucosamine, MSM, and yucca extract, in a tablespoon (or two) of yogurt. I use this as a mid-day treat for the girls, served up in a small Gladware cup. Seka is pretty good about manipulating anything with her mouth. She can pick up just about any cup, glass, container, bone or kong - as long as it has food in it. She prefers to take the whole container and settle in on her bed to clean it out.

How she accomplished getting this yogurt to settled down in the dimple of her needle nose, I will never know. Maybe she was just enhancing her white flame on her nose. Maybe she was saving some for later. Whatever the reason, she kept that yogurt neatly in the groove of her nose without spilling a drop.

Clean up for Seka was a lot easier than a kid's first birthday cake and ice cream face. I went to a first birthday party one time where the mom had to suck the frosting out of the kid's nose with one of those gross ball sucker things. Needless to say, I passed on the cake and ice cream after seeing that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bark My Ride

I have always been envious of those commercials where someone walks out to their garage and a new car is sitting there with a bow on top. A loving surprise from their significant other as a gift for their birthday or Christmas. I imagined myself in that lucky girl's shoes and even practiced my surprise faces as a kid so I would be prepared when my husband gave me the gift of new car smell on some important day.

Needless to say, after you grow up you learn to roll your eyes at those commercials as you realize how unrealistic they are. Things like that only happen on The Real Housewives or a sit-com. Well, on my 34th birthday, fantasy became reality!

Meet Ruby, my new ride. I love her. The girls love her. And my husband surprised me with her for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. We said goodbye to our 10-year old, 2-door Acura and hello to a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, complete with navigation and blue tooth! Fancy.

Now the only thing left to do is to select the greyhound decals for the back! Oh, and I'm not sure I used one of my practiced surprised faces, but there were tears and speechlessness involved.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hunger for Knowledge

When we first got Seka we never left the house, not even for 10 minutes, without crating her. She has always loved her crate and it seemed to help the panic she felt when we left her alone. It was her own little cave, with specialty bedding.

When Roxy was added to the pack, we continued with our crating ways, and while she doesn't love her crate like Seka does, she doesn't mind it either. I guess she doesn't like the color of her bedspread. But somewhere along the way, we started leaving the girls out when we left the house for short periods of time. You know, a short trip to the grocery store. A quick drive to get drive-thru. A little romp to the mall. Nothing more than a couple of hours.

The exception to this rule is during thunder storms. If there are storms in the area and we know about them ahead of time, the girls are left loose in the house - mostly because Roxy doesn't do well in a crate during a storm. I know that I would come home to a shaking, bleeding dog outside of a totally dismantled crate. So when we left to go to a play on Sunday night that would cause us to be out of the house for six hours and we were in the middle of a nasty storm, I really didn't have a choice but to leave her out.

Now, I have heard horrible stories about greyhound owners coming home to a house that looked like a frat party had been held while they were gone. Others have shared that they come home to find their dog injured - including compact fractures and blood all over the house. But when you crate you pretty much know what to expect when you walk in the door. When you don't it really is a crap shoot.

I guess we we've been lucky and were lucky on Sunday night that no frat party was held at our home. Instead some crazy grey-nerds preferred to hold a book club meeting. I'm assuming that someone didn't like the subject matter of the book that I was reading, since the first 170 pages were destroyed and ripped to shreds. The good news - I was on page 179. Despite the teeth marks in the binding, I'm golden.

Needless to say we're back to our crating routine and I'll just figure out something to do with her during potential storm days. As for the greyhound book club meetings, they may have to be supervised from now on, but it was clear that this author received two dewclaws down.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


It's Mother's Day on Sunday. One of my favorite memories was going to the Family Mart grocery store and picking out a huge orchid corsage for my mother to wear to church and out to lunch for her special day. She hated it. Hated ever second of wearing it. But she did it for us.

I doubt I will ever be forced to wear a giant orchid corsage in public, unless one of my single friends gets married and has a retro sense of floral design. But that doesn't mean I can't be recognized as a mother. I mother my two girls (to death) daily. Feeding them nutritious food. Caring for their needs. Making sure they are comfortable and happy. Looking for ways for them to have fun. To me it sounds a lot like what my friends who have human children do daily. I just have the luxury of putting them in a crate for a few hours when I want to go to the store.

My Mother In Law recognized all I do for her grand-dogs and sent me a great gift, Beth Ostrosky Stern's new book, Oh, My Dog. This is a resource book for every aspect of raising your dog. From selecting the right breed and potty training to nutrition and preparing to let your pet go, this book was created with the help of leading experts in the veterinary, behavior and training fields.

While I've only had this book for a couple of days, I was really impressed with the nutrition section -  teaching readers how to read the back of a dog food bag, understanding the importance of keeping your dog at the correct weight and how to brush your pup's teeth correctly. She even talks about BARF diets. That's when I knew it was a complete guide. She also advocates for adoption and not shopping for a dog.

The best part, 100% of the profits go to the North Shore Animal League, of which Beth is the national spokesperson and a very dedicated, hands-on volunteer.

So don't forget your dog's mom this Mother's Day. Oh, My Dog is a great way to tell her you appreciate everything you do for your four-legged BFF. And it won't make her look crazy wearing an ugly corsage.

PS: Yes, Beth is Howard Stern's beautiful wife. Ba Ba Booey!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Batman

It is officially spring/summer! How do I know? Bruce is back! Bruce is our brown bat that lives alone in the eve of our deck covering. Every year he comes back to spend the warm months eating our bugs and looking extra cute as he relaxes during the day. As the weather starts to get warmer Kev and I start looking in his little summer home daily to await his arrival. He's so cute I have to really control myself not to try and pet him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I've been following Yes I Know My Dogs Look Funny's blog for a few months now and I'm inspired by she and Girly Girl's fight with OC. Her online diary really speaks to me in so many ways, including my fear of losing one of my girls at a young age and wondering what decision I would make if either of them was diagnosed with this horrible disease. Thanks to her blog, I found my new favorite greyhound artist, Beth Wade.

Beth's work is inspirational. Mixed metal jewelry is the main focus, but in exploring her site and Facebook fan page I found the most amazing portrait quilts of her greys. I've always wanted to try portrait quilting, but I've never been good at applique, which this method requires a lot of. But the more I look at her pieces the more I want to try to capture Seka's dreamy eyes or Roxy's quirky smile in fabric.

I've thought of ways to keep my girls with me when they are no longer here. I've planned a tattoo of Seka's 3-toed paw and ear number somewhere. Maybe I'll add each dog's ear tattoo to my body art as we adopt and care for more greys. I love the necklace Denise had made in memorial of Spooky. It's on my list as well when the time comes. But, I'm currently looking for some sort of charms for a necklace to remind me of my girls when I can't see them - whether that's traveling for work or play.

I have decided to give this portrait quilting a try. I'll be sure to post my progress, but until then I will just marvel at the artistry and be inspired by Beth's work.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Swing Batta Batta Swing...

At GBD we are huge baseball fans, specifically we are members of Red Sox Nation. The last three vacations we took during baseball season (which includes spring training) we planned around seeing the Red Sox play. I'm one of the few girls that knows how to keep score at a game (and I don't mean knowing how to read the scoreboard). Kevin was an official scorer for a Braves minor league team for 10 years and even was one of the official scorers for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. I worked in game promotions for a minor league club for a few summers.

There's been a trendy promotion recently embraced by major league parks across the country: Bark at the Park. Bring your dog to a baseball game. Our family has attended several of these events and everyone enjoys themselves - including the girls. They have special cooling pools, water, treats and prizes all for the four-legged attendees. We've already made our plans to attend the 2010 Bark at the Park at Turner Field on Sunday, May 2. 

When I saw this video on Yahoo, all I could think was, "thank goodness that wasn't a greyhound." They never would have caught this little escape artist!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Walk it Out

Spring has sprung in the South. Everything is covered in green: the trees, the grass, my car (thank you pollen). You can't help but be cheerful when all this life is around you.

The warm weather and longer days also mean morning and/or late evening walks for the girls. Seka and Roxy are wusses when it comes to cold weather. I guess they take after me. I hate being cold. Even air conditioning in the dead of summer can be too much for me and I drag a hoodie with me everywhere I go. Roxy needs a jacket, pjs or a blanket when the air conditioning is going full blast in July. So even when it is 90 degrees at 7a, we like the warmth.

For the most part, I like walking the girls. Let me clarify, I like walking Roxy. She loves taking various routes around the neighborhood and will go as long as I ask her to. She only freaks out when the UPS truck passes us.

Seka, on the other hand, divides her walking behavior into thirds. For the first 1/3 of the walk she is horrible. I don't know what it is that makes it necessary for her to mark EVERYTHING she passes. We can't get more than five feet before she is sniffing and squatting. Sometimes no amount of correction will call her off whatever sent she catches a whiff of. After dragging her away from 10 different spots that she has to mark, she gives up and decides to enjoy walking for the next 1/3 of our route without too much distraction. Then the last 1/3 of the walk she decides to stop and do her best mule impression in the middle of the road. She just decides that she's done, no matter what Roxy and I prefer to do.

I carry treats and use it for reinforcement at the cue "keep it up." I only treat her when she is in motion and doing as I ask. But eating cookies as you walk kind of defeats the purpose. I think I'm going to start using a coupler and see if Roxy can encourage Seka to "keep it up" with some sisterly encouragement.

No matte how frustrating Seka's stubborn streak can be, I cherish the time we are out together. I guess Seka thinks we're like Hansel and Gretel, leaving her own brand of bread crumbs, so we can be sure to find our way home.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's A Good Thing

I was an early Martha Stewart fan. Pre-orange jumpsuit Martha. If you asked my college roommates, they would tell you I worshiped her. I memorized every page of Martha Stewart Living. I saved every issue. I bought her fabulous Weddings editions, even when I didn't have a wedding to plan. I forced my friends to try just about every crafty idea published each month. I made everything from wreaths to cookies. When Martha went to prison, my girlfriends sent me sympathy cards, and I knitted a version of the poncho she created while incarcerated.

I mentioned before that I come from a crafty family. Knitting is my thing. I think it's in my genes as my grandmother could create anything and one of my aunts is a master knitter (yes, there is such a thing). For as long as I have been knitting, I've wanted to make a greyhound. There are plenty of crochet patterns for life-sized and toy greyhounds. I've even bid on a finished one at an auction. However, I really wanted to find a pattern to knit one of my own.

I Hate Toast sent me a pattern for a knitted mini-greyhound and totally renewed my knitting mo-jo. I created this little bugger from the HotDiggerdy Dog pattern in just three nights of knitting and one long evening of seaming. It was the perfect compliment to my Winter Olympics viewing.

The funny thing is, while I was knitting the girls could have cared less about the knitted mini-me creation. But once he was all stuffed and seamed together, I had to watch them like a hawk or else this little guy would have been shaken and disassembled in about one minute. My girls are very careful with their toys. Only a couple in their stash lack squeakers (all due to visiting dogs), and they have never disemboweled a stuffy. But for some reason, this little guy has their number, and I've caught Roxy and Seka prancing around with him in their mouths getting ready to move in for the kill.

I need a name for him, and I think I will take junior with me on vacation to remind me of my girls.  It's a good thing.

P.S. Seka has demanded a black version so that she will be represented as well.