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!