Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lizard Sit

I've taken care of animals for families while they are on vacation since I was a kid. The next door neighbor's toy poodle, Muffin, practically became my dog one summer while they traveled to who knows where. The old lady down the street who had 11 cats paid me to clean her 20 litter boxes a couple of times a year.

In more recent years I've taken care of horses, cows, goats and chickens while folks were away. But I'd never had the opportunity to care for a reptile until this week.

I'm not scared of most reptiles - frogs, turtles and lizards are awesome in my book. Snakes are only ok if they don't surprise me and stay nicely in their tank.

My running buddy's daughter needed someone to care for her bearded dragon, George, while they were away this week. I was more than happy to play zoo keeper. I was psyched to feed him each morning - to watch him eye up his meal worms or crickets, then snap them up and crunch them in the blink of an eye was so cool. Should I be concerned that I had enjoyment of watching him eat living things? I was surprised how responsive he was when I talked to him or said his name.

So I can add lizard sitting to my list of animal experiences. What's next? Sheep? Hogs? Ducks?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just Call Me Gummy

Kev's family has what I call a "bad tooth gene." Root canals and the like are a part of dental visits for his family. I asked my dentist about this trend, fearing that this was something I had to look forward to as I got older. He assured me that some people are genetically disposed to such tooth drama. I am one of the lucky ones who can skip a few cleanings and the world doesn't end. While my family has horrible hearts and bad circulation - I got good teeth so I can smile while I have a heart attack.

Roxy has the bad tooth gene. No matter how hard we try to keep them clean, they just end up rotten. So when she went on a hunger strike last week I knew I had put her dental off too long. She ended up losing 5 teeth! And when I say losing, I mean Dr Hottie Sr said they basically fell out. I wonder if there should have been a discount?

Now poor pitiful Roxy is milking the fact her mouth hurts. She will eat, but only if hand fed. And handing her raw chicken gizzards one-by-one at 5:30a isn't fun. I figure I can indulge her for at least one day or at least while her little mouth is swollen. I will draw the line at pre-chewing her food for her like Alicia Silverstone.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall Dogs

This morning we took the girls to walk at my favorite place - the greenway trail in Boone, NC. This is the same trail where i was stopped 6 years ago and asked - "Is that one of those high-speed dogs?"

The unseasonably warm weather (I ran 9 miles in short sleeves!) and mountain breezes excited Seka so she kept up for the 2 mile walk without much protest (and a rest at the half way point). Roxy was psyched that there were so many people out and about and they were all there to see her. She play bowed and smiled at everyone. We even learned a bit about ultimate frisbee as we watched the App State students play on the fields near by.

A happy fall Sunday indeed.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We are still here. My mom is just lazy. I've tried to type my own posts but my dewclaws get in the way. I'm frustrated!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Return of the Corn Dog

Several years ago I attended a seminar at a greyhound gathering where Dr. Couto (aka greyhound cancer Yoda) talked about a variety of illnesses and injuries that plague our breed. He had a course of treatment for everything he talked about except the only one I cared about at the time - corns. Evidently, little rock formations on the bottom greyhound feet continue to baffle modern veterinary medicine. 

We've tried everything to keep Seka comfortable when it comes to her feet. What started as a corn on one back foot, quickly became one on each back foot. Now we have a total of four corns, one for each foot because we can't leave any appendage out.

The corns on her back two feet caused her a lot of trouble. She didn't want to walk when those cropped up. We used Therapaws when we went on walks or were out and about, but she never liked wearing them. I fully believe that she knew people and other dogs were staring - and they were.

We did the whole duct tape thing, wart remover, the cold sore remover, vitamins, the natural cream with the baggies treatment - you name it we tried it. We ended up turning to laser surgery on both of those back pads to cut the corn out as deep as possible. While the recovery was not fun and it took FOREVER, it did improve her mobility and now the corns are very shallow and I can just pick the hard area right off the top of the toe. It's more like a scab or scar tissue than a deep corn.

For her front feet, I regularly use the same method Genji's Corner uses with their corn dogs to remove the corn as deep as possible from her paw pads. This seems to make her more comfortable, well at least I thought it did.

On her front feet, the corns are so big around and so deep it is almost like removing the entire pad from that toe. She is left with a giant crevasse on the bottom of both of her front feet. Seka HATES it when I remove those corns from her front feet. I mean, shows her teeth and gives me little growls (which are kinda cute but I know she means business). I guess I'd hate it too if someone was digging at me with an icepick. But I figured walking without rocks in your feet must be more comfortable than walking with rocks in your feet.
This picture does not do this corn justice. 

This summer I was lazy when it came to her corns. I absolutely let her pads go. One day I realized that she was walking better than I had seen her in a long time. She is still a bit gimpy on that back hip, but she was solid on her front feet and putting good weight on all four limbs - which is huge for any corn dog. I looked at her feet and the size and shape of the corns on the front of her feet were truly shocking. There are little mountains growing off the bottoms of her feet and one even protrudes out a bit from the bottom of the foot pad when she is standing.

I'm sure what I'm about to say qualifies me for greyhound jail, but despite the size of these boulders on her toes, I didn't do anything to her front feet. I just left the corns alone. I figure if she starts limping, I'll grab the trusty root elevator and remove them. But for now, she seems just fine on those front feet, even on hard surfaces! I am curious to see how big these might get or if they will just fall off at some point. There's no doubt in my mind, Seka would win a biggest corn contest. 

I guess the best medicine might be to leave them alone. Maybe that's what Dr. Couto was saying after all. But next time you see us, ask to see her corns. You'll be shocked for sure. 

P.S. If you're like me (let's hope you're not) and you like to get all of your news through Facebook, I started a special Greytblackdog Facebook page. While you'll find the latest blog posts linked there, I try to add spice up the content throughout the week with tidbits from my girls. Take a minute and use the link on the right of this page to like GBD on Facebook and we'll show up in your news feed. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Table Manners

My mother and grandmother were sticklers on table manners. I even had to go to a White Gloves and Manners class when I was in the 4th grade. No lie, this is what it was called. I learned, among other things: how to properly sip soup from a spoon, how to cut my meat and butter my bread without offending others and how to set a table for a formal dinner party with all sorts of plates and silverware. Little did I know that when you grow up, the only women who throw dinner parties with that much flatware and china have a net worth of $1 million. What I wish I had learned is how to throw a dinner party for 10 and spend under $50.

During the week, I cook no more than three times a week and I try to serve at least one meal at the dining room table. The rest of the time we eat at the island bar in the kitchen. The dining room table is actually in the kitchen, so I'm not sure why we just don't move over five feet and sit in a real chair instead of a stool, but we don't.

Oh, wait a minute. Yes, I do know why we don't. My mangerie has the worst table manners in the world. I know it is my fault that they are always underfoot while we are eating at the table or, in the case of the cats, on top of the table. I can't complain about what I allow, so I've decided to start putting up the baby gate to keep the savages away from the gourmet meals I prepare. Maybe they will get the picture or at least make a better attempt at not being so annoying while we enjoy our food.

I'm not sure if they will pass my greyhound White Paws and Manners Class, but maybe they can learn to keep their elbows off the table.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Water Bugging?

In the South we call roaches, "water bugs"mostly because they seem to show up in your house when there's a lack of rain and we think they are searching for water. This is just a polite term that I'm convinced that some Southern woman came up with as to not offend her neighbor. You know it can be rather rude when your host opens up a cabinet to reach for a glass and one of them big ole' "water bugs"crawls out and you scream roach. You only call them roaches when they are present due to poor housekeeping.

Lately, Seka has spent more time with all four feet up in the air lately than I think she ever has.  Who can blame her? With 100 degree temperatures daily everyone moves at a snail's pace. And since she is a Southern dog, I prefer to refer to her position as "water bugging" instead of that nasty creature, the roach. Maybe we'll start a trend - at least for those greyhounds below the Mason Dixon line.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Tub Safety
It has been well documented that Roxy is a thunder-phobe. When we are at home, she hunkers down in our bathroom floor, face on the air conditioning vent, thinking good thoughts until the storm clears. I break out the soothing storm music and aroma therapy on exceptionally rowdy storms for added "protection." And for afternoons where the storms just keep coming without a break - as they sometimes do here in the south - we have drugs to help her get through it. On those afternoons, I wish I had drugs to get through it too, but that's another story.

We have that home routine down cold, but when we travel Roxy has to decide where she feels safest. Anywhere dark and cold is her usual go-to location. While staying in our mountain house during the week of July 4th, weather dog Roxy struggled to find just the right place to feel safe during the regular afternoon boomers.

Seka could care less about the storm.
Bonus, she gets all the Kongs!
Thunder in the mountains is exceptionally loud. Even small rumbles often feel like they are right on top of you. Add that to the redneck fireworks display each evening and Roxy looked like she needed a drink. Finally, she decided that the actual bathtub with the shower curtain pulled most of the way shut was the best place to be. Every afternoon around 3p, whether the weather was stormy or not, she would retreat to the bathtub hidey-hole and take cover until we went to bed, only coming out for a brief dinner and a potty.

I tried to make her come out, but the more I fussed with her, the more upset she got, so I just let her spend time in the tub if that's what she wanted to do. I was afraid that this psycho behavior would carry over when we got home, but so far she's been pretty normal - whatever that is for Roxy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pie in the Sky

I've got a few recipes up my sleeve that make me look like a genius in the kitchen. In no particular order: 
1. my mother-in-law's meatballs
2. my sister's crock pot chicken & dumplings
3. my mother's lasagna

No shock, all three recipes actually belong to someone else and I just borrow their awesomeness. No one will ever say - "Heather's Crap Baked in the Oven makes me look like I should be on Top Chef." I can be certain of that.

This week, I've been having fun with two of my favorite aunts and my mom in the mountains of North Carolina. Days are spent visiting old folks who are still hanging around Boone. Evenings are spent cooking, drinking wine and laughing at just about everything. Tonight was no exception.

While I was looking like a genius in the kitchen, preparing my mother-in-law's meatballs and sauce, my aunt started talking about a pie her mother made that used Ritz crackers, but tasted like apple pie. I called B.S. on this. A Google consultation proved that there is indeed an apple phenomenon created by a whole bunch of sugar, a pie crust and some buttery crackers.

Well, it just so happened that I had a box of Ritz crackers (the secret ingredient in the meatballs) just waiting to be used up. Someone grabbed their car keys and scooted off to the grocery and came back with a pie crust. You know what happened next...

When it went into the oven it looked like a pie - not an apple pie, but some sort of pie.

When it came out of the oven, it smelled like a freaking apple pie. But that's just the smell of the cinnamon, right?

When we sliced it, it looked like an apple pie. No lie.

When you taste it - Holy Shit! It's Apple Pie.

We know that this dessert has been called a few different things since the mid-19th century when it was first published by the early American pioneers. I think my profanity-laden exclamation after my first taste prompted a discussion of what someone might have said when they first took a bite throughout the years...

1950s - Oh, my! That's apple pie
1960s - Dude, that's apple pie
1970s - What have you been smokin', that's apple pie
1980s - Like, that's totally apple pie-like.
1990s - Well, I guess it depends on how you define apples... pie
2000s - E-mail me that recipe for apple pie
2012s - Holy Shit! It's apple pie (my personal favorite because it is exactly what you'll be thinking when you taste it)

Give it a try. If it makes you look like a Food Network star, all the better.

Mock Apple Pie (a.k.a. Heather's Holy Shit, It's Apple Pie!)
2 cups of sugar
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 3/4 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice and zest from that lemon
1 package of ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken
2 tbsp butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix sugar and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Bring to boil on high heat.  Then simmer on low heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to 1.5 cups. Stir in zest and juice; cool for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 425ºF. Roll out one of the pie crusts and place in 9-inch pie plate. Put cracker crumbs in the crust. Pour sugar syrup over crumbs and top with butter and cinnamon.

Roll out the remaining crust and place over the pie. Seal and flue the edges. Cut several slits in the top of the crust to permit steam to escape.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before serving.

Friday, June 29, 2012


When I'm getting ready to go out of town I make lots of lists. Chores to do in the house. Things to gather for the dogs. Stuff to pack for the cats. Things to tell the house sitter. Clothes to pack for myself. Despite all of the lists I usually forget something. And while throwing out the milk that would go bad while I'm gone was on my list - throwing out everything in the fridge and freezer was not.

This is the second time since we purchased the fridge 11 years ago that it has crapped out on us. The first time I tried to salvage as much as I could in a giant cooler, but ended up throwing away everything anyway. This time, I didn't have a choice. With the exception of three packs of chicken backs still frozen enough for the dogs, most everything was toast. I guess when it's 117 degrees out, things don't last long in the ice box no matter how cool you keep your house.

We hadn't restocked the fridge since our Chicago trip eight days ago and we rarely keep anything in the freezer other than dog food and a few frozen dinners. So trashing everything wasn't as painful as it could have been. And at least it happened while I was still here and not tomorrow when everything would stink up the place after a week without cold. Now it will just stink up the trash can for the next week. I won't be here to smell it. I hope the raccoons leave it alone.

The girls did their part in helping clean out the fridge. I stuffed their Kongs with some roast beef, which kept them busy and their nose out of the trash as I cleaned. Roxy is so polite I can just hand her slices without fear of losing my finger. Seka on the other hand, may not have many teeth, but she still finds a way to chomp on my fingers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Got Milk?

Every morning for breakfast until I graduated from high school, my father made my breakfast. Whatever he served up was accompanied by a glass of milk. Sometimes white. Sometimes chocolate. I've found that in the world there are two types of people - those who love milk and those who don't. I'm one of those people who like milk and so is Kev, so we keep it in the house at all times.
Guess who else likes milk - a lot. Greyhounds. Well, at least my greyhounds do. We cannot open the container of milk without the girls going bananas begging for a taste. I'm not sure if milk is good for them or not. It doesn't bother their tummies. It doesn't cause the big D. It doesn't cause gas - well, no worse than what they normally have. So, when we have a glass of milk, we save a bit at the bottom for them to have and they love it. 

Greyhounds get milk mustaches too. Well, Roxy gets milk mustaches.

On a side note, I've started a blog dedicated to my running exploits. I thought about combining the two, but I didn't think that readers who want to read about cute greyhound stuff would also want to hear about my morning run. When Roxy starts heading out with me, the two blogs will cross paths, but for now, I think keeping them separate is best. If you are curious, here's my running blog - Run One Run All.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I didn't suck my thumb as a kid. I had a pacifier and one day when I was three my Cookie Monster stuffed animal came to life (with the help of my father) and ate it because he thought it was a cookie. That's how I lost my binky. My sister sucked her thumb and in exchange for her stopping at the age of six, she got a color TV for her bedroom. Yeah, it still doesn't sound fair to me either.

While I was working yesterday afternoon I could hear a weird sound coming from the area where Roxy was sleeping. Usually when there are weird noises in the house they are coming from Emma, who at 15 makes lots of strange sounds in general. But tiny E was nowhere in sight. Upon closer inspection I find that Roxy is sucking on one of her toes in her sleep.

She always sleeps like a contortionist, but I'd never caught her doing anything like this. If this is a new habit, I wonder if she will demand a new HDTV for her kennel in exchange for quitting.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amber Opal

Senior greyhounds are special - we all know that. There's something about that gray face and wise eyes that makes your heart melt. When Amber Opal (aka Amberly) came into my friend Amy's life she had lived a full life at 9.5 years old. Full as in 20 pounds overweight full. Amber didn't really look like a greyhound at first, but make no mistake, that sweet old face was one of a former racer - tattoos and all.

Amberly settled right in with Amy and her family. She made herself right at home in her daughter's bed in less than a week. Her new pack buddy, Josephine (a senior herself), loved showing her the ropes of country living and they became fast friends. She also adapted well to her weight loss plan and soon took on her appropriate shape.

Amberly began doing therapy visits with Seka just a few months after arriving in her forever home. Amberly seemed to know who needed love in some way totally unknown to us humans at the other end of the leash. She was a good therapy dog.

When her family went away, Amberly came to stay with my pack. During Amber Camp, Roxy had a fellow brindle to hang round. Even at 12 years old, that girl loved to play with a stuffy and trot around the yard with Roxy. And let's not forget that she was a stick magnet. If there was a stick anywhere in the yard, she could find it and be chewing on it in a matter of seconds. I could go out and clean up all of the sticks in my yard and she would still manage to find one to chomp on.

Amberly went over the Rainbow Bridge on Monday at the ripe old age of 14.5. We will miss that silly old girl. Godspeed, sweet Amberly. I know you and Josephine are playing the day away together right now.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Circle of Life

On Tuesday my girls caught their first bunny. Now, for some of you, this isn't a big deal. Your greyhounds chase and catch just about anything. For my girls, this was a notable achievement for two reasons:

  1. My girls rarely chase ANYTHING in the yard - squirrels, bunnies, cats, opossums, armadillos. We have all of these critters in our back yard at some point during the year and the girls rarely take after any of them.
  2. Seka has an old, broken down hip and missing toes and Roxy is rarely allowed to do anything unless Seka - aka the Fun Police - says it is okay. It's never okay.

So I'm sure the sweet little unsuspecting bunny who was eating grass in our back yard absolutely thought he could scoot through the fence before two broken down greyhounds could get to him. Well, bunny thought wrong.

Seka made the grab and shake. Roxy chose to run around with the trophy showing it off like she had won Wimbledon. Luckily, the carnage was pretty contained and quick. After the initial celebration they could have cared less about Russell (that's what I named him - yes I name every animal including the incredibly large rat that lives in my shed. His name is Artie.). I started to take a picture of their prize, but I thought it would be disrespectful and I'm sure PETA would throw paint on me or something.

But a funny thing happened, Roxy had bunny remorse. She went upstairs, curled up in the floor and wouldn't come down until I coaxed her down with the promise of dinner. While I'm sure other dogs would immediately go back to the site of the take down, Roxy wouldn't go near that part of the yard for days. I guess she was sad for little Russell too.

Seka on the other hand napped all afternoon and then when she got up I realized she had dislocated her toe pretty badly. A trip to Dr. Hottie the next day, a reset toe (the dislocation between P1 and P2 actually poked out through the skin), a cool bandage and we're as good as new.

Instinct is an incredible thing. And even if you know better, sometimes you just can't help yourself. Maybe Roxy felt guilty about her celebratory lap. Then again, maybe not. She's almost caught three squirrels in the last three days. On second thought, I like to think she let them escape and just enjoyed the thrill of the chase. She is a sensitive little thing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Greyt Readers

I believe that every dog has a purpose. Some of them are agility superstars. Others are expressive actors. A few are so obedient they earn ribbons for their attentiveness. My girls are none of these - although we've tried our hand a couple of these activities. It's just not in their blood.

But making people feel good, that's something Seka has always excelled at. She's always been calm, sweet and curious about people in general. She's respectful of an individuals space and she's pretty much bomb-proof when it comes to sounds. It didn't take me long to realize she would be a great therapy dog and I got her certified about a year after her gotcha day.

For a couple of years, we did therapy visits at nursing homes and children's hospitals a few times a month. Seka loved her nursing home visits and was always eager to lead me down the halls to her favorite residents. No shock, these were the same women who often saved their bacon from lunch to sneak to her.

When Seka's corns started to get really bad, we had to reduce our visits and eventually we took a break all together and let our TDI certification lapse. She was just so uncomfortable on her feet and no amount of pain meds or Therapaws helped her attitude - and no one wants a therapy dog with a bad attitude. I thought her days as a therapy dog were over. That was until I heard about ReadingPAWS.

ReadingPAWS is a reading support program aimed at helping to improve reading comprehension and vocabulary. The idea is pretty simple - have a struggling reader practice their reading aloud to a non-threatening audience. Certainly, their classmates, teacher and often their parents don't fall into that non-threatening category. But a crazy lady with a dog certainly does. And that's where the magic happens - reading to a dog improves their confidence, allows the students to practice without fear of ridicule and have a positive experience with reading - all thanks to the dog.

Seka's best trick is laying down and taking a nap. And since one of the characteristics of a ReadingPAWS dog is being relaxed for 20 minutes at a time - it sounded like a great fit for us. We went back through the Therapy Dog certification process and a half-day ReadingPAWS training and found a match with a local elementary school where for the last four months we've been tutoring four young readers weekly.

It certainly is amazing to see the progress these second graders have made since January. On our first couple of visits I could barely hear one young man. By the end of the year, he skipped part of field day (something I found shocking for a 9 year old boy who loves P.E.) to read to Seka at a volume that the whole library can hear. Another student stuttered while reading aloud and struggled with fluency. But if she petted Seka with one hand and followed along with her other, she was flawless.

School is out for the summer starting on Thursday and my readers are taking home a "pawtographed" book with a picture of them with Seka placed snugly inside. Our readers even signed Seka's favorite book for her.

ReadingPAWS is an incredibly rewarding experience. Seka looks forward to going to "work" every week. If you can't volunteer at a school, you can volunteer at a library on a monthly basis or at a kids camp or at a church. Check out ReadingPAWS for more information on programs in your area or how to start one yourself.

Oh - and if anyone has any ideas for a purpose for a dog that might be classified as a mental patient, Roxy is looking for some ideas.

Monday, May 14, 2012


My girls are with me all day while I work. 99.9% of the time they are quiet and sleep all day long - like good greyhounds should. They are no bother and you wouldn't even know they are there. Of course it's the .1% when they bark, squeak toys, want to play or decide it is time to love on them that becomes the problem and it always seems to happen when I am on a conference call. It's not cool when you are on the phone to some hot shot in NYC and Roxy decides it is time to stretch her legs and run a few laps with her squeaky squirrel in her mouth. 

I have stuffed and frozen Kongs at the ready to give to them to ensure their cooperation for the 30 minutes I'm on the phone. Occasionally a call will last a couple of hours. Believe me, I do everything in my power to prevent long-haul calls, but they happen. For those marathon calls, I pull out the secret weapon - empty peanut butter jars. 

I love peanut butter. We go through a lot of it between the dogs and myself. Instead of tossing a jar when it is empty, I save it so the dogs can keep themselves busy licking it clean while I am on those long calls. A bomb could go off in the middle of the room and they wouldn't budge. Well, maybe they would, but they would take their jars with them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life's a Beach

I will never forget when I got my first adult, full-time job one of my new co-workers said to me -"I hope you enjoyed your last spring break. You'll never have another." Sigh. I guess that is true for most people. Although when you're married to a teacher, you celebrate that week every year - no exceptions. And we celebrate by going to the spring training home of the Red Sox, Fort Myers Beach, FL.

Usually we board the girls with some awesome greyhound people outside of Tampa and three days into our trip I'm missing them so badly we usually leave early because I can't stand it any more. Yep, I'm that crazy lady. 

This year, for the first time ever, the girls celebrated spring break with us at the beach. After teaching her how to swim last summer vacation, we knew Roxy enjoyed prancing in the waves. Seka was still apprehensive when we went on our first jaunt down Fort Myers Beach, but she soon embraced her inner beach bum and realized when you're all wet, you stay cool. 

We loved letting the girls spend time each morning with their grandparents who don't get to see them. We loved meeting tons of new people who were attracted to us thanks to our skinny bitches (yes, one woman called them that to their face). We loved how a family from the mid-west with their two pre-teen boys waited for us every morning, bringing out crackers, peanut butter and water for the girls. We loved watching Roxy charm everyone with her smiles and silly wave jumping. We loved watching Seka plop down in the water and allowing the waves that she was once terrified of, wash over her. We loved having our sandy girls in bed with us at night - well maybe not the sandy part.

 I think the consensus is, greyhounds should celebrate spring break too.

Monday, March 19, 2012

He's Back.....

It is the first sign that cold weather is over - the return of Bruce! He's kinda like our own personal groundhog with wings - and rabies.

This is the earliest Bruce has ever shown up, so I guess the AC is permanently switched to on. It also appears Bruce brought home a girlfriend for us to meet. I've not seen her in all her glory yet, but you can see her wings just at the top left of this picture. She must be the shy type. This isn't the first time Bruce has brought home a girl, but in true billionaire, superhero fashion, he never keeps the girls around for long!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Scream, You Scream...

Growing up, my family celebrated just about anything with a trip to Baskin' Robbins. Big things like birthdays and holidays. Small things like all As on report cards and band concerts. Ice cream was an important part of my family's traditions. It's hard to find a Baskin' Robbins these days and when you do they don't usually have my favorite flavor - chocolate fudge. I'm sure it has some sort of super sugar in it that makes it so chocolaty good so it's been banned or something. Kev and I recently enjoyed frozen treats at Menchie's, which is a new-fangled frozen yogurt place in town. It's good, but it's no chocolate fudge.

Doggie ice cream is a staple at our house. It's not ice cream, so I call them freezies. I use the small GladWare containers - I have no idea what they are actually intended for because they are too small to store anything of value in them - and mix up plain, low-fat yogurt and their daily dose of glucosamine and MSM, then throw it in the freezer. It's a great 3 p.m snack for the girls and it is good for them. Sometimes I mix in a banana, peanut butter, apple, or whatever it might be tasty, but they like the standard offering best.

Roxy demonstrates her exceptional licking skills. She's the worst at chewing on the containers as she tries to pop the whole freezie out of the container so she can chew it instead of licking it. She's like one of those weird people who bite into their frozen treats. She's getting better at enjoying her freezie the old fashioned way without me correcting her. Leave it to Roxy to be the only dog in the universe that needs training on how to lick something.

Monday, February 20, 2012

One Tough Bitch

Getting old stinks. Your knees, ankels, shoulder, hips - just pick a body part and at some point over the age of 30 it will fail you based on how you treated it when you were younger. I was a dancer and believe me, my knees remember this even if the rest of my body doesn't. 

Dog bodies are no different. It's hard to watch my girls age, slow down, hobble a little more. I don't know about their life before me, other than the number of races they ran. I know what racing kennels look like, turn out frequency and feeding habits of life is like at the track, so I can assume what daily life was like. What I have no idea about is what they were like as puppies and to be honest with you, I really never wondered about it until a couple of weeks ago.

Seka has progressively become more and more weak in her back legs over the past year. The trembling, the shaking and the lack of stamina is apparent to me. This doesn't mean she doesn't want to do things. She loves going places. She enjoys our READing Paws visits and our therapy dog work. On warm days, she's happy to lay in the sun and play with her squeaky toy in the afternoons. But after a spill in the backyard on February 5, I took her into the vet for x-rays. 

They knocked her out for a good set of hip, spine and leg x-rays to make sure nothing was broken or out of place and to confirm a muscle strain. X-rays confirmed no breaks - well no new breaks. Despite the many x-rays we've taken over the years, including those when she had her toe amputated, obviously didn't include a hip x-ray in that particular view. Because if they were taken, we'd seen a long time ago that she had a break in her hip that happened when she was approximately 6 to 8 months old based on where the fracture healed in the growth plate (I know, right?). 

Of course I had no idea of this injury. Seka ran four races. Seka lure coursed. Seka retrieved a ball as many times as we threw it. A hip fracture at six months old would have prevented all of this, right? 

According to the ortho surgeon at Auburn University, Seka is one tough bitch. I'm guessing that's a clinical diagnosis. 

Between Dr. Hottie and Dr. Smarty (the ortho surgeon at AU) we've been presented with two options: femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery or adequan injections. The FHO sounds scary to me and let's face it, it's a surgery done on lots of other breeds, but rarely on greyhounds. Seka's x-rays are out for additional opinions with Dr. Gillette at AU and Dr. Couto and team at OSU. She's feeling much better by increasing her Rimadyl, but I know we can't do that forever. 

Seka's being true to her official AU diagnosis - she's one tough bitch. Now to figure out how to be like my dog as we decide what to do next.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


There has been an ongoing challenge in our living room lately between Seka and Sam. Both are sunshine girls. Some days they bake themselves in front of our living room window all day. While there's plenty of room for a 65 lb dog and a 13 lb cat in the afternoon sun spots, it seems like there's an unwritten rule that they cannot share them.

Seka was like the third little bear today with someone sleeping on her bed. Sam thinks that Seka's bed in the sun spot is just right.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

May the Force Be With Roo

I will save my excitement for the Super Bowl until after Sunday when the Patriots (fingers crossed) are officially in the game. Until then, many companies are sneaking previews of some of their Super Bowl commercials on You Tube. Today, I saw VW's, The Bark Side

Being an owner of two dogs who really don't bark - not even group roos - the barking was a bit annoying to me. But please wait until the end for the cherry on top!

I'm not going to lie, I have no idea what this has to do with VW, other than they probably paid out the nose for Star Wars rights three years ago and have to use it even if they don't want to. And I will admit that I didn't catch on that they were barking the Stormtrooper Theme until the video was playing in the background as I typed this post. But that last little bark at the end and the schnauzer dressed like an Ewok totally makes this worth the one minute watch.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Unwrapping Fun

I had a friend tell me that she would not be wrapping gifts for her one year old child this Christmas. In her words, "It is a waste of time, money and energy because they can't unwrap it anyway. Wrapping gifts for a one year old baby is like wrapping a gift for your dogs." Well, I guess she has never met Roxy.

Happy New Year to everyone! May 2012 bring you lots of gifts to tear into!