Saturday, June 28, 2008

posting a lot & trip to NC

First, I must say that I am proud of myself at the frequency I have been posting lately. I shall try to keep it up.

Second, on Tuesday I leave for my trip to North Carolina. You may ask what that has to do with greyhounds and the answer is EVERYTHING! I am going to be staying with Julie at Circle of Friends Greyhound Adoptions in Statesville, NC. 4 full days at the rescue kennel! It is going to be so much fun! Anna and Berry White came from Mama Julie (that's what everyone calls Julie). The adoption of Berry White was such a life-changing event, that Julie has a special place in our hearts. We spent a lot of time there when we lived in NC. It made it more pleasant I think. Made us less homesick, because Julie and everyone there became like family. Tim isn't coming this time, no vacation yet. Next year, we hope to drive up there and bring the hounds with us. I plan to take tons of pictures and will try to blog if I can. If I don't all of you have a greyt 4th of July!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

lacy went to her home....thankfully

I have to say that little girl was a handful. It wasn't necessarily her, but her combined with Berry White was just a bit much. Nothing like 2 rowdy greys having a good time :) One roos, the other roos. They played, rough-housed, were just all over the place! An example of the roo play in the photo. Sometimes it was fun and funny, other times it was just a bit too much. Especially when you are trying to do something and they start up. She was overall a good girl. She did have a few accidents, but some just can't or don't hold it for 10 hours. Mine do. All of our previous fosters have. I am not complaining. Every new foster comes with it's joys and pains. We don't mind. Just goes to show you that you don't want to keep everyone. I mean, she was tiny, adorable, the rooing was cute, but she definitely did not belong in our pack.

People often ask, "How do you foster? I couldn't do it. I'd want to keep them all! I'd get so attached!" Yes, you get attached to all of them, but the letting go part was only a little hard the first time, and she was not a dog I would have kept either, mostly just because she was a girl. You learn, at least I would hope, that it's about the dogs, not just you.
The pack changes. You have to see what is best for your pack. When there are four greys here, mine are all different, which is to be expected. Anna is always the alpha of our pack. It took us a while and a few conversations with L to understand that, but she is. When a fourth dog is added, it comes out more. It just becomes more obvious. The boys are funny because there positions of 2 and 3 among the dogs changes. When we are at 3, Berry White really seems to be at the bottom. He is insecure and it shows. Those insecurities are still there when another hound is added, but it's the change in Dax that moves Berry up. When there is a fourth, Dax backs off. He doesn't sleep with us as much. He just kinda keeps to himself. I don't think he likes a pack that big, which is ok. I further that statement with the fact that he did not do as well in his foster home where he was with 5 other greys. He acted out and such. I will say though it depends on the foster. When Clyde was here, he was pretty much normal. All our other fosters have been girls. Maybe they just make him nervous or something. My Dax-man slept next to me, on the pillow, last night. I think he was glad the house was calmer. Like I said, do not interpret this as complaining. I love fostering no matter the challenges, it helps me recognize what a nice pack we have and how different greys fit in better in different situations. Besides, I don't plan on having another hound permanently any time soon. I can only have one crazy child in my life, and right now that's Berry. Would I foster another wild child, sure, but that's one foster we are guaranteed not to fail with.

Monday, June 23, 2008

foster #4 & dumb owners

So, the grey we cat-tested at the beginning of last week is now our foster! Lacy came to us last Saturday and will go to her new home on Wednesday of this week. She is just a doll. She is staying with us to further her cat okayness and work her back into being crated, which was not happening at her previous foster home. No biggy. She is readjusting fine. She is quite a tiny girl. She must only weigh about 50 pounds - despite what he race records might say. Here is her greyhound-data page: linky
She is actually the half-niece of Berry White. She roos whenever she feels like it. She will just walk up to you and start talking. She also will run up to you and slide across the floor. She has a ton of energy, but that's too be expected at barely 2 years old. She is going to be an only child for a younger owner (he's 22), so she should be well-spoiled. Gotta love being able to be a small part of the lives of these hounds and so many more to come!

On a side note, and I will keep it brief. Our group is removing a hound this week from her home. Her owner called initially because the grey got out and attacked a dog that was on lead. She claimed she now did not trust the grey with her other dog and feared it.... well, as more of the story came out she admitted having the grey off lead in her front yard and implied (by amongst other things saying the grey got out while she was getting ready to go out of town... which led to the discovery the grey was being left outside). So, you have a grey that is at least being partially kept as a yard dog and is being walked off lead, too things that are against the contract that you sign when you adopt from our group. The lady said there was no rush to get her, but she had to go. L's response, no, there is a rush, the group will get her ASAP. Poor grey. Put in such a terrible position. Now with a bite on record. We will find her a new home. If we didn't have Lacy and I wasn't about to be out of town for a week, she would be coming here....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She passed, Anna eats, we have a new couch

So, Lacy passed her cat test. This does not mean I would leave her alone in a room full of cats, but she is definately not in immediate kill mode. She perked her ears up when she saw the kitties and then walked over and shoved her nose in their face/butt/side whatever she could get to and sniffed. Then she would walk away. Even when one of the cats ran, she perked her ears up and followed sniffing. I would suggest a muzzle and lots of supervision for a few weeks, but she should be fine in the long run. She reminded me a lot of how Dax was at first. This was in drastic contrast to Tails, her current housemate. We were not cat testing him but he was there. Wow, he wanted the cats. Ears perked, body tense, barking, the whole nine yards for the most part. he is somewhat correctable, as in he does not like to be fussed at and would generally stop, but he was a little too focused and overly interested. I would not put him in a home with a cat. MAYBE with an experienced grey owner and a cat that would defend him or herself, but even then it would be touchy. It doesn't matter though. They have no cats and never will, especially after that little show he put on at our house! No cat was ever in danger. Safety first with us. ALL the greys were muzzled both for safety during their introductions and time in the yard as well for the cats safety in the house.

On a side note, we have won the battle with Anna. We had a minor setback for a few days over a week ago, but now she knows we have won. We are in charge. She even eats her food straight dry, no water, now. It's nice. She may have had a little bug or was just showing her butt. We will never know, but she is eating now. We were out of town Friday night to Saturday afternoon, so my mom did two feedings. Friday dinner Anna tried to push her, refused to eat and mom gave her a little cheese. Sucker. Saturday morning she gave her no trouble. She gave us no trouble at dinner Saturday or at all since. Good girl.

Our trip was to visit T's grandmother, two friends, JT & Batman, and go to IKEA! We came back with a new couch, new chair, bookcase and some small stuff. The greys did not care for the living room reorganization, even though it included a new couch. We ended up putting a blanket on the couch and slowly they began to approve. How they dislike change.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

cat test today

Today we will give our first offical cat test. There is another coupe who is fostering a greyhound that has not been cat tested. The guy who is interested in here lives with his parents (for the next few months) who have a cat. He really likes this grey, Lacy and we just aren't sure how this is going to turn out. Lacy is barely too and very wired. She has done pretty good with the small dog at L's house (L is our head of placement who keeps fosters and does boarding at her house, she will probably come up frequently in future blogs) as well as with the black lab puppy at the foster home. L is just unsure of how crazy Lacy will do with a kitty. We shall see. Our kitties our calm, well relatively. Lacy's foster dad is also bringing his greyhound, Tails. I think we will put Tails, Anna, Berry White & Dax outside for a bit after everyone meets so Lacy can see the kitties alone, which is how she will be. This will be fun....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Oh how special they are!

Today I had a doctor's appointment. Last year when I was there, I only had 2 greys. Well, my doc asked how my pups were and I old her that we now had three and began to brag on my babies. She asked a few questions and I went on to describe the little idiosyncrasies of greyhounds (blood values, low body fat, being on a leash or fenced in yard and so on). She and her nurse were fascinated. They just kept telling me how they had no idea how different greyhounds were. My doctor also complimented me on how wonderful it is to have people that care so much about a single breed (she had no other patients that have greys that she knows of). There were nothing but compliments and inquiries. It was fantastic.

On a side note, I think we have finally beaten Anna's not eating without much fuss thing. I was really starting to worry about her. I had one good feeding last Friday, no corral necessary. I was out of town until Sunday evening, with just Tim here with them. She gave him trouble all weekend. We had decided to try a mix in of another flavor of food, which I did for dinner on Sunday. So far so good. We will just have to see how it goes.

A little background. Anna, for the last few weeks never wanted to eat. You would have to add a mix in to her food, which only worked sometimes, or hand-feed her some food to get her to eat. Also, we were using chairs to corral her into an area to eat. We tried waiting her out, but she would eventually just lay down. We praised her and gave her a treat when she finished eating. Nothing was consistently working. We were advised to praise her, take her food away if she didn't eat in X time (I couldn't do that due to past experiences with Berry White), don't feed her right after she comes in (in case she's hot, since it is VERY hot and humid here already) and/or change her food. We tried it all and finally made it to the food change. Like I said, so far so good. Dinner is in 15 minutes, so we shall see if we can get 3 in a row!