Saturday, December 30, 2006

Random thoughts

This is Tito - cousin to Hoss and Bud. When I first introduced the boys to him, I was worried that they wouldn't be good with the "little man", but amazingly, he is the one that likes to instigate things. Tito is cool with Hoss, but he still seems to have an issue with Bud - constantly showing his teeth and growling. He is so ferocious!!!!

Bud looking happy on Thanksgiving. He was doing his happy dance for some reason - first guess would be food.
"It is so rough being so cute. New toys, people petting me all day.....I need a nap."

"Did you know those big boys are stealing MY stuffies? MY STUFFIES!!!!"
"Stuffies, ear can't get much better than this!"
"Since when do the stuffies have the right to attack me?!?"
"I didn't do it, I swear!!!"
UPDATE: Mr. Giraffe has lost his other eye. Only two of his feet still squeak.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas as a family

So, me and the boys packed up the dog-mobile on Saturday morning and made the trek to CR. It was uneventful as always, and the boys were ready to get out and run in the yard as soon as we arrived. We couldn't have hoped for nicer weather!

The weekend was full of various events. Last minute shopping. Eating. Sunday mass. Preparing potato soup and chili for the festivities on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve celebration with the family. Christmas Eve mass. Wrapping gifts. Cleaning the house so that it was presentable to our Christmas morning guests. Christmas celebration with more family. All great fun. As a side note - I did get to try CR's newest sushi restaurant. I was impressed! The red tuna was wonderful! I even brought some miso soup home to my sister who was feeling under the weather.

Hoss is always very content wherever we go. He finds a spot where he can lay down, and he will sleep through anything. Bud on the other hand is a nervous wreck all of the time. He paces from room to room, making sure he knows what is going on at all times. Given that I don't have to leash and walk the boys each time they need to potty, their schedule became a little "off". Saturday night I had to let them out at 12:30 am, 3:30 am, and again at 6:30 am. Sunday was a little bit better - only 4:30 am and 6:30 am. In most cases it was Bud that was whining. Part of me thinks he didn't really need to go, but just wanted to make sure nothing was going on without him upstairs and outside. On Monday morning, it was Hoss that was whining - very unusual. I let them out, they did their business right away, and back inside they came. I led them downstairs, then did a few things upstairs before heading back down. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I saw Bud laying in bed, but could not see Hoss. So I called his name, and "jingle, jingle" of his collar - his head popped up.........from my spot on the couch where I was sleeping!!! The little booger took my bed!!! Rather than fight with him, I stole my pillow out from under him and took residence on the opposite end of the couch. We shared the spot all night - my legs draped over him most of the time. :)

All in all, it was a good weekend. It was wonderful to see the family and eat some good food. The boys made off with some new toys which they really enjoy. Everyone came home in one piece.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Hoss and I have a special connection. He is my heart-hound. He comes up to me in those special ways and shows me his affection. (And for a dog that doesn't give kisses, this usually involves him rubbing his head up and down my leg, often getting hair all over my dress pants before work. ) When I brought Bud into the house, I tried to make sure that I equally showed my affection to the two boys. I didn't want Bud to feel like the second.

I got him at the end of October, and since then, I've been waiting for the signs that Bud was finally feeling at home. It took Hoss about a month, so I was expecting to see signs around Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving came and went, and he still seemed nervous and unsettled. I was starting to worry that he wasn't ever going to love being with us.

I think it was last week when I noticed the first sign. It was a weekday morning. After my shower, I usually sit down by the boys and give them belly rubs to wake them up before breakfast. If ever I am giving belly rubs, Hoss will whine if I stop rubbing for a split second. That morning was the first time Bud reached out with his paw and touched my arm when I paused for a mere moment. When they start to care whether you are paying attention or not is when I know that they are becoming attached. I saw the switch in Hoss, and finally, now in Bud. I'm so excited. Now I know, when I look into his perpetually pouty eyes, that he loves me.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cruel and Unusual?

I know my posts have become sparse through the month of December. It is one of those months that I always wish would just get over with. It is always so packed with random things that need to be done, usually centered around Christmas, that my whole schedule gets out of whack, and I feel like I am constantly running. Not to mention that December is always one of the busiest months for me at work. I won't even get into that......

A few weeks ago, I ordered some goodies from a place in Seattle for my previous foster for Christmas. At the same time, I ordered a new stuffie for the boys. They LOVED the grunting monkey I had previously bought for them, so when I found these grunting toys, I wanted to get another. Well, the package arrived this week, and it didn't take long for the new stuffie to become the new favorite. The boys are sneaky with each other. If one has it and turns his back, the other will snatch it up and claim it for himself. It is comical to watch.

In less than two days, we've already had a stuffie emergency. It was horrific. I heard a long grunt come from the other room, a thud, then the smacking of jaws. I knew it wouldn't be pretty. I walked into the other room to find Hoss laying on his side, licking his chops. To his right, the tragedy lay.

Mr. Giraffe has decided that he can live with only one good eye, so we are not going to operate. I have noticed that his grunting has ceased, so there was internal damage as well. With time, he should recover, but he will never be the same. His squeaker feet are still functioning, but I'm sure it won't be long. I've seen Hoss looking at Mr. Giraffe with a devilish grin. I know he is plotting something.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


On Monday night, the boys and I met up with my previous foster Daisy and her forever-mom at a local coffee shop that is pet-friendly. It was a chance to have a little social time not only for the dogs, but for us as well. We hadn't been there long when I had a flashback to the days when Daisy lived with us. Hoss had found a comfortable position on the floor, so Daisy took her position - standing over Hoss! So funny how my very alpha boy lets this alpha girl take her position. This was very common when she lived with us. If she was standing up, she was usually standing over Hoss.

I like this picture because it looks as if Daisy and Bud are talking and laughing like they are the best of friends. Notice Daisy standing over Hoss.....

Here are a few others from that night:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ridin' Sleepy.....

The drive from CR to DSM is always an uneventful one. The boys in the back, sleeping. Me up front, jamming to some tunes and going through the motions to get us home.

Apparently, Hoss decided he wanted to shake things up a bit - get a change of scenery. I'm driving along, and the next thing I know, Hoss is climbing over the back seat. He plops down right on top of everything I have packed in the seats. I grabbed my camera, pointed it towards him, and the picture above is what I got.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wednesday night already

I noticed that my last post was almost a full week ago! Wow - where has the week gone? I began to think about everything that had happened over the last week. Let's see...

Thursday was a post-daycare night, so it was pretty quiet. I think I had something going on that night. I don't even remember now what that was.

Friday was a crazy day at work. I did some quick shopping at work then it was home for the evening. I knew the next few days would be hectic, so I took advantage and got some sleep.

Saturday started with a photo session with me and the boys. Oh man, that was a hoot! Hoss was quite the ham - posing for the camera and acting so cooperative. Bud on the other hand is sooo anxious all of the time - he kept pacing around, trying to figure out what was going and why we were in this strange place with the light that keeps flashing in his eyes! We were lucky to get off any good shots. But, all was good! We picked out some nice pics, and they should be in soon. I'm excited!

Saturday evening was the holiday party for the greyhound rescue group. It was a great time, and I got to talk to other people and hear their stories. Funny how, even though it was one of the few events where we didn't bring the dogs, the dogs were all we talked about!!!

Sunday was a relaxing day. I figured out how to use the hard surface attachment on my floor cleaning machine then tackled the kitchen. Sweet!!! So much better than my mop! Later on, I caught a movie with a friend, picked up some Thai food from my favorite place on the way home, then relaxed with the boys the rest of the night.

Monday was a Monday. Chaos at work, so I looked forward to coming home at lunch and walking the boys. A great excuse to get out and clear my mind.

Tuesdays are always a rush. I teach at 6:30 pm, so after work, it is rush home, walk the boys, feed the boys, change clothes, then run out the door. When I got back, I snuggled with the boys on the floor while watching tv, until it was time for bed.

Today, I had to go out of town for work, so the boys went to daycare. It wasn't greyhound day like it is on Thursdays, so they were with a more rambunctious group. They both passed out on the floor after we got home. I had to wake them up for dinner. Now that dinner is over, they are both sleeping again. I can hear the wind howling outside the windows. I'm not looking forward to the potty walk before bed.

This week is their lucky week. They will get to go to daycare tomorrow again. Two times in a row!!! Yowza! I'm glad I have daycare as an option in the event that I need to be flexible with my schedule during the day. Plus, the boys love it and it is nice that they get to be social rather than being stuck in the kitchen all day.

I've been considering installing a webcam in the kitchen so that I can watch what their typical day is like at home while I'm at work. I'm so curious......

Thursday, November 30, 2006


17 degrees......

First, I layer on their jammies.....then their winter coats.

Both stick a nose out the front door. Hoss turns as if to go back inside. He has gotten me up at 3:30 am the last two nights. He is going out to potty.....

We start our walk. Hoss takes care of both to-dos on his business list, then refuses to go any further. Rather than fight him, we turn back, drop Hoss off, then Bud and I head back out so that he can take care of to-dos.

Of course, he hasn't figured out that the quicker you go, the quicker you get to go back in. He waits until the very end our potty walk loop, then goes. It is back to the house as quickly as possible. It is too cold out here.

Back inside, Hoss is still in his jammies (I took off his coat when I dropped him off), but looking rather uncomfortable. Bud runs upstairs as if to go to bed (still in his jammies). I start to hear an odd sound.

I run upstairs to find Bud in an infinite loop of the greyhound-shake. (For those of you that don't know, that is the head turning one direction, the trunk of the body turning the other with legs flinging, butt in the opposite direction as the trunk, and tail whipping around like a propeller.) Shake. Stop. Repeat. Over, and over, and over. I think the static build-up was really bothering him! As soon as they came off, he was much better. Weird.

Both now zonked out....Hoss down here with me, and Bud upstairs in his bed. Let's hope that 3:30 am comes and goes with no potty run. 17 degrees will feel mighty warm compared to the low we are supposed to hit....I think they said 5 degrees on the news.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


In my previous life, I adopted a little puppy - a black and white, spotted, Jack Russell-Springer Spaniel mix. His name was Marty, and he was very precious to me. Circumstances changed and I needed to find Marty a new home. A good friend of mine had recently moved to Florida and had bought an acreage. Knowing how much Marty loved to run around outside, and that my friend was a "dog person" in need of a dog, I knew it would be a perfect fit. After some discussion, the adoption was set, and I drove my pupper to Florida to be at his new forever home.

Over the years, I had seen him once or twice, but never any real quality time. Today was my lucky day!!! My friend is in town for an extended trip, so we got together to introduce my new dogs to my old dog. What a treat!!!! Like my boys, he is so well behaved (that is due to my friend and the diligence he put into training him). We all went on a walk together, then just hung out at the house and talked about old times.

My friend and I concluded that it was a case of destiny, or "meant to be". I was able to adopt and rescue him, give him a home temporarily until it was time for him to go to his forever home with my friend in Florida.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey Day Tug-of-War

Jack: Hello?!?! I have a perfectly good stuffie sitting here. Does anyone want to play? Hey you there! Old man!!! Yeah, you! Bet you can't keep up with me!

Hoss: You talkin' to me?!?! I'll take you up on that challenge!

Let the games begin!!!

Hoss: HA!!! I got it!!! Now, who you calling an old man?!?

Hoss: Ahhhh! The sweet taste of victory!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Looking handsome

Finally!!! The new collars for the boys arrived today. I think I squealed when I opened the mailbox and saw the package. :) Check out how handsome they each look in their new duds.

(Notice Hoss and his pile of just isn't enough!)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Toenail Terror

I've always trimmed the toenails of any dog I've had, and my greys would be no different. I don't have to trim them too often. Because I walk them on the sidewalks in our neighborhood, the cement helps to keep them filed down. But over time, they grow out and then need a trim.

I've noticed Hoss' nails were getting a little long, so this evening I decided to trim them down. I had done it once before and it had gone well. He laid there like a perfect angel and didn't whine a bit. Snip, snip, and I was done.

This time didn't go quite so smoothly. I was down to the last foot and I did it - I cut one too short. Hoss jumped which freaked me out, but no yelp. I looked down and saw the bleeding start. I got a rag in hopes that I could get it to stop, but no such luck. And no, I don't have any of the magical stuff that you are supposed to put on in events like this. I tried cornstarch, which sort of worked, but not really.

I gave each of the boys a treat and waited to see how the bleeding would do. It seemed to stop, so I was feeling pretty relieved. About an hour later, I took the boys out for a walk, and when we came back in, I noticed the bleeding had started again, with much more gusto than before. In fact, when I noticed it, Hoss had laid down on his bed with his feet up underneath him, so blood was all over his belly and chest! It looked like a war zone!!!

The pet store was closed so I couldn't get any of the magical stuff to stop the bleeding. I'll definitely make sure I have some for next time. Once again, my carpet cleaning machine will pay off - cleaning up the little blood spots I've seen here and there around the house.

I think Hoss has forgiven me, but he is definitely taking advantage of the guilt trip and soliciting more belly rubs than usual! :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jammies and Jackets

Today was like Christmas for the boys. Two of the three apparel items I ordered recently arrived today. Their new winter coats.....and their jammies. Yes, you read that right - I ordered them each a pair of jammies. I keep the house somewhat cool (3 levels is hard to regulate), and have found the boys to be somewhat chilly on really cold and windy nights. I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a pair on hand for when it gets really cold out.

When they tried them on this evening, there was some looks of annoyance pointed my direction. They are a little awkward to get on and off - and Hoss being as klutzy as he is, we had to work on his balance a bit. After I got them on, each of them did walk a little funny at first, but quickly got used to it. I think if we have some "practice sessions" over the next few days, they'll get used to it.

And what can I say about the coats but that they are exceptional! The fit so good, and the colors I picked out look great on each of them! (thank you, thank you)

Now I'm just waiting on their new collars - and I know they've been shipped, so it is just a matter of time!!!!

Total Relaxation

Greys are funny in the mornings. This is the time when I see the funniest facial expressions and body positions. Bud will smile (show his teeth, often mistaken as an aggressive expression). Hoss will cross his "arms", cover his face and eyes, and this....
Do you notice the tongue??? Just hanging out.....drying out..... It turns crispy because he leaves it out so long!!!!

That is total relaxation......

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Race Footage

I always thought it would be really neat to have been able to see my boys race. Few people have the unique perspective of knowing and loving a dog as they watch it run with such passion and grace. I had heard that some of the greyhound tracks archive their race footage, so I started doing some digging. I went out to Greyhound Data to look at the race history for each of my boys. (I started with Bud since he is so recently off of the track. You can see Bud's history here and Hoss' history here.) In his last races, he was at Bluffs Run, and Greyhoud Data provided a link to their website. Turns out that they have video archives of their races for 2006! I checked Geneva Lakes, which is where Hoss raced last, and they have since closed and their website is gone. I'm bummed about that, seeing how Hoss was such a big racer (197 races!), I thought it would be cool to have some footage of him racing.

WOW!!! It was so cool to watch Bud run and win!!! I kept saying "Go, Buddy-boy! Go!!" I love it!!!

I've included the video below. He is in box 6 with the yellow silk on.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I kid you not - my boys' favorite mix-in with their food right now is pumpkin. 100% pureed pumpkin. My personal opinion?? ICK!!!! I was reading about how the fiber is great for greyhounds, and that they love the taste. In the mornings, I've been doing pumpkin and yogurt, or just the pumpkin. In the evenings, I do the pumpkin and some shredded cheddar cheese. The boys go crazy at feeding time!!! If I don't have the pumpkin mixed in with their kibble, I get "the look". Hoss has refused to eat!!! (Of course, by the next meal, he is starving!)

One heaping tablespoon of this orange goop along with their kibble, and I am the best mommy in the whole world!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What's up with that?

I love the weekends. I get to spend lots of quality time with the boys while at the same time, getting lots done around the house. Lately it has been time deep cleaning my carpets. Since the addition of my previous foster and continued with Bud, I've had to deal with a few extra spots on the carpet. They both have an issue with gulping water after they eat, then coughing up excess onto whatever surface they are near - usually the sitting room or bedroom floor. It isn't horribly messy, but icky none the less. I invested in a carpet cleaning machine, and so far it has been well worth the money.

Aside from the pseudo-vomit, the boys have been randomly peeing in the house! They are both very well potty trained and are taken out frequently. I make sure they do all of their business when we are out so that nothing is left to have accidents with. But take this evening for instance. We went for our early evening potty walk and both did their duties. We came back in and it was time for dinner. Bud ate first, and as always, came lumbering over to me when he was finished for the "pet of approval" from me. Not one minute later, he walked into the sitting room, sniffed around, hiked his leg and started peeing on one of the chairs!!! Aaaaarrrggg! I instantly was up and yelling "No!!! Bad boy!!!" (I hate having to say that!) He dropped his leg and took off, whining and crying, knowing that he was in trouble. I took him outside to do his business, but of course, he was so nervous that he couldn't go.

I don't get it!!! Hoss has done something similar in the not so distant past. The fact that they are both doing it makes me think they are mad about something and are trying to prove a point. (Hoss used to do things like that when we were going through his SA issues.) Otherwise, I would think it might be UTI or a bladder infection, since random urinating is a symptom. But both at once? I suppose I should go the route to get a medical condition ruled out.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

For the cause...

Today, the adoption group hosted a meet and greet, so I took the boys down and let them show off how wonderful the greyhound breed is. They let anyone and everyone pet and love on them (how tough!) and were very good sports about the whole thing. Especially with the little kids. They were such good boys - so well-behaved.

It is fun talking to people about the breed. I've met some very interesting people - some that would be great adoptive parents, and others that I would severly have concerns about. Today was no exception. I think there were at least 3 families that will be adopting soon, and then there is the crazy couple that I really hope does not get approved for adoption.

After seeing the boys with all of those people, it is nice to be sitting at home with them all to myself.

Lazy weekend mornings

I love the fact that my boys will sleep in on Saturday mornings. We get up very early during the week, and I was afraid that they would fall into this routine and wake me up early on the weekends. But this has not been the case. They are more than happy to sleep in, and really like the laid-back routine of the weekends.

I try to take the dogs with me during weekend errands. Today we have a Meet & Greet, then will probably stop a few places before heading back home. If I had their winter coats, I would think about taking them out for a longer walk, but they both look at me after about 10 minutes with eyes that say "My feet are wet and cold, I'm feeling a draft on my tushy, I want to go home."

Their winter coats should be here next weekend. I ordered them from a gal in Chicago, and am excited to get them. I'm not a fan of dressing up dogs in goofy outfits, but the fact that they NEED these coats - I felt compelled to make them as stylish as possible. No crazy colors - just basics. And of course, they will be walking side by side, so they had to compliment each other. I can't wait to see them!! I'm also looking at buying some new collars - ones that are a little more funky and that would show their personalities. I've got Bud figured out (see his collar here) but I'm not quite sure on Hoss. I think I may just go with something Celtic for Hoss.....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Daycare means a quiet night...sort of.

Every Thursday, the boys go to Happy Tails doggy daycare (behind Iowa Pet Foods off of 22nd Ave). They are soooooo excited each morning, hoping that they will get to go. When Thursday finally arrives, I get such a kick out of their enthusiasm as we prepare to leave the house. They both bounce up and down and give me the look of "is it time to go yet?"

Their day is full of playtime and socialization with other greyhounds (as well as a few miscellaneous greyhound-for-the-day dogs that may happen to show up). They get to run around, play-fight and sleep -- whatever they feel like doing. I've been told by the owner that Hoss is the policeman of the group. If things get too wild, he will step in and settle everyone down. But don't get me wrong - Hoss likes to play just as much, if not more, than the next grey. He is always instigating play-fights at home with Bud.

By the time I pick them up in the evening, they are happy to see me and ready to go home. The drive home is usually quiet, with both of them zonked out in the back of the Jeep. When we get home, they gear up enough for dinner and a potty-walk, then they crash on the floor. They are OUT!!! Tonight, Bud went upstairs and went to bed on his own instead of staying downstairs with Hoss and I. He took his new stuffy with him to snuggle with.....

I can count on daycare nights to be quite entertaining. They tend to dream a lot more on these nights, probably recalling their fun and games from the day. I can usually plan on a startling wake-up due to some barks and growls throughout the night.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Introducing Bud

As time went on and Hoss began to settle into living with me, I began to notice signs of separation anxiety. I tried all of the textbook techniques in hopes of curing this, but none of them worked. The head of the adoption group suggested we try introducing a second to the mix. We started with a foster - Millie - who was a petite little girl. I had her for three weeks before her adoption was final. In that time, all of Hoss' issues disappeared. I knew I was in for a lifetime of two.

Bud had been off the track only two weeks when I got him. He had already mastered stairs and was trained to potty on a leash. With those two items already mastered, getting him used to living at home with Hoss and I has been pretty simple. He fits right in, but is definitely the needy one of the bunch - constantly by my side and seeking my approval.

Like Hoss, Bud is fairly laid back. Being 4 years old and just off the track, he likes to play a bit more than Hoss does, but mostly with his toys. Hoss tries to engage him in some play-fighting, but he hasn't quite figured out that it is okay to play a little rough sometimes.

Last week was Bud's first day at daycare. Once a week, the boys go to a local doggie daycare where they have established Thursdays as "Greyhound Day". This is a great way to get them out of the house and get them some good exercise and some socialization time.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Introducing Hoss

When I decided that I wanted to take the big step of adopting a dog, the search for the perfect breed began. Being a "dog person", I have never met a dog I didn't love. Little ones, big ones.....but like kids, I liked them best when they went home with their parents, and not with me! They were never "my" dog, so I didn't have the love needed to overlook some of their quirks. I was in search for that perfect "one."

I talked to friends and family for suggestions and insight. I was searching the adoption and rescue groups - that being the only way I would adopt. A friend of mine suggested I look into rescuing a greyhound. "Seriously?!?" I asked. That first question was followed by all of the standard misconceptions that people have about the breed. Being my typical self, I did the research to validate my feelings. I found many sites that explained the behavior and needs of greys. The more I read and the more pictures I saw, the more intrigued I became. Their eyes were so precious!

I saw that our local rescue group had a Meet & Greet coming up, so I planned to attend. Wow! I didn't expect to fall in love so quick. It was at this first m&g that I met Hoss. He drifted towards me - more like lumbered - and velcroed himself to my legs. He was the perfect height for petting, and he had a great temperament.

I had it in my head at that time that I wanted a female, so adopting Hoss didn't even cross my mind. That same weekend, I went 2 hours East to attend another m&g where an available female was being fostered, and would be available to meet. She was sweet, but I did keep thinking back to Hoss and his demeanor. She wasn't quite the same, but I still thought I wanted a female. I wasn't ready to adopt anyway, and knew she had another family interested. I figured (hoped) I would connect better with the next one.

I moved forward getting my housing association to change their rules to allow for a greyhound (which is way over the 20 lb limit that was currently in place). I finally got the email that said I was good to go, so I called the adoption group right away.

There were no girls available, but Hoss still was. At 7 years old, he wasn't at the top of the "Most Eligable Greyhounds" list, given greys typically live 14-15 years. This didn't matter to me - his personality was so cool, I just knew he was right for me. We set up a home visit and all went well. I had bought a stuffed ducky as a gift for him, and he played with it that day. He even laid down to relax with the duck between his arms.

On September 6, 2006, my adoption of Hoss became final. We met up to sign the paperwork, then Hoss came home with me. I was so nervous, thinking to myself and wondering if I was really ready for this animal to be reliant on me to take care of him. Because of my research, I was prepared for the transition period that was about to occur. He didn't hardly eat the first few days, and he just seemed to be going through the motions. I wasn't seeing that personality that I had seen before. I knew I had to give it time......just give it time.

2 months later, wow, what a difference. Hoss' personality is bigger than I ever imagined. He is so charismatic and has a defined sense of self. We've been through some separation anxiety issues which has led us to getting Hoss a brother (more about that later). And now that I have two, I've gone so far as purchasing a second vehicle just to haul the dogs around.