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The Swimming Greyhound

(Mama says that when I am writing on my blog, I don’t have to use good and proper English like I do when I write a book. Most likely younger people won’t be reading my blogs, so I get a chance to talk in my own way.)

Ah so loves my swimming pool. Daddy Harve and Mama really went tru lots of trubbles to finds a swimming pool dat Ah wuld like. One dat da sides didn’t jiggle. Once it was home, Ah am in heven. Ah go out eberday and justs stands in it nd watches da birds andda squirrels and da clouds go by. 1958485_10201737125610048_950907962_n Yes, Ah do lay downs in it and stretches out. Ah don’t cares how cold it is outsides, Ah am going to go into ma pool. IMG_1252

One day Mama asked if Ah tought Ah wuld like to goes swimmin in a big pool over at Kelly’s houz. (She is Mama’s daughter case youz forgots.) Ah tink, well, maybes Ah could gets in a bigger pool. Mama buyeds me a lifes jacket so dat when Ah can’t tuch da bottom Ah won’t drownded.aIMG_9179 She putz on hers swimming suit. Ah’m not quites sure why shez haz to do dat. Ah don’t puts on a swimming suit when Ah gets into da pool. Daddy Harve and me and Mama takes Moonbeam (ya remembers she is da car friend weze has dat took us all fors a ride to find Bears house) and we drivez to Kelly’z. Weze leavez Gigi home. Shez is not happy abouts dat, but she gets an extra Busy Bone so shez decides since shez doesn’t like my pool she will juzt fines.

We gets out and goes into da backyard. Kelly keeps her dogz in da houz so dey don’t gets in da way. Mama stands on da step of da pool. Wow – it is really big. Slowly Ah walkz over to da edge and peerz over. Dere is a lots of waters in dis pool. Ah don’t knows about dis. Mama convinces me to starts down da step. Well – it is cooler dan my pool and feels really goods on mys feets. Mama has aholds of ma life jacket and talks to me. Ah am glads dat she and Kelly is right der wiff me. We takes another step and most of me is in da water. So – dis is ok. Ah walks a little farther and den I can’t feels da bottom so der is no place to puts my feets. Ah’m not toos sure of dis. Ah starts to swim wit Mama on one side and Kelly on da other side of me. Hey – looks at me Ah’s swimming. aIMG_9181At least over to da side. Mama talks to me and we slowly moves down da side of da pool until Ah can once again puts my feet on da bottom. Ah am exhausted.aIMG_9184

But, Ah did it!!!!  Ah swimmed in da big pool.  Once!  Ah think Ah will stick to ma little pool in ma backyard.

Hound Power, Hound Power

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A friend of mine is in a contest to win money for a program he and his sister and Momma work for – Freeway’s Greyt Escape, Inc.  This is a charitable organization that raises money to help greyhounds around the country who get hurt and need extra medical attention.  Medical expenses can be staggering when a greyhound gets injured whether while racing or in some other kind of accident.  Freeway was a greyhound who got injured very badly when he escaped his transport van on a major highway in Florida and was hit by at least one car.  He was rescued by a wonderful couple who immediately took him to a vet where he overcame unbelievable odds to survive.  Eighty percent (80%) of his body was injured.  All the people at the animal hospital nicknamed him Freeway.  You can read all about him on his web site as shown above.

Anyway, back to my story.  My friend Ms. Jackie Pinson became involved in this organization.  She has two greyhounds – Princess Toolip and NY Vinny.  Vinny is a very funny fellow, and extremely smart.  He was also rescued in an unusual circumstance – not like many of us who get adopted after they have retired from racing.  She entered Vinny’s story and all of his accomplishments – he has just become a certified Therapy Dog – in a contest where the winner will get $2,500 donated to the charity he is sponsoring.  He has made the first cut and we are all waiting with crossed paws, crossed eyes and holing our breath, for as long as we can, to hear if he made the next cut.  We are supposed to find out tomorrow – May 17, 2017.  So  – everyone – HOUND POWER, HOUND POWER for Vinny.

Jiffy Crosses the Rainbow Bridge

We have a very sad thing to write.  On March 27, 2017, Jiffy crossed the Rainbow Bridge very unexpectedly.  She had recently had her annual check-up and was in greyt health.  While she was settling into our family, she and Gigi sometimes were at odds over Busy Bones and Rawhide Chew Sticks.  However, they were becoming better friends.  Sometime during the night of March 26, Jiffy had either a seizure or a stroke.  When she awoke Monday morning, she was having major problems standing  and was not real coherent.  She was determined to go outside, so we helped her to the backyard where she collapsed.  We rolled her onto a blanket, but were unable to lift her.  I called the vet regarding the situation, and they said they would send someone to help us.  But I ran to see if I could get a neighbor.  While running down the street, a firehouse pickup truck stopped to see if they could help.  It so happened that one of the firemen was a neighbor and knew both of the dogs.  They immediately came and helped to get Jiffy into the car.  I called the vet back and caught them just as they were heading out the door.  We got her to the vet where they stabilized her and then ran blood tests.  She had gone into acute kidney failure.  While they indicated that they could get her kidneys back to functioning,  she would have to endure medications and procedures to keep her alive.  We decided that that did not sound like a good quality of life for her and chose to help her cross the bridge with instructions to find Mayflower and Bear.  She is greytly missed by Gigi and us.  (Jiffy will still post on her blog as she has many stories to tell that did not get written before her sudden loss.  While she is greytly missed, we will keep her spirit alive.)

 

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The Greyt Escape or I Have a Guardian Angel

(Since I’m writing this for a blog, Mama says I don’t have to use good English like I did when I wrote my book.)

Two weeks ago Saturday, Mama tooks me to see duh vampires, also known as duh vet.  One of my eyes wasn’t seeing too good and I kept squinting, like I was winking at someone.  Dat sure won’t happen around here as dere is no one to wink at – especially not Jiffy, duh the fhief.  (She likes to steal Busy Bones and Rawhide Chews from me and den hide dem so I can’t find dem.)

Anyway, since we had to say good-bye to Moonbeam a while ago so dat Megan could drive it to school and work, we is now being forced to gets into duh ugly Hank the Tank.  He is big and brown and just plain ugly.  I knows duh minute Mama attaches duh leash to me, and Jiffy duh fhief didn’t get one,  only me was off to see duh vampire.  Every time I goes dere dey always find a reason to take some of my blood.  I looks at dem and dinks, dey should have enough of deir own dat dey don’t need none of mine.

IMG_1983I decided I was not getting into ugly Hank the Tank.  Of course I lost, Mama opens duh back seat, puts my feet up on duh  floor and pushes.  And my dumb back feet and butt followed my front feet, right into duh car.  Just can’t trust no one any more, not even myself.  We got to duh vampires and Mama made me go in duh door.  I slowly walked over to where dey weigh me an put on two feet.  Can’t figure out why they needed more, but Mama  pulled duh rest of me up on duh scale to see what I weighed.  Who cares what I weigh anyway?  I finks they should weighs me after dey takes out duh blood, but what do I know.

Dey put us in duh big dog room – that’s what I is – a big dog.  Art comes in – he is one of duh junior vampires – he helps duh head vampire.  He talked to Mama a minute and den took to me to duh back room where dey has duh torture chamber.  He  puts me up on duh table, since they are too lazy to get down on duh floor wiff me, so dat duh curly haired vampire could look at my eye.  I stood dere and looked back at her.  She put some stuff in my eye so I couldn’t feel nothing.  Den she put drops in my eye and went to talk to Mama.  She told Mama dat I had to have 2 different drops put in my eye tree times a day.  Duh curly headed vampire brought me back into duh big dog room and told Mama what she was going to have to do.  I thought to myself – I can fix dat.  She aint  going to put no drops in my eye.  Even dough it hurts.  Mama let out a deep sigh and said “whatever”.  We paid duh winch at duh front desk and headed home.  (Hey, dey didn’t take no blood dis time!)

When we got home, Mama told Daddy Harve what duh vampire said and he just looked at both of us.  Dis was going to be a piece of cake for me, but a challenge for Mama.    Duh first time she tried, I growled and snapped.  I had her whole hand in my mouth.  I didn’t hurt it much.  But, I didn’t get dat junky drops in my eye either.  Dis went on a few days.  Mama found some old winter gloves  which she put on to protect her hands from my mouth.  I didn’t really want to hurts Mama, but I didn’t want dose drops in my eye efer.  We tried to work dis out for a week without much success.  She tried to put a muzzle on me and I just took it out of her hands with my mouth and frew it across duh room.  Good shot, even if I say so myself.  Mama sent an email to duh vampire about duh problems she was having, but no one seemed to care dat she was in duh controls of a mean lion greyhound.

We went back on Saturday.  Mama pulled Hank out of duh garage, put on my leash and walked me out to duh car.  She opened duh door and I got in just like a well behaved greyhound should.  She drove to dhuh vampire’s.  She opened dhuh side door, but I wanted to goes out dhuh back hatch.  (Jiffy showed me how to do dhat dhuh last time we rided wiff Mama when she rand an errand and we gots to IMG_1982go.) She opened duh hatch door expecting me to just jump down and go in to duh Vampires.  Well, I foolded her.  When my feet hit duh ground I was off and running, draggin my leash behind me.  I went across duh street, looking back to be sure she was followin me.  When I got to duh corner, I wasn’t quite sure what I should do so I went up duh sidewalk to duh church drive dat is across from  duh vampires.  I turned into duh driveway and headed up away from duh cars dat were on Eldorado. (For those of you who don’t live in McKinney, Eldorado is a major four lane divided road in McKinney.  It has lots of traffic all the time.)  Den from out of nowhere comes dis young man who was trying to help Mama and catch me.  People came out of duh school part of duh church and dey tried to get me to go to dem.  I turned and ran across duh street (Eldorado)dragging my leash.  Mama was running like a crazy woman, yelling at me and waving at duh cars to get dem to stop. All duh cars stopped so dey wouldn’t hurt me.    I made it to the grassy part between duh two streets.  Duh young man had gotten to duh grassy part just as Mama did.  I looked at duh street in front of me and wasn’t sure I would be too smart to try and cross dat street also.  Delimas.  What should I do?  I started towards duh young man, but when I got close enough I found I didn’t know him.  I turned around and guess what – dere was my Mama calling me.  Boy, have I screwed up royally.  I runs to Mama and she grabs my leash.  Cars start going again down duh road.  One nice lady stopped to be sure everyting was OK and Mama smiled and said “Yes.  Thank you”.  She and duh young man waited for the cars to clear, not like me who just walked right out in front assuming dey would stop for such a gorgeous, huge dog. They got on duh sidewalk and Mama tanked him over and over again.  He ran for his car, turned out of duh parking lot and headed to where he was going.  I guess you would say he was my guardian angel who came out of nowhere to help catch me. We headed back towards Hank.  I stopped to get in, tinking I had won, but Mama said “oh, no! You still have to go see the vet.”  And, we walked in duh door – both of us panting and huffing and looking like we would collapse.  Christie, the vampire’s office manager immediately got Mama some water and one of the little vampires brought a bowl of water for me.  Dey made me weigh again, but I was too tired to protest and did as I should.  We went into another one of duh rooms where I laid down by duh counter and panted.  Mama tried to get me to drink some water, but all I could do was pant.  So she took some in her hands and sprinkled it on my nose and on my tongue.

069Well, my idea of the greyt escape had come to an end.  A good end.  Duh curly headed vampire came in, looked at my eye, listened to Mama’s story and said “I think we should keep her for a couple of days to get this eye under control.”  Wait just a minute – after all I’ve been frough and you fink I should stay here – with duh vampires?  I didn’t run all dat way to be told I had to stay.  Dere is someting wrong wif dis picture.

Mama agreed and one of the baby vampires came and got me to take me back to duh prison.

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Gotcha Day

In case you didn’t know, the “Gotcha Day” is the day a dog gets to go live in her forever home.  It was June 14, 2015 when I got to come live with Gigi, Mama and Daddy Harve.  June 14, 2016 will be the first anniversary of my “Gotcha Day”.  This is a very special day in a dog’s life.   (Gigi’s Gotcha Day is February 7, 2 008.)

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Gigi, Mama and Daddy Harve came to meet me at Miss Jackie’s house to see if they thought I would be a good sister to Gigi.  (Her sister, Mayflower, had died in February.)  026We all got acquainted and it was decided that I would be a “good fit”with Gigi and I should live in their house.  A week later, Mama and Daddy Harve came back to Miss Jackie’s to pick me up and bring me to McKinney – which is where we all live now.  Miss Jackie couldn’t bring me to them because she hurt her foot and couldn’t drive.

It was a little scary at first.  They didn’t bring Gigi with them, and I wasn’t sure what to think about that.  It was just me in the backseat of the car going on the long ride to McKinney.

When I got there, there was no Vinny to play with and tease and no Toolip to snuggle with.  Gigi was okay, but she was a little skeptical about having me come live with them.  And she was older.  It was up to her to teach me where everything was, and to keep me out of trouble.  There was so much for me to learn.  

Mama gave me a hug and told me it would get better.  It would just take time for everyone.  After all, Gigi had lived here for 8 years, and Mayflower had lived here for 4 years before she got sick and had to go across the Rainbow Bridge.  I wasn’t going to learn everything in just one day, or even a week. And she was right.  A year later and I love to do roaches on the slumber balls and I know how to tell when I have to go outside.  No more accidents in the house.  And I just love Busy Bones!  003facebookWhen Mama and Daddy Harve are gone, we chase each other through the house and throw the hedgehogs.  Of course, when we hear the garage door go up, we become excited little angels to welcome them home.

I love my new forever home and my sister Gigi.  I’m finally getting more comfortable with the new digs.  Even though I’m bigger than Gigi, she is older and so I let her do all the talking.  I have gotten it down pat on how to ask to go outside, I think.  But sometimes I have to go get Gigi to bark to tell Mama to open one of the patio doors for me.  Usually Mama sees me staring at her, or I come up and nudge her hand to pet me when I really need to go outside.  She sees the urgency in my eyes, and up she gets to let me outside.

We’ve got the bed issues figured out, most of the time.  If it is raining, Gigi heads for the closet in Mama’s bedroom.  Then I get to sleep on whichever slumber ball I want to.  Sometimes in the night I switch beds, just because I can.  Other times, when we are hot, we stretch out on the floor under the fan.  Gigi likes to lie next to Mama’s side of the bed while I stretch out at the foot of the bed.  We also have beds in the living room so that we can watch television at night with Mama and Daddy Harve and we have blankets in the office that we can lie on when they are working on their computers.Copy (1) of IMG_1091

Gigi has us on a strict schedule – an early morning walk after Daddy Harve has his breakfast, nap time is after lunch, dinner is sometime around 4:30 and bed time is when Mama and Daddy Harve head to the bedroom. Treats are at various times during the day – whenever Gigi can convince Mama that we are “starving and need a treat”. Since the backyard is fenced, we can go outside and just wander around trying to catch bugs, seeing if we can find a stray bunny, or watching birds and squirrels.  When it gets hot, we just go to the door and someone will let us back in.

I also gained cousins.  Kelly, Mama’s daughter, who is married to Bill has a set of twin daughters, Katie and Megan,IMG_1801 who come to visit us some times.  She also has a son named Todd who is married to Deb and lives in South Carolina.  He has a son named Clark and daughter named Lauren. I’ve not met them yet because they live so far away.clark & lauren

Then we recently gained another cousin, a retired racing greyhound just like us who is named Drew.  He lives with Daddy Harve’s nephew Jim in Florida.  We’ve met Jim, but not Drew.  In fact it is because of us that Jim has Drew. So I have family all over the place.12938254_550923768409326_6574488444299116926_n

When Mama and Daddy Harve go on vacations, they take us to see Dr. T at Highlands-Eldorado Dog Hospital.  They board dogs as well as treat them and have known Gigi since she first came to live with Mama.  We each get our our own little room where we can see each other.  The techs take us outside to the play yard. We run and chase each other playing tag sometimes.  Everyone there is very nice.  But it is really nice when the front desk calls the kennels and asks them to “bring Gigi and Jiffy up front so they can go home”.  There is Mama and Daddy Harve waiting for us.  They thank everyone for taking such good care of us and we get in the car – all of us are ready to go home to our own beds.

It’s been a good year.  I think I’ll stay.  (This is Katie when she was home from OSU one weekend.)

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The Learning Experiences

Flash back – November 11, 2011.  Mayflower comes to live with me and Mama.

“Ding”.  “What was that?” asked Mayflower.  It’s the bell on the microwave.  It tells Mama when whatever she is cooking is done.  “Oh” replied Mayflower.  May is new to living in a house and hasn’t learned what all the sounds are.  “Ring, ring, ring,”…  Before she could ask I told her that was the telephone.  Someone is trying to call Mama.  If she doesn’t recognize the name on caller ID, she just lets it go to the the answering machine and checks the message later. After May was relinquished to GALT, she did not live in a foster home very long before coming to live with us.  Her history is very sketchy, so we’re not quite sure what kind of background she had.  Therefore she has a lot to learn about the “family/house sounds”   This is different from me as I had  lived with my foster family for  several months while  I healed from my surgery.  I went to GALT   from a racetrack after my injury.  I’ve been living with family/house sounds for six years.

I’ve learned that the washer and dryer make noises.  The dishwasher does too, but since Mama runs it at night, we don’t hear it as much.  The food disposal makes a noise that makes me growl and bark.  But the best noise is the garage door opener when the garage door goes up.  That means Mama is home.first

“Buzz”.  Door bell, I told May.  “But if it is a door bell, shouldn’t it ding- a- ling?” May asked.  Good question, one which I didn’t have an answer for.  All I know is there is a button on the outside of the front door that people push and it lets out a buzzing sound rather than a bell sound.  This lets Mama know someone is at the door.

“Do we need to bark?” asked Mayflower.  No we just stand and prance by it.  She’ll be here in a minute to find out who is on the other side of the door.  I, too, am curious as to why the door bell was buzzing.  We don’t get much company and Mama had not opened the front door leaving the storm door shut as she usually does when she is expecting someone.

Mama opened the door and “Surprise.  It’s Kelly (Mama’s daughter) and the twins (Mama’s granddaughters – Megan and Katelyn).  They’ve come to meet Mayflower.”  Said Mama.

The storm door opened and everyone swooped in with a “Hi Gigi!  Hi Mayflower!”   Mayflower wasn’t quite sure what to do with all of these people.  I, however, pranced and danced to see them.  They usually take me on nice long walks.  Katelyn, who Mama calls Katie, helped to teach me how to “sit”.  (Megan and I had a minor disagreement a couple of years ago.  She sat on my bed and I growled and snapped at her.  She had invaded my territory.  Then at one Thanksgiving, while Mama was cooking and I was lying where I was supposed to be – behind the table – Megan started twirling in circles in the middle of the floor where she wasn’t supposed to be.  I barked and growled at her as she was not minding Mama.  She does like to take me on walks now that she has gotten to know me, but she is still just a little shy when it comes to new dogs – especially big ones like greyhounds.)

            Everyone was excited to meet Mayflower.  And, I have to admit, she was more sociable than I had been when I first came to live here.  I’m fine now, but I was good at giving the “greyhound ignore” (turning my head to the side and not looking at whomever was talking to me.)

Katie and Kelly pet May while Megan just sits and sort of watches.  I think she wants to make sure May doesn’t treat her like I did.  (I also did it to Katie when she was trying to get me to play with my toys a few years ago.  Rescued greyhounds don’t really know how to play as they have never seen toys.  I became my normal unsociable self and growled and snapped at her.  However, Katie wants to be a vet, so she just ignored what I did and we made up.)

Soon we are all laughing and playing.  Megan joined in and Mayflower relaxed with the new people.IMG_0788a

After awhile, they left and Mama made her some dinner.  Time to watch TV and just chill out.  I like these times.  May and I just lay on the blankets in the living room and doze.  A dog’s life is very stressful, especially in this house.  Napping is the main activity with a walk added in usually once a day.Copy (1) of IMG_1091