What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Yours

This past weekend, Blue, Bettina and I decided to check out an event hosted and coordinated by a local Pet Life store. They had roped off a section of their parking lot and various vendors and rescues had set up booths. Some more vendors and rescues had set up inside the store. This is the first year they’ve done this and it was small but it gave us dog lovers a chance to gather and mingle in addition to providing a chance for rescues to raise a little money and get their word out.

The kids and I joined the folks promenading the parking lot and started to make our rounds of the booths. As is typical whenever the kids and I go in public, we were soon surrounded by a group of people asking questions about life with greyhounds.

We’re very used to this happening and mumma has even perfected the art of answering multiple questions simultaneously. Sometimes being the center of a constant scrum can be an exercise in patience. Especially when one interrogator insists on butting in, even when you are clearly speaking to someone else. Still, we’re the face of greyhounds at that moment so mumma bites her tongue at those times. (And those readers, who know mumma well, know what a Herculean task that can be!)

As the questions flew at us fast and furious, I noticed that something was amiss. Blue and Bettina generally take these opportunities to ingratiate themselves with the dog loving public and throw themselves at the first willing participant they can reach. Blue picks a likely pair of legs and backs into his lean. Bettina tries to insert herself between Blue and his leanee. Most often the crowd finds this super-charming. But Blue was not part of the circle this time. In fact, he was behind me and I was noticing an insistent tug from his leash. When I turned to see what he was on about, I saw a greyhound across the parking lot.

Blue and Bettina greyhound with a Pet Life employee
Of course, the only thing more exciting to Blue (or almost any greyhound for that matter) than the attention and adoration of his fans, is another greyhound. This particular grey was attached to a nice woman we had met before at a meet and greet. She was a newer greyhound mom with a beautiful brindle boy. They seemed to have bonded nicely since the adoption.

The hounds tugged and heaved towards each other as though they were triplets separated at birth. There was much sniffing and tail wagging while I chatted with my fellow greyhound mum. We talked of bug bites on hounds, dog beds and greyhound calendars for a bit while the dogs formed a white, black and brindle pretzel.

Soon my cohort motioned to a booth that was cooking and selling food. She mentioned she had ordered a veggie burger and would I like to split it with her? Being an inveterate carnivore, I declined the kind offer as she went off to collect her sustenance. We turned our attention to the ever changing throng of greyhound fans that circled about us.

Shortly my friend was back tapping me on the shoulder. She said they also had homemade cookies and she handed me half of an oatmeal, or maybe peanut butter cookie. I thanked her but my attention was soon diverted back to the group around us asking all things greyhound.

As I answered the questions and talked about life with my heathens, I took a bite of the cookie. I’m not sure about the expression on my face but that was, without a doubt, the WORST cookie I had ever tasted. It had no flavor whatsoever and a consistency somewhere in the sawdust range. I grimly chewed and swallowed what was already in my mouth then slipped the rest of the horrendous cookie into my pocket.

Eventually we worked our way around the parking lot to where our friend stood in the center of her own ring of greyhound moths all fluttering about asking questions. Motioning to the partially eaten veggie burger on her plate, she asked me if Blue or Bettina wanted the rest as her hound did not seem to care for it. Then she added that he had loved his cookie and inquired as to whether my kids enjoyed their half of the dog treat. Sheepishly I pulled the partially eaten half cookie out of my pocket and fed it to Blue. “They loved it,” I said.


Oh If Only...

Blue and Bettina greyhounds love carrots


Blue and Bettina greyhounds love carrots II


Blue and Bettina greyhounds love carrots III


I to could consider a big fat carrot as a super special treat....


Take Two of These and Call Me in the Morning

We seem to have some sort of bug going around in the house. It started early last week right after dinner. Blue had decided, despite the 80 degree heat and 98% humidity, the best place to settle down for the evening was on the couch, in mumma’s lap.

Greyhounds are heat radiators. Their body temperatures can run a degree or two higher than non-greys and dogs in general run up to 4-5 degrees higher than humans. In the winter, this is a fabulous feature but in the summer, a snuggle on the couch with a large greyhound feels like 10 hours in an overheated sauna, complete with the 5 pounds of water weight loss. For some of us, this is a nice quick way to fit into those skinny jeans. I’m thinking of renting Blue out to wrestlers and boxers as an all natural way to “make weight.”

Still, since losing Girly Girl, I’m super conscious of the fact we don’t get them for long so I make some sacrifices. Blue climbed into my lap and settled himself in for a nice long melt down.

I had barely broken a sweat when he jumped off the couch, staggered around the coffee table and with no warning retching whatsoever, he opened his mouth and delivered his entire dinner (and what I will swear under oath was a good cups worth extra) onto the carpet.

Blue greyhound is sickI’m not generally squeamish but puke is not my favorite bodily fluid to deal with. I ran for paper towels and covered the giant pile so I wouldn’t have to see it, then went for cleaning supplies. Blue, having had a moment’s reflection must have realized that his stomach was now entirely empty and it was a loooong way to breakfast because I came back to find him trying to nose his way under the paper towels to “reclaim” what had been his.

Putting a damper on his fun, I shooed him to his crate where he morosely watched me set to work. Vomit totally grosses me out. I’m not very good when I have to deal with it. I was facing a giant, fresh pile of lightly digested dog food. It smelled unpleasant, it was greyhound temperature and I kept picturing Blue planning to re-consume it. Before I had even removed the paper towel that was hiding it, I was already gagging. Even with 2 rolls of paper towels, rubber gloves and a Spot Bot I had to stop numerous times and turn away to get the dry heaves under control.

With vomit as my kryptonite, imagine my shock and surprise when early, early one morning a few days after the Blue incident, Bettina woke me from a dead sleep with the unmistakable sounds of a dog dry heaving enroute to emesis. Bettina was sleeping on the bed next to me at the time and even in my sleep befuddled foggy mind I realized I had to do something quick or I’d be sleeping on a mattress covered in dog puke and a trip to the Laundromat to wash my comforter was most certainly in my future.

This isn’t the first time Bettina has woken me out a lovely slumber with the threat of mattress defilement. My body immediately sprang into action. Unfortunately, my brain had decided not to join the fracas. It was still pretty dark out and Bettina is black enough that she becomes invisible under the best of conditions. In the darkness she was a black hole sucking in all available light.

Still, my body seemed to know what it was doing. My arms blindly groped around trying to grab places that looked darker than the rest of the room. When my hands found purchase I heaved the furry mass up, tucked it under my arm and started to drag her off the bed.

Bettina greyhound is sickMy initial plan was to run her to the kitchen where it is a much easier clean up job. It was about this point my brain piped up and said, “Um, this part that you’ve got in front where the nose should be feels suspiciously like a tail.” I dropped her onto the bed, turned myself the other way and heaved her up again. My still fogged brain chimed in again, “I, um, sort of still feel a tail here where the nose should be. Can you double check this?” Feeling around in the dark revealed not a head, nose or ears as expected but indeed, another tail. Oh hell! I dropped her back on the bed, turned myself back the other way and heaved her up under my arm for a third time.  Bettina was so bewildered from feeling ill and the crazy panicked lady man-handling her from every side; she had been shocked out of retching. My brain did not immediately register this as I half-dragged half-ran her to the kitchen.

We sat on the kitchen floor in silence. Any urge to disgorge the contents of her stomach had apparently passed. Shortly we gave up and went back to bed. I was awoken the next 2 days in a row in exactly the same manner. The second day I decided that whatever end I got was the end I was rolling with. Luckily, I got her front end, but she didn’t throw up that morning either.

By the third morning I was not concerned one iota about the mattress. At that point I was ready to gladly roll around on a puke soaked mattress. When Bettina started retching that morning I rolled over, gave her a few cursory pats on her back and said, “Good girl, don’t throw up,” rolled back over and went to sleep. She didn’t throw up.

Everyone has perked back up if not completely recovered from the mystery bug. Vomit events are getting fewer and farther between. I always said I didn’t want kids because I never wanted to deal with all their stuff…pee, poop, vomit, runny noses, the need for constant attention, whining and crying, oh yeah, and stubborn tantrums in stores. Sure glad I don’t have to deal with any of that with my dogs...