A Hound and His Pillow (with Apologies to Ms. Barret-Browning)

Blue greyhound-my pillow
Pillow, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the length and breadth and fluffiness, especially your snugability for the ends of comfort and ideal snoozing.

I love thee to the level of every day’s most sleepy need, by sun and candlelight.

Blue greyhound and his pillow
I love thee freely as my bratty sister Bettina loves a marrow bone.

I love thee purely, as I love no other being or item, even my “man-cave” crate.

I love thee with my super sized greyhound heart put to use, as in my racing days, and with a puppy’s exuberance.

Blue greyhound and his beloved pillow

I love thee with a love I thought I had lost with my last mashed, scrunched, spent pillow.

I love thee with the stinky dragon breath, happy dances and whines of all my life;

Blue greyhound's pillow
And, if DOG choose,

I shall but love thee better after you are fully broken in.


Thanks for Marrow Bones and Visits to Petco

blue and bettina greyhound enjoy bones in the backyard

We wanted to take a quick moment this morning to say thanks for the many great things in our lives.  Mumma is thankful for Blue and Bettina and that Girly Girl came into her life, if only for such a short period of time.  Teachers come in many forms.  We are thankful for our family and friends.  Thankful that in these tough times we have a great job and work for wonderful people.  We're thankful we have the perfect place to live.  Thankful that we're all healthy and happy.  We're thankful that we have enough to eat (and in Mumma's case, more than enough...).  Blue and Bettina are thankful for weekly marrow bones and visits to Petco.  

We're also thankful for the people who read our thoughts on this blog.  When it started, it was a way for family and friends to more easily read the "stories" of our daily adventures that Mumma was originally sharing via email.  We didn't imagine that the stories would be interesting to other people.  But some other people do read them.  We are super thankful for that.  And even more thankful for all the great comments.  Though Mumma doesn't always get a chance to respond, she reads every one (usually multiple times because they are so funny, or kind, or both).  

We've been blessed to stumble upon an amazing community of dog blogging people who not only love their four legged family members, but are amazingly witty, urbane and talented.  We learn something every time we read another post!  For that we are most thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving friends.


We Were NOT Impressed

Today's post is from our esteemed and beloved guest blogger Grammy.

When I first met Blue I wasn’t impressed.  He was big, bony, crossed eyes, had bad breath and was pushy.  I don’t fall in love quickly with one exception – Girly Girl – for some reason she was love at first sight, perhaps because she loved me at first sight or second anyway.  But, it was important I bonded or tried to bond with Blue so when my daughter asked me to watch him while she went out I figured this was the perfect time to get to know him better, one on one. 

Blue greyhound taking a nap
Does this look like the face of a killer?
I eyed him and he tried to avoid looking at me.  I called him into the computer room and he lay down on a bed I had in there while I happily played on my computer.  He began to whine and whine and whine AND whine.  Pacing back and forth and articulating his misery that the new owner had left him and with me!  I ignored him and he eventually settled down and gave up the whinefest. After hours of no movement from either of us Ron drove back into the driveway.  I got up and said  “C’mon Blue, Mama’s home, let’s go greet her!!” and his response?  Curled lips, deep growls and then resounding barks – at me!!  He was seriously unhappy with me.  I yelled at him and he stopped.  When Roni came in I told her what he had done.  I don’t think she believed me.  Blue was the equivalent of Ferdinand the Bull in the greyhound world.  He didn’t run, he danced.  He could care less about other dogs running, he ran his own race which was an approximation of the jets versus the sharks in the West Side Story rumble dance.  He loped, he gamboled but he did not race.  He was docile, passive, sweet natured, submissive and yet……here he was , growling and baring his teeth at me.

Well, I’m Scot/Irish and one thing an Irishman can do is carry a grudge.  I was not above carrying a grudge against a dog.   I decided there and then I was taking him out of the will.  Fast forward to losing GG, watching my daughter’s pain at the mere mention of her name….the ache in our hearts, the holes she left in our life.    There was no place in me for Blue.

Blue greyhound in crate
Who me?
We went to the shelter because Roni had been told that there was a greyhound named Girlie Girl at the shelter and there was a series of events that led us to believe our beloved Gigi was trying to convey a message concerning this new GG.  Unfortunately, the new GG was not in the least interested in Veronica.  Roni was deflated and so when they suggested she meet a new dog named Helda she wasn’t interested but I encouraged her to at least meet a few since we drove up to Augusta.  Helda came out, a beautiful female brindle and was all over Roni with affection.  After a few minutes of bonding I brought Blue over to meet Helda and without any warning Helda attacked Blue.  I instinctively put my hand into Helda’s mouth to protect Blue and Blue pushed as hard against me as he could.  Helda realized she had my hand in her mouth and stopped immediately.  Back to the kennel Helda went and they brought out Bettina which is another story.  I sat down a distance away with Blue still by my side and he got as close to me as he could.

We were both in shock…first that it had happened so quickly with no provocation and second that I had put my hand in her mouth and opened myself up for some serious injury….and for Blue….I looked at him and he looked at me.  He stared at me with those freaky crossed hazel eyes and I watched him.  We seemed to share the same conclusion.  He is back in the will.

Editors Note:  Grammy is right, I did not believe her.  I couldn't and still can't conceive of Blue ever growling or barking at anyone.  I am glad that she has decided to put Blue back in the will.  For a Scot/Irish grudge holder, the fact that it only took 4 1/2 years is amazing!


Shake, Rattle and Roll

It really seemed an ordinary Wednesday evening. Blue, Bettina and I had all had our dinner. Blue had retired to his crate, snuggled up with his favorite body pillow. Bettina was in her usual place, curled up next to Mumma on the couch. The hour had just passed 7pm and we were watching Entertainment Tonight to find out who had slept with whom and who had eaten dinner out at the latest hot spot in Hollywood. If you tell anyone we watch this show, we’ll deny it.

It started out as a low rumble. We have large dump trucks and logging trucks that regularly create a similar noise so no one thought anything of it at first. But the rumble grew in intensity. It could still be a log truck if the truck were in our front yard on its way through our living room. Blue’s ears were on high alert in his crate and Bettina was sitting bolt upright on the couch.

The rumbling increased in volume and intensity. At this point I sprang off the
Bettina and Blue Greyhound Recreate the Earthquake
Dramatic Recreation
couch and stood in the middle of the living room. It pierced my consciousness that the glassware in my cupboards was rattling and the house seemed to be shivering slightly. Bettina had followed me off the couch and Blue jumped up in his crate hitting his head in the process. He joined us in the middle of the living room.

Rumbling, rattling and shivering continued and I noticed the ceiling fan swaying a bit. Blue, Bettina and Mumma were looking around rather wildly. I admit at this point I suspected earthquake as the reason for our adventure but I had still not ruled out 747 jet liner landing on our roof.

Concern began tugging on my mind, not knowing how long the shaking would last or if it would get worse. We do not live in the famed ring of fire around the Pacific Rim so earthquakes are a very rare occurrence. I ran from the living room towards the back door. I remembered that I shared the house with two greyhounds whom I considered my furry children and turned back to save them as well. Being greyhounds, they were already millimeters from my heel. I had not taken that factor into account and promptly tripped over them.

Regaining my feet, I determined that I would run down the hall to the office. I’m not sure why exactly. I started a few steps down the hall and realized this was a stupid idea. I turned towards the back door again. I reached the arch between the living room and the kitchen and opted to just stay there, surrounded by Blue and Bettina looking all around like they were at a tennis match.

I’d like to say it was because I reasoned this through and determined that a structurally sound place to position ourselves in the event of total collapse would be right there under a support beam. In reality my head was in vapor lock and the kids were also in vapor lock. Honestly I wasn’t even sure whether the archway between the kitchen and living room was even a supporting beam.

Blue and Bettina Greyhound after the earthquake
No hounds were shaken in the making of these images
After what seemed two hours (20 seconds), the rumbling, rattling and shaking stopped. Blue, Bettina and I looked at each other a bit crazy eyed. Well, they looked at me crazy eyed and I’m pretty sure they were reflecting my state of mind. I started running around the house checking rooms, ceilings and windows. Other than some artwork hanging askew, nothing else looked particularly different.

I stepped outside to see if by chance a neighbor’s house had imploded or a volcano had popped up and erupted down the street. The neighbor’s kids were outside playing across the street but no one was screaming in terror and there were no cries for help from underneath piles of rubble. The kids were at the storm door peering into the night.

We settled ourselves back in and waited for our hearts to go back to beating normally. About 15 minutes later our local news station broke into the programming to let us know that yes, we indeed had an earthquake. It was 4.6 magnitude and the epicenter had been about 50 miles from our house.

I’m sure our West coast friends are laughing hysterically at what would not be worth rolling over in bed for in their neighborhood. In our defense, however, this had been one of the biggest quakes in Maine history. It even rated a medium sized red dot on the USGS real-time earthquake map!