The REAL Truth About Greyhound Origins

Blue the Easter Dog Island bunny

It's so obvious I don't know why everyone didn't figure it out before.  Just look at the noses!

Thanks to Drew Haines at Maine Nature Greyhounds for this great 'Toon!


Alert the College of Arms!

Some of you may have seen a recent post in Maine Nature Greyhounds wherein Lady Flame got her very own coat of arms.  When we saw that, we (meaning Mumma) were so jealous we emailed Drew immediately to request similar dispensation for Blue and Bettina.

Drew is nothing if not good natured so it is with great pleasure that we share with you our very own, shiny new coats of arms!

                                                       Royal Blue Jay  (Blue)

Blue greyhounds coat of arms


                                Mohican Heart  (Bettina Crown Regent of Fussy Pants)

Bettina greyhounds coat of arms


It’s Love!

We have been suffering from severe emotional trauma since our favorite vet in the world; Dr. Edelbaum left the practice in Brunswick and thus far, has not returned to active practice in Maine.  She saw us through Girly Girl’s cancer battle and even came to our house, bringing a vet tech with her, so that I could give Girly Girl the peaceful and loving send off that my brave girl so deserved.  Last we heard she was considering going into research.  While we know she’ll be absolutely fabulous at that to it is a loss for the pet owning people in Maine.  We have been a bit of a boat adrift at sea with respect to ongoing medical care for Blue and Bettina.

We did manage to find a good replacement for Dr. Edelbaum in the person of Dr. Barbara Perkins at the Turner Veterinary Service.  She was seeing several other greyhounds we knew and she came with a good recommendation.  We liked her but Turner is a bit of a hike from our house.  I’m willing to drive almost anywhere to ensure Blue and Bettina get great care with someone we trust but making the long drive in an emergency (such as when Bettina had her skin tear) worries me.  What if the emergency were one of my kids not breathing?  A 45 minute trip to our vet would essentially mean the end of the road for someone.

With these things in mind, we were hopeful when Grammy discovered a new vet practice in Topsham, closer to us than even Dr. Edelbaum was.  The new vet is named Amy Ruksznis and her practice is called the Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center.  Grammy contacted her and quizzed the poor woman to within an inch of her life with respect to care and treatment of greyhounds.  Dr. Amy passed Grammy’s initial testing so Fox and Crandall got an appointment to go see her.  Grammy came back from that visit with great things to say about Dr. Amy.  Well, of course we had to go see her as well.  Could it actually be true that a great vet has popped up in our back yard?

Blue greyhound and Dr Amy Ruksznis
Blue and Dr. Amy Ruksznis, our new pedianarian
It was absolutely true!  Blue and Bettina went to see Dr. Amy on a recent Saturday.  Our appointment was at 8a.  Now, eight comes only once on my clock on Saturdays.  And it ain’t 8a.  So the fact that I had to drag my behind out of bed early, shower, feed everyone and be at Dr. Amy’s doorstep by 8a meant that she better be walking on water.  Katie, Dr. Amy’s assistant/tech greeted us.  They brought us right into a nice big exam room.  They had laid a rug down on the floor because they knew about bony hounds and hard surfaces.  Blue was especially appreciative of this kindness.  Katie spent a long time going over history, concerns, etc with us.  She then took out a few stuffy squeaky toys and left them for the kids to play with while she briefed Dr. Amy.

Blue and Bettina didn’t feel like playing.  Instead they wanted to go with Katie.  I jumped up to grab their leashes before they could escape the room but Katie said it was fine to let them explore since we were the only ones there are the time.  I watched them follow her out the door and down the hall.  It wasn’t long before I could hear Katie and Dr. Amy making a fuss over them somewhere in the building.  In between discussion about Blue and Bettina’s history, there would be exclamations over how cute or how sweet Blue and Bettina were. 

Shortly the parade of hounds returned behind Katie and Dr. Amy, sans leashes.  Katie had taken their leashes off so they would not get caught on anything.  Dr. Amy is young.  And she’s pretty hip for someone with medical training.  We discussed the kids, what they eat, a little about them, what their medical history was, shots, prescriptions etc.  We talked for some time.  Then Dr. Amy got on the floor and gave both Blue and Bettina a thorough examination.  She addressed all my concerns and we talked about a dental appointment for Blue which is set for this coming Friday (yikes, hate having my big guy going under anesthesia).  Blue’s blood was drawn in prep for the upcoming anesthesia and then I got a tour of the new facility. 

Katie and Dr. Amy spent about an hour with us and I was even given a 50% discount on the appointment fee because we requested our first appointment via the website.  They took pictures of Blue and Bettina and later that afternoon they were posted to Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center’s Facebook page.  Dr. Amy even visited Yes I Know My Dogs Look Funny and left us a comment.  I hesitated about writing our experience up on the blog because we are in love and don’t want to share her.  On consideration though, it was too good not to share and we wouldn’t have found Dr. Amy and Katie if Grammy hadn’t shared with us.

 It seems a funny thing that the vet plays such a pivotal role in our lives.  But ours does.  In reality our vet is more like a pediatrician since these are my kids.  Maybe a pedianarian?  And honestly I didn’t even realize just how much this had been weighing on me until we had this appointment and I came out of it feeling as though we had just won a lottery.  In a way, I suppose we did!  


It Won't Be the Machines We Have to Worry About...

I came upon a canine study the other day that has me so alarmed, I am still thinking about the implications several days later. On the website www.sciencedaily.com I read an article about scientists in Florida who conducted an experiment with wolves, shelter dogs and companion dogs (they live in human houses) to see how each category thought about and learned about human behavior.

The results of the study showed that all three were capable of assessing the state of attention of humans and gauging the best way to beg for food. Not only that, but they all got better with practice. Wolves were the least successful. Of course, when I say least, that is relative to shelter dogs and companion dogs since even wolves seemed to have us figured out on a basic level. Shelter dogs were more successful than wolves and companion dogs were the most successful at gauging our attentiveness based on cues, context and prior experience.

Bettina greyhound will rule the world
Beware humans!  This is your new leader.
Companion dogs had a pretty good grift going hitting the humans up for food and getting it more often than not. And they got more and more successful at manipulating us the more they hung out with us. Not only that but the companion dogs knew just how to approach us to ensure success.  Is any of this sounding familiar people?

Anyone living with a food motivated greyhound (99.99% of the greyhound population by my super-scientific method of guessing) knows that the results of this study are accurate. In fact, yet again I believe we could have saved the scientists a lot of time and money had they but asked us. Still, seeing it there in scientific black and white unsettled me greatly.

It is clear to me that the companion hounds living in my house have me absolutely pegged. I’m not sure what cues I’m giving or contexts I am creating. But reviewing life in our casa, it is plain that I have met the enemy and they are four legged. Today it’s food, toys, snuggle time, couch and bed access, tomorrow…I shudder to think of the possibilities. I know there are some people who believe that machines will one day take over the world. But I know differently. Bettina will actually be taking over the world and according to this study, in very short order.


Wordless Wednesday - Pup Fiction

Blue greyhound starring in Dino Dog!
(Thanks to Drew Haines for this spectacular book cover.   See the next in the series at Maine Nature Greyhounds)