Break Out Your Best Sweatpants Folks It's Thanksgiving!

Ah Thanksgiving.  We’ll all be busting out our best pair of sweat pants and stuffing our faces.  We have dinner with Grammy and there is always some turkey (this year ground turkey burgers) for the four legged kids.  It’s also a tradition for us to watch the National Kennel Club Dog Show.  We hope you enjoy the day doing the things you like best with the people and furry kids you like best.

Since it’s also a time of year to reflect and be thankful for the many good things in our lives, here are some of the things I am most thankful for:

Bettina greyhound knows how to use a bed
I am thankful to wake up each morning with Bettina’s head on the pillow next to mine and her nose firmly wedged under my neck.

I am thankful that the strange bump on Blue’s inner thigh did not turn out to be what I feared it might be.

I am thankful that my soon to be 10 year old boy is in good health.

I am thankful that my washing machine works so I can wash all the house coats that Blue has accidentally peed on this fall when he was aiming for something else.

I am thankful that Bettina has only managed to put 1 hole in the LL Bean bed in the office despite her constant assault on it with teeth and nails.

I am thankful that Blue has started letting me sleep in an extra 30 minutes on the weekends.

I am thankful that we have not added too many scars to Bettina’s paper thin skin this year.

I am thankful that it has been so long since someone peed inside I can’t even remember when that was.

I am thankful that I can give the kids a good quality food, treats, marrow bones and other goodies.
Blue greyhound in his man cave

I am thankful that Bettina is sassy and full of it.

I am thankful that Blue never met a stranger and charms everyone who ever meets him.

I am thankful for a job that is so incredibly pet friendly.

We are all thankful for Camp Grammy’s!

I am thankful that I had Girly Girl in my life, even if for a short while.

We are all thankful for finding a wonderful vet (Yay Dr. Amy) at the Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center (so close to home!).

We are also all thankful for the fact that you guys take the time to read our stories and are so wonderful, amusing and supportive with your comments.

So Happy Thanksgiving from Mumma, Blue and Bettina!


What Goes On Behind the Brown Door…

We got a call a couple Sunday evenings ago asking if Bettina could come and donate some blood.  The Emergency Vet sounded a little desperate for someone to bleed into a bag for them so I figured why not.  I fed the kids dinner, settled Blue into his crate, turned on the webcam and headed out with Bettina in tow.

We got to the emergency vets and the parking lot was full up.  That is a bad sign with respect to getting in and out in a timely manner.  I squeezed into the last parking space available and we went in.  All of their exam rooms were full up and there were a couple people waiting out in the lobby on the hard wooden bench for their turn to be seen.  While we were there 3 more people came in. 

Bettina Greyhound is stoned
So stoned she forgot she had a biscuit
in her mouth.
We took our place on the bench from hell.  It was about 45 minutes before they took Bettina in.  The vet tech told me they were going to type and cross match her.  They typically do this just before they take her blood so I handed her over and considered myself lucky that we only had to wait 45 minutes considering the queue of injured pets to be seen.

After I had sat out in the lobby for about an hour I started hearing a moaning howl followed by some indignant whining.  I would know Bettina’s voice anywhere.  I asked the front desk lady if that were Bettina making all that noise and she told me it wasn’t.  As I sat there, the noise continued and got louder.  The howls got more strident and more frequent.  I looked at the lady at the front desk and she went out back to check.  She came back out with a sheepish look on her face and said she had been mistaken, that it was indeed Bettina. 

Bettina doesn’t love getting sedated but I had never heard her complain so much about a blood donation.  As I sat there and listened to her heart breaking howls I began to imagine all sorts of terrible things going wrong with this donation.  I started to feel like a terrible mumma handing over my sweet baby to undergo what sounded like 8th circle of hell type torture.  I kept looking at the lady at the front desk.  She was smiling weakly at me.

I began weighing the pros and cons of blood donation and considering whether the good deed was worth the pain that Bettina seemed to be going through.  Why would I voluntarily force my poor dog to do this.  She didn’t really have a choice.  I was mentally preparing what I would say to the blood donation coordinator on Monday when I called her to let her know I just couldn’t put my dog through that again.

In the meantime, Bettina was howling and whining louder and louder.  I reached a point where I was considering just going in there, putting a stop to whatever they were doing and taking her out of there immediately.  Each howl was stabbing at my heart.  I felt terrible.  My eyes started to tear up until finally I looked at the lady at the front desk and said, “I think it would help if I went back there and sat with her.” 
Bettina Greyhound and her pressure bandage
Stoned or not, Bettina never met a biscuit she didn't like

I was determined to get her through this and we would never go back again.  The lady at the front desk went out back and she was gone for a bit.  This made me even more nervous.  I was debating just busting through the door to the back room and liberating my hound super-hero style.  Just as I was preparing to get up from the bench, out came the lady.  “Oh they’re going to start the blood donation now, she should be done in 30 minutes.”

Miss Thing had not been crying because she was in pain, or had discomfort during her donation.  She was not being tortured under sedation.  She was raising a god awful ruckus because they had needed to put her in one of the kennels in the very back while they handled the rush.  She was very indignant at having been left by herself in a crate.  And she was telling us ALL about it.  A few minutes after the front desk lady told me her donation was about to begin, her highness shut her pie hole and was silent for the rest of the donation.

In about 30 minutes they brought her out to me, a little woozy and sporting a lovely pressure bandage around her neck.  The vet told me that they actually had a patient in house who was getting a Bettina transfusion at that moment.  That was the first time we’d actually been there on site when her blood was needed.  I sheepishly took her leash in hand, wished the transfused pup a speedy recovery and told them we’d see them next time.


Five Little Known Facts About Greyhounds

In the interests of public education I thought I would share with you some little known facts about greyhounds. 

Fact 1:  Greyhounds have no stomachs.  Yes it’s true.  Greyhounds have black holes where stomachs would be on ordinary dogs.  Don’t believe me?  Feed a greyhound until it’s full.  It will never happen.  It also explains why most greyhounds simply open their mouths and their food disappears.  I assume that the event horizon beyond which there is no turning back from the massive gravity of a black hole is right at the end of
Girly Girl Greyhound
Sometimes, if you catch the light just right, you can see and photograph
the black hole as seen here with Girly Girl.  Luckily, I did manage to avoid
the even horizon.
their tongues. (That’s a bonus fact for you.)

Fact 2: All greyhounds carry some human genetic material.  Again, totally true.  It is believed that somewhere in the distant past, greyhound DNA somehow mixed with the DNA of the Van Winkle family.  This family was made famous by one of its patriarchs, Rip Van Winkle known to have slept for decades straight.  This trait was passed down to his progeny and also became a key characteristic of the breed we know and love today. 

Fact 3: Greyhounds are responsible for the marketing phenomena known as “product placement” in modern TV, Film and Literature.  Greyhounds were the first to organize a great lobbying and marketing firm with eventual success in placing the greyhound name in the most popular book of all time, the Bible.  They created a stir when they were able to lock down the only canine mention in the whole book.  You’ll see Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Dre’s Beats Speakers or Audi’s in the movies but greyhounds did it first and they did it best.  

Subsequently they scored a second coup when in the early 80’s they rallied one of the largest nations on the planet to their cause and became the most well known breed with its own rescue organization surpassing all other breed rescues with respect to public relations savvy. (Oh boy, another bonus fact!)

Fact 4: Greyhounds have an innate ability for macramé.  Put any greyhound at the end of a reasonably long string (such as a leash) and he or she will automatically begin weaving that string into a lovely piece of macramé.  If two or more greyhounds are together they will braid and knot their strings into complex creations.  If it is a single greyhound they will incorporate items from their environment into their designs such as your legs, sign poles, trees, bushes etc. 
Greyhounds Begin a Macrame Project
Here is a good example of greyhounds Lady Flame, Jester, Blue and Skye
in the beginning stages of their creative macrame process

Fact 5: Greyhounds have near-complete command of The Force.  With little more than a look greyhounds can move most animate objects and bend them to their will.  Want to go out?  Want a treat?  Want a walk or a ride?  They use The Force and humans are powerless to resist.  Use of The Force has been handed down through the ages from mother to litter.  There isn’t a greyhound that ever existed who didn’t work his or her way into a soft cushy place, good food, fancy collars, painted masterpieces and all the luxuries they could imagine through use of The Force.  Wonder why greyhounds have been the breed of nobility?  Wonder no more.  The fact that greyhounds even know what The Force is could be an indicator of interstellar origins for this breed.  Did the first greyhound arrive on a meteor?  Maybe!