Monday, March 31, 2008

Progress report on Hanna's toe injury

Hanna is doing better. Her quick (nutrient membrane) is visible now. She is not limping too much. I am dressing her wound once a day and she's just very good. The salt solution must hurt a lot but she just takes it. Such a good girl...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sam in his reef tank

Sam & Blue (he passed away last year) in their reef tank

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ringo (aka Senor Taba)

Stressful Day

We finalized Louie's adoption papers last Saturday and gave Hanna & Louie a good run at our friend's enclosed yard with her 2 greys. Hanna & Louie were having so much fun romping around with their friends, Paige, & her handsome brother, Carter, when Hanna suddenly stopped playing. We noticed that she didn't want to put any weight on her left leg. It turned out that she lost a nail and only the quick (I think this is the equivalent of the human nailbed; nutrient membrane) remained. She remained quiet & calm despite the pain and bleeding. I was freaking out inside (good thing husband was very calm) but I have to remain calm so she doesn't freak out too. We got her to the ER vet and had her wound cleaned & bandaged. Louie was terribly upset when he heard Hanna yelp in pain.

Her nail will eventually grow back but she'll be uncomfortable for the next couple of days hence the Deramaxx (analgesic). She's also on Cephalexin (antibiotic). We only take her for short walks (just for business) until she recovers fully. She is dealing with it very well though--she is hopping/skipping when we take her out. We have to make her wear her boots (on the injured leg only) so the wound doesn't get wet or dirty. She's wearing a muzzle at night so she doesn't lick her bandages off.

So much grace under so much pain & stress....amazing girl. Lesson learned: don't run greyhounds on hard snow/ice.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Greyhounds?

Husband & I dreamed of one day adopting a dog. In our minds, we pictured a chocolate lab--good temperament, not much shedding and laid back personality(at least when it has grown bigger). We have 2 things to consider, our cats & our personalities.

We are blessed with 2 middle-aged male cats who are so used to having the whole house to themselves. We don't want to upset that harmonious relationship and peace. Ringo & Sebastian are buddies. They may not be from the same litter but they are inseparable. Husband adopted them when they were a year old, from a friend who takes in neighborhood stray cats. Husband liked Ringo right away but not Sebastian since Sebastian was very unfriendly and hissed at him. But his friend won't give him Ringo without Sebastian and he thought he'd give it a try. Eight years later, Sebastian is the most loving lap cat I've ever met. We have a good thing going here with these 2. Sebastian (the diva) would let me know his catbox wasn't cleaned often enough (before, I now clean it more regularly). Ringo is more like a guy--he just doesn't care as long as he can do his business. Sebastian is choosy with his food and the people that he welcomes into our house. Ringo would eat anything and loves attention from anyone. Needless to say, we were more worried about Sebastian's reaction towards having a dog in our home.

Before any adoption happened, the rescue group we were working with did a home visit with 2 beautiful greyhounds in tow. This was to see how ready we are in welcoming a greyhound into our home, how our household is set-up, how we interact with the greys, how the greys react in our home and how the cats would react with the dogs. We have previously tried this with our neighbor's greyhound and both cats were very welcoming towards her. Husband & I were just so relieved when Sebastian decided he would hang out with these visitors. He sniffed the 2 very well-behaved dogs (a female & a male(they are siblings)), rubbed against their backsides and did his belly roll afterwards (he is happy and he feels safe belly roll). So not Sebastian. Ringo did his usual "hi, welcome to my home and please pet me, tour" and decided to hang out with the rest of us in the living room. No signs of disapproval. That was the first test and they passed-with flying colors. We feel that we are committed to our cats first, to their safety & happiness so anyone we bring home should have their seal of approval. And the greyhounds? Oh, they were just so relaxed on our Stickley chairs.

Having cats who spend most of their time sleeping and who both hate loud and sudden movements, a greyhound is the most logical choice. Check out this youtube video on why everyone should get a greyhound

So, cats--checked!

Second consideration: us-our preferences & personalities. Husband & I enjoy living in a good and quiet neighborhood. And we choose to keep it that way so loud, constantly barking dogs are out of the picture. We are both laid-back, we enjoy taking walks, just listening to jazz/nice music & working on our plants & trees so a dog with high energy level won't be a compatible fit with us. Husband is tall and muscular, so small dog breeds just won't look right with him. It may also run the risk of being stepped on in our house when it's too small. And Ringo might eat it (he is 20 lbs big!).

So, people--check!

These are the requirements that we thought should be satisfied first before we choose and decide. Though, we know that we have already made up our minds...we will be bringing home one rescued retired racer to his/her home--our home....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Intro to Greyhound 101

I am a dog lover. Loved my mutt, Mico, and his parents, Spot and Brownie. Mico looked like a chocolate lab, he was very muscular and handsome. He ate on my palm when he was just a weeks-old puppy, waited for me to come home from school so we could play, scared most of our younger dogs so he could take their food, and terrorized would-be trespassers with his big-voiced bark. We have a big yard and that was his kingdom and he protected it with all his might. He loved the ripe mangoes that fell on the ground and almost anything that we gave him. Then he got sick, he was retaining water so we had to give him water pills. He passed away several years later.....he was 11 y/o. I never got interested in dogs again. It's painful when you lose them....

I became a cat lover (or owned by cats whichever way you put it) when I got married. Husband has adopted 2 wonderful strays (my cat-in- laws)when he was still single....We were planning to adopt a lab someday (we're concerned about upsetting the "balance/peace/harmony" between our 2 middle-aged male cats) like my SIL's beautiful black lab, B....someday, like 10 years from now.

But late 2006, husband & I met our new neighbor's greyhound, T. She is a retired racer (greyhound). We liked her instantly because 1) she is very friendly, 2) she doesn't bark, 3) she has a very regal stance (like a royalty) that commands respect. Everytime she goes on a walk with her people, she would pull them towards our direction and say HI with her trademark happy greyhound face. Husband & I look forward to seeing her everyday and we just couldn't get enough of that greyhound "energy". Then one spring day, husband & I were asked to walk/check on T while her people visit a sick relative. That day was the start of an amazing journey.

After almost a year of researching (what dog breed really fits our personalities & lifestyle) & reading (mostly by husband), several books (If Only They Could Talk, Bones Would Rain From The Sky, Cynthia Branigan's Adopting The Racing Greyhound, How to Be the Leader of the Pack, Playtraining Your Dog, and a couple more I can't remember), and several walks with T, we got our very own retired racer, H. She is 2 1/2 y/o, black female with white tuxedo chest.

Four months into being a greyhound "mom", just as H was easing out from her separation anxiety, husband asked me what I think about fostering/adopting a second greyhound so H will have a brother or a sister. They were raised and trained as pack animals. One and a half months later, we got L. He is a handsome 2 y/o fawn male with very expressive face.

And this will be what this blog is all about -giving these wonderful and very intelligent dogs a second chance in life .....