Sunday, April 20, 2008

Greys & Bathing

I have a friend who has 2 dogs (a border collie-Irish setter mix and I can't remember what breed the other one is but they are both hyper) and she, accdg. to her, gives them regular baths... Good for her--her dogs need it because they run & play outdoors (& hunt) a lot. My 2 greys on the other hand, just got their first bath (and probably the only bath they'll ever need) today. First, greys have shorter coat and they produce less of the oil that gives the dogs their doggie smell (Hanna smells like a freshly bathe baby most of the time). Second, my greys only go out to do their business and exercise (walking, leashed). They play and sleep and pretty much do everything inside our house. After each walk, their paws get wiped (we have 2 cats & a beige carpet). Before they enter the bedroom (bedtime), they get whole body wiping with Arthur's Doggie Paw Wipes. Too much bathing will also cause skin dryness (strips the skin of its natural oils). So when my friend gave me that surprised-disgusted look when I told her my greys get baths once a year or only when they play in the mud, I have to educate her on these reasons.

So, I have been dreading giving Hanna & Louie the bath. But it turned out to be a pleasant experience--neither of them gave me a hard time. They just stood still in the tub. I only got wet when I washed their heads and ears (which I saved for the last). Both slept soundly afterwards...ahh, this is a good life!

Hanna's Toenail is Back!

March 22nd was the day when we lost one of her front toenails. By third week of April, a small portion of what looks like a black toenail is becoming visible. No more daily wound irrigation & dressing. No more cumbersome bandages too(that Hanna hated so much she tried to lick them off). Will post pics of cute toenail later.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Husband has been going to and one interesting topic that they discussed was, "10 things they didn't tell you when adopting a greyhound". It is a pretty good forum for greyhound owners where you learn from others' experiences (and those not typically mentioned in the Greyhound care manuals). Anyway, one of the things mentioned in that 10 things list was: they always give you the good greyhound first.

Very true indeed, at least in our case. Hanna is our first dog as adults. Husband & I are still learning the ropes (until now) but Hanna is a very easy and a very typical greyhound (45 mph couch potato).

When we first got her some five and a half months ago, she was very unsure of herself, very shy, easily spooked, jumpy at times and quite clingy. Well, of course, they all go through the attachment to their person/mommy/daddy unit phase and the accompanying separation anxiety when that unit is not visible. I even had to shower with her inside the bathroom (not in the shower cubicle) so she wouldn't whine the whole time I am showering. The slightest noise from my baking pans would make her jump, the buses, the kids' playing in the baseball field, and most especially, the lawn mowers. But that was months ago and suddenly, she isn't that clingy anymore. She has achieved the object permanence. And that was such a relief for shadow has learned to relax.

She gradually settled in--we took her to trips and she was just so good in the car. One word of caution though, don't feed your greys with french fries! Husband & I got some fries during one trip and gave her 1 or 2 and a good 15 minutes later, there was a really offensive, car-clearing smell that emanated from the passenger seat and there's only one culprit. It was winter but we had to open all car windows just to clear the air. No more fries for Hanna since then.

When we got Louie a good 5 months later, Hanna helped in Louie's transition from the
kennel life to pet life. Greys are known for not knowing how to climb stairs (they don't have any in kennels) but Louie (whom we got straight from the kennels (we fostered him first)) mastered the formidable stairs on his 3rd day with us. I laid down treats on each step, moved one paw after the other and gave him a gentle lift/push-it also helped that Hanna was hovering around (to show him the ropes or steal the treats)...she showed him their beds/ toys and special place (crate)...I think she also showed him that cats are family members, NOT toys. She welcomed him and they were instant friends from thereon, but she's still the top dog.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Deciding on our first dog

was easy based on our criteria---cat friendly, laid-back/mellow (not very high energy), doesn't bark too much, and of course, a rescued retired racer. We didn't specify any gender, size or color. But I was silently hoping that he/she will be a brindle (brown with black patches) just like the first greyhound that we first fell in love with (our neighbor's). The adoption agency matched our profile & requested criteria with their available dogs and we won't know/meet her/him until the day when we actually receive her/him. We were however, given a "peek" on how she looks like a week before she arrived. She, yes, a she, a pretty she, if I may add, is a black tuxedo (black coat with white chest), 58 lbs, 2 y/o with a really nice smile. I was not disappointed that we didn't get a brindle, in fact, I loved her color--she is just gorgeous with that shiny coat.

When she walked into our living room that hectic afternoon of September 9th, 2007, husband & I were as nervous as she was. Ours was probably the third home she went to (her 2 foster families and us) in just a month (she arrived from the racing kennel a month earlier). She seemed timid, scared and nervous. She sniffed everything and finally settled on one of our big chairs. When I saw hubby looking at her with loving eyes and cooing at her like she's our little girl (he is a big man (6'7")so it is really an awesome sight watching him with her), I knew she is ours now and she's home....