Saturday, December 22, 2012

From Greyhound Outreach

I got this from the greyhound rescue group from whom we got our 2 loving pups:


Believe it or Not

Greyhounds are the only breed of dog specifically mentioned in the Bible.
Greyhounds are the second fastest animals on earth. Only the cheetah is faster.
When running, Greyhounds spend 75% of their time in the air.
Some Greyhounds sleep with their eyes open.
Greyhounds come in 18 primary colors and over 55 different color combinations.
Greyhounds wear muzzles while racing to protect themselves from injury during the excitement of the race and to make it easier to determine the winner in a photo finish.
At one time only Noblemen could own a Greyhound.
Most Greyhounds are physically unable to sit.
Greyhounds have a higher body temperature than any other dog.
Greyhounds have significantly more red blood cells and a bigger heart and lungs than any other breed.  Red blood cells carry oxygen that helps them to run faster.
Greyhounds have a universal blood type and are used for blood donors.
Greyhounds have a 270-degree range of vision. They can see objects behind them and over ½ mile in front of them.
Greyhounds have stereoscopic vision, which means they are suited to seeing moving objects.  When calling a greyhound it is sometimes helpful to move your body while calling.
Greyhounds are in the top five gentlest dogs.
Some very famous people including Cleopatra, Christopher Colombus, Teddy Roosevelt, General George Custer, Bo Derek, Jackie Gleason, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Betty White, Leonard Nimoy, Frank Sinatra, Queen Victoria and King Henry VIII have owned greyhounds.
Gray is now the least common color because at one time it was thought that gray dogs ran slower and the color was bred out.
A greyhound uses its tail like a rudder while racing.
Greyhounds are mentioned in 11 of Shakespeare’s plays.
A content greyhound will often “cockroach”  (lay on its back with legs up).
The day before Custer’s last stand, he sent his 40 greyhounds away with a soldier thus saving their lives.
For every greyhound registered with the AKC there are 150 registered with National Greyhound Association.
During a 30-sec race 100,000 watts of waste heat energy are produced, enough to bring 600 ml of tap water to boil in 2 minutes.
Greyhounds can loose up to 5 pounds in a single race.
Out of all the purebred dog breeds up to date, many animal experts have come to believe that the Greyhound is perhaps the healthiest breed of dog when it comes to staying clear of developing any hereditary health issues. It’s truly amazing how a dog breed as ancient as the Greyhound can have a practically perfect health record.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sauerkraut for Beginners

Husby has read a lot on the health benefits of raw fermented foods (probiotics) so we are trying sauerkraut.  The local farmers' market just finished last week and we've managed to snag beautiful green and purple cabbages.  Now, I am quite anal about doing this right but I don't want to spend big bucks on an expensive crock that will just gather dust if  this doesn't go as planned.  So we searched on alternatives and found this blog

that lead me to this blog and this amazing sauerkraut and kimchi maker (jar)

I used 2/3 of a huge green cabbage and a rather big purple cabbage.  It took me hours despite using a food processor, the purple mess all over the counter just overwhelmed me.  But it was all worth it, husby and I have been watching our "experiment" as it turned from purple to fuschia to nice pretty pink right in front of us.  We are on day 5.  A couple more days and we will see if the taste is  worth all the efforts ;)  If this goes well, we will try kimchi next....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Beautiful Fall Colors

Taken before Sandy hit upstate NY and the rest of the US east coast last Monday.  Can't complain,  we are still lucky...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Critter room, etc.

Our family room is now  the critters' room...Hanna on the couch (where the humans rarely sit), Louie on the dogbed, and Sebastian tucked safely under the coffee table.  They work too hard (at sleeping all day) so every nap is well-earned ;)

One of the joys of summer is the abundance of locally grown fruits and veggies.  We are lucky to have a good farmers' market nearby.  The peaches and blueberries have been delicious.  Frozen blueberries or peaches plus vanilla almond milk in a magic bullet--healthy & yummy!  We have also made our first attempt at making our own tomato sauce.  For $10, we got 3 baskets of ripe tomatoes.  An organic 13.5 oz (and in a BPA free can like Eden) tomato sauce costs around $2.75 plus.  I haven't learned how to can so everything is frozen (we got a new chest freezer on sale last Memorial Day).  Freezing collard greens, garlic scapes and swiss chards also work.  Supporting our local farmers is always good aside from having fresh, less expensive and delicious produce.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Conjunctivitis in Greyhounds

A day before husby left for a business trip a couple of weeks ago, I noticed Louie's usually wide-eyed look turn into a squinty with eyelids almost slit-like look...Oh $!!$!, conjunctivitis!  True enough when I opened one eye, the usually white conjunctiva is red, with no obvious discharge though.  Maybe viral.  The following morning, there was already a yellowish discharge.  So off we went to the vet after dropping husby off at the airport.  Flourescein dye was applied to check for abrasions, thank God, Louie had none.  It was allergic conjunctivitis.  Vet couldn't specify what allergen.  We were given a triple antibiotic with steroid ointment for a week.  Fast forward to a week after the treatment, Louie's eyes are already  back to normal.  He also had his Lyme & distemper shots.  Unexpected trip to the vet= $167.00   Seeing your pup with no medical issues=PRICELESS!

Getting rid of Japanese beetles

These beetles are gold with greenish sheen and would have looked nice if  they weren't so destructive.

They eat the leaves of fruit bearing trees, roses, cannas and our bonsai (maples, beech, hornbeams).  The easy way to protect the plants  is to use a commercial spray with nasty ingredients (malathion) but husband and I searched for an organic (safer) way to do it.   Traps are out of the question because they will attract more bugs in our area. An online search yielded an interesting suggestion.  Apparently,  having a bucket with some dishwashing liquid and a little bit of water  as the tool to kill these buggers is effective, at least based on our experience.  These bugs start to appear mid-late June  here in our area.  We kept an eye out for the first few bugs which are actually "scouts".  They survey areas and if they find a good one (lots of potential food), they summon more JBs.  So husband and I kept a bucket on hand and did our JB patrols.  Just a light tap on the leaf where these buggers are perched will send them right into the bucket.  Yes, we had a lacy leafed crab apple (15 ft) last year but at least, we didn't have damage in our bonsai. It is still to early too tell if our method reduced the JB number that will be coming to our yard this year (they are usually at their highest numbers mid July). 

JB update:  It is the 21st of July and so far,  the JB turnout this year is less than what we had last year.  Maybe we can also try the milky spore method this year.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Spring 2012

It has been a busy few months.  The warmer winter has ushered in spring  earlier than we were used to (at least here in upstate NY) and with it, the fever to start outdoor & gardening activities.  We enjoyed the crocuses, grape hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, irises and now, the rhodondendrons.  Mowing is again, a weekly activity.
red azalea and sweet woodruff

rhododendron bush in the back patio
  And our garlic plants are looking healthy!

garlic plants planted fall 2011   

The  bonsai trees are out and all leafed out.  Some had blossoms.  My pink wisteria didn't bloom this year because I harvested 2 seed pods this winter=2 baby pink wisterias!

Hubby's wisteria

Hubby's maple , early spring colors

The dogs are enjoying their morning walks with  our friend's yellow lab.  We also have a very friendly new next door doggy neighbor, a year old rottweiler, who loves treats and playtime with us.

So far, Hanna is used to wearing 4 booties now.  Hopefully, no more paw ulcers...Louie is still his very sociable (to people, not male dogs) self.  Sebastian, our 3rd dog (he thinks he is), is doing well and for a 16 y/o, he looks and acts young.
June birthday girl, Hanna

Louie & Sebastian

our very friendly rottie neighbor, Troy

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dental Health

Greys are known plaque formers. To prevent gum disease, tooth loss and other diseases linked to poor oral health, we brush our greys' teeth every night, they have occasional dental treats and once a year dental cleaning (sometimes once every 2 years, well, they are expensive!).  I am just thrilled that they tolerate the brushing, yep, they don't offer  much in terms of struggle.  Louie even looks forward to it (I bet it's because of the peanut butter flavored toothpaste!).  There are some biting the brush but so far, I still have all 10 fingers intact.

Hanna just had her dental cleaning done last Friday.  Couldn't help but admire her  cleaner & whiter teeth after the procedure (our vet did a great job).  She has gingivitis and some periodontal infection so we were sent home with some Flagyl and Royal Canin dental diet kibbles.  The pics below are her post -$416 teeth cleaning shots.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter Has Arrived!

We are used to several months of long dark days, bitter cold and snow for a good 4-5 months of the year. This year is a different story. No white Christmas, no bitter cold in fact we have a mild winter so far (knock on wood). It's not that I am complaining (it has actually been good for our heating bills) but the plants and trees are probably confused. My daffodils & crocuses are already feeling spring (they are coming out). Then the snow came in all its glory this weekend-yup, all 12 inches of it...

So Hanna, our snow dog, has been so happy trotting and skipping on snow. Louie on the other hand, our pup from the Florida rescue group, is obviously not too thrilled about it. Their winter coats really help in temperatures like these. I would feel bad if I am all covered up while my 2 pups (with probably 0% body fat) are not. The hood that I made from an old sweater sleeve also helped in preventing the tips of Louie's ears from bleeding. It is always such a production getting ready to go out but I say the pups are both so worth it all. Here we are getting ready to go out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Green & Gold

were Ringo's colors. His eyes were green and he exuded a regal aura that commands respect, hence the gold. He passed away in his sleep last August. He didn't get sick at all. We just found him on his favorite spot on his bed one morning. We still miss him, he was such a great cat. But Sebastian seems ok, we were worried about him since he refused to leave Ringo's side that morning. He knows Rings is gone but I think he is stepping up to make sure we don't miss Ringo so much.

Kindred Spirit

There's a new greyhound in our neighborhood, well, different street but we occasionally see him during our walks. His name is Marco, a 2 year old male grey with the same colorings as our Louie, not to mention the same friendly, "are-you-here-to-pet-me" attitude. It is always great to see rescued dogs and it feels great seeing another greyhound make it to a good home.

Hanna's paw ulcer resolved after almost 2 months of nursing it. We never had this issue in our old neighborhood making me suspect the tons of ash tree seeds scattered all over our sidewalks (they have a needle-like pointy tip). But husband has figured out that maybe, just maybe, having 4 boots on Hanna will protect her very delicate paws from getting cuts (that turn into nasty ulcers) again. She is very patient when we are putting all four booties on but it is such a production....

It is Louie's turn now to nurse an abrasion that is actually almost non-existent if it weren't for his constant (almost obsessive)licking. I have to duct tape a sock/fabric over the vetwrap so he wouldn't lick it raw.

Tip for cleaning paw wounds: povidone-iodine wash. This was what our vet advised us to do when Hanna first got her paw ulcer. Some povidone-iodine plus warm water just enough to make a tea-colored solution and just enough to immerse the paw in--done for 15 minutes 3X a day.