Friday, October 31, 2008

Are Greyhounds as Intelligent as Other Breeds?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is NO. According to S. Coren*, author of "The Intelligence of Dogs", there are three types of dog intelligence:

  1. Adaptive Intelligence (learning and problem-solving ability). This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
  2. Instinctive Intelligence. This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
  3. Working/Obedience Intelligence. This is breed dependent.
In the ranking of dogs for obedience/working intelligence by breed, our beloved Greyhounds fall into the Average Working/Obedience Intelligence level which is actually on the lower end of the spectrum. They have an understanding of new commands after 25 to 40 repetitions and obey a first command 50% of the time or better.

During this ordeal with Sugar, I have come to realize that she is VERY, VERY smart, despite what the research says (or maybe just stubborn?). This is especially evident when it comes to taking her pills. She can find them no matter where I've hidden them at which time she immediately spits them out onto the floor, whilst continuing to eat. (This holds true for any food item except ice cream - thank God she swallows a scoop all at one time!) You can ease them into her mouth while she is kicking and fighting, only to see they are hidden in her gums and as soon as you think she has swallowed them, she spits them back out. She is surely incorrigible and is certainly testing my patience and creativity.

Last night I tried a little cottage cheese in her dinner, hoping she would eat it just for the nutrition of it! But alas, she licked it a bit and then when she saw the white curds, which look oddly enough just like her antibiotic she takes every day, she stopped eating. I suppose it was just the association of the two, not so much the taste. Most dogs like cottage cheese. Anyway, being the servant to the little princess that I am, I then grabbed her food bowl and removed any trace of cottage cheese. I placed the bowl back onto her feeder at which time she then proceeded to eat the whole thing. Go figure.

Just for the fun of it, I found a list of the top ten "brightest" dogs. They are listed below. Although these are all wonderful breeds, I'll think I'll keep my Greyhounds!
  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

I found this out there in Internet land . . . here are some simple and fun ways to measure your dog’s intelligence.

  • Throw a towel over your dog’s head and time how long it takes him to free himself. An average may be 15 to 20 seconds.

  • Place three paper cups upside down on the floor, three feet apart. Allow your dog to see you place a bit of weenie under one of them. Turn him in a circle twice or lead him into another room for about 30 seconds and then see if he can go to the right cup the first time.

  • Split a weenie in half so that it has a flat side. Place it just under the edge of the sofa. Time how long it takes him to get it out. An average may be around 60 seconds.

  • Take your dog outside the yard on a long leash and walk along the fence several feet from the gate which you will leave open. Toss a bit of weenie back over the fence. See if he figures out to go back around through the gate to get the treat

You can also visit this MSN article for a few more IQ tests for your dog. This is definitely pretty interesting stuff. I have to say though, that I don't necessarily agree with Dr. Coren's assessment of the Greyhound. I think, for the most part, they are pretty intelligent animals.

Before I close, I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to applaud Jen Bachelor for her work with Greyhounds. She has the patience of a Saint and the drive and determination needed to train her Greyhounds to levels most trainers only dream about! Her Greyhounds perform in agility and obedience trials all over the country and hold more titles than any Greyhounds in the sport. Way to go Jen - you do the Breed proud!

Just goes to show you that you can teach an old dog new tricks! Even a Greyhound!

*Stanley Coren is a neuropsychologist and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Coren has published articles in medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Public Health and Sleep. He has appeared on numerous television programs including Good Morning America, CNN, The Osgood Files and The Today Show. Dr. Coren is a fellow of the American Psychology Association, American Psychology Society and Canadian Psychology Association. He was recently awarded the Killam Memorial Fellowship.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fingers and Toes Crossed

So far, so good but keep your fingers crossed and while you're at it, cross your toes as well. I'm hoping we're on the road to recovery.

Sugar is eating two meals a day, all raw, mostly beef chunks, chicken backs and thighs, a turkey neck here and there, and some fat balls (not nearly enough of these). She is loving this diet, believe me and who wouldn't?

Her color is good. I don't see any jaundice but if there is any, it's very little. It's hard to see that in the light in the house unless it's really bad. So daylight is the best for that and I haven't been at the house in the daylight since last Friday, if you can believe that!

I've been hiding her Soloxin and the antibiotic in the fat balls so it's important that she eat those because of that and also because she needs to put on a few pounds. The Denamarin pill (the turquoise one) is well hidden in the scoop of vanilla ice cream that she gets every night, which she has been eating in one bite, thank goodness. Unfortunately the ice cream is sugar free and low fat so she isn't getting many calories from that. I'm going Krogering today so I'll be sure to pick up some full-fat ice cream, just for her!

Anybody have any idea of something, besides fat balls and peanut butter, that I could give her to put some weight back on her? She also won't eat kibble, dog or cat. Well, she wouldn't before but as I told someone yesterday, "what was old is new again". Seems her taste buds are waking up, I think, so I'll try the cat kibble again, as Robin suggested.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Sugar thanks you, too. She isn't quite ready to leave this world!! Pin It

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Progression of Sugar

A HUGH accomplishment - she ate breakfast this morning and it was fatballs which she has been refusing all along. She ate about four last night as well and about five this morning. And she looks good - really good. I will check her coloring tonight when I get home to see if she is still icteric. I am hoping it'll still be daylight as that is the best light to see it. Her eyes look bright, though, and white.

This is huge folks, I mean huge!! I am psyched!! I can't wait to get home after work to see what she might eat for dinner! Pin It

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Coursing Bug

This past weekend we enjoyed our first lure coursing event of the season - the 3rd ASFA National Greyhound Specialty on Saturday and the Fullerton Cup on Sunday. Both trials were hosted by Southeastern Greyhound Club, of which I am a member and active volunteer.

It rained heavily on Friday so the field was in great shape for running dogs. The weather also cooperated throughout the weekend with cool temperatures in the morning, warming quite nicely in the afternoon. It was perfect - one couldn't have asked for better weather!

Several of my friends stayed in the same hotel and coursed their Greyhounds in Singles on Saturday at the Specialty and then both Greyhounds certified on Sunday. Unfortunately during the run on Sunday, one of them sprained a muscle, or at least that is what we think happened. They did certify, though, so when he heals he will be ready to enter a trial in the Open stake. But for now, it's leash walk only for him while he recovers.

My BFF brought her Greyhounds to the field on Sunday to run a practice run and hopefully get some good photographs from Dan of Shot on Site, our photographer for the event. And yes, Dan did get some wonderful shots of Kim's girls. Kim was definitely pleased.

It is something else to watch your dog run a course but something entirely different seeing their faces, muscles, and positions captured in a photo. There isn't anything like it, I have to say. You can just see from the looks on their faces what a fantastic time they are having. It is, afterall, what they are bred to do and what they "know" - it's genetic, bred into every fiber of their being.

Check the photo out above. This was such an unusual position that Dan captured - I just had to have this shot. Lucy looks as if she is either about ready to stand up, or she is holding her legs together because she has to go potty! Too funny. I'm surprised she didn't trip herself!

This photo to the right shows the intensity they have while chasing the "plastic bunny". I should explain, the plastic bunny is nothing more than three Glad white plastic bags tied to a line which runs on a continuous loop course. It's enough, though, to make most every Greyhound go absolutely bonkers. They put on their "game face" as I call it and honestly don't think about anything else except for attacking that "bunny". They all eagerly await their turn!

I've traveled to quite a few states through the years to lure course and have always enjoyed the countryside, the people, and the coursing. People often wonder why we lure course since there is always a "chance of injury", "the dogs are retired", etc. I've heard it all - believe me.

But you know, it's not for us, it's all for them! I have a gazillion photos, much like these, that say it all better than I ever could!
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Another Update

On Friday, Sugar stayed at the vets office and received another round of fluids. I picked her and her jiggly belly up that afternoon and proceeded home with another 10 days worth of antibiotics. After arriving home, I fixed her a large bowl of cooked chicken (out of the can) and then about 6-8 large cubes of beef. She scarfed them both right down.

I then proceeded to pack the car for our trip down to Newnan for the lure coursing trials in Moreland. I packed scads of chicken backs, chicken necks, more cubes of beef and raw hamburger as well. Oh, and some noodles and some strawberries. Lucy, Remi, and Sugar all enjoyed the fruits of my labor all weekend long. So much that I am seriously contemplating switching them completely to a raw diet. I've read so much about it in the past and know it is so healthy for them. After getting turkey necks, two weekends in a row, their teeth and their breath is 90% improved! That alone will make a believer out of you!

Heather helped "pill" Sugar over the weekend (thank you Heather!), but now that we're back home, it's up to me again. Last night, I stuck her pills in a scoop of vanilla ice cream. She ate it. This morning I did the same and she ate it again. Both times, however, I have omitted the turquoise Denamarin pill which is the one that I think has the worst taste to it. At this point though, I'd really prefer she have the antibiotic and her Soloxin. I'll ease the Denamarin back in soon enough (I think I'll scrape the outer layer of turquoise off first so she can't see it!).

Anyway, she is still doing one meal a day but it usually is quite a meal so I feel certain she is getting enough nutrition to sustain her for 24 hours. I offer food every morning still, but she continues to refuse it. As long as she is eating and getting her pills, I'm encouraged, yet again. She appears to feel well and probably would have lure coursed this weekend, had I let her. She sure did want to!

As I've told numerous folks, her "crown" is getting bigger and heavier every day! She truly is such a princess . . . I don't mind, I'll continue to cater to her every whim! Pin It

Friday, October 24, 2008

As The Sugar Turns . . . Part II

Well, not much has changed since the last post. She is still refusing to eat breakfast but eats a hearty dinner. Or it could be called a midnight snack as it's close to midnight when she will eat. I'm not complaining though, as long as she is eating, I'm a happy camper. Last night it was raw beef chunks, raw hamburger, and a couple of chicken necks. Mind you, I don't usually feed raw but when she refused her kibble, it was the only alternative I could think of. This afternoon, I'm making some pasta and rice for Lucy since she'll be coursing this weekend, but I'm hoping Sugar will eat some as well. And, yes, I've tried canned dog food and cat food and she refuses that as well. And, yes, I'm certain the royal princess has a beautiful crown somewhere! :)

The biggest challenge this week has been getting her pills in her, as I noted before. After turning her nose up at the pill pockets, she did finally consume four of them last night with her pills safely tucked in each one of them. Thank goodness. This morning I dropped her off at the vet for blood tests and possibly the Cushings test. I left four pill pockets with the vet tech and when the vet called around noon, he said she had eaten them all. Again, thank goodness. If I can get her medicine in her routinely, I think we stand a chance of beating this thing (whatever that is). Thank you Addie for suggesting that - I had totally forgotten they even made them. What a wonderful idea!

Generally, she seems to feel better even though she has dropped a few more pounds. I hope to get that weight back on her quickly. I'll probably offer her some fat balls again today to see if she'll eat them. Remember, she has been refusing peanut butter since I first hid pills in that so she refused fat balls as well because she could smell the peanut butter. At least, that is what I am thinking. Maybe now her taste buds are back and she'll remember how wonderful fat balls taste and she'll devour a whole bowl of them! Keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, her liver values came back about the same with this mornings blood test. That doesn't surprise me since I've had such a horrible time this week getting pills into her! I asked the vet if we could try another week of antibiotics and the Denamarin and re-evaluate her condition after that. He agreed that we could try this. Now that she is taking the pill pockets, I am hopeful that I can stay on the regime as prescribed. Another way to look at it is, she hasn't deteriorated further, which I am grateful for. BTW, we are holding off on the Cushings test for now. It's something we might do in the near future. But since she only has one prominent symptom (drinking alot of water), it was determined that we can wait on this test.

She'll get there, I'm certain - it is just going to take some time for her liver to recover. Pin It

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

As The Sugar Turns . . .

We have progress. As I said yesterday - baby steps, baby steps!

Last night after three scoops of vanilla ice cream in an attempt to get all her medicine into her, and two vanilla Ensures later, she finally did eat about 8 large cubes of beef, some hamburger meat (raw and cooked), and a few egg noodles. Whoppie! This is good news, for sure.

However, she didn’t eat breakfast again this morning and didn’t get her morning pills. I put them in ice cream again but she wouldn’t eat it. I think she has just given up on breakfast altogether and is going to be a one meal a day dog henceforth. She did drink one Ensure this morning and lots of water with the Greyhound Recharge in it, both last night and this morning so she is getting plenty of hydration in that manner.

I did leave her pills in some hamburger with a few more cubes of beef in a bucket that is hanging in her crate. Kim, my BFF, suggested I use a hanging bucket so that she doesn't sit in the bowl like she did yesterday. That was quite a mess to clean up! Good idea Kim, thanks for the suggestion.

BTW, she absolutely won't let me put pills down her throat. She bucks and thrashes around and cries as if I'm cutting her leg off. I'm afraid one of us will get hurt trying to do this. Two people can do it, but not just me. So, that is why I have to hide her pills in her food. Tomorrow, however, I may put her and me in the spare bathroom, close the door, and not leave until the pills are down her throat. She just has to get them regularly.

I hope she eats some during the day. If not, I feel certain she will eat tonight like she has the last few nights. The morning thing just isn't her cup of tea anymore, or so it seems. But she is eating! Can't ask for much more than that right now, right? And she went squirrel hunting with the girls yesterday afternoon, is running around the yard, and generally, appears to feel good.

I am still encouraged. Pin It

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Liver for Liver

Well, I picked up Sugar from the vet yesterday. They didn't end up doing any fluids or IVs because she generally looked much better than on Saturday, much less icteric than she was which is exactly what I thought, as well. I could see pinkness to her skin, her belly in particular, and in her ears. So, they just watched her all day, let her drink as much as she wanted, took her out to pee (which she did often), and tried to get her to eat anything, which she did not.

On the way home, I stopped to get some calf liver for her and some smaller turkey necks. She didn't want the turkey neck but she did eat the liver and some raw beef tips. I was very encouraged. I gave her some water with some Greyhound Recharge in it. Greyhound Recharge is a product I have on hand for lure coursing. Specifically - "it rapidly replenishes electrolytes and fluids after travelling and racing. The product lives up to its name in providing a rapid restoration of fluid and vitality. The formulation is specifically matched to the needs of the hard working dog, containing: A. a high potassium to sodium ratio, important for nerve and muscle function. B. citrate salt as a buffering agent and C. Glucose to enhance rapid uptake of electrolytes. Recharge is the only sports drink designed specifically for greyhounds. Recharge has a palatable cheese flavour making it easy for dogs to drink. It comes in a handy, portable pack to administer at events. Combats fluid and electrolyte loss immediately."

She isn't dehydrated but I figure it couldn't hurt. She actually looked much better after her liver meal and after some of the recharge. I'll continue this regime for a few days, until she tires of it which I assure you, she will. She is very picky these days. In fact, she did not eat her liver this morning. I did put the bowl of food in her crate thinking she'll get to it sometime during the day. Baby steps, I say, baby steps!

The good doc doesn't believe this could be attributed to liver cancer because she does respond to the antibiotics and the Denamarin. He is almost ruling out liver failure as well because of the response we get from the medications. He does, however, want to do a test on Friday to rule out Cushings disease. I do not think this is the problem because she doesn't have 3 of the 4 major symptoms, that being - she hasn't had an increase in appetite (actually just the opposite), she doesn't have an abdominal enlargement, and she hasn't had hair loss and thin skin (remember she has grown an awesome coat of hair and well, Greyhounds all have thin skin).

Today I should have a bit more time to get some mackeral, sardines, and perhaps some salmon, as Zan suggested, on my way home from the bus stop. The challenge in all this is 1) getting Sugar to eat, obviously, and 2) keeping the goods away from Lucy and Remi. It's a battle every night but I'm not quite ready to give it up. Sugar is acting fine otherwise and is in good spirits which is all good. Now, to get her eating normally again and gaining a little weight back. She has lost a couple of pounds during this almost two month ordeal. Yes, the first lab results are dated September 6, 2008. Seems like ions ago, I know!

I've been checking the Doggie Cam since arriving at work and I cannot tell if she has eaten any or not. Right now she seems to be sitting in the bowl although I much prefer that she eat it instead! If any of you visit the cam and catch her in the act of eating, please email me! BTW, she's the one in the middle.

So, I'm not sure where we go from here. Oddly enough, her ALT and ALKP numbers are lower than from the initial test we did at the beginning of September and this was before the subcutaneous fluids he did on Saturday. Whoo hoo!

So, with that said, I am encouraged. We trudge on! Pin It

Monday, October 20, 2008


Yep, that's a pretty disgusting sight, isn't it? But to my three girls yesterday, you would have thought I had invented raw turkey necks myself. They devoured them. Sugar was a little slower with hers but she did finish it and started on a second one but then decided she was full, I guess. I've saved it for her for tonight. By the way, she is at the hospital today getting fluids and such, per the docs orders from our visit on Saturday. She did not eat breakfast this morning and still hadn't eaten anything as of about 10:30 a.m. when I called to check on her.

I'm going to get some chicken backs and some sardines or mackeral or tripe and see if she'll eat any of those tonight.

Back to the turkey necks, I had no idea they could eat the whole thing but as I told my friend Heather, I looked one minute and they were steadfast eating away and the next minute the things were gone! That quick! They sure did enjoy them though.

It is said that turkey necks are nature's best toothbrush for dogs and I honestly have to agree. Remi's teeth looked 80% better than they had before the turkey neck. Sugar's too, and Lucy's as well. I will definitely add this to their diet on a weekly basis. Heck, it certainly beats a $300+ dental any ole day!! Pin It

Saturday, October 18, 2008


The Sugarhead has had a relapse. This week it has become increasingly difficult to get her to eat. And that is, eat ANYTHING substantial. She would continue eating her "cookies" and the like, but not her breakfast or dinner. Bits and pieces, but not the whole thing, you know? This morning she even refused to eat her ground rabbit that I had put down for her. If a Greyhound won't eat rabbit, you know something isn't right!

Anyway, as the morning light filtered into the living room, I noticed her belly is yellow again. So, a phone call to the vet and we were there in an hour for more blood tests. Her liver values are very high again, one even being "unregisterable" (not a word, I know) by their in-house machine.

The doc wanted me to hospitalize her for the weekend at the emergency vet for some fluids to flush her system of the toxins so her liver can work normally and not quite so hard. I just can't do a $2,000 vet bill right now so I begged him to let me take her home. He gave her some subcutaneous fluids before we left. We have antibiotics, too and another round of Denamarin.

We'll see how the weekend goes. I'm suppose to take her back Monday a.m. so they can give more fluids.

Again, hope and pray for "pink". She just has to get better! Pin It

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The origin of Lasagna straight from Wikipedia - although the dish is generally believed to have originated in Italy, the word "lasagna" comes from the Greek λάσανα (lasana) or λάσανον (lasanon) meaning "trivet or stand for a pot", "chamber pot". The Romans borrowed the word as "lasanum", in Latin, meaning "cooking pot". The Italians used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagna is made. It wasn't long before the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish. Interesting, huh? Who knew?

So, on my holiday off last Monday as the country celebrated Columbus Day, I was determined to make my first pasta with my new pasta maker (how appropriate, huh?). And, of course, that pasta was going to be lasagna noodles because I was tasked with making lasagna for a luncheon we were having at work on Thursday. I figure it would be the best opportunity to see how the noodles would hold up, plus there would be tons of other dishes at the luncheon so in case my dish wasn't up to snuff, we all wouldn't starve to death!

I was terribly excited about my first adventure with the pasta maker. It's hard to believe it had been sitting on my kitchen table for the amount of time it had been there and I hadn't yet had the time to use it!

I proceeded to whip up a batch of dough using a recipe I found on the Internet. It had all-purpose flour, eggs, olive oil and water. I have since found a recipe by Mario Batali that I plan to use next time which is just all-purpose flour and eggs. I know, under Italian law, dry pasta (pasta secca) can only be made from durum wheat or semolina flour. I haven't found any yet but as soon as I do, that is what I'll use. Interesting enough, most of the pasta recipes I have seen in recipe books (including that of Maria Batali) just call for all-purpose flour. I guess since we aren't in Italy, it's okay to use it!

Anyway, rolling the dough through the rollers on the pasta maker was really fun. You push it through, all the while turning the handle to make the rollers roll. Then you move the rollers closer together, thus making the noodles flatter and flatter. Really fun! Obviously, it doesn't take alot to amuse me. :)

The end result is to the right. Umm, umm, right? And, yes, it was. We ate it yesterday, along with many other wonderful dishes, and I am happy to report that there were no left-overs. My first noodles were a success!

Actually, I'll be making another batch of lasagna for dinner guests Saturday night and will make the noodles fresh, cook them immediately, and assemble the lasagna at that time as well. I am also using a different recipe that touts itself as being the "world's best lasagna". I sure hope they're right! If nothing else, it will definitely be another fun adventure in the kitchen!
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Monday, October 13, 2008


Wow, that takes some of you back, huh? I barely remember that tune but have actually been to the musical when it came through Atlanta many moons ago, I believe back in the early 90's. As I recall, it was well worth it, especially the much talked about nude scene at the end. :) I think it has reappeared on Broadway this season as well, so if you're up in NYC, you should check it out!

And you're probably wondering what that has to do with this post? Well, take a gander at Sugar's picture above and then that at the bottom. I'm not sure you can see "it" or not but since Sugar's liver episode, for lack of a better way to say it, she has grown this most beautiful coat of hair. Thick, soft - just beautiful. I don't know what to attribute it to. The vet doesn't have a clue either. I thought it might be from the Denamarin she was on which is really just milk thistle and Sam-e. I really think this is the answer. But I've also had her on some StemEnhance which might also be the attributing factor. I'm not complaining, mind you, as Sugar has always been quite "naked" on her belly and on her neck. Those who know her, know this. But now? Not so much. She has fur on her belly and a full coat of it on her neck and she is filling out elsewhere to the point that even scars are filling in. Awesome, huh?

I am hoping to determine what is making this happen so that I, too, can begin taking it as well. I've always wanted thick hair, down to the ground hair, long beautiful hair! Who knows? I may have found the cure to male pattern baldness!

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Nesting Experience

Everyone knows I have a doggie cam, right? Well, I bop in every now and then just to see what the girls are doing. It's usually the same answer - sleeping! I joked with folks after I got the camera working that it was a total waste of money and time (specifically, the 4 hours or so I spent with tech support in India) because all they ever do is sleep, sleep, and sleep some more! I don't know what I was expecting but now at least I am comfortable leaving them crated during the workday, knowing they are safe and sound, sleeping all day!

But, both yesterday and today I checked in on the girls and both days, I caught Remi doing the same thing - nesting. It's hysterical to watch her dig and turn, dig and turn, and dig and turn, I mean, for minutes on end! I don't know how many times she does this before she decides everything is just perfect enough that she will then lay down and sleep. All the while, Sugar and Lucy are sound asleep.

So after watching this two days in a row my curosity was peeked. What is it that makes these dogs do this little ritual every time they lay down? So, of course, I Googled it! Here is what the SCPA of Texas says:

Why Dogs Spin Before Lying Down

For a dog owner, watching your dog chose a spot to lie down is often at least as amusing as the morning comics. For some reason, your dog will circle an area two or three times before lying down and sighing with contentment. Why, dog owners wonder, does my dog do that? Does the carpet change so much in the second it takes to circle around?

This behavior appears to be related to the dog's ancestral tendency to dig its own shelter. Owners often describe the ritual of lying down on a carpet similar to that of a wild dog lying down on the grass of the prairie: first, the dog will sniff at his chosen spot, then perhaps dig with front paws, his toenails extended. After some digging the dog will turn several times, lowering his body into a semi-crouch, then "nest" into his imagined hole.

In some cases the dog will turn several times, dig again, turn some more, and repeat the process until asked to lie down by an exasperated owner. When outside, dogs often dig into cool soil to escape hot weather; by digging and then turning several times they can direct their bodies into the curled posture that will best take advantage of the depression's coolness.

Thus, the turning behavior seen in our homes is most likely derived from the denning behavior of our dogs' wilder relatives. So, like other members of your family, your dog is making himself at home.

This sounds logical to me so I'm going with it - at least until someone else comes up with a better explanation! :)

Obviously Remi is quite the nester. She will even nest in my bed. I'll go into the bedroom and she will have the blanket, comforter, and sheets all piled together with her on top! I guess, as the article suggests, she is just making herself at home! Now, if I could just teach her how to MAKE the bed! Pin It

Greyfest is Over!

Finally Greyfest has come and gone . . . just like that! After months of preparation, it's over. I know that sounds as if I miss it but truly, I am happy it's done because it can be all too consuming of one's time and efforts. I feel as if I can breathe now.

I'm not sure of the final tally of dollars raised for SEGA but it should be close to $5,000, I think, which is less than last year's tally which was closer to $8,000. We had about 30 fewer folks this year but you know, as bad as the economy is and with the gas shortage the week before and the week of Greyfest, I'm actually quite pleased with the turnout.

But seeing as how I get bored with things so quickly and was at that point with Greyfest, I am glad it's over. Now it's on to bigger and better things.

The next project on my agenda is the 3rd Annual ASFA National Greyhound Specialty, which is October 25th. I am trophy chairman, webmaster, banquet coordinator, etc. - you get the idea. I try to help John as much as I can as it does take quite a few hands to pull off an event of this magnitude. We're hoping for a big entry of 30-40 Greyhounds but here again, you never really know until the last minute just who is entered. But I do know we have folks coming from California, Texas, Washington, and Illinois.

With all that being said, it should be a fun weekend at Bear Creek Farm in Moreland. (I must remember to fill the Bubba Keg with margaritas!) Come join us, if only to watch the spectacular show of Greyhounds running at breakneck speeds as they maneuver the course. It truly will take your breath away.

My Lucy will be running in the Open stake. She has 93 points, only 7 short of obtaining her Field Championship title. I am hoping she will get those 7 points on Saturday so that we could move up to the Field Championship stake so she can "run with the big dogs".

Then after that event, it's the Callaway Gardens Steeplechase on November 1st. This is always fun and isn't anything that requires my involvement except to be there, eat wonderful appetizers, drink some good wine and chat with interested folks about Greyhound adoption. Oh yea, and watching the Steeplechase. :) Forgot about that! Yes, we bring the Greyhounds, too. Remi just adores horses and I think she wants to run with them everytime they fly past us! It's funny to watch.

After that, we have SEGC's Holiday Dinner on December 6th. This one I do coordinate but it's not that much work. Heck, after Greyfest, everything else I do is a breeze!! Pin It

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Top Ten Things I've Learned During the Commuting Process . . .

10. Blend in. The old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” very much applies during the commuting process. As Frank Lucas said in the movie American Gangster, “That's a clown suit. That's a costume, with a big sign on it that says "Arrest me". You understand? You're too loud, you're making too much noise. Listen to me, the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” With that being said, I try not to “make too much noise”!

9. Enjoy the view (the best you can, sometimes it ain’t all that pretty). This is definitely people watching in its finest form. Besides an airport, this has to be the best in my opinion. You see all kinds of folks from every walk of life. From the high school student to the college student to the private school student to the construction worker to the office worker to the fast food worker to the restaurant worker to the executive to the homeless to the addict – you name it, we see it all, day in and day out.

8. Have some cash on hand. One morning our shuttle driver at the Brookhaven station was really, really late. I could have taken a cab from there but I absolutely didn’t even have a buck in my wallet. So I had to wait about 40 minutes for the shuttle. Lesson learned.

7. Wear comfortable shoes. Ladies, this goes without saying. You can still be stylish and be comfortable. I’m doing it and my feet don’t hurt when I get home!

6. Use the restroom before you leave. Another one that goes without saying. Public restrooms on the public transportation route can get pretty nasty. I’m just guessing on that one as I’ve avoided those like the plague.

5. Do enjoy the cat naps. It's amazing to me that I can sleep in a bus, full of strangers, that's traveling at high speeds along the Interstate. But alas, I've never had any difficulty sleeping in anything that's moving. I am convinced my mother must have driven me around as a baby in an effort to get me to sleep. I used to go hunting with my Dad when I was younger and I never ever saw one deer during that time because I was always asleep! I didn't see my first until I was well into my 20's. During boating trips on our 30-foot Trojan cabincruiser as a kid, I'd grab my towel and baby oil and would hit the front deck of the boat to sunbathe, and well, to sleep of course. Once I missed the biggest manta ray as it jumped over the bow of the boat. Figures, huh? My mom used to say that I was going to sleep my life away. She's probably right.

4. Don't attempt to sleep when sitting on an aisle seat. This I have learned lately. It appears I've almost fallen out of my seat a few times. I've felt it myself, that immediate pull back and jump when you feel out of sorts when sleeping. Thank God, I haven't ended up in the aisle. Wouldn't that be something?

3. Snoring. Don’t worry about snoring if you cat nap because everyone else is also cat napping and snoring or listening to music or talking on their cell phone or, well, you get it. Everyone is busy doing something else and they aren’t worried about your snoring.

2. Abandon all control. You have absolutely no control over the route, the speed, who sits with you, what time you depart and arrive, etc. You get the picture - NONE. You just gotta go with the flow, you know? This has to be the hardest for me, as many of you can imagine.

And the absolute top thing I’ve learned:

1. Women bus drivers rock! You'd think they were driving a Miata the way they weave in an out of those lanes but I tell you, I've never been concerned that we would wreck. I trust they will get me to my destination (and they've been very successful at this, thus far).

I'm sure if asked to come up with a Top Ten list in another six months, I will, no doubt, have ten very different things to write about. Every day is so different from the one before which, as Martha Stewart would say, is "a good thing".

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