Sunday, August 21, 2011


I was sitting here thinking that it is a challenge to come up with new titles for posts every week... so I just made p a word.  Cheating .. I know.
This morning began with the god's showing their fury.  We had a good thunder and lightening storm to welcome in the morning.  Ricky was up pacing back and forth around the bed to inform us that someone was letting off fireworks or something outside.  He is funny in that he just seems to want a hand on his back to let him know you are there.  By eight the weather had cleared off a bit, but it wasn't looking good for grey play.  the sky still looked threatening and the status of our meet got set to canceled on our facebook page.   At eight 8:45 I threw caution to the wind and announced  that my boys needed to get some running in.
We went to the field, the sky cleared, and it turned into a beautiful morning.  I called up other group members and rallied one other couple to our cause.  The result was a somewhat impromptu greyplay moment.

Our larger adoption group has put together an opportunity for the restaurant Chuy's to display a bunch of framed pictures of greyhounds on the walls in their new location.  In general I think Chuy's restaurants will display photos of their patrons' dogs, so it might be a good way to get out the word about this remarkable breed.  For the past few weeks I have been assembling photos of the boys.  We have also been trying to get some good group photos as well.  I've been playing around with the idea and for their individual shots and wanted to try to show my guys from some different angles.
Here is what I came up with.

I hope that Chuy's will hang these with the adoption group website on them.  I think they will because of the arrangement with the group. I'm still not quite sure what to do for a greyplay group picture.  I have some good action pictures, but the darn muzzles keep getting in the way.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Kassa had a big weekend last weekend.  He turned Five!  On Saturday there was some basking in the sunroom, but most of the time Kassa and Ricky followed us around. 

 They new something was up!  Every time I went to the garage they followed me to the door, eagerly anticipating the tell tale signs of travel.  Believe me they know them.  Was that the sound of Dad taking the water bowl and muzzles out of the dog closet.  Wait.. Did the garage door open?.. OMG.. the blankets! he just went down with the blankets to put in the back seat of the car.  Is Mom getting ready?  WOW, Mom only comes to the really good good stuff!  By this time there is a flurry of excitement at the top of the stairs. Ricky will even let out a greyhound bark of encouragement.  The boys were not disappointed.  We headed over to our gracious hosts house for a much anticipated shrimp boil.  Our friends had recently been on vacation and had brought back some fine food from the sea.  We had shrimp, blue crab, corn on the cob, sausage and potatoes, plus deserts and beverages.  As you can see below, Kassa positioned himself for to take advantage of any opportunity that may present itself.  

One opportunistic actually did present itself and Kassa got a hold of a nice crab.  The adults were all greyhound people though, and so had no trouble recovering it, and no qualms about consuming it after.

If you have read the last post you will know that Ricky is in stitches at the moment.  As he has healed up very nicely, last weekend was the first opportunity that I gave him to jump around and have some fun.  Ricky would run around with any toys laying about the yard to make sure that Kassa and the other dogs couldn't  take them.   This time, there were two many toys for Ricky to horde, so Kassa followed Ricky around and managed to dismember any toys Ricky could not protect.  He managed to rip the head of a particularly indestructible squeaker toy and he also found a plastic foot. It is now a foot with no toes.  
 The neighbors also provided a few wiener dogs for the grey's entertainment and all the dogs took advantage of the fact that the people were to distracted by the food and beverages to pay them much heed.

It was a perfect evening that had the coolness of the threat of rain and thunderstorms which never materialized upon us.  The next morning we were all moving a bit slowly.  My wife and I were still stuffed from a fantastic dinner.  Kassa threw up a few plastic toes on the carpet.  Nothing says you had a good time like plastic toes on the carpet in the morning.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Moles and switchblades

Warning: This post is going to be a bit of a rambler.. I can feel it.
You may not be aware if this but there is a long standing battle between moles with switchblades and greyhounds.  The evidence of this is that greys will get cut in what looks to be the safest of environments.

Enter Ricky Bobby.  Thursday morning was Ricky B's turn for the ball field and he was ready to go.  We got there in good time.  The temperature was still in the 70's  and Ricky was ready for some ball pursuit.  He was in fine form.  Chasing down that ball returning it to me bopping around and playing and he was fine I tell you.. just fine.  I leashed him up.. looked down and WHAT.. he was bleeding from 2 paws front and back.  Those darn moles and struck again.  So we went on to the truck.  His front was bleeding more than the back.  Of course I neglected to throw the first aid kit in the truck that morning.  I used my shirt to limit the bleeding and drove him home.   Your mind goes funny places in times like this.  Watching lots of NCIS and CSI got me thinking about how I would explain all the traces of blood that were going to remain on my truck seat forever.  After inspecting and cleaning the cut I decided it was vet time.  The front paw was cut pretty deeply and I thought it would take forever to heal with no stitches.   Then I discovered I was out of vet wrap... grrr.  So I wrapped him in gauze and booked an appointment with the vet for that morning.

Of course when we arrived he had managed to remove the gauze.  Our (awesome) vet kept him for the morning and decided to put stitches into both the front and back.  When I brought him in he was happy and curious and seemed oblivious to the fact that he was hurt.  After picking him up he looked like a geriatric invalid who couldn't possibly put weight on a paw if it has vet-wrap on it.   It was then my vet told me of the ongoing battle between moles with switchblades and greyhounds.  Now when she said that she must have thought I was nuts.  I my mind raced,  I had a horrified look and I instinctively reached for my pocket.  Ok.. here is what was going through my mind:  The weekend before I had attended a knife defense seminar taught by military and martial arts specialist Dan Smith.  My concern was if my pocket knife had some how fallen out and Ricky had cut himself on it.  (It had not).  To an outside observer however, I'm sure it looked like I was going to go hunt me some moles.
So Ricky is home and limping around, but mobile.  He needed a 2:30 am potty break and bandage changing.  The socks have been put over the vet wrap as an additional licking deterrent.  I know I'm supposed to use baby socks, but I have no kids so baby socks have never been high on the agenda.  If he is able to open that kong, I will have to go to a muzzle with stool-guard solution.   If all goes well he will get his stitches out on the 15th.  Oh.. and I drove back to the park to find the "moles".  Seems that there is one gate that Ricky had bounced his ball up against in vigorous play.  The chain link fence was turned in at the bottom and some nasty wires were exposed at the grass line. I'm going back with a pair of pliers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Operation Turnout Part 2

Operation turnout phase two is now complete and functional.  Due to some needed flexibility on what happens with our patio area we decided to restrict the area to the length of the building for now.  I tried to use elements to make it easy to expand in the future if necessary.
 First I dug 8 fence posts and set them in concrete.  This was during the process of leveling the posts and just before the concrete went in.  I used a tiny little level that I had to set on the top of the posts rather than on the sides.  In hind sight it would definitely have been worth it to invest in a larger bar level.  I decided to hang the fence planks myself rather than order fence panels in.   The reason for this was two fold.  Firstly, because the land is not even, an ordered panel would have meant that the fence would not have gone all the way to the ground at certain points.  I would have had to pile up dirt or patch in extra boards to fill the gap.  I think measuring and cutting each board gave a better fence.  Secondly, it would have taken 14 days just to get the fence panels built and delivered.   I still chose to step the fence at each post as though there were ordered panels but I made it so that the minimum board height was 4 feet at all points on the fence.

Here you can see the final result.  The gate is on the lower left hand side of the picture.  The process took me a total of 8 days which included a Saturday and 1/2 Sunday, and evenings during the week from 5:30-8:30 pm.  In the beginning I was pretty inefficient.   This was a very repetitive project so it was important to analyse  what was taking time.  The number one thing in any project like this is that I have to keep my pencil on my person at all times.  You can waste a lot of time looking for a pencil on the ground.  Having a pre-cut spacer that you can place between the boards helps a lot.  I also learned that a pre-cut measurement between the top rail and the top of the board helped speed things up when making sure a panel remained straight.  Another great time saver is to use a power bar.  None of my tools are cordless, so having to unplug the last tool and plug in the next can suck up a lot of time.

 Here is the view from the front.  I made sure to build it around the gas meter so that the meter reader doesn't have to enter into the area to do his job.  He can slip in behind the tree to read the meter.
Lastly here is Ricky admiring my handy work.  I'm sure he is thinking "what the heck did you spend all this time building a box for me to poop in.  I would have pooped anywhere..."
I believe the materials cost me some where around $400 and covered 65 lineal feet of fencing.  I think it would have cost me $800 to $1200 to have it built by someone else.  So some savings there and I probably sweat off a few lbs in the heat.