Friday, April 27, 2012

Manswers: Why guys should get greyhounds.

Warning:  All though the following statements are pretty true, they are assembled in a specific crass format designed to emulate the TV show MANSWERS.  Some, if not most, may be offended.

  1.  BRAGGING RIGHTS:  Who knows why, but men like to think their dogs are tough.  The truth is however, that anyone with an ounce of moral fiber would hate for their dog to ever have to prove it.   Who wants to go to court because your dog got in a big fight with another dog?  Now greyhounds aren’t exactly known for being tough. They are known for being fast, athletic, and muscular.  They are elite athletes.  The slowest greyhound is faster than almost any other dog out there.  Plus you know what you are getting before you get it.  The bragging can begin immediately.  Unlike kids, where to live vicariously through them you have to wait 15 to 20 years to see if they amount to anything, a greyhound has already established his record by the time you get him. Let the vicarious living begin.   If you do want a slightly tougher looking dog go for a black or a dark brindle greyhound.  They are just the same as the other greyhounds but less likely to be confused with a deer.
  2. THEY AIN’T SMALL: There are lots of nice small dogs out there, but let’s face it, small dogs are for PURSES.   Guys like BIG dogs.  When you go walking up the street do you want an 11 lb ankle biting Chihuahua hanging on the end of a string, or do you want an 85lb Greyhound that you don’t have to bend over to pet.  Most other larger breeds have short lifespans and problems with hip dysplasia.  But greyhounds are breed for athleticism so no hip worries, plus they live usually from 12-14 years old.
  3.  HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY:  When you get home from a hard day of work, your boss has been riding you all day nothing cheers you up like a big old happy boy who wants nothing more from you than a bit of food, a chance to relieve himself, and to hang out with you for the evening.
  4.  LAID BACK NOT YAPPY: Picture yourself, beer in hand, sitting down to watch the big game or the next big UFC fight.  Do you A) Want a little yappy dog that will not shutup and let you focus on the event, or B) want a BIG greyhound that’s content to sit on the couch beside you while you guzzle chips and beer and cheer for your favorite team.
  5. CHICKS DIG GREYHOUNDS:  When you walk around with greyhounds people come to you like magnets.  When chicks meet greyhounds they immediately fall in love with them.  You are an instant hero because your rescued them from “Untold horrors”.  It doesn’t really matter that they are actually typically well treated while racing. You can tell the woman that … LATER.

Warnings and Disclaimers:  Greyhounds are addictive.   When you get one you will often find yourself with two or three within one years’ time.  Greyhounds are buddies for life.  It is seriously UNCOOL to return a greyhound just because you met a new lady with a hamster who can’t live in the same house as your dog.  Never let a woman come between you and your dog.  If in the future life lets you have kids, find a way to MAKE IT WORK WITH THE DOG.  After all, with your charming personality, you probably wouldn’t even have been able to get the girl if not for your lovable pooch.  People who have returned greyhounds to adoption groups have been known to be spontaneously bagged and pantsed in public by a team of little old ladys.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Full of grey

I don't think my boys could have asked for a better weekend than this.  On Saturday one of the dogs in our grey play group (Beth Ann) and her sister Joanna had a birthday bash at the Factory shopping center.  It was a meet and greet adventure with lots of pups on hand to generate a lot of attention.  Warriors mom was there with her new DSLR to capture some nice photos.  All of the pups got a little ice cream and they had a wonderful time.  Ricky and Kassa were SUPER excited, as we don't do meet and greats that often.  They were pulling on the leash quite a bit to get to the other pups, but settled down as time went on.  We got to see a lot of dear friends, some of whom we don't get to see as often as we should.

Here are the birthday girls now.

Did someone say Ice Cream!

Sunday we had our grey play meet and had a good showing.  Beth Ann, Tequila, Warrior, Java, Ricky Bobby, Kassa, Specs and lastly and happily Army ( who was recently adopted by Army's people).

Army was in fine form running with Ricky

Running with Specs

The dogs traded paint along the fence

Ricky and Army traded paint more than once today.

The guys enjoyed the straightaways as well.

I think Warrior was really happy to be back.

I was going to talk a bit on some of the specific training that we have been doing with Ricky for some of his phobias and stubbornness and loading, but I have had such a wonderful afternoon with my happy healthy pups and their friends, that I think I will save that business for another day.    Hope you all had as much fun this weekend as I and my boys have.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wonder Twin Powers.. Activate

Ricky and Kassa put together their dynamic duo powers to create a very nice weekend.

Saturday morning we all met at the park and went for a walk.  Ricky did very well but wanted to cool off for a bit in the creek.

Sunday morning there was more action as our friends had everyone over for some fun running and socializing.

Then we had a real treat when our friends Dianne and Don showed up with a brand new DSLR camera.  Dianne took family pics of everyone and this is one of my favorites.

Oh.. and dad says not to worry.. because there is still a couple of days before he has to finish up those taxes this year.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Humiliation Factor

Ricky is a happy dog.  Ricky is a fun dog.  Ricky knows not to eat things off of the kitchen counter.  Ricky will give way on the couch if you ask him and has learned to share space with Kassa.  Ricky will lay down on command and will line up beside me when asked.  Ricky wont try to eat food off my plate when I'm eating while watching TV. Rather he will plop down on the couch beside me and let me eat in peace. Ricky will come to you at speed when off leash (in a fenced area).  Ricky loves loves loves to play fetch.  Ricky is very affectionate.  Ricky loves routine.  Ricky is stubborn.

Ricky hates to go for walks.  It is bizarre, and I think it is a combination of the his fireworks phobia and the fact that he overheats easily.  He will mule up or lay down on the bed after I have put the collar on him in protest of a walk.  I have largely suspended leash walking Ricky because neither one of us enjoys it particularly much when he decides to be a mule before we even go out the door.  Also because I largely suspended our walks, he has become willing and easy about just taking him out to the turn out area or walking around the back yard to do his business.  He also gets a lot of exercise zipping around the field, so I'm not particularly worried about his health in this regard.  Ricky has trouble loading in vehicles. He will with some protest or confusion load into the cab of the pickup truck with me, but he will not jump into the back of an SUV.  I have tried and am trying high value treats that he is absolutely dying to get.  He puts his front legs up and tries to step up but cant get his back legs high enough to step in.  Ricky boy wont jump.

So Ricky and I were pretty set with our arrangement.  I let him run in the field, work with him on loading into vehicles and don't take him on long walks,  he poops on command and maintains good indoor dog manners.  Unfortunately I forgot one little thing: The humiliation factor.   Now I have always prided myself on spending a lot of time with my dogs and having generally well behaved, healthy and happy pups.  You know what they say about pride.  It comes before the fall.   I took Ricky to a meet and greet at 100 Oaks in Nashville.  It was being held in appreciation of Todd, who had hosted it religiously for the past 4 years so a lot of folks showed up.   (Thank you Todd.) When it was time to go, Ricky decided it wasn't. He muled up and would not walk with me.   This of course provided much amusement to everyone and we were showered with boisterous laughter.  Now I have a fairly self deprecating sense of humor.  I lead, and point out a particular weakness before someone else can, thus we can have a good laugh together.  This however I was unprepared for.  This was not fear or phobia, this just stubbornness and defiance. This was not his failing but mine and my training of him.  I became the guy who has to plead with their dog to follow.  So I boosted his bum until he decided to jog with me to the truck.  Thank god he climbed in with out too much protest.

This of course all got me thinking about a few things. One is that for a grown man, I'm still remarkably thin skinned in certain circumstances.  Now I'm sure that the people at the meet and great were just enjoying an amusing moment, but within these communities there exists joyful support but there can be a scandalous undertone and competition. Dogs are too fat, too thin, nails to long, eat the wrong thing or don't exercise enough.   When people are passionate about things they tend to have strong opinions about how things should be done.  They want to do the best in their circumstances and sometimes the downfall of others serves as self validation.  I realized I have been guilty of such behavior from time to time.  I need to be sure to celebrate others successes and be encouraging not judgmental in their failures. I also need to walk my dog more, whether he likes it or not!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Fever

How I enjoy Sunday grey play days.  The pups were not quite so active yesterday because it was a little warm in the sun.  We may have to start having them run earlier in the day again.

We had seven dogs out Sunday.  Beth Anne, Kassa, Ricky B, Foster Bart, Specs, Java and (out of picture) Tequila.

Each dog has their own joyful quirks.  Beth Ann likes to go bums up as she attempts to remove her muzzle. 

 Ricky loves to boogie around the field towards any human in motion.  For a dog that hates to go for walks, he sure does love to romp around.
The groups two big boys are Specs and Ricky.  Here they are matching strides.

You have heard of the beast with two backs... how about the dog with two tails?  I hope you all had a pleasant weekend. This was the highlight of mine!