Heartbroken

My Girl

My Girl

This morning about 5 a.m. my ancient Greyhound, My Girl, woke me. I got up to let her out as this has been going on for a while. Life with a 14 year old dog. I turned on the light and looked at her and was horrified to see her face swollen nearly twice its normal size. Quickly gave her a Benadryl and some pain medication and waited to see if it helped. It didn’t.

About this time my husband got up and I asked him to put her in the car while I took Charles out (our other Greyhound) We bundled her into my Jeep and took her to the Emergency Vet. I had been feeling this was coming as she had been declining for the past 6 months or so. I woke up the other morning from a dream about my other Greyhounds waiting for her at the end of a bridge on a beautiful Zoysia lawn. So, I knew this was coming. You are just never ready.

The Vet, a gracious lady, asked us to think about things she enjoyed doing and if she could still do them. The answer was truthfully no. She didn’t know why her face had swollen up, but it didn’t really matter because it was time to let her go. So, we sat with her for a bit and then the vet put her down (very gently, she seemed to just drift away) while we petted her and talked to her. I am sure my other dogs were waiting for her at the end of the Rainbow Bridge on a beautiful lawn.

My Girl was a part of our lives for 10 years, Farewell, Dear Friend. My heart is truly broken.

My Girl, at the beach in Summer

My Girl, at the beach in Summer

Holiday Hounds

For many years I have held a dream of taking an oh so cute picture of my Greyhounds with Christmas antlers and using it as a Holiday card. Here is the result of my latest attempt.

Charles not enjoying headgear

Charles not enjoying headgear

The cat was asleep so I tried it on her:

Cat not even wearing headgear

Cat not even wearing headgear

A few years ago I tried with two dogs, Bullitt and My Girl:

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And they got bored:

Is there a treat in the house?

Is there a treat in the house?

I finally got one good picture of Bullitt:

Bullitt as Reindog

Bullitt as Reindog

Then realized the antlers should have been behind his ears. After thinking it over, perhaps this is the best solution:

The most cooperative Greyhound

The most cooperative Greyhound

Buy some cards and put the antlers on the concrete Greyhound.

 

My Girl

 

 

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This is My Girl
This is my girl Greyhound, her name (her actual racing name) is My Girl. She is thirteen years old. Really old for a big dog and Greyhounds in general, she has been with us for years. I am very attached to her. We tried to rename her Faye when we first got her, but she wasn’t having any of that. So, My Girl she has remained.

When I refer to her as my girl greyhound, people get pissy and say “what’s her name, doesn’t she have a name?”

I think this is because our other dog is Charles and is male. My Girl is simply that and she always has been.

She is sitting with her food bowl in the picture because she has taken to eating, lying down, which, really at 80 or 85 dog years who could blame her for wanting to lie down while eating.

Another side effect of a dog of advanced years is needing to go out in the middle of the night. I give her credit for waking me to let her out, but I am not at my conscious best at 3 or 4 a.m.

Hence, the following picture of my foot:

Totaled Toenail

Totaled Toenail

I found out the hard way running into a concrete block wall at 3 a.m. will destroy your toenail.
Eventually my toenail turned black, rolled over at a 90 degree angle, then got infected and had to be removed. Surgically.

Oh, well. My Girl is keeping me company as I sit to prop my foot up. The doctor said it wouldn’t hurt..he left out the part about wearing shoes or putting weight on it. As long as you don’t wear shoes or stand up it feels fine.

Indoctrination by Greyhound

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Here is our first Greyhound, Butler in his favored spot. As a new dog owner it had not occurred to me that the dog would even want to sit on the sofa. They were supposed to be floor creatures and sleep in dog beds. I soon found out this was not true. Butler liked to be on the sofa regardless of who else was sitting there. I did not realize the magnitude of my ignorance until it dawned on me that he slept with his mouth open and it was really time to buy a steam upholstery cleaner because it was way too late to get the dog off of the sofa.

I have become quite good at steam cleaning upholstery and recently cleaned the interior of my husband’s BMW. A proud moment for anyone.

Another thing about Butler was wherever I went he wanted to follow. One night it was raining and my husband was painting window trim. I went outside and hesitated, thinking I should take the dog with me because he had a tendency towards mischief. Unfortunately, I left him in the house while I went out to pick some Rosemary for dinner. Bad idea, I came back in the house to find him licking paint off the windowsill. It was late and my vet was closed for the night so I went to read the paint cannot good. Paint contains an antifreeze like component to help it dry and yes, it will poison dogs.

I bundled Butler into the car and took him to the Emergency Vet. He was undisturbed by the entire event and happy to go for a ride in the car. I sat and sat while they administered activated charcoal to the dog. I envisioned Butler funneling fish tank charcoal like he was attending a frat party.  I am not exactly sure how they got the charcoal in him, but they got enough in there soon enough that he would be fine. Somehow charcoal absorbs the poison so the dog doesn’t.

The Emergency Vet gave Butler back to me after I paid a good sized bill, but failed to mention the rate at which the charcoal would fly out of the dog. It was after midnight and raining, we were a mile or so from home when Butler started whining a bit. “Hold on guy, we are almost home.” I said. I pulled into the garage and looked into my (previously) tan Jeep interior. Finding it charcoal spotted. Oops. The good news is charcoal neutralizes odors.

I took the dog out of the car and into my neighbor’s front yard, not intentionally, just came out that side of the garage. I suddenly had a jet propelled dog fueled by fish tank charcoal. He was moving forward with the force of his own intestinal power as he pooped. I was pretty sure at that point the paint was gone; so I called the Emergency Vet to check. “Yep, that is what is supposed to happen, he should be fine tomorrow.”

Thanks for the heads up.

The next morning I looked outside (it was winter and the grass was brown and dormant) to see a 10 foot long black streak in my neighbor’s lawn. Then I looked in the back of my Jeep and was happy I had the steam cleaner.

Like I said, I am good at cleaning car upholstery, although charcoal is a bit of a challenge.

Our Conversion to Dog People

We were always cat people. I grew up amongst felines and had listened to my mother’s diatribes against dogs for my entire life. The diatribes usually involved cleanliness issues; dirty, smelly and they leave “dog stuff” in the yard. Cats, in comparison, cleaned themselves and buried their stuff. Cats going to the bathroom was referred to as “the kitty is going to dig a hole”; my mother coping with being Southern by euphemism. My husband had a cat when we married; Lauren, a chatty Siamese Calico mix, who vocalized happiness with a “Mow” and distaste with “Rhentt”.

One day my husband and I were at the pet store and met several retired racing Greyhounds and fell in love. We decided to get a dog.

We ended up with a red brindle male with the dubious racing name “Fonda Canyon” and promptly decided he needed a new name. We went round and round about the name until I finally talked my husband, the Trekkie, into Butler. Butler was named after Captain Kirk’s dog in the Star Trek movie “The Undiscovered Country”. Captain Kirk’s Butler was a Great Dane.

Adopt a Greyhound Atlanta “cat tests” their dogs to be sure new owners cats aren’t mistaken for the track rabbits. We eventually established Kitty Detente, after numerous “Rhenntts” from the cat and a few scratches on the muzzle the dog passed his cat test. They became friends and would sit on the furniture together. Butler lounging on his back with the cat beside him. Fortunately, we had a Chair and a half with a washable slipcover that would accommodate both of them. Of course they preferred the dry clean only sofa.

We began house training. Or, Butler began human training. I had this strange idea I could get up in the morning and let the dog out and he would do his business in the backyard.  Not this dog. He would hold it until somebody put a leash on him and walked him around the neighborhood to see who else had been around. Unless you left him in the house which was usually not a good idea. I eventually began to enjoy the walk around the neighborhood and met numerous fellow dog lovers that way.

Butler was a charming and handsome dog. Kids would stop to meet him and say he looked just like a tiger. A skinny canine tiger, I guess.  He was a dog who never met a stranger and wanted to meet everyone he encountered, especially those who had no interest in him at all. My mother, the dog hating Southern Belle, succumbed to his charms almost immediately and always called him “Rhett Butlah” and gave him treats (many treats)

Eventually I realized I was more of a dog person. My conversion is highly related to litter box issues and the feline need to achieve Kitty Superiority. Our cats all passed on and we ended up with two Greyhounds.  Twenty years have passed and we still have two Greyhounds, just not the same ones.

Here is Butler in his favorite spot.

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