Monday, January 12, 2009

All My Children - Part 2

Semper Fi, whelped January 7, 2002 out of GNC Ebony Silk & WD's Salsa. Trigger was in a litter of 7, four males, 3 females. They were all either black or brindle, a pretty typical greyhound litter. I had the honor of knowing almost the entire litter.

Trigger began his career at Geneva Lakes, in Wisconsin, on September 12, 2003. He raced very well at Geneva Lakes. His racing style was suited to that track. He won many races there. At the end of 2004 Geneva Lakes closed and he came to the Woodlands with his trainers, who were also his owners. It was here I met him. He ran his first race at the Woodlands on January 17, 2005 in a Grade B race. He placed 6th. He raced at the Woodlands until September 2, 2005. He retired that day after winning his final race!

The Old Fart decided he wanted Trigger before he ever saw him based on his racing name "Semper Fi", so off I went to talk to Gary & Norma, who I had become friends with while that trained at the Woodlands. They were happy to know that Trigger had a home to go to when he retired! We followed his career while he raced at the Woodlands & were there on his last race day and celebrated his win! What a high note to retire on!

When I would go to the race kennel to see Trigger he would always stand up and give the best hugs. He was a sweet soul then & still is today. The only time he demands is at dinnertime each & every night! I swear he has a watch somewhere under his fur!

When Trigger first came home, he was a total Mama's boy. I nicknamed him "Boo-Boo". That name still stick with him. Now, he loves the Old Fart & myself fairly equally. He has always been drawn to a female house mate for his pal though, first it was Rose and when she passed, he was pretty lost for a while. When we brought Munchie home he got excited again and now they are buddies! He playbows to her and begs her to play.

For Christmas of 2007 we got the most wonderful surprise gift from Gary & Norma, Trigger's owner/trainers. They sent us a package with a video of every race trigger ever ran play some loving playtime footage with Gary & Norma after he had retired! We watched him race over & over again amazed at how well he raced when at Geneva Lakes! It is a gift we will always treasure as he is the only one that we have every race on tape!

Trigger was a great addition to our family and we hope we will have him with us for many years to come.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fooling The Poop Eaters

All dogs eat poop, face it people. This is something that goes back to when our dogs were wild, they ate their poop to protect them, keep the small away from their attackers. As we have domesticated them, most of that has gone away, but some still do it.

I only have a couple of poop eaters & they do it mostly in the winter. No one has ever figured out why poop eating increases in the winter, but it does. When I worked in the kennel, we had poop cups in almost all of the dogs muzzles, in the summer, maybe 5 had them. Strange, but true.

Our dogs like to graze in the winter too & I am not going out to scoop poop when it's freezing so ours go out with muzzles.

We also have a couple who love to eat dirt, not poop, DIRT! I'm not sure why this happens but I hate seeing them munch on the dark, rich dirt we have. Lord knows what's in that soil. I know bacteria, the same bacteria that lived in Calamity's leg for a year!

I'm sure this makes the neighbors wonder if our dogs are mean & we are protecting people or the stray cats that used to come in our yard (USED to - Trigger & Kade killed a cat in the yard in the fall). I made a tag for Calamity's muzzle that says "I'm not mean, I just eat poop!".

Greyhounds learn to wear muzzles at an early age, so muzzles usually do not bother them. Some greyhounds - Calamity - learn to get their muzzles off when they want them off. Calamity took hers off daily when she was in the racing kennel, drove her trainer crazy! She has learned to take it off as a tripawd too! I haven't seen her do it, but she's done it twice. I believe she lays down & swipes her good paw around the ear & pops the muzzle off. Just a guess.

In the winter, I am glad I have greyhounds are educated to the muzzle. Very rarely, will one come in and have poop on the muzzle because they still tried to eat some. They seem to know that when they have the muzzle on, they can't dine outside!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Abilene Fun Run

Every June Old Fart & I pack up the greyhounds and head west to Abilene, Kansas. It's in the middle of the state & there is nothing around but prairie grass & interstate.

Abilene Kansas is the greyhound capitol of the nation. It's the home of the NGA and the area of the most greyhound breeding farms in the country. We have greyhounds of all ages all around us for the 4 days we are there.

We go there to attend, what we think, is the most wonderful greyhound gathering in the United States. It is sponsored by an adoption group from Wichita, Kansas, Race The Wind. It's a gathering that I have attended since the first year when there was a small group of 12 who just wanted the companionship of other owners & to see greyhound farms. It has grown steadily over the years and for the most part, the same people come yearly, so it's like a family reunion.

I also reserve a block of 10 rooms that Old Fart & our greyhound friends fill with our local greyhound family. We also must include 1 Canadian who always makes the trip with us. We really love these days with our friends!

There is a schedule of events for the official gathering and our own group has a few events that we do yearly. We have dinner at the Mexican joint on Thursday night, we have lunch at Pizza Hut on Friday and we have a grill out in the park on Saturday. We fill in the rest of the time with whatever activities that Race The Wind has scheduled that we want to do. Sometimes we just hang out at Steryl Hall & socialize.

On Friday evening, there is a Fun Run for the pet greyhounds at the Abilene Race Park. The dogs get to run on a track just like the old days. The lure operator runs the lure slower that he normally would yet he has been doing this for so long he can determine the speed each dog needs to run at. It's always fun to see how these dogs have never gotten the race out of their system. They are all pulling at the owners leads to get on the track. They are all raced one at a time to prevent injuries.

In 2006, Calamity won this Fun Run with an outstanding time of 6.09 seconds! As of yet, no one has beaten her time. She (really Old Fart & myself) received a nice trophy for her win.

We also have a video of her winning run along with our other greyhounds that raced that year. Calamity is the third greyhound to be led to the starting box. She is wearing a blue #2 silk and the lilac muzzle she has had since her racing days. She also feels the need to drop and pee before going into the box!

We have retired all of our greyhounds from the Fun Run. We figure that we have had ne win & that is enough to satisfy us for the rest f our lives. We'll let others win & try to break Calamity's record.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I've been involved with greyhounds for quite a while now. I've seen many changes in things from the amount of greyhound groups who find homes for these wonderful creatures to being able to custom pick your dog! It's been such an incredible journey.

I picked up my first greyhound on February 19, 1995. I had 2 males to choose from. That was it. I chose a beautiful red boy with a chocolate colored mask. His name was Run-A-Way, I called him Runz. The groups did not give me much information on him, all I knew was his name. He wasn't a puppy, he had a life before me, I wanted to know more. I started on a learning journey that has brought me to where I am today. More about that in a later post.

Starting with Runz, I wanted a littermate. I wanted to know where the others were. Were they living, still racing, brood bitches, studs, pets? Where were they? Only on one occasion did I find a littermate, but the timing wasn't right to bring him to my home. I always searched for greyhounds who's sire was Lone Lobo, the same as Runz's. There were lots of those and I met many people with out half-brothers and sisters. I even welcomed one into my home, Colt. Finally, some "family" for Runz. HA! Runz could not care less! he tolerated Colt, but never bonded to him.

On June 22, 2005 I brought home a greyhound I had watched race for a long time, Calamity. I had followed her career and hoped someday I could have her as a pet. I was thrilled beyond belief. And as usual, I began a search for any of her littermates. Her sister Kitty, was back at the farm breeding, it'd be years before I could have her, if ever. One brother had been adopted and was tragically killed when hit by a car. A couple brothers were still racing. I followed them when I remembered to look.

Imagine my surprise one day, in October 2005 when Calamity's racing owner called me to see if I had room at the adoption kennel for a male that was retiring. It was the end of the season at a track in Iowa & he was not going to bring him back to the farm. He was on a hauler on the way to Kansas City and guess what? He was Calamity's brother, Morgan! I decided right there & then that he could come to the adoption kennel & I would see what I could do for him. We had 6 greyhounds at home at that time. Once again, a chance for a real littermate, but no room at the house. Morgan stayed at the adoption kennel until February 2006, when I brought him home.

Within a month it was very clear the connection was there. Calamity & Morgan became inseparable. They became playmates. Calamity bossed him around & he let her. They played rough & hard like greyhound puppies do with their litters. I knew they remembered each other!

It's so unbelievable how these two dogs could have travelled different paths in their racing careers and came back together to remember and love one another as much as they do. When Calamity was going through all of her trials and would not come home with me, Morgan looked for her. He always searched the house or the yard for her.

I'm so blessed to have these twins in my life! Finally, a dream of mine has been fulfilled with the addition of them! I not only have littermates, I have TWINS!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All My Children - Part 1

It's been a while since I've had time to write anything here, I apologize to my faithful readers. I thought I'd write about each of my dogs separately. They are great dogs & deserve a post of their own! I'm going to start with Kade, for no particular reason.

Super C Kade, whelped May 5, 2006 out of Trix Miss Kitty & Kiowa Sweet Trey. Kade was in a litter of 8, five males, three females. A litter of all colors, brindle, red brindles, brindles & whites, reds, dark brindles and white/dark brindle ticked. Oh so many colors! What a beautiful little they must have been as wee puppies!

Kade is a nephew to Calamity & Morgan. He has a lot of Morgan's features.

Kade and most of his litter came to race at the Woodlands where I first met him. I was really more attracted to one of his sisters Kimbra, but Kade loved me. What a silly boy he was! When I would go visit Kimbra, Kade would bark & whine until I went to his crate & played with him. When he was out in the turn-out pen, he would follow my van as I drove by. This boy was smitten! He was so huge!

Kade was retired when the Woodlands closed and I had committed to make sure he got a home where I would know where he was and how he was treated and that I would take him if any home didn't work for him. He came to the adoption kennel for a few days, then I brought him home to "foster" until I could get his medical done & find a home for him.

He fit right into our home. No alpha issues with an unaltered male! He is smart & learns quick what we do here & what is expected of him. He learned the routine quickly. He slept through the night his first night here! Out of all of our greyhounds, I have to say Kade has the gentlest heart & soul.

With all that we were going through with Calamity, his medical got put on the back burner. That just wasn't a priority with all that Calamity was going through.

Now Kade has been here so long he's a member of the family. He is perfect in every way and he is here to stay!