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.