Monday, December 30, 2013

December Has Come and Gone

It's been a long time since my last post.  Over a month, in fact.  Life just got away from me and I just didn't have the time, energy, and drive to write out the posts.  Here's a quick recap of what we've been up to.

We went for a hike along the Potomac River.  Hard to believe this dog was once paralyzed.
Luna, Mike and I went to Washington D.C. to visit family and hang out with my Aunt and Uncle's dog, Ginny.  Luna had a great time playing with Ginny's toys, taking walks around the neighborhood, and taking care of any leftovers from dinner.

Foster Dog, Trina
Atascocita Trina (a.k.a Chuckles)
For the first two weeks of December we fostered a lovely brindle greyhound named Trina.  She had been adopted, but was returned quickly when she got into a fight with the resident greyhound.  Unfortunately, the dogs were left unsupervised with food so it is unclear who started the fight.  Both dogs were injured and Trina was returned.  Happily, she was placed in the Prison Program where inmates care for the dogs one-on-one 24/7.  They couldn't find any evidence of food aggression so she was placed with us for a "home situation test".  Again, no food aggression or any other negative behaviors were found.  However, she seemed to lack any kind of understanding of "personal space" as she was constantly in Luna's face and attempted to share the pillows.  Luna was very tolerant of Trina's ridiculous behavior, but I can see another dog getting a bit ticked off when Trina's face was in their food bowl.  After just a short time with us, Trina was adopted by a family that lives just 20 minutes away and owns three other dogs (one is a big male greyhound).  Her family reports that Trina is a mischief maker, but everyone (including the dogs) enjoys her silly antics.  What a great Christmas for Trina!

Snow and Sun
Luna loves to explore the snowy woods.
The weather has been flexing back and forth over the last few weeks between muggy Florida rain and freezing Arctic snow.  Luna enjoys running in the snow and splashing through the mud.  Ugh.  However, there was a week where the snow became ice and Luna was pretty miserable.  She did not like walking on the slippery "snow" and falling through with her spindly legs while trying to go to the bathroom.  We hope to get another good snowfall so we can hike at the mansion again.

Luna thinks every present is for her.
Luna has been traveling with us a lot over the last few weeks.  I've taken her to work since no one is around and she can keep me company.  She also spent Christmas morning with us at my parents' house followed by Christmas afternoon and evening at Mike's family's house.  She had plenty of playtime with Ryder...well...nap time.  Luna wasn't interested in Ryder's attempts to play.  Poor guy.  Luna received some tasty treats, rawhides, a new stuffed moose squeak toy, a new light up collar (for night time walks), and a new bed for when she comes to my office.  Lucky pup.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Little Brother Wants to Play

Ryder and Luna have had several play dates at this point.  Each time, Ryder tries desperately to get Luna to play with him.  She, as always, refuses by ignoring him.  Sorry buddy.

Since Luna won't play, I've been working with Ryder on his "drop it", "take it", and "sit" commands through our tug-of-war and retrieval game.  He's doing pretty well, but has plenty of room for improvement.  Many times he brings the toy to Luna just in case she suddenly decides to join in the fun.  So such luck as of yet, but who knows?  Maybe she'll change her mind on the 100th try.
Ryder celebrates capturing his "prey" by racing around the yard.
"Look, Luna!  Doesn't this look like fun?"
"Are you sure you don't want to play?"
"Is there something we should chase?"
"She STILL won't play.  What's wrong with her?" 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Funky Foot Question

The other night, I noticed something funky going on with Luna's foot.  I'm sure this is a simple and common problem so I welcome any advice before I head off to the vet's office.  My suspicion is a calloused pad which I'm guessing requires soaking and moisturizer.  Any suggestions?
What's up with the white, dry looking part of the pad?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Purple Snoods are In This Season

I have been trying to expand my knitting skills and use up some of the leftover yarn I have collected over the years so I decided to attempt knitting a snood for Luna.  It came out pretty good and I'm quite pleased at how well it goes with Luna's coat.  She looks very stylish.  I can't wait to show it off this winter and I know Luna appreciates having a warm neck on our nighttime walks.

"Seriously?  You want me to wear this?"
Close up of my handiwork.
"Does purple go with this face?"
She's such a sassy fashionista.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Continued Play Date with the Gemstones

After the market, Luna and I enjoyed some time hanging out in Mary Pat's large back yard.  She has four chickens in a fenced in section that the dogs pretty much ignored which was surprising to me since they all have a history of going after chickens.  At least, they ignored the chickens up until Mary Pat went in side the fencing to inspect them.

At that point, Luna was on high alert and even gave a couple of barks at the birds.  Tanzanite offered a few play bows and tested how well the fencing held up.  One of the chickens seemed to understand that the dogs could not get her because she walked right up to the fencing and pecked Tanzanite right on the nose which was both a surprise and hilarious.  Emerald suffered the same pecking when she got to close.  The look of surprise on her face was priceless.  Only Opal waited on the sidelines just in case a bird got loose.

After playing with the chickens, Luna surprised us all with a sudden desire to run around.  Ever since her accident (nearly two years ago) she has refused to run in the presence of other dogs.  Apparently, she felt comfortable enough around the Gemstones that she was able to run until she was good and tired.  I was so happy to see her fully enjoying herself.  She didn't even mind that Fun Police Officer Tanzanite was trying to stop her from having a good time.  Go, Luna!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any video of Luna running.  I was too busy taking in the moment.  Since Luna has shown that she can run with the other greys, we will have to visit again soon so she can enjoy another care free run.
Tanzanite and Opal enjoying the warm sun.
Emerald keeps a watchful eye while she rests her head.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Big Outing with the Gemstones

I've been really busy lately with graduate school projects and coordinating a huge event for work.  As a result, Luna developed another case of cabin fever.  Her symptoms include selective hearing, excessive dancing/prancing around me when I put on my shoes, and desperate attempts for attention.
Opal, Emerald, and Tanzanite relaxing on the way to the market. 
Luna was too excited to relax.
Today was the first day free of commitments so I decided to cure Luna's cabin fever by taking her to visit Mary Pat and the Gemstones (thanks Mary Pat for seeing us on such short notice).  The weather was perfect so we decided to visit Rice's Flea Market in Pennsylvania.  I've taken Luna there a few times before and she loves the attention from the shoppers, the many interesting smells, and the different kinds of dogs that people bring.  It didn't occur to me that visiting Rice's Flea Market with FOUR greyhounds might draw some attention.

We had barely stepped on to the main walkway when we were stopped by several people who wanted to talk greyhounds with us.  Two of the people who stopped by had just lost their greyhound and it was evident that they needed their greyhound fix.  Another family had a young girl who was curious about the dogs and happy to pet each one.  After several minutes chatting with several shoppers, we finally headed off towards the dog treat vendor.
Decisions, decisions....
The girls enjoyed many samples from the vendor before we made our purchases.  Luna never took her eyes off the vendor even when shoppers were petting her.  It's amazing how well she can give someone eye contact when they have food.

We decided to do a full lap of the market, but this proved to be difficult because we were stopped every few feet so someone could pet our dogs.  Mary Pat and I answered many questions and encouraged shoppers to consider a greyhound as their next pet.  I wasn't expecting our little outing to turn in to a Meet & Greet, but it was a great opportunity to help spread the word on greyhound adoption.
Tanzanite makes a great head rest during stops.
*Sigh* Are we going to move soon?
By the time we finished our lap the market was closing up so we loaded the girls up to head home.  All four were finally tired enough to lie down and relax.  Social butterfly, Tanzanite, was so tired from greeting shoppers that she passed out the moment we started the car until we pulled in the driveway.  Luna, on the other hand, stayed alert in case something interesting happened.
Luna finally laid down for the car ride back.
All four dogs are ready for a nap.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

Luna was a good sport and got dressed up for Halloween this year.  Mike pointed out that she has more outfits for October than any other month.  At this point she has a pretty orange collar, two orange and black necklaces, a pumpkin bandanna, and now a Halloween costume.  It seems a bit much for one dog.
Luna sporting her pumpkin bandanna.
Anyway, Halloween fell on a Thursday this year so Luna was able to come to work with me.  My co-worker, Kathy, brought her Siberian Husky, Libby, to work, too.  Libby came dressed as a princess, but promptly threw her crown off her head after only a few minutes.  What a diva!
Luna and Libby all dressed up.
Luna's costume was very simple.  She went as a pony with a cowboy riding on her back.  She looked very cute, but not thrilled with wearing the silly thing.
Happy pony?  I don't think so.
The past two years have had natural disasters screw up Halloween.  Two years ago we had a snowstorm.  Last year we had Hurricane Sandy.  This year we had some rain, but not too much so we ended up with a few trick-or-treaters.  I have so many fun memories of trick-or-treating in my neighborhood as a kid.  Sadly, trick-or-treating seems to be a thing of the past since we haven't seen many kids in the last four years.

Despite the low number of kids, Luna greeted each one at the door in her costume.  It looked like she was happy to see the kids, but unsure of their strange outfits.  She was also probably confused by the fact that we had even a few kids at the door since this is out of the ordinary for our house.

Anyway, I think Luna had a fun Halloween and will definitely model her costume again next year.