Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Made Out Like a Bandit

I guess Santa didn't check his list twice because Luna got more than her fair share of toys. She had a great time visiting her cousins Maddie and Amber. She also snuck a few of their Christmas treats for herself. Naughty girl. Visiting with family gave her plenty of opportunities to beg for a few snacks. She earned the nickname "mooch" thanks to her alert presence in the kitchen. What a fun Christmas for Luna.

Merry Christmas!

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."

Monday, December 24, 2012

Puppies!

And now for something completely different!

What could be better than bringing Luna in to work?  How about bringing puppies in to work?!  

"Why yes.  I am just that cute."
During the fall, my co-worker's Siberian Husky, Libby, had a litter of puppies.  As the puppies have gone on to their new homes, my co-worker has brought the remaining two puppies to the office so they would not be alone with the adult dogs.  Stormy (gray) and Brady (black) were a ton of fun to have around.  Most of the day was spent sleeping in the crate, but when it was time to come out and play they were little balls of furry lightning flying around the office.

Stormy and Brady just hanging.
Stormy has visited the office a couple of times already and is starting to get the hang of office life.  When he first arrives he is full of energy and howls when we put him in the crate.  Eventually he settles down and takes a very long nap.  Howling must wear him out.  Around 4:00pm we take him back out for a potty break, dinner, and playtime.  He loves to run up and down the hallways.  He is a very confident little boy, but always aware of where my co-worker is in case she decides to leave him.

10 minutes before the crazy puppies were let out.

Luna has not had the pleasure of meeting Stormy yet, but she has investigated his empty crate.  She especially liked his bone which I had to explain to Luna that it did not belong to her.  I'm sure they will meet soon and I can only hope that it will be a fairly calm experience (yeah, right!).  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snow Time with the Gemstones

In the beginning of December Luna and I played hookie from work and spent the day with Mary Pat and her pack, the Gemstones.  It had snowed recently which made the landscape very beautiful. 
Luna and Tanzanite are ready for any treats you may have.
 Luna enjoyed hanging out with Emerald, Tanzanite, and Opal.  She even joined them for some running around in the yard.  Opal really wanted Luna to play with her big stuffed toy, but Luna was only interested in making me run.  She would spin in circles around me and bark.  Clearly, she is a mommy's girl.
Doesn't anyone want to play with Opal's toy?

Nope.  They're keeping a look out for something to chase.

She may look like Luna, but that's Emerald!

Poor Opal.  No one wants to play.

Isn't that snow cold?



We snacked on tea and chocolate while the dogs munched on cookies.  Luna never left the kitchen just in case we needed any help cleaning up.  Sorry puppy, no chocolate for you.

It was a great day to put us in the holiday spirit.  I'm so pleased that Luna got to run with her buddies.  She seemed to happy to be part of the gang.  Although, I think she didn't like sharing the treats. :-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Neighborhood Watch Dog

This was a busy weekend for Luna and me.  On Saturday, Ashley, Chewie and Luna went with me to a Holiday Caroling Party which was hosted by 4-H for residents at a local nursing home.  Chewie and Luna were a big hit with the residents.  Luna sported a blue collar with jingle bells and Chewie wore here new reindeer sweater.  The people we visited with just loved petting Chewie and Luna and admired their fun outfits.
The dynamic duo waiting for a cookie.
Sunday was my birthday (yay!) and we celebrated by attending the Greyhound Friends of NJ Craft Show.  We bought Luna a new sweater (stay tuned for pictures), checked out the latest batch of greys looking for a home, and got Luna's nails cut.  While we were walking around the vendors, we passed a man selling fuzzy marionettes.  Luna stopped in her tracks when she saw the fuzzy "dog" on the ground.
"What's that?!"
Luna cautiously approached the puppet with ears up.  When the man moved the puppet towards Luna she backed up quickly.  Apparently, she wanted to check out the toy (probably to play with it), but she was very afraid of the puppet.  After a few minutes of staring from a distance, Luna decided the best course of action was to bark at the puppet.  People passing us laughed and said, "Doesn't she know greyhounds don't bark?"  I guess not.  As a side note, none of the other greyhounds passing the puppet took any notice of the funny toy.  Only Luna was on high alert.

Continuing this theme, Luna and I had our normal morning walk before I leave for work this morning.  As we approached a small garden, Luna became very alert about a new statue.  I couldn't help laughing when I realized it was a rabbit.  Luna's fur was standing up as she slowly approached the rabbit statue.  She insisted on sniffing it from the side before standing in front of the statue.  After a few minutes she decided we were safe to move on.  Thank goodness! :-)
Be careful, Luna.  It can probably smell fear.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Miracle

 
Recently, my church asked for congregants to submit their uplifting holiday stories.  I could think of nothing better than to share our experience with Luna's accident.  Today marks one year since her accident.  I know I've said over and over how amazed I am with how far Luna has come in a year.  The following is the story I submitted to my minister which I will be reading in front of the congregation later this month.


"Miracles are a common theme in religious stories this time of year.  Celebrated miracles include the birth of Jesus, the oil that lasted eight days, and the enlightenment of Buddha.  In today’s modern world, do miracles still happen?  It all depends on your perspective.

In early December 2011, I had taken Luna, my newly adopted greyhound, for a run with her fellow sighthounds.  What started off as a wonderful day changed in a second to one of the worst experiences of my life.  In an instant, Luna was t-boned by another greyhound running at roughly 35 m.p.h. Luna struggled to breathe as she laid on the ground, unable to stand.  I rushed her to the veterinarian who discovered that Luna’s first two vertebrae had been affected.  The damage had left Luna paralyzed.

Mike and I were faced with a heartbreaking decision.  Should we keep up the fight in the hopes that Luna would have some quality of life or should we end her pain now?  In either case, we knew we would not be able to keep Luna.  How could we care for a dog that may never walk again or would possibly require a doggie wheelchair?

Luna’s positive attitude despite her discomfort and fear told Mike and me that she was not ready to give up.  We responded with 24/7 intensive care including physical therapy.  Within a week Luna was able to get herself into a sit.  In another week she could stand with little assistance.  Almost a month after her accident, Luna walked unaided.  Soon, she was back to trotting, running, and performing tricks.  There was no need for a wheelchair or to find her a new home.

This certainly is a fantastic story, but is it a miracle?  Let’s take a look at some of the factors that played an important role in this situation.

  1. The impact was terrible, but significantly less than it could have been.  Luna was injured, but no bones were broken and no surgery was required. 
  2. The woman who drove us to the veterinary hospital did not have a dog with her so she was free to help us all day.
  3. The veterinary hospital was not terribly far and was one of the best emergency clinics in New Jersey.  From doctors to secretaries, everyone cared about Luna’s recovery.
  4. Our families and friends were available to care for Luna when we needed to go to work.  Caring for a large dog in pain is no easy task, but everyone took a turn.
  5. Our bosses were understanding of the situation and made accommodations to support our unusual situation.
  6. The physical therapy clinic we visited had all the latest technologies and equipment we needed to rehabilitate Luna.
  7. The owner of the dog that collided with Luna volunteered to care for her while we were away on a much needed Christmas vacation.  Her pack of greyhounds encouraged Luna to walk by stealing treats and instigating playtime.
Whether you believe in miracles or not, it is easy to see that many factors played a role in creating the best outcome possible of a worst-case scenario.  It has been a year since Luna’s accident and every day we see her enjoying life we are reminded of our miracle."


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Naughty!

Temptation has been calling Luna's name this week and unfortunately she's given in.  It seems that Luna has discovered that she can get into mischief when we are out because she won't be scolded.  Hmmm.

Early in the week Mike came home to find the bin where we keep some of Luna's items was pulled out from it's spot on the shelf.  Any ziplock bags with treats that might have been in there were long gone evident by the carpet being littered with confetti sized plastic.  Yay.

A few days later, Luna struck again.  This time, Mike found a bag of Luna's treats had been pulled off her crate.  I'll admit it was within sniffing distance, but she has never shown this type of behavior before so I never thought anything about it being too close to the edge.  She had happily torn apart the ziplock bags and snacked on all the treats and leftover kibble from our vacation.  Sigh.

Tonight was the final straw.  Mike and I were out for only a few hours.  In that time, she had knocked over the garbage can and retrieved some treats from the furthest part on top of her crate (meaning she had to really work for it).  I was out to dinner with a friend when I received a frantic phone call from Mike describing the scene (notice that it's always Mike who comes home to the crime scene). 

We called the vet because this time we weren't sure what the damage was.  The vet assured us that if she was acting normal (and she was) that she was probably fine.  We will continue to monitor her to make sure everything passes without complication, but let it be known that Luna is a VERY NAUGHTY GIRL!

She's earned herself plenty of crate time when we are out until the foreseeable future.  We'll see if Santa puts her on the naughty list after this latest stunt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Being Silly

 This past week was stressful for Mike and me.  We had a lot of responsibilities to take care of for work and family.  It was so nice to spend our free time with our silly Lunatic.  She always knows how to make us smile.  Here are just a few photos that capture the spirit of our bonding time with the puppy.
Walkies in the afternoon.  Cold, but very enjoyable.
Luna knows how to make us laugh with her silly antics.



Bet you didn't know Luna is a lap dog.  It may not look comfortable, but she was enjoying the attention.




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Run, run, run!

It is amazing to me to see how much Luna has improved physically over the year and how much she has opened up since we adopted her.  Her walking and running has sometimes made me forget about what we went through last December.

At this time last year, Luna was just starting her career in LGRA racing.  She was getting the hang of going into the starting box and chasing the lure.  I remember how much fun she had on those runs.  She was so excited to let loose and get that lure.

While Luna doesn't hit those incredible speeds anymore, she does move pretty quick.  I took a video of her running back in October, but unfortunately the video did not transfer well to my computer.  I will have to take another soon.

Now that she is back to running like a maniac, I have been reinforcing her recall.  She learned that "eh eh" means "stop what you're doing" so it easily transferred over to "stop moving forward" when she is exploring the ball field where we go running.  She will turn towards me and make her way back to my side when she hears the "eh eh".

We have also transitioned the standard, "Luna, come!" to a whistle.  I don't like shouting commands at dogs, especially when I am in a quiet area.  By using the whistle, I can ask Luna to come back without making a big scene.

Luna has been thoroughly enjoying her runs and I enjoy watching her take joy in something so simple.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mixed Feelings

It's hard to find the right words to describe what we have been experiencing.  We certainly have a lot of blessings to count, but we are reminded of how many other families were affected by Sandy harder than us.

Yesterday, I went to the memorial service for the two people I knew where were killed during the storm.  The large home barely contained over 700 people who came out to show their support.  It was a very moving experience and I was glad for the opportunity to connect with friends and co-workers.  I finally felt like it was ok for me to cry a little for what this storm has taken out of my life.

When I returned home, I discovered that the power had returned to my neighborhood.  Again, I cried this time with relief.  Luna was so happy to have power back because she could finally take off her sweater which she had been wearing 24/7.  She was finally warm. :-)

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who do not have power (our parents' for example) and we are now in week two.  We've heard some rumors that the power companies won't be able to return power for 2-3 more weeks because they are low on poles for the wires.  Ugh.

On the plus side, we are all able to find warm shelter, good food, places to recharge our batteries, and the company of friends and loved ones.  Not every one is so lucky and we keep that in mind.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's Effect

This is just a quick post to let you all know what's happened in the last two weeks.

I was gone for a week for a work conference and was all prepared to come home and write a post about how Luna handled my absence.  Instead, I came home to find out that we had Hurricane Sandy on the way.  Mike and I spent the weekend getting the house ready for the storm and any guests that may need to move in with us when their power went out.  On Monday, my parents and my brother moved in when they lost power and by Monday night we also lost power. 

We do not have power, heat, or the ability to cook hot food.  However, we do have running water, although it is very cold.  My parents do not have power, running water, or heat, but they have a gas stove and a gas fireplace.  Mike's parents have a generator so they have all the comforts of home, just rationed.

We've been spending our nights at our house and then traveling between the other houses for food and warmth.  Luna has been with us through it all.  We haven't left her for a moment and she in turn sticks right by our sides.  She's done very well with the crazy storm, the unusual schedule, and the increased stress we are all under.

We've experienced some loss thanks to this storm.  Two friends I work with were killed during the storm when a tree landed on them.  Many of my parents' neighbors have trees through their homes.  Not to mention, the entire coast has been washed away.  However, we have been lucky with everyone staying safe, healthy, and well fed.

We hope to get our power back soon so we can get back to some normalcy.  Until then, stay safe and we'll update you again when we have power.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Luna, Luna, Pumpkin Eater

I was on my way home from work when I received a frantic phone call from Mike who had just walked in to the house.  "Is pumpkin bad for dogs?!"

Too cute to get in trouble.
"What happened?" I asked.  "She ate those little pumpkins you had on the tv stand.  Do I need to call a vet?"  Thankfully, I knew that pumpkin was not on the "Do Not Eat" list for dogs.  I had done a lot of research on dog digestive remedies when we first adopted Luna.  Canned pumpkin was frequently suggested for dogs with diarrhea and constipation.  I wasn't sure about eating a whole pumpkin (granted they were the small version).  Would the shell, seeds, and stem be ok?

After reassuring Mike that pumpkin is ok for dogs to eat, I suggested he look online to see what we could expect from Luna eating an entire pumpkin.  The results suggested that the pumpkin would either plug her up or keep her going.  In either case, she'd be fine.

We kept a watchful eye on Luna to make sure everything passed without any problems.  While I was frustrated at losing two pumpkins to Luna's silly antics, I was glad that this was a situation of no harm, no foul.  Usually we spend the evenings asking Luna "Who's a good girl?" to which we reply "You are!" as we pet her.  After the pumpkin incident we would ask her "Who's a good girl?" out of habit, but we had to change the answer to "Not you!"

Just three left.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Toys!

Luna has really started to enjoy toys.  It's taken awhile for her to grasp the concept of how to play with toys since she hasn't had other dogs around to show her how.  For awhile, she only liked stuffed animal toys with squeakers.  Now, her toy chest has expanded to tennis balls, puzzle balls, and sticks.

Sticks? Yep.  She's figured out that tug is a great new game.  The other day we took Luna to Mike's family's house to run around the backyard.  Over the last few play sessions she has become a little more mouthy than usual.  I don't want to yell at her since it has taken so long for her to feel comfortable enough to play enthusiastically, but I don't want her to develop bad habits.  I picked up a stick to direct her biting to a more appropriate item.  Within a few minutes she and I were playing tug!  Despite the taste of bark in her mouth, Luna loved the new game.  I'm definitely going to need to get a few rope for us to play tug in the house.

Luna with her collection.
I've been taking some videos of Luna playing, but they never come out quite right.  I hope to capture a good video soon so I can show you all how much fun she's having.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hanging with the puppy

What a view.
On Monday I had the day off from work (yay!), I had one of my graduate classes that night so it wasn't a complete day off. Luna and I decided to enjoy the sun and cold by going for a walk around the lake. We saw fishermen, squirrels, other dogs, and a lot of beautiful fall foliage. It was nice to spend some time hanging with Luna.
Checking out the fishermen
Is that a squirrel?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bath Time

"Why are you trying to get me into the bathroom?  You're not trying to give me a bath are you?"
Are there any dogs out there that actually enjoy bath time?  If so, I haven't met them.  At best, I've been lucky to have dogs that tolerate bath time.  Eris used to take on the Eeyore personality of just looking pathetic throughout the whole experience.  Luna has really mastered that look in combination with her Bambi eyes.  The good news is, Luna has stopped trying to escape (all the time) and now just stands (mostly) still while I move as quickly as possible.
Come for the treats, stay for the bath.


"Can I please come out?"
Towel drying.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Picnic

Do you remember when I said summer was my busy season?  Yeah, I think my life is a busy season.  I've been so busy lately that I completely forgot that this past Sunday was the fall picnic for the greyhound rescue group we got Luna from.  Luckily, Mike remembered so we were able to go.

We met up with our friends Brian and Michelle and their dog Renny.  Luna sported her fiery chili pepper bandana and Renny had on his hamburger collar.  They looked very nice together.  We even got both dogs to sit for a picture.  We looked very silly trying to get both dogs to sit nicely, look at the camera, and take the picture, but it was totally worth it.  Both dogs got their nails clipped and Luna actually did very well.  She was a little nervous towards the end, but it was over very quickly.

Cute puppies.  Renny is rocking his funky smile.
One of the founding members of the adoption group had recently passed away so we blew bubbles in her memory.  We tried to get Renny to blow bubbles, but he wasn't interested.  The day was wrapped up with a group roo.  Now that Luna can "speak" I expected her to participate in the rooing.  Instead, she seemed concerned about the situation and did not want to bark.  Maybe we'll get her to participate next time.

It was a nice day and I'm glad we were able to go despite our crazy schedules.
Check out that goofy face. :-)
Luna sits pretty for her treat.
Renny...just wants the treat.
Brian blows bubbles for Renny.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Out for Lunch

It's pretty clear that Luna has it good right now.  She has been accompanying me to work for the last few weeks.  She is obviously a favorite in the office.  I think my co-workers are more excited to see her than they are to see me. :-)

Today we decided to go out for lunch at Panera which has outdoor seating.  Luna joined us for lunch and was very good.  She stood quietly while we ate and did not beg for food from anyone.  Ok, she begged a little, but she understood when we told her no.  People who walked by commented on her beauty and smiled as they passed by.  I think Luna does more than brighten my day when she comes to work with me.  She definitely makes everyone's day better.

"Do you need me to finish that salad for you?"

Friday, September 14, 2012

Paycheck Cookies

Over the summer I wasn't able to bring Luna into work very often, to the disappointment of my co-workers. Now that things have settled down into some kind of a routine, I've been able to take Luna to work about once a week.

Most of the time I pick Friday or Thursday because there are fewer people in the office.  She has a bad habit of walking out of my office to greet someone in the hallway.  Usually she does this when I am on the phone.  If I know I'm going to be on the phone for awhile I will use an old accordion gate to keep her contained.  
Bambi eyes hard at work.

Today, there were only three of us in the office for the morning and two in the afternoon.  Luna had a lot more freedom and she was more than happy to help out in any way she could.  Generally, hanging out at the office is pretty boring for Luna.  On the plus side, she gets way more cookies on a work day than if she stayed at home.  As a result, Luna loves going to work and will eagerly run up the stairs, turn the corner down the hallway, and find her "desk" (a blanket on the floor) in my office.  I'm glad she enjoys coming to work as much as I enjoy having her here.
"Anything there for me?"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Totally Worth It

Today started off as a pretty crummy day.  I have been working on a project for several weeks and was trying to finish it up, but things kept going wrong.  To add to my frustration, I have a co-worker who is driving me up the walls.  It's hard to explain what she does that makes me so crazy, but in a nutshell she does not pick up on social cues and does not always respond appropriately to stress.

After beating my head against the desk when I ran into another road block and my co-worker wouldn't stop talking to me I escaped to the kitchen for a late lunch.  Luna snacked on her Kong full of peanut butter and treats while tried to calm down.

My mom has told me that it is important to have something in your life that makes the hard days at work totally worth it.  Sometimes it's just a pair of nice shoes that helps keep you from going totally crazy.  As I was eating lunch I was trying to think of what I have in my life that keeps me happy.  I looked over at Luna and realized she fills that need.  At the end of a hard day, Luna is always there to greet me.  She is always happy to see me, gives me plenty of love, tolerates/enjoys me dressing her up, and plays our silly games.  I'm so lucky to have her and even luckier that I can take her to work with me.
My Lovebug.
After my lunch break I felt a whole lot better and I was able to go tackle the rest of my day.  Good girl, Luna.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Be Prepared

September is National Preparedness Month.  It is a great time to stock up on all the things you'll need in case of an emergency.  Having grown up in a house that constantly flooded in an area that would cause us to be snowed in after just a few inches, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what you need in case of power outages, no heat, constant wetness, and overall troubles.

One thing that I am not very prepared for (and thankfully this has never been a problem) is general first aid.  For the most part, we've got the basic drugs and a few band-aids, but we should probably stock up on some gauze, wrap, and other more serious injury supplies.  When it comes to canine first aid our supplies are beyond sorry.

The other day I was clipping Luna's nails.  She is good about letting me do the job, but she is more resistant than my last greyhound.  Luna's tolerance is much shorter than Eris' was so she starts pulling her feet away from me before I've even finished the first paw.  She will also yelp if she pulls her foot and I don't let go causing her to fall off balance.  On top of this, she is not afraid to give me a warning nip if she is really stressed.  It makes the whole experience more stressful for me than it ever was with Eris which I'm sure Luna picks up.

So there I was clipping nails as quickly as possible when Luna started her foot pulling routine.  I clipped, she pulled, and she yelped.  Blood was instantly everywhere.  I can count the number of times I have clipped a dog's quick on one hand, all of which were extremely minor.  In the big picture, this was also a minor cut, but the blood flow would suggest that I had taken off half her toenail.  They always say greyhounds are great bleeders. Case in point.

I caked flour on the nail and instantly we had solid blood to stop the flow.  I was worried about Luna's nail bleeding again while she was in the house.  Since we didn't have any bandages or wrap, Mike and I improvised with a paper towel, band-aids, and saran wrap.  It barely stays on when she moves, but it's the best we could do.
Luna doesn't like modeling her new accessory.
The moral of this story is to celebrate National Preparedness Month by stocking up on all first aid necessities. 

P.S. Luna was fine, although this incident is probably going to make nail cutting in the future even more fun. :-(

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Neighborhood Doggie Friends

Living in a townhouse/condo complex gives Luna plenty of opportunities to meet new doggie friends.  Now that she's been around for over a year, it is easy to see which dogs she considers her buddies.  She is always happy to greet another dog, but there are a few that she will drag me across the street so she can say hello.

Luna likes our next door neighbor's beagle, Sadie.  They will occasionally bump into each other if their potty breaks match up.  I think Sadie is a little nervous saying hello to a big dog, but Luna's gentle nature helps Sadie relax.

Another neighbor we usually see walking in the cooler weather owns a black rough collie named Wolfie.  Wolfie was one of the first dogs Luna met when we adopted her and she was very scared of him.  As far as I know, Luna had not interacted with other breeds of dogs before living with us.  She was scared of dogs bigger than a whippet.  Wolfie's fluffy, black coat probably didn't help much.  Over time Luna became more confident and appreciates Wolfie's laid back attitude.  Now she will prance over to him when we see him out on a walk.

We also see two Italian greyhounds out on walks.  The two iggies happily dance around Luna and reach up with their tiny noses to sniff her great big face.  Luna will stand very still so as not to step on the small dogs.  Her tail will wag constantly as she leans in to say hi.  One time, Luna got the zoomies while saying hello to the iggies which got the two iggies riled up.  The three dogs happily spun, play bowed and danced while we just laughed.

Like most greyhounds, Luna is biased towards her own kind.  We have three other greyhounds in the neighborhood; two chocolate brindle females (can't remember their names) and one fawn male named Vinny.    Vinny lives the closest to us so we see him almost every morning.  When Luna sees Vinny she perks her ears up, wags her tail, and starts pulling me towards him.  Vinny has been sick for a long time so he isn't as animated as Luna, but he definitely perks up when she's around.  Luna also gets excited for the two females, but only one of them gets excited back.  The other is a bit reserved about who she accepts in her pack.

It is nice to see Luna interact with the many different breeds in our neighborhood and I'm glad she has picked out her buddies.  It is always a special treat for her when we see them on our walks.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scaredy Cat

Luna can easily scare herself when on a night time walk.  Her reaction is usually to get low and sprint towards me.  This usually ends up with her taking out my knees from behind or stepping on my flip flops.  It is really annoying especially when we are walking near traffic.  She is also able to spook herself on the most insignificant thing.  Here is a list of things Luna finds scary and things that should be scary, but she doesn't care about.

Scary things Luna can ignore:
  1. Lightning/thunder
  2. Motorcycles
  3. Cars backfiring
  4. Bicycles/Fast moving people
  5. Loud, unexpected noises (crashes, chainsaws, etc.)
Scary things that Luna reacts to:
  1. Weird shadows
  2. Unheard sounds
  3. Unseen movements
  4. When she trips
  5. A parked, unattended motorcycle
After an incident this past week we will have to add cats to the list of scary things.  We have a neighbor who owns a very friendly cat.  Luna and the cat have met a few times before and enjoy sniffing one another.  The cat actually will rub up against Luna if she will stand still.  On our walk we saw the cat and decided to stop to say hello.  

When it was time to get going I called Luna, not realizing that the cat was between us and Luna wasn't watching where she was going.  She stepped on the cat which caused the cat to hiss (and probably swat, but I didn't see that).  While the cat was hissing, Luna was screaming/yelping.  You would have thought these two were in a fight to the death.  

To make matters worse, we were in an area that sounds echo off of the buildings so the whole ordeal was very loud.  More than a few neighbors stuck their heads out their windows to see what was happening.  I just kept walking in the hopes that I would not die of embarrassment.  "Nothing to see here.  Just a silly dog stepping on a cat."  Both animals totally overreacted to the incident.

Neither the cat or Luna was hurt which is good, but I'm sure they will keep their distance for awhile.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Go Dog! Go!

It is pretty obvious when a walk just isn't enough for Luna.  She needs a good run.  The problem is that Luna will only do real hard running in two locations: my parents' backyard and Mike's parents' backyard.  She is too scared to run at a dog park (thanks to our second collision) even if she is the only dog in the park.  She'll do a couple of quick sprints, but nothing that would totally exhaust her.

Yesterday, I tried a new location.  We went to a ball field in my parents' neighborhood that is pretty secluded.  I thought this might help Luna relax since it doesn't look anything like a dog park.  Once again, she did a few sprints, but was not comfortable enough for real running.  I think she enjoyed the opportunity to sniff a new location.
video

Finally, I gave in and took her to my parents' house where she tore up the backyard.  I wish I had someone with me to film her running.  She doesn't run away from me and then return like my last greyhound did.  Instead, she spins in circles around me, nips at my shirt, play bows, and growls a lot.  In order to get her to run I have to have her chase me.  We end up just running back and forth across the yard.  This time I had her squeaky toy on the whip so she could chase after the toy.

It is exhausting to get Luna's zoomies out and I wish that she would just run around like a normal greyhound. On the plus side, I finally got her tired...at least for a few hours.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hostess Luna

It's been another crazy week (are you tired of hearing that phrase yet?).  To add to our busy week we've been dogsitting Chewie while her family is away on vacation.  You may remember Chewie from previous posts.  She is a rescued Shih Tzu that was found running loose on a local highway.  Luna and Chewie are good buddies and have traveled on several adventures together.  However, this was the first time that Chewie has slept over at our house.

Luna was quite content to have Chewie hanging out with us the first evening.  I think she enjoyed the company.  When it was time for bed, Chewie settled into her crate.  Luna stared at Chewie from her pillow as if wondering why Chewie was still in our house.  Doesn't she go home at night?

Luna has also been having trouble giving Chewie space while she is eating.  Chewie is very submissive so if Luna comes too close Chewie will walk away from her food allowing Luna to swoop in.  The "leave it" command has been very helpful this week.

The trickiest part of having Chewie stay with us has been walks.  We are used to walking at a brisk pace which equates to a sprint for Chewie.  The first walk I took with both dogs had me walking sideways with Luna out front and Chewie lagging behind.  Both dogs were frustrated and I don't even want to think about how the neighbors saw me.  To solve this problem I've been using Chewie's retractable leash to give her a little more space.  However, this solution has it's flaws when Luna steps over Chewie or Chewie runs underneath Luna.

I think Luna enjoys having Chewie around, but I know she will be very happy to be an only dog again.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Try Again Next Year

The Somerset County 4-H Fair started this past Wednesday and continues until 10:00pm tonight.  On Wednesday I was on the fairgrounds to judge club displays, work at my church's food booth, and support the dog club members as they competed in a variety of shows.  All the kids asked if I was going to bring Luna to the Fair and I promised that I would bring her on Thursday.

Despite my best efforts, we never set foot on the fairgrounds yesterday.  Some bad thunderstorms shut down the Fair for several hours.  I had hoped that by the time Luna and I arrived after work the fairgrounds would be open again, but that was not the case.  We hung out in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store for awhile before moving to Mike's parents house for dinner.  His parents live about a mile from the fairgrounds.  Luna enjoyed running around in the backyard and visiting with the family so at least she had some fun.

After dinner I had heard that the fairgrounds had been opened so Luna and I headed out for another attempt.  We didn't get very far when we stopped in bumper to bumper traffic.  The bad weather, local car accidents, and closed fairgrounds had all contributed to one of the worst traffic jams.  We sat forever before we finally got to a location where we could escape the traffic.  I took that opportunity to get out and go home.

Today the forecast is rain and thunderstorms all day so we will not be attending tonight.  I feel bad that the kids did not get to see Luna.  We'll have to visit them when they start their club meetings up again in the fall.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Demanding Hot Walks

Poor Luna.  She so desperately wants to go outside for some walks and running around.  However, this past weekend it was so hot.  This was the first weekend in a very long time that I was not working or away so my plan was to just sit inside and enjoy the air conditioning.  Luna was not on board with that idea.

She followed me so close I had to be careful how I moved around the house in fear that I would trip over her.  When Luna wants to get your attention she begins by playing with her toys.  She will squeak the toys and toss them in the air for several minutes.  If that doesn't work, she will hang out by the front door and use her nose to ring the bell we hang on the door knob.  Still ignoring her?  She will come over and rest her heavy head on your lap.  She completes this stage with a heavy sigh and Bambi eyes.  If you are still not picking up on her hints for attention, she will start barking up a storm until your butt is off the couch.

This is what I dealt with all weekend.  A few times I tried to take her for a short walk, but the pavement was so hot she couldn't stand still for even a second.  A neighbor stopped us at one point and wanted to pet her. Poor Luna was picking up her feet because the pavement was burning her.  I'm sure the neighbor thought I was rude because I moved on very quickly.  On another walk, we had just barely gotten started when she was already hanging her swollen tongue out of her mouth.  We turned around and went home.

Luna just doesn't seem to make the connection between it's miserable outside and that's why we aren't going for long walks.  She keeps demanding the walks, but is miserable when I give them too her.  I'm looking forward to a few cooler days so we can let her run.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wine and Greyhounds, What's Not to Love?

After a month of stressful 4-H camps and Fairs it was time for a break.  Luna, Mom and I said good-bye to the menfolk and headed to upstate New York for the annual Grapehounds Wine Tour.  This was our first big greyhound event and it won't be our last.
View from the vineyard.  Awesome!
I couldn't tell you how many greyhounds were there because there were so many.  I was amazed by the number of dogs, the spectacular views, and the good company.
Family of six greys!

Ladies only vacation.  Me, Luna and Mom.
In the mornings we hiked Buttermilk Falls which was fantastic physical therapy for Luna.  She had to navigate rocks, roots, and steps as we climbed around the gorge.  On one of our hikes she saw a small snake which she watched with great intent.  Suddenly she jumped straight up into the air as if she had been bitten.  Upon closer examination I realized that she had shifted her weight while observing the snake and had caused a stick to poke her in the foot.
We didn't see a bear...but we saw a snake.
Checking out the stream that leads to the lake that leads to the falls.
A little water and we're ready for the next adventure.
In the afternoons we dined at a lake view restaurant, wine tasted six wineries and a distillery, and hung out with the greyhounds.  Luna shared her frozen vanilla yogurt with an adorable Italian Greyhound during the ice cream social.  While my Mom loves greyhounds, I saw her falling for the Iggies.  I won Luna a collection of holiday necklaces in the silent auction.  We love them and can't wait to show them off this year.

This old church is now a winery.  Awesome.
Lunch by the lake.
Luna modeling her new bling.
Every night we came back to the Grayhaven Motel (fantastic place to vacation with your dog) and watched the Olympics.  I tried to cuddle with Luna on the twin bed, but she was too tired to jump up one night.  Oh well, there wasn't much room for both of us anyway.
What a pretty puppy.

The weekend was wrapped up with a group hike to one of the falls.  It was amazing to see so many greyhounds on the trails.  We missed the group photo :-( but when we arrived there were still plenty of greyhounds.  A few (including Luna) enjoyed a quick dip in the water.  We had so much fun we are already planning next year's Grapehounds Wine Tour.  
Just some of the many greyhounds on the hike.

The gathering at the falls.

One grey really enjoyed the water.

This is by far the tallest greyhound I've ever seen.  Huge!