Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stair Master

As I'm sure many of you know, stairs are a new concept for greyhounds off the track.  Luna has enjoyed showing off to Symphony her ability to go up and down stairs for the last few days.  I think she especially liked the idea that she got to sleep upstairs with us at night at Symphony had to stay downstairs in the crate.
These are the stairs we tried to avoid carrying Luna up and down when she was injured.
Every night we offered Symphony the chance to come upstairs and every night she declined the offer by going into the crate.  Fine by us.  Two nights ago I wanted to try to encourage her to attempt the stairs, even just a little bit.  We've got to start learning if she's ever going to come to work with me.  With some gentle pushing and picking up her paws a few times, Symphony made it to the first landing.  She immediately laid down.
"I'll just camp here for the night."

After a few moments rest it was obvious that Symphony was planning to camp out on the landing indefinitely.  During this time Luna was running up and down the second half of the stairs as if to say, "That's as far as you can go? Look how much more I can do!"  Show off.  I eventually got Symphony back on her feet and waited to see which direction she wanted to go, up or down.

She choose up (I think to follow Luna) which meant a little more pushing and moving her paws, but this time she did most of it on her own.  By the time she reached the top you'd have thought she just finished climbing Mt. Everest.  There was a whole lot of panting, but she looked pleased with herself.

In a few moments we had a bed set up for her in our room (to Luna's displeasure) and had Symphony settled in for the night.  Unfortunately, with her e-collar and metal tags on her regular collar, she made way too much noise every time she got up during the night.  We were startled awake over and over again.  Last night, despite Symphony's protests, she spent the night in the crate downstairs.  We'll bring her back up at night at the end of the week when she no longer has to wear the e-collar. 
All tucked in wearing her e-collar.
"You said I wouldn't have to share my room."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meet the Greys

On Saturday, Luna and I were at a local greyhound meet and greet for our rescue group.  I wanted to bring Symphony with us, but she was still feeling under the weather from the anesthesia and she was still a little nervous outside of her crate.  Luna enjoyed the one-on-one time with me even though she had only been a sibling for less than 24 hours.

In the past when we've gone to the meet and greets, there have only been about four dogs including Luna.  At this event, there were a total of eight greyhounds!  Two were up for adoption.  The public loved seeing so many dogs of various colors and sizes.  Three boys towered over five girls.  Luna showed off her beautiful necklace, tricks, and personality to her adoring fans.  
The whole gang.
Braska Pitch.  Handsome boy looking for a home.
Greta and Mona taking a break.
Greta showing off her belly.
Bo hoping I have treats.
"A customer! Quick! Everyone in for a hug!"
Super tall Sullivan was quite the eye catcher.
Symphony is already feeling much better and her personality is just shining through.  She loves to wag her tail, roll on to her back for belly rubs, and be cuddled.  I know she will really enjoy going to these meet and greets with Luna and me very soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flying Symphony

For the next few weeks, Luna has a sister!  We are fostering a brood greyhound named Flying Symphony until she is adopted.  I was worried about how Luna would handle the transition from spoiled only child to  becoming the younger sister of an eight year old mother dog.  So far they have done very well together.  Luna is a little pushy because she knows how we do things around here and she doesn't want to wait for Symphony to figure it out.  She also showed off a little by playing with some toys, running up and down the stairs, and performing all her tricks for a treat.

Symphony was spayed just a few weeks ago and she had some teeth removed that were pretty disgusting.  For the next week she will need to stay calm and quiet which is harder for us because we want to take her out into the world and show her a good time.  Patience.  We tried having her wear the cone, but our apartment is kind of small so she kept getting stuck in places.  We now have her muzzle taped up so she won't lick her stitches.
Poor silly puppy.
Listening to the washing machine fill.
Luna's not sure about having to share pillows.
You could tell that Symphony wasn't feeling too well yesterday because she went straight into the crate without being told to do so and just laid down.  She slept most of the day in the crate.  She did come out for a few minutes last night while we had company over.  Her tail never stopped wagging which is one of her best qualities.  She loves to wag her tail and hugs are her current favorite thing.
"I'll just hide in here."
Her tail was wagging so hard during this hug.
This morning, Symphony was finally feeling well enough to eat.  She had a delicious meal of softened kibbled while Luna practiced her sit stay.  Luna got a treat right after Symphony finished because she did so well.  Don't worry, Luna is getting way more treats than usual and plenty of pets and attention.

If you'd like to learn more about Symphony or see more pictures of her check out her web page on Greyhound Friends of NJ

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hiking at the Mansion

Last weekend we had a snowstorm that left about six inches of snow to play in.  Luna enjoyed running around in the snow, but I could tell she wanted a bigger adventure.
Cool shadows.
The mansion.
On Sunday, the roads were plowed, but there was still plenty of snow on the ground so Luna and I headed up to a local park that was once the estate of a prince.  Now, people use the grounds to hike the woods and pastures, sled on the hills, cross country ski, and horseback ride.  It's a really nice place to be.

Kids sledding on the big hill.

How's that snow and sunshine?
Luna spent the majority of our walk off leash and stayed on the trail the entire time.  This was great practice for recall.  If she got too far ahead of me I'd call her and she'd stop, look at me and wait until I was next to her.  If she lagged behind (usually because something smelled particularly good), I'd call her and she'd come racing back to me.  Generally, she stuck close to me which was comforting for both of us.

Fast recall.
The old barn smells great!
One of the bridges over one of the streams.  Come back, Luna!
Oh, your just going to sniff?
There's a good girl.
We met a lot of people and dogs on our walk.  Breeds included a St. Bernard, Newfoundland, Labrador, Standard Poodle, Puggle, Havanese, Irish Setter, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and many other mix breeds.  Luna even met some cross country skiers and some kids sledding.

The snow is quickly melting away.  We'll definitely visit this park again soon.  Hopefully, we can get one more snowy walk before the season is over.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Evening Antics

I've gone back to school this year to earn my Masters degree so I'm in class two nights a week.  In addition, my work schedule has me staying late for meetings at least once a week.  The one night a week I am reliably free, I go to Zumba.  My point is that there are few nights of the week that I'm home before 8:30pm (some as late as 10:00pm).

Because of my late schedule I miss moments like the one pictured below.  Luckily, I have Mike around to capture it with his camera. :-)

The story behind this picture is as follows.  Mike and Luna were watching tv when Luna decided to give her back end a little licking.  Mike does not like to watch this behavior so he said "Luna. Stop."  She froze.  In fact, she remained still with her back leg over her head for at least five minutes.  Plenty of time for Mike to take a picture and laugh. What a goofball!

Frozen in place waiting for the release command.