Monday, December 27, 2010

First Snow for Miles

It snowed the day that I drove to Alabama to pick up Miles when he was just 5 weeks old. He doesn't remember that so this was his first experience with snow. He was a little cautious of the white stuff at first. Miles never puts his ears straight up but he did while checking out the snow.

One of the first things he did was try to move the snow. Yep the ground is still under there.

When he stopped he held up one foot a lot so looked like a pointer.

Things seem to be OK so lets play!

This stuff is FUN to run in!

We played with his lure pole in the fresh snow too. We call it the "greyhound fishing pole". Great way to exercise a greyhound. They LOVE it! He got so tired and hot that he laid down in the snow.

Video of the fun

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Photos of the Boys at 11 months

Weighed Miles, and he is holding steady around 75lbs. Might have even lost just a little weight. He gets as much as he wants to eat and gets 2 - 3 meals a day depending on how much he ate for breakfast. If he ate a big breakfast he usually skips lunch. His hipbones show a little more than they did when he was younger and as you can see from the photos his muscle is developing so he should be gaining weight. I think it may just be impossible to keep weight on the pups with the amount they run and cold weather burns calories too.

I have increased the amount of fat Miles gets. He is on mainly raw beef and bone with less deer and chicken now since they are leaner meats. He also gets plenty of organ meats, along with some veggies and fruits. He rarely gets grains unless I forget to thaw his raw food and he ends up having to eat some dog food. When he gets dog food I put it in toys. He has what looks like a giant hamster ball that has holes in it. He rolls it around so the dog food falls out of it. He has a similar toy that looks like a flashlight. It has a dog food sized hole on one side of the handle. It used to take him about an hour of carrying it, rolling it and dropping it to shake the dog food out of that one tiny hole. He has figured out how to unscrew the top now so when he gets tired of playing with it he just unscrews it and gets all the food out at once. Great toys that keep a pup busy!!! Pinky the IG follows Miles around and grabs bites of food too.

Miles is wearing the red collar and Otto is wearing the green.

Miles still smiles but this is not a smile. He was trying to keep Otto from taking the toy. They sound and look SO vicious when they are playing but never hurt each other. Just like children, they fuss over every toy. If one has it, the other wants it. They only play with one toy at a time no matter how many are laying around. They will pick up a toy and prance past the other pup trying to get it to give chase.

Miles prey drive is very intense. Even with the socializing we did with cats early on he is not safe with them at all now. With pups short memory it seems they need to see something at least once a month or they will forget the rules associated with it. We skipped a couple of months working with cats and they became prey again. Will definitely do more work with all small animals. I don't have cats but want him to ignore any kind of small animal if I tell him to indoors or outdoors. My other two greyhounds could be called off of strange cats and even raccoons in the yard. It took a lot of work but it can be done.

A couple of days ago he got another bird in the yard. Have never had a greyhound that was such a good hunter before. Miles can snag birds out of bushes and out of the air. I was out scooping poop and didn't see him get the bird but noticed him throwing it up and catching it after he had killed it. Does this look like the face of a serial killer?

Wanted to get a photo showing how Miles has gone white on his hind end and on the inside of his legs. Doesn't really show how white it is because of the shadows. Also wanted a photo of his hind end before it gets bald. My greyhounds all run enough when lure coursing that they keep their bald racing booty. I am sure Miles will be no exception and will lose his hair as he gets older. JD finally grew his fur in at 11 years old after he got bone cancer and was forced to stop running around. Streak never did and came in second in the bald butt contest at Beach Bound Hounds in September just a month and a half before he died. Streak has won first place every year he has entered the contest except for this one. My first greyhound without a bald booty - Miles.

Otto and the Log

Count Otto's legs. Miles was actually in the photo but totally blocked by Otto except for his legs. Made Otto look like he had some extra legs.

The boys have a toy box FULL of toys but Otto decided to pick up a log and play with that instead. It was a very large log as you can see.

The pups have been cooped up in the house a little more than usual because of the very cold weather. They are pretty tough and want to play outside most of the day on all but the coldest days though. If it is very cold they play outside in 15 minute to half hour shifts. When Otto stands by the door looking miserable it is time to let them in to warm up. He has always had shorter fur than Miles and has always been a bit skinnier so tends to be the first to get cold. As long as they are running they stay pretty warm though. I have seen them panting when it is in the 30s. They are completely covered with fur without any bald patches on butt or belly so really seem to tolerate the cold weather better than most greyhounds. Probably because they have played outside so much and have gotten used to it and grew extra hair to protect them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Exiled to Siberia

We are having record lows - around 12 degrees last night. Even Miles, who loves to be outside, will hurry out to do his business and come straight back to the door. This morning was the coldest morning so far and I expected the same thing.

When Miles didn't come back to the door in 10 minutes I got worried and checked on him. He was on his outdoor bed under the poolhouse porch in the most perfect sit. The pups used to sit comfortably all the time but now are not really comfortable in that position anymore so rarely sit unless I ask them too. I figured it was too cold to lay on the vinyl bed.

Five minutes later I looked out again and he was in the same position and I could see him shivering from the house. I called him and he didn't move. Called again and he stood up briefly and returned to a sit on the bed. Very weird! Miles ALWAYS comes when called and fast. Called him again and he ran to the (off limits) flowerbed and sat there. I yelled at him to get out of the flowerbed and he moved a couple of feet and sat again in the flowerbed. I yelled several more times and he slunk out of the flowerbed very upset and came up on the porch but wouldn't come near me or the door. He returned to a perfect sit on the porch, shivering so hard that he looked like a giant Italian Greyhound.

Then I noticed a big marble sized piece of poop frozen to his tail. I would have picked up on that if he had been doing the butt scoot but he was just sitting. Had to go out in the cold in my jammies and slippers with toilet paper to get it off before he would come to the door and come in. Poor guy had exiled himself to Siberia for getting poop on his tail.

Miles did two Christmas Parades on Saturday - Travelers Rest and Pickens. He did great at both and wasn't afraid of any of bands, loud cars, confederate soldiers shooting muskets and cannons, or the police car with flashing lights and siren right in front of us. He did want to eat the miniature horses that were right behind us in the TR parade:0 He towered over the two the cute little horses. The TR parade was SO long! We walked and walked for miles then had to find our way back through TR to get back to our car. I love to hike long distances but had blisters from this. Am not sure how many miles we walked. Even Miles was tired. That took all morning and part of the afternoon. Later in the afternoon we had to line up for the evening Pickens parade. Fortunately that parade was much shorter. Why is it that few parades make a circle back to their original starting point?

Remember Roo? She was in some early puppy photos playing with Miles. She is a probably a small lab mix that was a week older than Miles and much closer to the same size when they were babies. Roo did the Pickens parade with us. The pups always remember each other and start wrestling right away. This time they were playing "reindeer games" I guess. Roo got pretty dirty after being rolled around on the pavement by Miles.

Now that Piper has been adopted, Miles is having to get used to not having another puppy here to run with every day. He definitely has a LOT more energy without her here. The very cold weather isn't helping because he hasn't wanted to play outside as much as usual and I sure haven't wanted to go for many walks other than the MILES and MILES we walked on Saturday at the parades. He had a sore between his toes that was pretty much healed before the parades but with all the walking it opened back up. With the cold and sore toe we didn't have his brother Otto come over to play today or yesterday so that only made matters worse.

Miles broke the coat closet door when his friend Jann came over. He was NOT behaving calmly at the door like he was supposed to and was jumping around excitedly. Ran into the closed folding door while he was bouncing around and broke one of the runners at the bottom right out of the wood. A big pup that is still working on self control and manners can do a lot of damage without LOTS of exercise every day.

Miles is becoming more and more of a snuggler. He has been sleeping with us most of the time but does still get down on his own bed for part of the night. He likes to poke his nose under your arm or in an armpit much like Streak did or he lays draped over you. He has taken Streak's place in the walk in closet and lays there while I am changing or putting away clothes.

One funny thing I have noticed that Miles really doesn't like is when I am shaking out freshly laundered clothes to get the wrinkles out. He doesn't like that pop and will run out of the room. Have been working on that strange fear and have him stay in the room in a down stay which is already helping a lot. Strange that muskets and cannons firing in the parade didn't bother him but the snap from clothes being shook out does.

Monday, December 6, 2010

11 Months and Piper has a home!

The pups are 11 months old today! Miles sister Piper has a home! Her new family lives on the beach and is coming to pick her up tomorrow. They have already adopted a greyhound from Greyhound Crossroads, our adoption group. They also have puppy experience with 2 whippet pups they raised. They got the horrible greyhound puppy speech anyway just to be safe but it didn't scare them off.

Piper is pretty good for a pup but has been a little more of a handful than the boys. Mainly because she was not raised here with our rules and also because of a few mistakes in her upbringing. We know she was left in her crate all day every day while her family was at work. No way a pup can hold it that long so it taught her NOT to hold it and to potty whenever she felt the urge. She is pretty good about covering it with blankets if she goes in her crate and really does do pretty good about not going in there most of the time. Fortunately she didn't lose the urge to be clean like so many dogs that stay in crates too long as puppies.

When Piper arrived she would go wherever she was when the urge hit though. She still has to be supervised but has gotten a lot better. It is obvious she had some supervision in the past, but just enough to train her to sneak out of the room to potty or even to watch to see if the human is watching her before going. Humans only get upset if they actually catch you in the act, after all. Pups learn that pretty fast if they are allowed too much freedom during potty training. Piper has finally learned to go in the grass/dirt outside instead of on the deck!! It took nearly a month of going out with her 5 times a day and making sure she went to the proper spot. I think she has a stubborn streak in her because she learns things very fast when she wants to.

Piper is an awfully sweet pup and obviously got a lot of affection from her previous owners. She snuggles as much as possible. She is very smart and quickly learned to "kennel up" on command and likes her kennel. She is usually quiet there unless we have company or are playing with the other dogs. She wants to be out to join in the fun then and may whine a bit to let you know. Piper learned how to sit, down and shake very fast and is very food motivated so would be easy to train to do just about any trick.

Piper hasn't been destructive except with stuffed animals. She takes them apart and removes all the stuffing. I made the mistake of putting a comforter in her crate for her to lay on instead of her usual blankets. She removed ALL the stuffing from the comforter in the couple of hours I was gone just like a big stuffed animal. My fault I should have thought about that with a puppy. My Italian Greyhound Pinky would do the same thing when he was a pup. I found out today that she chews rope toys apart strand by strand. It took me awhile to figure out what that big pile of what looked like string was when I found it in the back yard.

I weighed Piper today. I was pretty sure she had grown since I got her and she has. She weighed 40lbs. She doesn't look fatter so she must have gotten taller and longer like the boys. Piper can still walk under the boys and does frequently so hasn't gotten a lot taller. She was weighed at the vet a week or so before she arrived at my house and she was just 31lbs. The boys have put on less than 10 lbs in the last month I think. Ten pounds for Piper is a quarter of her body weight. The pups should really be about done growing by 11 months. The boys will probably still put on some muscle weight because of their hormones. Piper was spayed as a pup so her muscle will not increase.

Congratulations to the Lewis family for picking out such a sweet girl!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still Growing!

Miles looks like he is continuing to get taller. He is 30 inches at the shoulders and his back is slightly higher at 31 inches. He is over 75lbs now. Miles and Streak's backs were the same height when Streak was alive. Streak was 30 and a half inches at one measuring at the shoulder a few years ago but having to stand on one front leg seemed to bend his foot a little more and he lost about an inch. He is still getting longer too and is a very long greyhound. Even longer than big Streak. His muscle is definitely starting to come in and he has thighs now. Still has a ways to go before he has the muscle of an adult but you can see him starting to fill out.

Kind of exciting to see him blossom and fun to guess what he will finally look like. His grandsire is Kiowa Sweet Trey. He raced at 80lbs and has pups racing at over 80. When I see a dog that really looks like Miles it usually is a Kiowa Sweet Trey pup. Miles has HB Commander on both sides of his family which was another 80lb racer so even though Miles parents were both smaller racing at 58 and 71lbs it looks like there were some big jeans in the family.

Miles has changed so much since he was a little nearly black brindle puppy. His color changed more than anything. He lightened up a lot and was almost a fawn brindle for awhile as a younger pup without much striping. Later he got more striping and got much darker and redder. Now I think he would be considered a red brindle. In the last month or two he had another color change. His hair on his belly, inner legs, butt and the underside of his tail turned to white - still has black stripes running through it but the gold/orange is white. Looks very much like a tiger with the white underbelly and inner legs. The hair on his sides and back is still orange. His blaze is barely there now just a few white hairs running down his nose.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Streak is Gone

Streak - My Easy Street RE, JC, CGC, TDI
June 29th 20o2 - Nov 18th 2010

We lost Streak on Thursday, Nov 18th to Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) a little over a year since I lost my other greyhound JD to the same disease. Streak always limped a bit because of some arthritis in his toes and corns that just developed in the last year. We had been pretty sure about a year ago that he had Osteo in his shoulder but it didn't show up in X-rays. His limping got a little better this summer and he was able to run some but then gradually it got more pronounced. At the end of Sept during our beach trip he fell off the bed and landed on his sore shoulder. He has been on pain killers and mostly on just 3 legs since then. Even though there was no bruising or swelling we hoped it was just an injury that would get better with time but it got worse. When he started yelping in pain when laying down and couldn't get comfortable, we knew it was time for more X-rays. The cancer diagnosis came as no surprise. With the corns on his feet, it was painful for him to walk on 3 legs so he was not a good candidate for amputation. I am not sure that I would have put him through that to buy a few more months with him anyway. There is no cure for osteosarcoma and taking off the leg just buys some time until the cancer comes back in the lungs.

Streak earning his Rally Novice Title. He went on to complete his Rally Advanced and his Rally Excellent titles.

Playing with his favorite Christmas gift last Christmas

Streak was a role model for Miles and I can only hope that Miles will be close to as good as Streak was. I called Streak "Streaky the Good" because he never did anything wrong. Once he knew the rules he would never break them. I could leave a plate of food out on an end table and he wouldn't touch it - all day- even if I left the house. He was a Therapy Dog and did home visits and visited schools to educate children about dogs. He performed at the Georgia and Carolina Renaissance Festivals as a member of the Hounds of East Fairhaven for years. He was the most tolerant dog I know and could calm an aggressive dog down with his calm energy just like Cesar Millan's pitbull, Daddy, on the Dog Whisperer. He convince many people to adopt greyhounds at meet and greets and convinced their dogs that greyhounds meant no harm.

Streak herding sheep with me

Like Daddy, Streak was a gentle giant. He was the most muscular greyhound I have ever seen and the heaviest out of nearly 1000 greyhounds our adoption group, Greyhound Crossroads, has placed. He raced at 92lbs which is about 20lbs heavier than the average male greyhound. There have been a few taller but the one that weighed the closest raced at 85lbs I think.

One of my favorite photos. It shows what a gentle giant Streak really was. He was so tolerant of Miles and never did any more than growl at the pups when they got out of line.

Streak raced at Victoryland in Alabama then at Jefferson County Kennel Club in Monticello Florida. I saw Streak race in Florida when I was there to pick up a load of retired greyhounds and remembered him because I had never seen a greyhound that big before. Months later I met him when his trainer led out the bouncing, wagging, giant to meet me. She knew I had a soft spot for the big guys and wanted me to meet him in hopes our group would take him when he retired. She said he was a very special guy and one of her favorites. A few months later he retired and I got him as a foster, not long before his 3rd birthday.

Streak had no desire to be the leader of the pack. He was easy going and just went with the flow. The only thing that bothered him was someone yelling or if he though he had done something wrong. He just wanted to please and other than that was a happy go lucky guy that would whip you with his tail but didn't have an aggressive bone in his body. That was perfect for me because the greyhound male I had, JD, was a dominant guy that tended to be a little grouchy with other dogs. My second greyhound needed to be a more tolerant guy that wouldn't take offense at JD's grumpy outbursts.

Streak and JD promoting greyhound adoption at a Christmas event.

Streak with Miles at about 6 months

Little Miles trying to keep up with Streak at the Playday field.

We will miss Streak. He was the most amazingly perfect dog I have ever met. He loved to snuggle and had no personal body space at all. He loved to have you lay a leg or an arm over him and would snuggle closer. I even laid across him and sat on him sometimes. He tried his best to be a big lap dog when you were sitting on the couch. He would role over on his back at meet and greets and reach up with his paws to pull people down to visit with him. He never did the greyhound roach where they put all their legs in the air and sleep on their back. The only time he rolled on his back was when he was trying to get someone to snuggle with him.

Streak's self appointed task was to watch over me. He always followed me where ever I went but never had any sign of separation anxiety. He just followed me from room to room his entire life unless I told him not to. He even followed me into the walk in closet when I changed my clothes and laid at the bathroom door when I was in the shower. He would often walk in the shower himself in hopes he could have a shower. He wasn't fond of showers but figured out that showers meant that he was likely to get to go someplace fun. He loved to go for rides and in cool weather loved to wait for me in the van while I ran errands. I could leave him in the van with groceries because he knew they were mine and wouldn't dream of touching even the juiciest steak.
Streak and JD with me at the Beach

Miles is the only greyhound in our home now other than fosters. He just has Pinky the deaf Italian Greyhound for company. Miles is a busy pup and doesn't seem to miss Streak much. Pinky depended on Streak though and would lay near him so he felt the vibration of Streak getting up. Pinky didn't miss anything going on in the house that way, even being deaf. Pinky has been more clingy in the last few days. I am his ears now since Streak is gone I guess. Miles is still a big clumsy pup and Pinky stays out of his way most of the time for his own safety. I don't think Miles and Pinky will have a close relationship like Pinky and Streak did until Miles gets older and calmer.

Pinky and his big brother Streak. This photo was used on cards to raise money for a greyhound adoption.

I sure wish Streak could have stayed longer. He was just 8 and we only had him 5 and a half years. He had definitely earned his angel wings here long ago though and no dog deserves heaven more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Crazy Eyes

My husband was trying to take some photos of Miles with his cell phone. This is what he got. Never have seen this before! I haven't noticed Miles eyes being hyper reflective at any other time so I am hoping it is just the flash on the phone and not some problem with his eyes.

Funny story about Miles. Sunday morning we were trying to sleep in a bit and woke up to the lovely sound of Miles drinking out of the toilet. Went back to sleep and woke up to Miles hopping up on the bed a short time later. He walked over to Roy, stood over him, gagged and threw up on Roy's head. I almost fell out of bed laughing. He had had a bit too much of that toilet water. I just hope Roy remembered to flush. ROFL

Have had a few days of rain so Miles and his sister Piper have not been able to play outside or go for walks. Their brother Otto hasn't been over either. This is NOT a good thing!!! My friend Ann came over to visit and Miles went nuts leaping around. Fortunately she knows not to talk to or touch him and to just ignore him while he is acting like that. That didn't stop him from sticking his tongue in her mouth though during one of his leaps. ACK. He finally got control of himself and sat calmly so he could get petted. It didn't last long and he took off running into the bedroom, slid across the bed, sliding the covers off. Then ran around again and spun around on the bed and slid the mattress partially off. Weather is supposed to be better tomorrow thank goodness!!

We weighed Miles a few days ago and he weighs 74lbs. He suddenly is starting to put on muscle. His narrow puppy chest is starting to get wider. Still has a ways to go so I am sure he will end up being over 80lbs at a muscular racing weight once he finishes filling out. Looks like the hormones have started kicking in so he may be about as tall as he is going to get. He is nearly 30 inches right now at the shoulder. He is a big guy.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Otto, Miles brother, is such a sweet guy. I have dog sat him at least 2 days a week since he was adopted. So Miles and Otto still get to play together often. Otto is smart, learns fast, minds well and always wants to please. He gets his feelings hurt like Miles if he gets into any trouble. The boys seem to have the same energy level and love to play. Otto loves to play fetch and is better at bringing the ball back than Miles though. Otto is a little less confident and a bit more nervous of new things like learning to swim in the pool. He is a little nervous of dogs he doesn't know yet Miles runs right over to play with the dogs next to a baseball field I take the pups too. Otto usually stays away from the fence and the barking little dogs. He lives with little barking dogs so may just have more than he needs of that at home. LOL He isn't shy just a bit less confident. I think he is more confident with other dogs at his own house. Miles tends to be bossy with him here but I have heard that Otto is the boss at his own house. Otto is very friendly with new people like Miles.

Otto's family has done a very good job of training him. He knows obedience commands and some tricks and has great house manners. He doesn't jump on people and walks very nicely on leash. His family hasn't had any issues with him either and their greyhound puppy raising experience has been a good one so far.