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.

A Sister?

About a month ago I heard about a 10 month old greyhound female that had been dumped in a shelter. She had been adopted by another family that was told she was a whippet mix puppy. They didn't have a fenced yard for her to play in and had no way to exercise her so you can imagine that didn't go well. They gave her to a lady with a border collie rescue that contacted greyhound rescue. We figured that she must be a littermate to my boys since she was in Alabama where they originally came from and worked it out to get her.

Her name is Piper and she looks exactly like the boys on a much smaller scale. She definitely is greyhound and doesn't have the arch or the fine bones of a whippet or even a greyhound whippet mix. She is nearly whippet sized though at around 35lbs. The runt of the litter was a tiny brindle female that was about 5lbs when Miles weighed 17lbs so it is possible that she could be half their size now.

With all the fostering I have done I haven't seen dogs that look more alike than these without being very closely related. Piper's shape is exactly like Miles. Miles has a flatter back than Otto does and it is wider like hers. Both their tails even have a slight curve in the same direction and both carry their tails very high for greyhounds curved up and over their backs. Her feet are a little flatter and her legs show some other signs of poor nutrition which would be another reason for her to be so much smaller. Without a fenced yard she may have not gotten much sun and vitamin D like the boys. I have them play outside on nice days and even nap on waterproof beds in the sun so they get plenty like the greyhound pups on the farms.

Miles and Piper

Her face looks more like Otto's as you can see in these pictures. Since she is so tiny her face looks even more like his did a couple of months ago.

Otto and Piper

While I was taking photos of Otto and Piper, she walked under him. Shows how much smaller she really is.

Piper has been an angel at my house. She crates well and is usually quiet unless she hears talking in another room. She plays like the boys but quickly let them know that she is boss and doesn't like them to jump on her. I was worried about the size difference at first because of how rough the boys play. They still jump on each other but rarely jump on her now. She loves chasing them around in the yard and is always behind them. When they turn to go the other way they like to jump over her and seem to plan on it.

About the only thing Piper does wrong is peeing and pooping on the porch instead of in the grass. She is great with kids and will run and play with kids that come over and is gentle with them. The smallest kid can take a ball or a toy out of mouth and throw it for her. She isn't quite as gentle with Pinky the Italian Greyhound. She wants to play with him more than Miles and is always pouncing on him or slapping him with her paws. She is small but still over twice his weight so too big to play that rough. I have to constantly remind her to leave Pinky alone.

Miles wasn't sure how to take Piper at first. She would get up on the bed and growl at him if he bothered her. He would walk away hanging his head and lay on a dog bed and watch her. He would try again and bring a toy with him the next time. Sometimes she would play tug but sometimes she would just steal the toy from him. He would return to the dog bed sadly. It was really funny to see him watching her and really wondering about this new pup that came in and just took over. He would run past her with toys and turn and look as he ran by hoping she would chase him. They are great friends now. She still seems to be the boss and is quick to growl or snap if Miles gets too rough but has good bite inhibition like the boys. No one has ever been hurt. Miles isn't as cautious around her now. He will take toys away from her sometimes and will lay down next to her on a bed even if she fusses at him.