Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 Miles and Otto

 Otto thinks antlers are cool and maybe will make him fly
 Miles is not sure he wants to pull Santa's sleigh
 Miles and Moose at the Travelers Rest Christmas Parade

Monday, December 12, 2011


Ottobahn (Miles Per Hour's littermate)
 I got some photos of Otto all grown up. I think he still has a bit of a puppy face though. These were taken at 22 months. Otto is such a good boy! He is getting calmer and seems like he is calmer than Miles. I still watch him a couple of times a week for the day so he and Miles can play. He is always very well behaved and the pups never get into any trouble. They still sound and look like they play too rough but have never hurt each other. They do run a lot but spend as much time playing mouth wars on the bed now and do take a couple of naps during the day. No more running for hours. Now they play more like typical higher energy, young greyhounds. They run for a few minutes then rest and repeat.

Otto can sit!

Otto and his dad Joe

Monday, December 5, 2011


Miles got some hand made antlers from his friend Susan for Christmas. He was pretty embarrassed initially. You will probably be able to tell which photo was taken first. I think it helped when he heard that his heroes the police canines also wear antlers at Christmas sometimes. Petco shoppers making over him and taking his picture probably helped a bit too.  He is pretty proud of those antlers now.

He got to kiss Santa for luck and checked out his beard. Miles was pretty sure it was no more natural than the antlers on his head or his mom's hair color. Definitely something that should be tied to string with a young greyhound chasing it.
Susan also made antlers for Moose. Here is our foster Wheel McCoy modeling them at our Petco meet and greet.
In other greyhound news: Friday Moose and Miles went with me to Camden to the Polo Field. We were helping to set up the LGRA (Large Gazehound Racing Association) straight track. It is a 200 yard straight run where the dogs break out of real racing boxes. Miles had practiced once before months ago but we wanted to do a little more box practice and get both boys certified by a judge so they can enter competitions.

To get certified they have to run the course cleanly, no bumping, playing or other rough housing and they have to be focused on chasing the lure and not on the other dog running with them. Normally it isn't a good idea to have dogs that live in the same house certify each other because they are more likely to play. Moose was a professional racer for years and was good so I knew he would run clean. Miles has always run clean in his previous runs with other dogs in AKC lure coursing competitions so I was pretty sure he would be fine too.

Miles is always so much faster when running in the yard with Moose so I was sure I knew who the winner would be. Moose was so cool when he walked up to the box and walked in without a fuss. He was so professional and knew exactly what he was supposed to do. He was staring at the lure and was totally focused. Miles had already run a few practices out of the box and I tried to put him in a different box. He tried to back out and kept trying to get in the box we had used before. I didn't think about that small detail and hadn't trained him out of EACH box. Slapping head.

Moose broke fast at the track according to the racing records and videos I found on him. He broke ahead of Miles this time too. On this short of a track there isn't much time to make up for a bad break. The break alone can win the race and Miles couldn't catch his older brother. He is eager for a rematch though and is pretty sure he can do better next time. They both passed their certification run so will be able enter the next competition we go to.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hounds Of East Fairhaven

Miles and Mom at the Carolina Renaissance Festival(Photo Susan Bodnar)

My dogs and I have been working with the Hounds of East Fairhaven for ten years. We are a group that performs at the Georgia and Carolina Renaissance Festivals. It is basically a meet and greet on speed wearing a hoop skirt and corset.  A couple of my fancier outfits weigh about 30lbs without the cloak. If it is cold add another 10lbs to that. Ten to twelve thousand people come through each day on the weekends so it is a great way to educate people on what great dogs greyhounds are. Patrons are always amazed at how calm and well behaved our dogs are in spite of the crowds, costumes, cannons, shows and noise. We have been falsely accused of drugging the dogs as they nap through the excitement. The days are long from 10am to 6pm. By the end of the day the dogs don't even wake up as people pet them.

The Hounds of East Fairhaven Building with our new sign!
Miles loves children
Miles loves peasants with frosting on their faces
Handsome Miles

The Carolina Renaissance Festival runs for 8 weekends every Fall and that is the Festival we just finished up. This was Miles second time working this festival and he had a great time as always. He worked his first festival in Georgia when he was only about 12 weeks old so isn't phased by any of it and loves every part of it. You should see him bouncing in from the parking lot.

This was Moose's first time here and he was scared to death. To the point of shaking, crouching down, bolting and peeing himself. Mistake number one was taking Moose without his buddy Miles. Mistake number two was having his first day be Kids Day. Kids Days are when the festival is open during the week so schools can bring bus loads of children. Imagine ten thousand children at one event! When they unload the buses you can hear the kids coming at you from the parking lot like a loud squealing wave. Moose is so calm and such a great dog I thought he would be the easier one to take for kids days. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Moose, Miles and Mom
I had no idea that Moose is terrified of children. He has been around lots of them at meet and greets but only one or two at a time. Looking back there were signs. When we had pool parties with kids at our house, he stayed in the house. I thought he just didn't like the crowd and noise in the yard. The last party we had was all adults and he came outside and was very social. I thought he had just gotten used to the parties at our house. He always greeted families that came over and was friendly but he had had a couple of pee accidents when children came over. I thought he just got overly excited and peed. Now I know he was actually excited to see their parents and peed when the kids petted him because he was nervous.

Moose on kids day with his butt toward the kids
At the festival Moose turned his butt to the kids and got his head as close to the back door as he could. He shook and crouched low and tried to crawl under our hoop skirts to hide. We had the building roped off so the kids could just pet the dogs near the ropes and not trample them so Moose could hang out in the back of the building away from the kids. We told the kids he was shy and they could only pet him if he came to them. He got brave enough to go up to the rope only a few times all day. I was careful not to reward his fear by talking to him or petting him. He got attention only when he was calm and got big rewards when he faced the children or approached them. 

Moose and Joanne. His head still facing away from the crowd and toward the back of the building
The second time I took Moose it was a regular day with adults and kids. He was still terrified even though there weren't as many children there. He gradually calmed down enough to take treats from me and I gave him treats whenever he was calm around children. Gradually he started looking at me every time a kid came up. I started letting the kids sit on his bed with him while I gave him treats. He was OK with on child but when a second child tried to sit down by him he jumped up and tried to get away. After awhile I let the kids start giving him the treats. He got about a pound of treats one tiny piece at a time from kids that day. By the end of the day he had 4 kids sitting all around him on his bed and he was looking from one to the other for his treats, making eye contact with his tail wagging. He was actually moving toward the kids and the crowd and choosing to face them rather than have his butt toward them. He even fell asleep as kids and people were petting him toward the end of the day - totally relaxed.

The 3rd time I took Moose to the Festival, I took Miles with him in hopes Miles happiness would rub off on him. Moose was an entirely different dog and acted almost normal. He was still fearful outside the building but was comfortable and happy in the building. He got pounds of treats again from kids. Not sure if it was Miles or the treats but something sure worked. I think Moose will end up being OK at the Festival and will eventually enjoy it as much as all my other dogs have. It was really a surprise to see a happy, outgoing dog like Moose turn into a spook. Festivals are really extreme though with so many strangely dressed people. The people even speak with strange accents. It helps that most of them smell of turkey legs and beer though. We are looking forward to the Georgia Renaissance Festival in the spring.

The dog's favorite person, Spyglass The Pirate. He brought them treats every day.

Moose and Spyglass

Friday, November 11, 2011

Academy Award

Miles enjoys playing rough with his dad and in this case his friend Wayne. There was a bit of acting going on during the "battle". No humans were actually harmed in the making of these photos. Miles is really gentle for a nearly 80lb dog.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Family Reunion

 We had a family reunion for Miles little family. We got the boys together with their mom Sara. Above Otto on the left laying down Miles on the right laying down and their mom Sara standing.

Sara in front then Kohle, Otto and Miles in the back.

Left to Right. Kohle, Miles, Otto and Sara

Sara recognized me right away. If she recognized me I am sure she remembered the boys too. She seemed very happy to see them and did a lot of sniffing. I am not sure they remembered her but they sure enjoyed playing with her. We had them at a fenced baseball field and they all played and had a great time.